Mechanically Polished Concrete (Hiperfloor®)
mechanically polished concrete – MPC, HiPERFLOOR®, superfloor®
There are a few different brands of mechanically polished floor (commonly known as MPC). One commonly known trademarked process is the HiPERFLOOR® , which uses products from Husqvarna. Another is Superfloor, trademarked by HTC. Grind and Seal are one of the few skilled contractors in Melbourne and surrounds that are qualified to produce polished concrete floors to these exacting standards.
The mechanically polished concrete process (MPC, Hiperfloor and Superfloor), is the true form of concrete polishing. Meaning that it is the concrete itself that is polished. There is no topical coating that gives it an artificial shine. This allows the natural beauty of the raw materials in the concrete to come to the surface giving the floor a unique decorative look. Due to the process used during this method of polishing and the reinforcing of the densifying materials, it is also one of the most durable and easy to maintain. Being difficult to scratch, it’s perfect for having pets inside the home.
Mechanically polished floors are actually the least expensive of all the flooring options as they have a longer life span. You can choose to have your polished concrete floor in a matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss. You can have a very minimal stone exposure showing through (the Nil ‘industrial’ look) or you can choose to grind down further and get the more decorative full stone exposure look.
Depending on the condition on the floor, such as if it’s a new slab ready for polishing, or an old slab with a thick layer of old tile glue or mortar first needing to be removed by grinding, or perhaps repairs are required before polishing can commence, the price does vary, therefore it is best to speak to one of the staff at Grind and Seal who will be happy to help you work out the best solution and finish to suit you and your budget.
With the mechanical polishing (MPC) method, we take an already hard material and increase the surface density and abrasion resistance to a level where the concrete surface is extremely resistant to wear and marking. Selecting the mechanically polished flooring system significantly increases durability and reduces life cycle maintenance costs. The result is a smoother surface with reduced cleaning costs.
polished concrete PHOTOS
This first photo is of a Mechanically Polished Concrete (MPC, Hiperfloor and Superfloor).
This second photo is a process known in the industry as a ‘grind and seal’, which is a replica polished concrete. Many people think they are the same thing. However, they are different processes, and they perform differently right from the moment of floor completion.
There are advantages and disadvantages for both processes, which process you choose will depend on your application needs and budget.
HOW IS CONCRETE MECHANICALLY POLISHED?
MPC – The Process
Perfect for indoor concrete, MPC is a high end process involving up to 16 different steps to achieve the desired finish. These steps involve grinding to achieve as much or as little of the aggregate/stone as you want to see, then grouting the concrete to fill in pin-holes and small cracks, hardening it with densifier to harden the concrete by up to 10 times, giving it your preferred level of matte, semi gloss or high gloss by polishing with diamond impregnated resin pads attached to the machines, and finally applying penetrative sealers which soak into the floor to help prevent staining. The concrete itself is polished up, much like a gemstone is polished, with no paint or coatings to achieve the shine. The end result is a floor that looks and feels like glass. While this option is more expensive upfront, it requires much less maintenance and so is a cheaper option in the long run.
MPC – The Cost
MPC (mechanically polished concrete) is more expensive upfront, however it is the cheapest flooring solution available over the life of the floor. Residential floors range from $100 to $120 per m² + GST, Commercial floors (MPC) range from $75 – $110 per m2 + GST*
*price varies due to the condition of the floor. Smaller areas under 40m² are generally priced on a Day Rate which covers materials, tools, labour. Prices are given after viewing the floor on a Site Visit.
Polished Concrete EXPOSURE (STONE OR AGGREGATE Exposure)
For all types of polished concrete you can select the level of aggregate exposure that you want to see. There are some circumstances where the concrete is too soft for minimal exposure. The levels are commonly known as:
- Nil Exposure/Burnished concrete finish/Industrial Look – Very little to no stone shows on the surface of the concrete (this is difficult to achieve unless the concrete has been poured specifically for Nil exposure concrete polishing)
- Minimal/random/semi exposure – This is where there are small amounts of stone/aggregate visible – some areas may have no exposure and some may have heavy exposure. This is also referred to as a salt and pepper look and is achieved by between 1 – 3 passes of the correctly sized diamonds – to reach approx 3mm to 4mm below the surface. The size of the aggregate in your concrete mix also affects the type of ‘salt and pepper’ look you will achieve.
