Concrete Polishing In The GTA
What Is Polished Concrete?
Our business is polished concrete floors, acid-staining floors, and dyed concrete. Our polished concrete floors, acid-stained floors, and dyed concrete floors are found throughout the GTA area in government facilities, schools, retail and commercial applications.
We provide concrete polishing services to architects, business owners, general contractors, and project management companies. We see your polished concrete flooring project through until the end—from the specification process to the maintenance of your project.
We offer a turnkey polished concrete process. We use the ULTRAFLOR ARDEX DIAMATIC Polished Concrete System. The ULTRAFLOR System is the only comprehensive polished concrete system with detailed written process specifications for all aspects of the installation. We’ll ensure a successful installation of your polished concrete floors, acid-stained concrete floors, and dyed concrete floors done on time and on budget.
For more information on our concrete acid staining or polished concrete systems, call us (647) 986-3418.
We use environmentally friendly concrete polishing systems. These green concrete products and sustainable processes have a proven success record. In addition, we offer our clients an extended warranty on both our product and labor. We use the most advanced equipment and constantly update our concrete polishing methods to stay on the cutting edge of this rapidly changing technology. Be sure to utilize our unsurpassed expert advice for your polished concrete floors, dyed concrete floors, and acid-stained floors.
For Terrazzo floors, we use a gentle, professional polishing process to bring life and shine back into the surface every now and then. Terrazzo flooring is a work of art in itself. Did you know Terrazzo originated in Italy as a mishap creation? Italian mosaic artisans would cast aside the remnant marble chips from their projects onto terraces in the process of being built.
Over time people stepping back and forth over the terrace floors would cause the littered marble chips to be pushed further down. Shuffling feet would cause the floors to be smoothed to a polish. This idea has been refined over the centuries, and it is still a widely used concept today. Terrazzo polishing will prolong the life of your work of art.
For your commercial or residential concrete contractor needs, we can repair or demo your concrete and clean up the mess. For an affordable and knowledgeable solution to your flooring issues, feel free to contact us. From floor prepping, leveling, and grinding to concrete work and Terrazzo polishing, we can do it all. Give our concrete repairman a call.
Polished concrete floors are easy to install and maintain, offer increased strength and durability, and will decrease your floor maintenance and cleaning costs. Acid-staining concrete floors or updating your industrial flooring with dyed concrete can make your facility more attractive yet more cost-effective at the same time. Contact us today to see how.
The successful completion of a diamond-polished floor is dependent on two important factors:
- The quality of the concrete floor slab on which the diamond polishing will take place.
- The quality of the applied products and polishing equipment combined with the skill and abilities of the polishing company.
CPAA offers guide specifications to design professionals and the construction industry that addresses the second of these two important factors. However, the diamond polishing company has no control over the design, specification, or placement of the concrete floor slabs that are to be polished.
To address the first of these two important factors, CPAA recommends the following design and construction recommendations be evaluated for inclusion in the Division 03 cast-in-place concrete specifications prepared by the project structural engineer.
DIAMOND POLISHED CONCRETE IS NOT TERRAZZO A diamond polished concrete floor is not like terrazzo:
- Terrazzo is a mixture of matrix and aggregates that are topically applied to a concrete floor and then polished. Diamond polishing is a process of finishing the concrete floor using grinding and polishing equipment along with concrete chemicals.
- Application of terrazzo and diamond polishing covers the concrete floor that was placed months earlier and followed by the construction of a building over it, however the terrazzo will cover the concrete floor, but the diamond polishing finished the concrete floor that is there.
- The cementitious or epoxy matrix color can be selected for terrazzo, however, the concrete floor slabs is a product of the local concrete producer and there is very little, if any, ability to influence the color.
- Aggregates for terrazzo can be selected, however, the aggregates for diamond polished floors is the aggregate normally used by the concrete producer.
The point is that a diamond polished concrete floor cannot be thought of as a terrazzo floor. It is a different process that is not a covering and depends on heavily on the quality of the concrete.
EARTH SUBGRADE CPAA recommends fine grading the subgrade uniformly flat using a laser device. Imperfections in the subgrade surface, such as rises and depressions, could cause variations in the thickness of the concrete which increases the possibility of cracking because of restricted movement.
A uniformly flat subgrade surface reduces the potential of cracking because the concrete slab can expand and contract with minimal friction. While cracks can be filled during the polishing process, they cannot be made invisible by the polishing contractor.
