Polishing Up on Concrete Secrets


The latest hands-on advice for installing and maintaining polished and coated concrete is among the topics tackled by industry experts in an exclusive Durability + Design Magazine video panel discussion unveiled Tuesday (Feb. 4).

D+D Magazine editor-in-chief Jen Kramer posts a series of questions ranging from how to properly maintain and verify a polished concrete floor to where coated or polished concrete application is superior.

Concrete coating and polishing experts Kevin Brown (KTA Tator), Jim Cuviello (Cuviello Concrete and Terrazzo) and Phil Scisciani (Specialty Coatings & Consulting Inc.) offer their opinions in the free video posted here. The video is also available on YouTube.

A short summary of a couple of the topics covered is provided below.

Verifying Polished Concrete

When it comes to verifying whether a polished floor has been installed properly, looking at the shiny floor after the fact is not enough, the experts say.

Brown suggests that unannounced on-site audits are most helpful in ensuring whether the proper steps have been performed during installation.

However, Cuviello says using profile meters, distinction of image meters, and other tools can also be used to verify proper installation.

“By using these instruments, we can ... take profile meter readings at the end and actually tell what has and hasn’t been done according to the profile that’s been made throughout the process,” Cuviello said.

Cuviello also notes that verification should be addressed at the outset, with proper specifications that “really identify the aesthetic look of the floor” and indicate what the owner or architect is trying to achieve.


One key to maintaining the aesthetic of a polished concrete floor is educating the owner, the experts say. Instruments can also gauge clarity and distinction.

Identifying the level of polish has always been subjective, but professionals are targeting this issue by measuring clarity of reflection and distinction of image of polished concrete, he says.

“Clarity is actually what polished concrete is all about," Cuviello said. "More clarity equals more durability."

Polished or Coated?

The panelists have varying opinions on the instances in a commercial setting where coated concrete or polished concrete is superior, but the trio agree that when chemicals and acids are expected to be prevalent after installation, concrete coatings are superior to polished floors.

However, polished concrete is preferable in high-traffic areas or areas that will encounter abrasion, according to Brown. In addition, “most coatings” can’t tolerate high-moisture slabs, so Brown says he would opt with polished floors in those cases.

In contrast, Scisciani maintains that coatings can perform well on high-moisture slabs so long as moisture-mitigating primers or barrier coats are used.

Further, the condition of the slab to be polished or coated plays a large role in determining the system to use, the experts say.

Want more? Watch the video.

The panel discussion was sponsored by Coatings for Industry Inc., a manufacturer of industrial, architectural and aerospace coatings.


Tagged categories: Concrete coatings and treatments; Concrete floor coatings; Concrete polishing; Durability + Design; Floor coatings; Good Technical Practice; Polished concrete

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