The 9 Fundamentals of Polished Concrete

  • Managing Expectations
  • The Green Specification
  • The Engineered Canvas
  • The IAQ Equipment
  • The Wet Grind and Wet Hone process
  • The Green Treatments
  • The Sustainable Color System
  • The Sustainable Polish
  • The Repair and Maintenance

Specifying a GHP (Ground, Honed and Polished); oftentimes referred to as polished concrete floor can be overwhelming.
There is a seemingly never ending list of densifiers, colorants, equipment and diamond tooling. Add to that end and sub-contractors of assorted skill levels offering to produce polished concrete floors. How is it possible with all these variables to achieve a floor that meets the expectations of the Owner, Architect, General and Sub Contractors and still keep the sustainability that was desired when the project was first envisioned? A brief look at the industry and an examination of nine fundamentals of green concrete polishing will shed light on the answer.


– Educate and communicate to the Owner, Architect, General and Concrete Contractor the fundamentals critical to the success of polished concrete, including its capabilities and limitations.

Clearly communicating the role the canvas will play in the final product will help all involved to have a realistic expectation of the outcome. For example, an existing slab being prepared for a GHP floor might have visual defects or blemishes that may not be completely resolved by processing the floor, as opposed to new construction that has been specifically designed with a GHP floor in mind. Both surfaces can be processed using the same system, equipment and chemicals, yet yield different results. Prior to the start of a project the expectation is set through a review of the condition of the canvas, a system approach and a manufacturer certified contractor. Good communication and reasonable expectations, established through an awareness of the possibilities and limitations of each slab, may prevent dissatisfaction with the finished product.

The importance of the polished concrete specification cannot be understated. The final results of new construction are significantly improved when the slab is poured to the proper mix design, floor flatness, and levelness. When planning, it is important to view this part of the design as a total flooring system that includes mix design, finishing and curing methods, control joint placement, colorants, and polishing process. Also, make sure to have maintenance program suggested.

The groundwork is laid by the architect specifying a polished concrete floor that will meet expectations, and then holding to that specification. While many architects cite a need for “equal to” products or for multiple bids, of primary concern should be the products and the contractor’s ability to perform the process specified.

Nine Fundamentals for GROUND, HONE & POLISHED Architectural Concrete

  • The Concrete Surface
  • Testing Methods
  • Wet vs. Dry
  • Equipment
  • Liquid Cutting Agent
  • Cutting Abrasives
  • Honing Abrasives
  • Polishing Abrasives
  • Managing Specifications

Nine Fundamentals for CANVAS CONTROL of ARCHITECTURAL Concrete floors

  • Unconventional Architectural Floors
  • The Value of Higher Quality Floor Design
  •  Integrally Troweled Cure and Placement Process
  • Canvas Components: (Fiber, Expansive, Integral Colorant)
  • Wet Abrasive Process
  • The Guides for Best Practice
  • Surface Treatments
  • Managing Expectations & Specifications
  • Canvas-Cycle Management

Nine Fundamentals for PLACING & CURING an INTEGRALLY TROWELED Concrete Floor

  • Defining the Vision & Mechanism
  • Mechanical Densified Method: The Placement
  • Mechanical Densified Method: The Finish
  • Troweled Cure
  • Surface Fixative
  • Unconventional Architectural Finish
  • Integral Color Options
  • Maintenance/Surface treatment
  • Specifications

Nine Fundamentals for Mechanically Ground ITCP floors
Canvas Control & Abrasive Polish System

  • Unconventional Architectural Floors
  • Defining the Mechanism of Integrally Troweled Concrete: The Placement & Finish Troweled Cure
  • Surface Fixative
  • Surface Treatment
  • Wet Abrasive Process Equipment
  • Wet Abrasive Process
  • Managing Expectations and Specifications
  • Canvas-Life Schedule

Nine Fundamentals for Expansive Components for Shrinkage Compensating Concrete

  • Dry-shrinkage is controllable
  • Choice of Components
  • Producer Partnership
  • Mix-Design
  • Restraint
  • Formwork
  • Placing
  • Finishing
  • Curing

Nine Fundamentals for Fiber Reinforcement in the Mix

  • The Conventional Reinforcement
  • The Level of  Reinforcement
  • The Types of Fiber Reinforcement
  • The Fiber Dosage
  • The Mix Design
  • Transparency in the Mix
  • Producer Partnership
  • Managing Expectations
  • Managing Specifications

Nine Fundamentals for Integral Concrete Colorants

  • The Integrally Colored Canvas
  • The Benefits over Surface Colorant
  • The Environmental Impact of Colorants
  • The Colored Mix Design
  • The Producer Partnership
  • Finishing the Colored Canvas
  • Managing Expectations
  • Managing Specifications
  • Canvas Cycle Management

Nine Fundamentals for Surface Concrete Colorants

  • The Types of Concrete Colorants
  • Concrete Pigments
  • Concrete Dyes
  • Managing Expectations
  • Sustainable Concerns
  • Carry Agents
  • Application Requirements
  • Trouble Shooting
  • Surface Colorant Cycle Management

Nine Fundamentals for White Concrete Floors

  • The Reflective Concrete Canvas
  • Cut Downtime
  • Cut Environmental Impact
  • Mix Design
  • Producer Relationship
  • Reflectivity & Lower Utility Costs
  • Unique Surface Colorants With White Concrete
  • High Performance Canvas
  • Canvas Cycle Management

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