Upon hiring a concrete contractor there are several things you need to discuss immediately in order for the project to begin properly. Most of the time, these issues are not spoken of and sometimes never discussed until something messes up. By informing your contractor of these issues you will be able to establish a better working relationship with him and in turn get the results you expect. On the part of the contractor he will have peace of mind knowing that you understand the process and what is necessary in order to achieve the results you want.
Request for a Mockup
According to home concrete floor contractor MN experts, to avoid any surprises ask your contractor for a mockup using the same materials, tools and methods that will be implemented on the project. Contractors prefer that you visit their showrooms so that you will be able to appreciate small-scale samples of the colors, patterns, methods and other techniques that he is good at.
Never be Afraid to ask for Something Fantastic
Do you have an idea that is a bit over the top for your countertop or concrete floor? Is it possible that the scheme you prefer is not mainstream or there is an interest in an unusual geometric design perhaps? Be sure talk it over with him. Don’t be afraid, the more open the lines of communication, the better you will know whether or not you have chosen the right person for the job.
Imperfections are Fine
According to decorative concrete company MN, , concrete is not some manufactured product that rolls out perfect from the get-go. Minor imperfections are always expected (and accepted) when it comes to dealing with such a flexible material. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why concrete is so popular is due to the imperfections in it that provide character to the finished product. For instance, the mottled colors of a stained floor or the organic appearance of a concrete countertop.
Work Takes Time
Due to the extent of craftsmanship involved, decorative concrete applications usually takes a few days to complete, depending on how simple or complex the project is. In order to say create a customized countertop, templates need to be created, form needs to be constructed, installation and curing of the concrete, addition of stains and then polishing and sealing.
Of all the available methods at your disposal, staining is the most popular in both residential and commercial concrete flooring. Fact is, concrete floors are quite versatile which gives you the opportunity to get almost any look you want in order to suit the design aesthetic as well as budget limitations.
According to decorative concrete company Minnesota, with staining you can add small hints of color or bolder design accents if you wish. You could also even add custom graphics if you so choose. Great thing is with staining you can do it even with old or new concrete floors and it works also quite well with overlays. Moreover, the fact that stains penetrate deep into the surface of the concrete they are able to produce a permanent and fade-resistant veneer. This is not at all possible if you use common paint or coatings as they will eventually flake or peel off.
Depending on your preference you can select either water or acid-based stains. Acid stains can penetrate and then react chemically with the concrete producing natural color variation that adds character and unique mottling properties. The look you can achieve would be something similar to granite or marble. The problem with this approach however is the color selection is somewhat limited as you can choose only between understated earth tones like soft blue greens, tans, terra cotta and brown.
If you prefer more color to your floor, decorative concrete contractor Minnesota recommend using water-based staining. This approach gives you the full library of available colors to choose from. Moreover, colors can be blended with one another in order to achieve more robust color schemes.
Truth be told, there is almost limitless possibility in terms of decorative effects using either acid or water-based stains. If you are overwhelmed with the options at your disposal, the trick is to keep things simple by selecting only one stain color in a palette that complements your home décor. Want to be more daring? Go for a variety of stain color schemes to establish a customized appearance for your floor.
When we talk about polished concrete we refer to a concrete floor that features a mirror-like and glossy finish. There are a lot of design options when it comes to this type of flooring. For instance, you can select almost any color, establish patterns using saw cuts or instill aggregates or other interesting items into the concrete before polishing is carried out. According to commercial concrete floor contractor MN experts, the popularity of polished concrete especially in commercial buildings is due in large part to ease of maintenance. Polished floors require only some regular dust mopping or the occasional use of a cleaning product in order to maintain its luster.
The process starts with coarse diamond segments being bonded onto a metallic matrix. The coarseness is able to remove blemishes, minor pits, light coatings and stains from the floor prior to final smoothing. Given the current condition of the concrete, the rough grinding process usually lasts to about three to four steps.
Subsequently, grinding of the concrete surface utilizing diamond abrasives embedded in a resin or plastic matrix. Workers use very fine grits of polishing disks until the desired sheen is achieved. For clients that want to achieve an extremely high-gloss finish, 1,500 grit or greater is utilized.
Wet and Dry Method
According to decorative concrete contractor MN experts, you can polish concrete using either the wet or dry approach. Each has its own advantages. The dry process however is the standard in the industry due to ease of application, convenience and its friendly use to the environment. As the name suggests the wet method uses water, lots of it in order to cool the diamond abrasives as well as to get rid of the dust. The fact that water reduces friction and behaves like a lubricant, the lifespan of polishing abrasives are extended.
Most of the time contractors use a bit of both methods. Usually the dry method is used in the initial grinding steps when a lot of concrete is removed. As the surface gets smoother, they then shift to the wet polishing approach using metal bonded to the finer resin-bonded diamond abrasives.
If you have concrete floors chances are you have a polished one as well. Unlike vinyl, polished concrete floors does not require stripping and waxing annually which saves you a lot of money in terms of maintenance costs. Like any floor however, it does require some tender loving care in order to look good as new as the day it was polished. Here are some tips.
According to Concrete coating removal company Minnesota experts, when cleaning a polished concrete floor it is recommended that you use a microfiber pad. Soil is one of the ingredients found in concrete and works as an abrasive and attracts dust particles as well. Collecting dust particles alters the look, clarity and shine of the floor.
If you are going to do a wet wash of your concrete floor, only use clean mops and water or else the dirt and grime will make a shiny floor look quite dirty instead of clean. If the floor sees a lot of heavy traffic and some degree of dirt, you can use a neutral floor cleaner as this can easily suspend the dust and debris making cleaning the floor much quicker and more efficient. If you notice spills and stains do wash it off immediately to prevent it from staining the floor.
When you are using a cleaner, concrete sealing company Minnesota experts recommend that you provide sufficient time to get rid of all the dust and dirt buildup. This is important especially when dealing with hard to remove stains like grease. Remember haste, makes waste.
Be systematic when cleaning your polished concrete floors. Start mopping in sequence instead of just picking a random spot. Not only will you clean more efficiently you will also be able to clean much faster. You also ensure you do not miss a spot.
When using a cleaner do not allow it to become dry. Make sure to divide the floor into small sections and use the solution from the 1st area and then move on to the next one. It is important that you use only a neutral pH cleaning solution and stay away from stuff that contain bleaches, ammonia, pine-based cleaners in order to prevent damage to the polished floor.