Polished concrete floors are a relatively new flooring solution. Ordinary concrete floors have been around for decades, but where you could use them was quite limited. They were not very nice to look at, so despite being hardwearing, they were really only used in industrial settings. This meant places like factories, warehouses, garages and labs.
Concrete drives, roads and runways have also been in use for several decades, but again in a limited way. The surface was not smooth enough to make it comfortable to drive on and again it did not look great.
Who Invented Polished Concrete?
However, that all changed in the 1990s when polished concrete was invented. There is considerable disagreement over who invented it, but the best story is that the technique was discovered by accident. Odd, how many of the best inventions are conceived this way.
The story goes that an American cleaning contractor left his workers to clean a concrete floor overnight. He assumed that his staff had done it before, so he left them to it. In the morning he nearly had a fit the dull concrete floor had a high sheen on it. The client was surprised, but in a good way. They were thrilled, so there was not a problem. The contactor could not work out what had happened when he questioned his staff they told him they had just run the scrubber over the floor until it looked clean. By not using water, the contractors had polished the floor using abrasion.
Polished Concrete Today
Today, this kind of finish is produced in a similar way, but the pads used are made with diamonds. These floors are easy to maintain, if they lose their sheen it you just need to regrind it to restore it.
Today, you will see polished concrete everywhere. In supermarkets, airports, shopping centres, schools and office buildings. They are increasingly being installed in homes. A polished floor works especially well in a large ultra modern home. The fact that the concrete used can be coloured or mixed with other aggregates means it is a really versatile product.