Ever walk into a remodeled space with polished concrete and notice all the plumbing trenches throughout the space? Those 12″ – 16″ paths of concrete with cut extensions running through the floor? When done poorly, these trenches trap extra dirt, look very different than the surrounding surface, and may not polish like the other parts of the original floor.
If you are polishing concrete in a remodeled commercial space with added plumbing, this may be an inevitable process you can’t avoid, but like most things in life, you can accept it as-is; embrace it as the story of the concrete; an industrial vibe; an accent; the inevitable process of construction – or if this is not your jam you can always head in the direction of an overlay and change it as you see fit.
Check out our overlays and how we have brought a brand new concrete surface to projects through cement-based overlays HERE.
If the trenches are going to stay here are a few tips to help make sure they polish well and finish strong.
- When pouring with traditional concrete, it’s best to wait 3 weeks to polish these patch concrete spots. The use of Type 3 Portland in some specialty bagged products allow us to polish in 24 hours if needed.
- There will always be a small gap between the patch and the existing concrete. This should be filled with a cement grout coat or cut and filled with a joint fill (client preference).
- The use of a penetrating concrete dye can help bring continuity to the interior space. For example, imagine two pieces of wood, one piece is pine (very light and yellow colored) next to a piece of cherry (very red in nature). They look very different. If we take an oak (brownish) colored stain to both pieces, they both take the stain a bit different because they have different porosity. The stain is transparent allowing the natural hues of the wood species to reflect through – yet they both look a bit more similar than before. Same thing with different pours of concrete. Don’t think ‘match’ (concrete is a terrible fit), think ‘blend.’
Of course, and as always, if we can serve with one of your projects please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.