Polished concrete floors: choosing your mix
What makes up a mix?
If you cast your mind back to your primary school days, we’re sure you’ll remember the combustion triangle and the three ingredients that make fire. Well, now it’s time for a new lesson – the polished concrete triangle. All polished concrete surfaces are made up of three key elements: sand, concrete and aggregate.
It might sound simple, but we can’t understate the amount of thought (and science) that goes into creating the perfect polished concrete flooring mix. The ratios are tirelessly tested and specifically engineered for optimum performance. They’re designed with structural integrity in mind, so your polished concrete surface will hold its shape for decades to come. Getting the right concrete mix is a science, even taking into account the moisture levels within the aggregate.
An often overlooked component of a concrete mix is the sand that goes into it. The colour and texture of the sand that’s included in your mix will have an enormous effect on the look of the final product, meaning it’s really important to use premium sand (yeah, it’s a thing).
If you’re like some not-so-premium concrete companies, you may fail to properly wash your sand, meaning that you risk including contaminants and impurities in the mixture, which is sure to have a substantial impact on the quality of your final product.
Believe it or not, our sand is sourced from right here in Victoria, a claim not many other companies in our industry are able to boast. The beautiful coastline along the Mornington Peninsula is where we head to dig up the sand used in our polished concrete mix. This focus on quality is something we pride ourselves on, as well as sourcing our materials locally where possible.
We source the majority of our concrete from Hanson Cement Group. They supply a range of premium coloured and decorative concretes. We’ve worked with these guys for years, so we’re always confident that we’re using the best product possible.
One of the factors you need to consider when creating your mix is the colour: grey or off-white? The grey variation is what you’re probably used to seeing out on the street on footpaths and freeways.
For a premium concrete, go with the off-white. While premium quality comes with a premium price tag (up to around $800 per cubic metre), if you’re after something truly unique, we believe the investment is well worth the money.
Exposed aggregate has become an increasingly popular choice among architects and builders alike. t’s now commonplace within residential and commercial projects. Part of the beauty of including aggregate in your mix is that you can achieve incredible variety in the appearance of your polished concrete floors.
When deciding on the combination of aggregate that you want to include in your mix, there are a number of different things to consider. The first of these is: what size rock do you want? We have both 7mm and 14mm stones available. You may choose to go exclusively with one, or combine both sizes for even greater variety.
Once you’ve selected the size, the next thing to consider is: what combination of stones are you after? Bluestone, quartz, marble and crushed granite are among some of our most popular inclusions.
What next? Well, you’ll need to think about the ratio of different stones in your mix. When you take into account all the different sizes and stones available, you’ll soon realise that your options are almost endless.
Choosing the right aggregate can be daunting. But if you drop by our showroom in West Footscray, you’ll be able to get a look at all the different types of aggregate we use. All of our aggregate is sourced from right here in Australia, meaning you can have full confidence in the quality of what is going into your mix.
Once your blend of sand, concrete and aggregate has been selected, you also have the option of adding oxide into the mix to create a variety of different colours. Pink, blue, green. You name it, we can colour it.
How to Choose the Right Mix for Your Polished Concrete Floors
It’s time to throw out your preconceptions about concrete. The process of installing concrete surfaces involves so much more than simply throwing some stuff into a bucket and pouring it out onto the ground. The creation of a polished concrete floor is much more complex than many people understand.
Now that you’ve learned about what goes into the mix and you’ve got a bit more of an idea of the things you need to think about, get in touch with one of our specialists so we can help you handpick the perfect mix for your next project.