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Diamond Polished Concrete: A New Medium of High Design

Written by Charles Griffasi, Owner, Concrete Innovations
Imagery by Photography Courtesy of Concrete Innovations

Concrete has recently experienced an incredible metamorphosis. Long celebrated for its reliable durability against the elements, it is now proving its capacity to anchor interior spaces with a mark of high design and functionality. Diamond polished concrete can be designed and fabricated to create custom countertops and flooring in whatever style a homeowner desires – traditional, modern, high tech, provincial and more.

Concrete Countertops & Floors
Polished concrete countertops and floors provide tremendous opportunity for creativity while offering rock solid durability. The ability to offer virtually unlimited colors, designs and shapes puts concrete countertops and floors in a league of their own. There are no boundaries to coloring options. You can select a color to have integrated into the concrete during the mixing process. Acid stains create incredible variations dictated by the natural reaction of the stain with the concrete. Dyes offer a rainbow of options and fully customized stencil opportunities. With countertops, natural, uncolored gray concrete is a distinguished, elegant color suitable for any home. Another option, for floors and countertops, is to grind and polish the concrete to expose its natural stone colors.

If you seek decorative flexibility, polished concrete is your answer. Concrete countertops can be customized by casting small objects, mementos and shapes into the surface. These can be purely decorative or highly functional such as molded drain board. Concrete floors can have patterns and designs … even something as elaborate as your favorite team logo! As for flooring finishes, there are varying levels of aggregate exposure – from a lightly ground “salt and pepper” look to the full exposure of the larger aggregate. These all have the option of low, medium or high gloss, slip resistant finishes. An experienced polisher can even add tile-pattern saw cuts and grouting, to make it appear as if each piece was hand-placed.

Construction and Maintenance
To ensure the highest quality of fit, finish and functionality, your countertops should be precast in a workshop from a template made at the installation site.  As for weight, concrete is comparable to granite or marble. In fact, there is a 
light-weight concrete option available, which makes it lighter than other natural stone countertops!

Maintenance of diamond polished concrete is pure simplicity. The polishing process renders countertops as smooth as glass. Topical sealers or micro-impregnators seal all pores thus eliminating the concern for bacterial growth. The end result is a countertop surface that requires no more attention than any other solid surface. For flooring, eco-friendly solutions can be impregnated into the concrete providing a stain resistant finish that eliminates potential for bubbling, peeling or chipping. The end result is a beautiful and durable floor that requires no waxing. Concrete floors are also an excellent choice for radiant floor heating.

Affordability
Price is another attractive quality of polished concrete. Despite the large amount of labor and craftsmanship involved in concrete countertops, pricing is usually in line with granite and marble. Polished concrete pricing is also competitive with a multitude of floor finishes.

With its exceptional freedom of design, proven durability and low maintenance qualities, it’s no surprise that diamond polished concrete has moved beyond trendy to become the new medium of high design.

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