Did you know that there are 4 different levels of “polished concrete” to choose from? And not all include polishing. According to the Concrete Polishing Council (CPC), the definition of polished concrete is the act of permanently changing a concrete floor surface, with or without aggregate exposure to achieve a specified appearance level.
What steps are needed to achieve polished concrete?
Polished concrete is the process of progressive grinding, densifying, honing and polishing. In order to achieve the desired effect (level 1 vs. level 4), it’s essential that the appropriate grit and type of diamond tooling be used. As the grits in the diamond tool get finer, peaks and valleys get smaller and shallower, increasing the reflectivity, or shine, level by level. The higher the shine level, the more steps involved to achieve that level, and of course, the more time and cost required.
We’ve outlined the levels below to show you the process each entails and how that translates to the finished appearance.
- Level 1: Flat/Ground – Grinding provides a large depth scratch pattern using abrasives up to 100 grit (metals or resins). Images of objects being reflected have a flat appearance.
- Level 2: Satin/Honed – Honing provides a medium depth scratch pattern using abrasives 100 – 200 grit. Images of objects being reflected have a matte appearance.
- Level 3: Polished – Polishing provides a finer depth scratch pattern using abrasives between 400 – 800 grit. Images of objects being reflected do not have a sharp and crisp appearance, but can be easily identified.
- Level 4: Highly Polished – Polishing at the finest depth scratch pattern using abrasives above 800 grit provides the highest level of polish. Images of objects being reflected have a sharp and crisp appearance similar to a near-mirror like reflection. This finish may require grouting.
As you can see, many details go into specifying polished concrete, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We’re here to help make your lives easier!
[Polished concrete pictured at top is level 2]