- Full exposure – This is where you can see all the stones on the surface and it requires a heavy grind – usually from 5mm up to 10mm below the surface.
LEVELS OF GLOSS (SHINE)
You can also choose your favourite gloss level. These levels are commonly known as matte, semi-gloss or high-gloss. Mechanically polished concrete always has some level of sheen/satin, unlike the ‘grind and seal’ matte, which can have no sheen at all.
- Matte – Very low reflectivity and low clarity with some haziness around the reflections. This would be akin to looking into a bathroom mirror that is steamed over after a hot shower; you can’t see yourself, yet you can see the suggestion of a shape or reflection. Very similar to a paint with a satin finish.
- Semi-gloss – There is a reasonable amount of clarify with good reflective properties. You can see the reflection of images on the floor, however they are not perfectly clear.
- High gloss – Picture perfect clarify, highly reflective. This looks like a perfectly still pool of water reflecting the surroundings above it.
When choosing your preferred level of gloss, it is important to take into account aspects of your individual premises. This is because other factors contribute to the appearance of glossiness, such as focal points in the room and the source of the light.
For example, large uninterrupted spaces with natural light sources can give a visual effect of a semi or high gloss, when in fact they have been polished to a matte finish.
Or a small dark space may have been polished to high gloss, however with no sources of natural light, the appearance can look less glossy and more ‘satin’.
To achieve the look you are after, it’s recommended you speak with your designer or architect, ask us. Definitely take into consideration your room design.
Other Factors Affecting Gloss or Shine Appearance
The density/hardness of your concrete is also a factor in how much gloss level is able to be achieved. If your concrete is extremely soft, we will need to apply densifier to it many times over to achieve shine. It’s always best to use 32mpa concrete if you desire polished concrete.
Flooring Comparison Chart
ANDREA & karim Santalucia
Thanks for our beautiful floors Tim! We love them!! Exactly what I pictured in my head...if not better!! February 2019
JAMES, facilities maintenance PROJECT MANAGER for 5 councils
Honestly I've never felt as compelled to give positive feedback as I have with this company's services and I deal with hundreds of companies a year in the course of my work, it has been a refreshing experience. March 2019
We got Grind & Seal to do the polished concrete in our home. They were incredibly professional and friendly to deal with during the process and the floor looks amazing – they were not the cheapest, but I think you get what you pay for – and we got top quality for a competitive price. Will definitely be recommending their services.
Good service, Happy to recommend Grind & Seal. Our floors look a million bucks and came up just so well. Was a difficult job but their experience really showed and they got around all hurdles. We were so impressed. And as our cheapest quote by far we were happy that we got such a good job. Nice team and made the whole process so very easy.
Grind and Seal did a terrfific job at our property, we knew in advance of building our new home that we were going to have polished concrete downstairs, therefore we contacted Grind and Seal to speak to them about our job and they liaised with our builder/concretor to ensure that we had a concrete slab with the perfect specifications for what were after!When it came time to complete the work the guys were punctual, friendly and very professional. The place looks fantastic and they were only too happy to appease my wife's needs to inspect the job at every step ...
Our idea to have a “garden party” theme for Christmas last year sounded great but our old mouldy concrete was an eyesore! Within 2 days the grind and seal team transformed our very drab rear and front yard into magnificent useable entertaining areas with minimal disruption to our lives. We have now decided on polished concrete for our extension to merge the indoor/outdoor living areas. The Grind and Seal Polished Concrete team worked hard to deliver a great result, they provided a quality product in a timely fashion, they are honest & reliable – a refreshing change in this day ...
Anyone who hasn't seen polished concrete before should definitely try it! It looks amazing and is so easy to clean - I totally love it. I got Grind And Seal to come and do my home and they were awesome - lovely guys and were really good at explaining stuff to me. Price was really reasonable and now all my friends are jealous of my floors! - Thanks Grind & Seal I will be recommending you to everyone although my floor really speaks for itself.
The tradesman were very professional. Polite and respectful. My front porch looks fantastic and I keep admiring it. Never to be painted again.I would recommend them to anyone and the guys even painted between my wooden fence posts.Thank you Grind and Seal