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Motorcycle Floor Gets a Low-Maintenance MakeoverProject submitted by Jeremy Wilkerson, Mid Atlantic Floor Care / Dreamkrete, Richmond, Va.
By replacing vinyl tile with polished concrete, this Harley Davidson dealership will eliminate the tire marks and maintenance headaches they had before.
An acetone dye applied to the floor during polishing gave it a metallic gray finish as sleek as the Harleys on display.
Another view of the floor, showcasing its mirror-like sheen.
As the owner of a floor maintenance company, Jeremy Wilkerson of Mid Atlantic Floor Care / Dreamkrete specializes in something you’d never expect: He actually makes floors easier for their owners to maintain themselves.
“We are the exception to the rule as far as the decorative concrete industry goes,” he says. “We started out strictly as a floor maintenance company. As a result of us transitioning to natural stone polishing and refinishing, we saw the potential in the polished concrete business. We wanted to start offering this to our existing customers as an alternative to replacing the existing floor type with either carpet or tile.”
This project at the Colonial Harley Davidson dealership, Colonial Heights, Va., is the perfect example of one of the floors that his company converted from vinyl tile to polished concrete. MAFC/Dreamkrete had been maintaining their floors since the facility opened for business. In the service area, they had originally installed gray vinyl tile, which had been replaced with a black and white checkerboard vinyl tile.
“Colonial Harley Davidson was looking for an alternative answer to replacing the tile once again,” says Wilkerson. “Vinyl flooring has always been an issue in their service department. Motorcycles are always coming in this area from outside or from the shop. They typically have a bike on display in this area as well. Over time, the tire rubber was staining the floor. After discussing the other alternatives, we all felt that polished concrete would give them the best wear surface available for the type of traffic this area receives.”
The first and most time consuming step was to remove the existing tile and mastic to expose the underlying concrete. “We encountered a significant amount of glue from the installation of the two sets of tiles. We were able to scrape some off with a tile removal machine, but we also broadcast sand on the floor while metal bond cutting to help remove all of the glue,” says Wilkerson.
The crew started off by grinding the floor with 80-grit metal bond diamonds, and then proceeded to 120-grit diamonds. Next, they installed a lithium silicate densifier, and proceeded up to 400-grit resin diamonds. The floor was then cleaned with an auto scrubber before installation of an acetone dye. After the dye was applied, they polished the floors up to 1,500 grit and installed a polish guard.
“The total area of this project was around 800 square feet, and we had three days to complete the job,” says Wilkerson. “We started on New Year’s Day, when the facility was closed while they conducted inventory. From the tile removal to the finished product, it took us two and a half days, and they were able to open earlier than expected.”
With its new high-gloss polished finish, the floor now only needs routine dusting and mopping to maintain its luster. Only on occasion will Wilkerson need to come in to auto scrub and buff the floor. But the reduced demand for his floor care services doesn’t concern him.
“We feel polished and decorative concrete flooring is the flooring choice for the future. As you can see, it is working quite well and we have seen a huge upward swing in the market,” he says.
MAFC/Dreamkrete, Richmond, Va.
Equipment and materials used
Floor grinder: HTC 800, HTC Professional Floor Systems
Concrete densifier: Scofield Formula One
Concrete dye: H&C Acetone Dye Stain in Spanish Dagger
Polish guard: DCI Polish Guard, Decorative Concrete Institute
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