There are a number of significant trends occurring right now in hard floor care, a few of which are part of an ongoing “concrete revolution” says Mark Warner, CMI education manager at ISSA.
The origins of concrete can be traced back thousands of years even before ancient Roman civilization, which used the composite material for hundreds of years to help build its famous empire. Today, concrete flooring is being implemented in structures the Romans would have never dreamed of existing, like airports and gigantic retail chains. It’s at these facilities that diamond polished concrete flooring is in demand.
“Diamond polished flooring is one of the hottest trends in big box stores and other high-traffic areas,” says Warner.
The most appealing characteristic of this is its durability. Flooring in places with a lot of foot traffic is going to take some serious abuse. An international airport that gets hundreds of thousands of visitors a day, for example, is going to be in big trouble if those visitors are stomping on vinyl composite tile (VCT). Carpet facing that kind of traffic would be worn out in an instant. In addition to its durability, concrete in a high-traffic area is going to have a lower level of cost and maintenance than VCT tile or terrazzo flooring.
Not all concrete is suitable for diamond polishing and, as such, not all concrete has traditionally been a candidate to be placed in these high-traffic areas. This is a big reason why the revolution is occurring, says Warner. Just a few years ago, concrete was being finished with a smooth level finish and the advent of diamond polishing of concrete had yet to occur — before it was only happening on terrazzo flooring. The concrete used in these spaces cannot be stained, cannot have cracks, and must be level.
As it relates to the maintenance of polished concrete, Warner suggests floor machines have a diamond-infused floor pad put in place so that the machine glosses the floor as it cleans.