Also, depressions in the subgrade could allow bleed water to pool on top of the below slab vapor barrier during the plastic state of the concrete, which could cause blemishes in the concrete surface because of the differential curing and drying. Blemishes such as this cannot be eliminated by the polishing contractor.
BELOW SLAB VAPOR BARRIER Moisture movement from earth subgrade through the concrete slab-on-grade to the concrete surface is a major problem in the flooring covering industry today, and can adversely affect a polished finish as well. A high-performance vapor barrier between the subgrade and the concrete is extremely important.
CPAA recommends a membrane that is rated Class A according to ASTM E1745 – 09 Standard Specification for Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Solid or Granular Fill under Concrete Slabs that has the following properties:
- Permeance: Not more than 0.1 perms (grains/sq ft/hr/in-Hg) after conditioning testing according to Section 7.1 of ASTM E154 – 08a Standard Test Methods for Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Earth Under Concrete Slabs, on Walls, or as Ground Cover.
- Thickness: Not less than 15 mils.
- Tensile Strength: Not less than 45 lbf/in.
- Puncture Resistance: 2200 grams.
Installation of the vapor barrier should comply with ASTM E1643 – 09 Standard Practice for Selection, Design, Installation, and Inspection of Water Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Earth or Granular Fill Under Concrete Slabs.
CONCRETE MIX DESIGN In addition to ACI standards for mixing concrete, CPAA recommends the following:
- For the portion of the concrete that will be polished, each mix ingredient should be from the same source, from the same respective batch, and each delivered to the concrete producer in one delivery.
- Type I portland cement according to ASTM C150 – 09 Standard Specification for Portland Cement.
- A water-to-cement (W/C) ratio is .45.
- One of the strengths of diamond polished concrete is the range of aggregates that can be exposed, therefore a uniformly graded mix of not less than 3 aggregate sizes – fine, intermediate, and large – will yield the best visual quality. It should be understood that since aggregates are heavy and there is a cost for transporting aggregate from its source to the batch plant is a factor in the cost of the concrete, locally available aggregates are used to produce concrete. This is an important design consideration because, depending on the project location, there may be few, if any, opportunities for other aggregates to be used in the concrete mix.
- The mix should not be air entrained.
- Inclusion of admixtures, plasticizers, slag, fly ash, or other products replacing portions of the Portland cement in the concrete mix is not recommended. If any of these are used, the total volume should not exceed 20 percent of the Portland cement volume.
- Admixtures should not be calcium chloride-based.
- If an integral color is included in the concrete mix, the minimum batch size should be 3 cubic yards.
- During batching, the incoming material consistency should be monitored and controlled.
- The compressive strength should not be less than 3,500 psi.
In addition to ACI standards for placing concrete, CPAA recommends the following:
- Transit mixer drums should be properly washed out after each concrete mix discharge and before a new batch is loaded.
- Water added by the transit mixer driver should be monitored and controlled.
- During mixing, transporting, and placing the concrete mix, monitor and control the temperature to not more than 85 degrees F.
- The slump at the point of discharge should be 5 inches, plus or minus 1/2 inch.
In addition to ACI standards for finishing concrete, CPAA recommends the following:
- After placement of the concrete mix, strike off the surface using a laser screed, then bull float at 90 degrees to the screed pull direction, vib and consolidate, and level to specified elevation. A 10 foot check rod is recommended, however, if not available bull floats should be 6 foot long; smaller bull floats may be used on sloping surfaces.
- When placing concrete mix at edges, use a 36 inch long metal or wood edged screed and run parallel with the formwork or edge after the initial screeding and before floating. Hand floating should be parallel to the edge and performed in 24 inch increments to avoid lifting or depressing the surface. Avoid pulling excessive amounts of the concrete mix to the edges by either not using hand tools more than 24 inches from the edge, or floating in a fan direction.
- When little or no bleed water is present and concrete mix has sufficiently hardened to support finishing equipment without causing imperfections in the surface, begin machine floating using pans and make two passes.
- To improve the possibility of achieving the specified flatness/levelness requirements, check and re-straighten if necessary using a 10 foot or longer highway straight edge or bump cutter.
- When machine floating edges, use pans and overrun the formed edge by 5 inches. For both walk-behind and riding equipment, make the first pass along the edge with the left side, or cutting side, of the equipment to pull down high spots of the surface. Make a second pass along the edge with the right side, or filling side, of the equipment to fill low spots in the surface.
