First, Let’s Discuss Polished Concrete Flooring
You may be familiar with polished concrete. Polished concrete is achieved by continually grinding a concrete slab and then applying a densifier which hardens the concrete.
A polished concrete is extremely durable and is able to withstand a variety of commercial, industrial, retail, and even residential applications. Polished concrete is known for being easy to maintain. Polished concrete is also an extremely safe floor with a coefficient of friction much higher than the requirement for indoor concrete floors.
The end result is a floor that is suitable for a variety of environments. The durability and minimal maintenance requirements of a polished concrete floor means that it has a much lower lifetime cost than other types of flooring options.
So Polished Concrete Tiles are Polished Concrete in Tile Format, Right?
Polished concrete is produced by using a concrete floor grinder to grind down a slab of concrete. In some cases stairs, countertops, or other fixed concrete areas can also be grinded and densified to create a polished concrete surface.
Polished concrete tiles are not truly polished concrete. Usually, they are tiles that are made to look like polished concrete. These polished concrete tiles are created from a variety of materials as described below.
If you don’t already have an existing concrete slab to work with, tile can be competitively priced when compared to polished concrete. According to daltile, professionally installed tile costs between $5 and $14 per square foot. Prices for refinishing an existing concrete slab to turn it into polished concrete can vary widely but you may find similar pricing options.
Types of Polished Concrete Tiles
Your options for polished concrete tiles come in various materials and designs. The two main types of tile looks are concrete look tile and cement look tile. Cement look tiles often have a more rough, textured finish. Concrete look tiles have a smoother, polished appearance. Both options give your space an industrial feel but differ in texture and style.
Concrete Look Tile
Concrete look tiles are made from porcelain and provide the appearance of concrete. They’re waterproof, scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, fire-resistant, and slip-resistant. These porcelain tiles are dense and tough, making them a durable and versatile option. You can find these tiles in various sizes and colors to suit your needs. Daltile offers a wide selection of concrete look tiles in their collection.
Cement Look Tile
Cement look tiles are similar to concrete look tiles but are designed to resemble traditional cement materials. These tiles come in a range of shades, shapes, and sizes. Floor & Decor offers top-quality cement-look tiles.
Cement look tiles can be made from ceramic or porcelain materials. Ceramic tiles offer the advantage of being a more budget-friendly alternative to porcelain tiles. They’re available in a variety of styles and finishes, including polished concrete designs.
Porcelain vs Ceramic Tile
Concrete look and cement look tiles are constructed of either porcelain or ceramic materials. Porcelain tiles are denser, more durable, and less porous than ceramic tiles. This makes them ideal for higher traffic areas, as they resist wear and tear better. They are also less prone to staining and water damage, making them suitable for wet environments like bathrooms.
Ceramic tiles, on the other hand, are more affordable but less durable. They are easier to cut and install, making them ideal for DIY projects. However, you should be aware that they will be more likely to chip or crack over time than porcelain tiles.
Characteristics of Polished Concrete Tiles
In this section, you will gain insights into the features that make polished concrete tiles a good choice for some flooring options for residential homes.
While not nearly as durable as polished concrete, polished concrete tiles have a solid record with respect to strength and longevity. Best for residential use, they can withstand a fair amount of foot traffic. Most ceramic and porcelain polished concrete look tiles are waterproof – which makes them a good fit for residential kitchens or showers.
Polished concrete tiles exhibit low moisture absorption properties due to their dense structure. This characteristic helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Since these are tiles and not a uniform concrete surface, water can still penetrate in between tiles. The grout will need to be sealed to prevent water from penetrating and forming mildew or compromising the structure of your tile floor (or wall).
Maintaining Polished Concrete Tiles
Keeping your polished concrete tiles in excellent condition requires regular care and maintenance. Use a microfiber pad to dust mop the floor periodically. You’ll also want to mop your tiles regularly using a water and a gentle cleaning solution that is meant for ceramic or porcelain tiles. Miracle Sealants is an example of a cleaner that is able to gently and effectively clean both porcelain and ceramic tiles. Follow the cleaner manufacturer instructions for the proper dilution and application of the cleaner. Rinse the floor thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residue.
It’s essential to maintain the sealant on your polished concrete tiles to preserve their appearance and durability. Depending on your tile’s finish, you may need to reseal your tiles every 2-3 years. Select a suitable penetrating sealer or topical guard to protect the tiles and keep them looking their best.
In this section, you’ll discover design and style options for polished concrete tiles.
Select wall tiles that match your taste and needs. Polished concrete tiles offer a variety of styles and finishes to choose from. Look for tiles with various textures, patterns, and colors. Some options include Daltile’s concrete look tile collection, which can give your walls an industrial or modern feel. Mix and match different tile shapes and sizes to create a unique design that reflects your personal style.
For flooring, consider using polished concrete tiles that enhance the visual appeal of your space. These tiles come in many shades, from light grays to dark charcoals. You can even find colored concrete tiles to suit your design preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a tile that looks like polished concrete?
Yes, there are tiles that mimic the look of polished concrete. These tiles come in various designs, colors, and sizes. While they fall short of polished concrete in many aspects (like durability), they can be a great alternative if you want the appearance of polished concrete without having to grind and polish actual concrete.
Is polished concrete floor cheaper than tiles?
Costs can vary depending on factors like the type of tile, the condition of the existing floor, and labor expenses. In some cases, polished concrete floors might be cheaper than installing tiles, especially for larger areas where a concrete slab already exists. However, you should always compare specific costs and labor rates to make the most informed decision.
Are concrete tiles expensive?
Polished concrete tiles are comprised of either porcelain or ceramic material which are mid-range in price when it comes to floor tile options. At the low end of the price spectrum are the cheapest tile options: linoleum and vinyl. Terrazzo and Mosaic tiles are among the most expensive types of tiles.