New concrete should be easy to work with but this is not always the case. If you are using a quality builder or doing the work yourself make sure you specify 32mpa concrete. Mpa is generally used to measure the stiffness of materials and in the context of concrete this will represent its compressive strength and general hardness. 32mpa is the perfect level of strength to achieve a full gloss polish and also will hold coatings very well in comparison to softer concretes.
When building a house with a volume builder the process is very difficult. All large builders will use the minimum building requirements in the construction of their houses in order to cut costs. If there is a dollar to be saved then you can bet they are already doing it, if not going a bit further. 20 and 25 mpa is the lowest requirement for housing slabs, a good quality 25mpa concrete mixture should be fine for polishing but it will never really ever be good quality. Cheap concrete suppliers and cheap labour results in poor quality concrete slabs. They will usually look quite fine from the use of a helicopter machine to finish the top but as good as soon as a grinder is put onto the floor its hard not do dig deep with the diamond blades. The combination of cheap concrete, cheap tradesmen and the common practice of over watering the concrete in the trucks on site to make it easier to work with occurs is nearly all volume builders concrete floors.
Even if you ask them to use 32mpa concrete and that you are happy to pay the difference in the price, they will not budge. Does this mean that you can’t polish your concrete slab, probably. However it doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve that sort of look. We have high build epoxy resin coatings that can be placed over soft and chalky concrete. If your budget permits you could install a 10mm thin concrete overlay system. Or if we can work around your door and ceiling heights, we can place a 50mm – 100mm solid concrete overlay. Your options will be limited if your concrete is poor but there are still good viable solutions that beat floor tiles of floorboards. Talk to us at Policrete as soon as you can and we can point you in the right direction.
|Regular 25mpa concrete being pumped into the footings||Decorative concrete mix in 32mpa being poured on top|