- Steel trowel the surface in three passes without burning the surface or burning the aggregate (plastic trowel blades will prevent burning the aggregate).
- Lightly hand or machine tool edges construction joints and exercise care that edges are not depressed or chattered along bulkheads, formed edges, columns, and pipe penetrations.
- Do not dust the finished surface with dry Portland cement or sand to accelerate curing and drying.
CONCRETE CURING AND DRYING
CPAA recommends evaporation control and wet curing concrete slabs according to ACI 308R-01: Guide to Curing Concrete (Reapproved 2008) without the use of topically applied curing compounds. While topically applied curing compounds may assist with curing during the first few days after concrete placement, they retard concrete drying in the weeks and months after curing and may cause the slab to be too wet when the time comes for diamond polishing or floor covering application. Densifiers and hardeners should not be applied to concrete.
FLOOR FLATNESS/LEVELNESS CRITERIA CPAA recommends specifying the following tolerances:
Floor Flatness Specifications: ASTM International The floor flatness and levelness should be tested within 8 hours after completion of the final troweling operation according to ASTM E1155 – 96(2008) Standard Test Method for Determining FF Floor Flatness and FL Floor Levelness Numbers by an independent testing agency experienced with the testing procedure and possessing the necessary equipment. Additionally, a remedy for out-of-tolerance work should be specified.
CONTRACTION JOINTS Based on independent studies, CPAA recommends saw-cutting slabs as soon as possible after finishing using a saw blade that has a triangular arbor configuration to reduce edge raveling or dislodging aggregates at the following spacing to minimize slab curling and cracking:Since concrete shrinks during curing and drying in two directions, cracks are minimized when the area between contraction joints is as close to a square as possible.
PROTECTION CPAA recommends the concrete finishing specification include a requirement that the finished concrete slab comply with the damage and stain prevention provisions specified in the diamond polishing concrete floors specification.
We grind concrete, driveways, sidewalks, patios and slabs of all size. Trip hazard grinding, prep work for stained, epoxy and acrylic overlay stamped concrete. Grinding concrete is what we do and we do it fast and clean with dust free grinding.
After grinding concrete, your next repair option might be to stain, paint or seal. You can even stain concrete to make it look like luxurious polished stone. The possibilities are endless, the results stunning. Grinding concrete to achieve highly-polished cement floors makes commercial, industrial and residential floors last longer, easier to clean, maintenance-free and gives an attractive, up to date appearance. Grinding concrete and using densifiers will actually make your floor harder and denser. This makes it more resistant to spills and stains.
Grinding and polishing concrete leaves your floor virtually maintenance-free. Compare that for example to the yearly cost of stripping and waxing 10,000 square feet of VCT: around $5000.
Walk behind floor grinding is the most aggressive tool you can get to plane a slab of concrete. If you need more then the slab may need to be removed and replaced. This grinder has multiple grinding wheels that spin simultaneously in opposite directions and has powered drive plus an adjustment to lower the wheels to provide pressure intern grind more aggressively.
All floor grinders should be used with a vacuum system. Some have shrouds that contain most if not all the dust. Don’t grind indoors without the use of a vacuum, outside not as important but to keep your work area tidy then a vacuum is something to consider. It’s also a good idea to tape off areas indoors that if there was a dust mishap it wouldn’t get all over everything.
A roll of plastic from the hardware store is the easiest and the most cost efficient way to go. Plus it’s reusable. This floor grinder will also work to level the floor as well. If you have a concrete slab that is up to 1” to 1”1/2 out of level, this will grind it down anymore and it would cause the slab to be too weak and could have the possibility to crack easier. This grinder can also be fitted with polisher wheels so after the slab has been ground to a nice flat surface the discs can be changed out and with a couple other products it could be polished to a glossy sheen that can be impervious to spills and stains.
Cracking and lifting it won’t help with any concrete slab that has a crack and has lifted can be repaired. If it’s cracked, pulled apart and lifted more than an inch and a half then consider replacing it. If it’s not structural then it can be done but if weight is on it then there is a good chance it will crack. Worse yet, it could shatter and have cracking everywhere and if that was to happen then it would cost even more to fix. Concrete grinding is a floor repair technique that can quickly restore a damaged, cracked or uneven slab so your patio, driveway or garage floor doesn’t look like a disaster area.