MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

How Long Do Polished Concrete Floors Last? [Concrete Timeline Exposed]

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  • Concreting

Practically any concrete can be polished, and polished concrete can last at least 20 years when properly cared for. With two decades of durability, polished concrete is ideal for Melbourne homes, businesses and industrial spaces. Read on to find out how to get the most out of your polished concrete floors.

When you’re choosing new flooring for your home, outdoor space, or commercial property, there are many factors that go into your final decision. 

Cost, aesthetics and ease of installation all matter in the short-term, but there’s one long-term benefit that should be at the top of your list.

Durability.

After all, you want concrete floors that are built to last, and you certainly don’t want to spend time installing a new surface that you’ll need to replace in just a few years.

So, how do you choose a concrete surface that’s equal parts attractive and enduring? The answer is simple, choose polished concrete.

To help you map out the next two decades (and then some), here’s everything you should know about this popular decorative concrete finish. 

What is polished concrete?

First thing’s first: what is polished concrete? 

Polished concrete is any slab of concrete that undergoes a step-by-step grinding and polishing process to increase durability and shine. During this process, heavy-duty polishing machines equipped with progressively finer grits of diamond-impregnated segments or disks (like sandpaper) are used to gradually grind down surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness. 
Once your concrete floors have been levelled and smoothed through grinding, an internal impregnating sealer is applied to protect and densify the concrete from the inside out. Finally, a commercial polishing compound can be applied to give the floor additional shine. 
The result is either a low gloss, mid-gloss, or high-gloss concrete floor that is: 

✔ Stain and odour-resistant 

✔ Durable 

✔ Elegant and sleek 

✔ Low-maintenance 

✔ Cost-effective


Keen to learn more? Click here for the ‘Polished Concrete Ultimate Price Guide’ [2021 Edition]

Factors that affect polished concrete’s durability

Concrete may look indestructible, especially compared to timber or vinyl flooring options, but even the toughest concrete can wear down over time.

We’ve rounded up some of the most common causes of concrete wear and tear. Keep this in mind to extend the life of your polished concrete floors.

Maintenance

Polished concrete is low maintenance(especially when compared to higher maintenance options like wood, ceramic, or carpet flooring) but it isn’t maintenance-free.

To keep your polished concrete in tip-top shape, you should follow a regular cleaning checklist (it’s not hard work, but it is necessary work).

  • Dust, mop, sweep or vacuum daily to avoid dirt accumulation and remove grit
  • Use a damp mop with warm water to remove scuffs or water marks (this helps maintain your gloss)
  • Follow any specific maintenance requirements for your finish. If you have a high-gloss cement floor, for example, you should buff your floor every six months to maintain the shine.Additionally, if your floor is sealed with an impregnator, you should use a pH neutral conditioner
  • Avoid harsh chemicals that will impact concrete texture or dull your floor’s shine

Sealing

If you don’t have a sealant on your concrete, you may be negatively impacting its lifespan. Sealants not only preserve the appearance of your polished concrete’s surface, but also:

  • Prevent stains
  • Prevent blemishes
  • Simplify cleaning
  • Make your concrete less porous

Also keep in mind that you may have to re-seal your floor after several years to maintain its longevity and prevent long-term damage.

Looking to learn more about your sealing options? Click here to explore our epoxy concrete sealing services

Wear and tear

Concrete is one of the most durable flooring options on the market, as it is chemical-resistant, water-resistant, slip-resistant, static dissipative and even dirt-repellant when properly sealed.

That said, if you use heavy machinery -- like cars or factory assets -- on your floor or engage in other activities that add to wear-and-tear, it could make your floor more susceptible to chips and cracks.

This could shorten the lifespan significantly or, at the very least, require that you re-polish and seal your floor more regularly.

Environmental challenges

If you live in an area with foundation problems or weather issues (or if your concrete was poorly installed) your polished concrete may be more susceptible to cracking.

This can’t always be avoided, particularly if there is an explosion, or other natural disaster. That said, this is important to consider when evaluating the potential life span of your polished concrete.

Additionally, if you do notice a crack, it’s important that you reach out to your local Melbourne flooring experts to patch the cracks quickly. Allowing water to enter the cracks can lead to structural damage that requires expensive repairs.

Installation

In order for your polished concrete floors to last for two decades or longer, they should be installed by a professional using the proper equipment.

Why?

For one, if your concrete mixture has too much water, it will impact your concrete’s strength and make it more likely to develop cracks and fissures. Additionally, if your concrete dries too quickly, cracks will form on the surface. Floor preparation is crucial to extending the life of your concrete, and not a step you want to skip.

Only a professional flooring team will keep all these factors in mind and effectively install your concrete.

Does polished concrete outlast other concrete flooring options?

It absolutely does. 

Polished concrete is not as vulnerable as other options like decorative stamped concrete since concrete with intricate designs and texture is invariably more prone to chips and scratches. Additionally, polished concrete is exceptionally resistant to high foot traffic. This is why it’s commonly used in:

  • Warehouses
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels 
  • Restaurants
  • Office buildings
  • Auto showrooms 

Finally, polished concrete is resistant to moisture transmission issues. This can prevent water-related issues that can arise with other types of flooring like wood or tile.

In short, although polished concrete may look more appealing than plain, grey concrete, it’s no less durable.

How to extend the life of your polished concrete floors

Polished concrete is one of the most durable flooring options on the market -- and it inherently requires less maintenance than other flooring options. 

That said, if you have polished concrete in a high-traffic area, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to extend the life of your floor. Here are some of our tried and tested maintenance methods: 

☑ Remove any water, oil, or grease as soon as possible 

☑ Apply an anti-slip conditioner that can increase safety. 

☑ Regularly mop your floor to remove debris tat may scratch or stain

☑ Apply a sealer coat with anti-slip grip additive. This can increase traction without compromising shine.

How long does polished concrete last? 

As we mentioned, polished concrete is extremely durable because it is even, sealed, and much less vulnerable to damage over time. 

With that in mind, your polished concrete floor will generally last at least twenty years if not longer. To make sure that your polished concrete lasts, though, it’s always helpful to ensure: 

  • Proper installation by a trained professional to avoid cracks or buckling 
  • A consistent maintenance and cleaning plan
  • Your floor is properly sealed with epoxy coating or similar durable product
  • You regularly remove any oil, grease, or water that is sitting on your floor

How much will it cost to repair or replace a damaged polished concrete floor?

With any luck you won’t need these figures, but it doesn’t hurt to know them.

The cost of repairs will depend on the type of damage you’re dealing with. Generally speaking, polished concrete is worth the repair (rather than replacing the floor altogether). 

Overall, polished concrete repairs will set you back between $25 to $75 per m2.

As with any home improvement service, it’s best to reach out to a handful of Melbourne contractors and flooring experts to find a price that suits your budget, while still delivering a quality and professional service. 

Looking for the best polished concrete provider in Melbourne?

Polished concrete is durable, aesthetically pleasing, budget-friendly, and infinitely customisable. 

With the right installation, correct maintenance, and protective sealing, you can enjoy the shine and glossy finish of polished concrete for 20 years.

When looking for the right professionals to install your polished concrete, look for a provider that offers:  

  • Experienced 
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee 
  • Affordable and transparent rates
  • Fast and reliable service

Picturing a modern, eye-catching polished concrete floor in your Melbourne home or business? Let’s chat about your needs and find out how we can help

For more information call 0450 550 649 or our online quote request form for a fast and FREE contact us to get a fast and free polished concrete quote