Mechanically Polished Concrete (Hiperfloor®)
The first is a Mechanically Polished Concrete (MPC) and there are few other well known processes such as the HiPERFLOOR or Superfloor.
The second is a process known in the industry as a Grind and Seal.
There are advantages and disadvantages for both processes, which process you choose will depend on your application needs and budget.
Types of Polished Concrete
Perfect for indoor concrete, MPC is a more high end process involving up to 14 different steps to achieve the desired finish. This involves grinding and then grouting the concrete, hardening it with a densifier, giving it a high shine with a diamond impregnated resin, and finally using a sealer to prevent staining. 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.
Grind and Seal, on the other hand, is cheaper initially, requiring far fewer steps to complete. After being ground, clear coats of sealer are applied to make the floor shiny. Unlike MPC, this process works well on both indoor and outdoor surfaces, and is great for pool areas and gardens. While it is the cheaper option, it will deteriorate over time, and the sealer will need to be sanded back and reapplied.
Both MPC and Grind and Seal polished floors can be supplied with different levels of exposure, depending on how much stone you would like to show on the surface. You can select from nil-exposure, minimal exposure, or full exposure.
MPC – The Process
In this concrete polishing process the floor is generally ground twice depending on whether you are after the minimal or full exposure look then it’s grouted to fill in pin holes and small cracks, we then put a densifier down to harden the floors surface by up to 10 times and go over the floor up to 7 times with diamond impregnated resin pads to get the desired shine (the concrete itself shines, there is no artificial shine from topical sealer and therefore the coating does not scratch off), then the floor receives a penetrating sealer which soaks into the floor to prevent staining which leaves the floor looking and feeling like glass. This high end process has between 10 & 14 steps but is suitable for indoor concrete only.
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) ranges from $75 – $110 per m2 + GST*
*price varies due to the amount of stone/aggregate exposure (minimal or full) and gloss level matte/semi-gloss or high-gloss required also the condition of the floor is taken in to consideration. For smaller areas under 30m² prices are given after viewing the floor, however there is a minimum call out of $3,600 plus GST for MPC.
Grind and Seal – The Process
In this process the floor is generally ground twice depending whether you are going for the minimal or the full exposure look (how much stone you want to be able to see). Then the floor can be grouted (70%-90% of pin holes and cracks are filled) then 2 coats of sealer are applied which sits on the surface, giving the concrete a shiny appearance. There is between 3 & 5 steps in this process and it is suitable for indoor and outdoor concrete. One advantage of this process is that you are able to put some grit into the sealer in order to make it anti-slip. This great for areas around pools and in back yards. Like all sealers though there will come a time where the sealer will need to be sanded back and re-applied.
Grind and Seal – The Cost
A Grind and Seal is cheaper initially, however due to the fact that the top layer is a coating, and like any topical coating will deteriorate over time due to foot traffic, eventually will need to be re-coated or possibly sanded back and re-coated. Grind and Seals range from $55 to $75 per m² +GST*.
*price varies due to the amount of stone/aggregate exposure (minimal or full), if grouting is required and also the floors condition is taken in to consideration. For small areas there is a minimum call out of $2,800 + GST.
Grouting for Polished Concrete
This is a polishing procedure where we put down a latex based product on the floor in front of the concrete grinder and mix it with the concrete dust from the grinding procedure so the colour. This creates a slurry paste which is pushed into the pitted areas of the surface and fills in all the tiny little pin holes/ripples in the concrete which gives the floor a smooth/flat/shinny appearance. This procedure is always done for mechanically polished concrete and is optional for grind and seals.
Polished Concrete Exposure
For both types of polished concrete you can select your 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 – light burnish – Very little to no stone shows on the surface of the concrete (this is difficult to achieve unless the concrete has been poured perfectly)
- Minimal/random exposure – This is where there is small amounts of stone visible on the surface – some areas may have no exposure and some may have heavy. This is also referred to as a salt and pepper look and is achieved by just a light grind – approx 1-2mm from surface.
- Full exposure – this is where you can see all the stones on the surface and requires a heavy grind – usually approx 5ml below the surface.
There are a few different brands of mechanically polished floor. One process commonly known is the HiPERFLOOR® process which uses products from Husqvarna. This process also comes with a 7 year warranty. Grind and Seal are one of the few skilled contractors in Melbourne and surrounds who that are qualified to produce these types of floors. The team at Grind and Seal pride themselves on giving the best quality service when selected to do your concrete polishing.
HiPERFLOOR®; being a mechanically polished process, 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 shin. 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.
Mechanically polished floors are actually the least expensive of all the flooring options as it has a longer life span. Depending on the amount of aggregate/stone you want to have and the desired gloss level, 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 work out the best solution and the finish to suit you and your budget.
With the HiPERFLOOR® 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 HiPERFLOOR® concrete polishing system significantly increases durability and reduces life cycle maintenance costs. The result is a smoother surface with reduced cleaning costs.
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!!
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 jealoous 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