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What is Polished Concrete?

Polished concrete is different to power floated or power trowelled concrete. Polished concrete starts off with a power trowel finish and is then subject to a polishing process that can take in up to 7 different stages of diamond polishing interspersed with a densifier application and a sealer application. The result is a highly polished, dense, abrasion resistant, light reflective floor finish.

Polished concrete can be treated with varying grades of diamond to provide a finish from ‘salt and pepper appearance’ up to a highly polished ‘super or premium’ type finish or anything in between.

Where Can a Polished Concrete be used?

Polished concrete can be used on old existing concrete slabs or indeed on newly constructed slabs that have been prepared and installed with the polishing process to follow in mind.

Old and tired concrete floors can be ‘refurbished’ by the specialist polishing process. This will take a dirty, dusty, stained existing slab to a brand new looking highly polished, bright light reflective surface that is easily cleaned.

New concrete floors can be laid with a view to the final appearance being ‘built in’ to the concrete slab. For example an aesthetic enhancement can be added to the slab by using special or coloured aggregates and even different cements. A wet on wet topping using decorative aggregates could also be applied at a depth of 10mm that could be ground down and polished to provide an aesthetically pleasing elegant surface finish. There are so many options available on a newly laid slab.

Advantages of Polished Concrete

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Easily cleaned
  • Easily maintained
  • High abrasion resistance
  • Scratch resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Light reflective
  • Durable
  • Numerous levels of polish available

Typical usage:

  • Commercial buildings
  • Industrial buildings
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Surgeries
  • Offices
  • Retail units
  • Car showrooms

Types of Work

Laser Screed

A mechanised system of laying concrete floor slabs where a machine trims, levels and vibrates concrete up to 350mm deep with the correct specification concrete. Tolerances up to FM1.

High Tolerance Floor Slabs

Precision levelled slabs are often required for many types of installation. For Free Movement tolerances where very tight tolerances are required over the whole slab. This may well be for specialist equipment e.g. air cushion transport etc. are being used, we can lay slabs to FM1 (Free Movement). For racking areas the tolerance changes to Defined Movement and Malin can lay large areas of slab to DM1 (Defined Movement). With both specification Laser Screed construction methodology can be utilised.

Upper Floors and Mezzanines

These can be slabs on metal decking and pre-cast planks. These are normally laid using hand screed methodology. Alternatively, the smaller Laser screed systems, copperhead, S840 type machines can be used if access and egress can be provided. Tolerances depend upon stiffness of the supporting structure which includes structural steelwork and decking/planks.

Hand Screeded Flooring

Generally used for smaller areas of offices, small sheds etc. where the mechanised system cannot be used. Tolerances are generally FM3 or FM4

Cold Stores

Specialist slabs situated inside an insulated panel box building. Sizes can vary from just a small unit inside a retail outlet to a whole building. The slabs are normally hand laid although the smaller Laser Screeds, Copperhead and S840 can be used if access and egress can be provided. Tolerances are dependant upon methodology used. If required very high tolerances, DM1 or similar can be achieved using the ‘long strip method’. More generally FM3 or FM4 tolerances are adopted using the hand lay systems.


Generally specified for outside slabs and roadways for traffic into and out of warehouses etc. The most common finish is a brush finish to provide a textured running surface for the vehicles using the hardstandings and roadways. Various techniques can be adopted using both mechanical Laser screed type systems and hand lay systems. These slabs are normally laid to falls into a designed surface water drainage system.

Ground Bearing Slabs

These slabs rely entirely on full support from the sub strata. The reinforcement detailing, and design is specific for controlling the drying shrinkage of the concrete.

Suspended Pile Supported Slabs

These slabs have reinforcement designed to distribute loadings into the concrete capable of spanning between a designed pile system. Reinforcement includes designed rebar, special designed mesh sheets and steel fibres etc.

Hydraulically Efficient Slabs to Falls

Mainly used in wet areas where the manufacturing processes include a washout water being drained away. Bottling plants, fish and meat processing plants all commonly use this system.

Multi Story Car Parks

Commonly laid to falls and having a brush type finish to provide grip for vehicles. Some carparks have other finishes applied to the finished concrete.

Waste Treatment Plants

Various configurations exist for waste treatment plants. Generally slabs are laid to falls but some areas are laid ‘flat’. Concrete has to be designed specifically for the type of waste being treated which can be very aggressive to concrete.

Recycling Centres

Various configurations exist for recycling centres. Generally slabs are laid to falls but some areas are laid ‘flat’. Concrete must be designed specifically for the type of waste being treated which can be very aggressive to concrete and extremes of temperature, up to 70º Celsius can exist between areas of concrete a small distance away. In other centres very aggressive machinery e.g. heavy face loading shovels, can be used and the concrete has to have a very ‘tough’ abrasion resistance. Joints need to be carefully considered.

Main Site Plant Resources
  • 2 No S-22E Laser Screeds, these are the latest machines out of the world renowned Somero stable. Both machines have been upgraded to incorporate the latest roller plow head technology…….
  • 2 No SXP-D Laser Screeds
  • 2 No SXP Laser Screeds
  • 2 No S-240 Laser Screeds
  • 1 No S840 Laser Screed
  • 1 No Copperhead X3
  • 1 No Power Rake 2
  • 1 No Miniscreed 
  • Numerous power float options to cater for all types and configurations of concrete floors.