Guest MrsRA

Substitute for polished concrete flooring?

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Guest MrsRA

Advice needed urgently owing to project manager's c**k-up.

I was promised polished concrete flooring and what a girl is promised she expects to get.

However errors in research have been uncovered and, to cut a long story short, I'm told I can't have underfloor heating  AND polished concrete flooring for some boring technical reason.

Well warm tootsies are priority #1, so I'm seeking alternatives and resin flooring is looking pretty in the catalogues. Any pros and cons?

Thanks in advance for advice :)

Project manager -see me in my office >:(

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Did he give a reason? I am sure I have seen polished concrete with UFH.

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Plenty of guys doing exactly that over in the USA on Garage Journal forum.

That said, you will be warming up a greater lump so it ll be less responsive to any adjustments you might make.

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I considered polishing our passive slab (incl. UFH). It was only the lack of control you have over how it will look that stopped us doing it.

Ie. If you're polishing a screed: more prep can be done,  dyes added and controlled cure to ensure a consistent finish but on a passive slab,  with strong concrete,  the finish is a lot less controlable. 

 

We've now decided on a poured resin. It's very clinical and not a look that suits everyone. But it gives a seamless finish, even over expansion gaps; it's also softer, warmer and better acoustics.

 

By coincidence a neighbour has just put it down in a new build. It will mark and care needs to be taken with things like kitchen fit, there's no dragging cabinets accross it. But hard enough for dog claws not to mark. 

 

Maintenance will be similar to a polished concrete or stone, requiring  a new top coat (seal) in 5 to 15 years depending on traffic. But can be refinished or colour change at any point in the future. 

 

Costs around £75 - £100/m2 which is a rip off compared to prices on the continent. 

 

I was quite impressed with Senso Floors UK, but they have just bought themselves out from their Dutch partners and are now branded as Sphere8, should be the same quality, but I haven't been back to them yet. 

Edited by IanR
typo

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Nah you can - he just needs to buy the appropriate attachments for the mini digger don't you @recoveringacademic

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Guest MrsRA
2 hours ago, ProDave said:

Did he give a reason? I am sure I have seen polished concrete with UFH.

Well yes . Something about expansion and contraction and electricity etc. 

Please send links to refutation if possible. ...

 

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Guest MrsRA
2 hours ago, Roger440 said:

That said, you will be warming up a greater lump so it ll be less responsive to any adjustments you might make.

2 hours ago, Roger440 said:

That said, you will be warming up a greater lump...

He tried that argument but regretted it.>:(

 

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Guest MrsRA
1 hour ago, IanR said:

I considered polishing our passive slab (incl. UFH). It was only the lack of control you have over how it will look that stopped us doing it.

Ie. If you're polishing a screed: more prep can be done,  dyes added and controlled cure to ensure a consistent finish but on a passive slab,  with strong concrete,  the finish is a lot less controlable. 

 

We've now decided on a poured resin. It's very clinical and not a look that suits everyone. But it gives a seamless finish, even over expansion gaps; it's also softer, warmer and better acoustics.

 

By coincidence a neighbour has just put it down in a new build. It will mark and care needs to be taken with things like kitchen fit, there's no dragging cabinets accross it. But hard enough for dog claws not to mark. 

 

Maintenance will be similar to a polished concrete or stone, requiring  a new top coat (seal) in 5 to 15 years depending on traffic. But can be refinished or colour change at any point in the future. 

 

Costs around £75 - £100/m2 which is a rip off compared to prices on the continent. 

 

I was quite impressed with Sensor Floors UK, but they have just bought themselves out from their Dutch partners and are now branded as Sphere8, should be the same quality, but I haven't been back to them yet. 

Thanks Ian that's helpful will check out sensor/sphere company.Like the benefits  you cite as we have this type of flooring at work but the finish is a bit bland and not what I would like in a domestic environment. Need more research so will followup your leads ? thanks.

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Guest MrsRA
1 hour ago, PeterW said:

Nah you can - he just needs to buy the appropriate attachments for the mini digger don't you @recoveringacademic

I did not know they sell a dig yrself out of ? attachment 

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I have only just realised who the PM is... :D

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We have a polished concrete floor on our passive slab from designs in resin, and it looks great, when I have given it a clean I will post a picture, its approximately 4-5mm thick is troweled on in layers and then polished and sealed and then waxed. It is concrete based so hard wearing it has been down for 8 weeks while people have been doing internal works and aren't very careful but there is no damage sustained.

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2 hours ago, daiking said:

I have only just realised who the PM is... :D

Took me a second or two....

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5 minutes ago, Mikey_1980 said:

We have a polished concrete floor on our passive slab from designs in resin, and it looks great, when I have given it a clean I will post a picture, its approximately 4-5mm thick is troweled on in layers and then polished and sealed and then waxed. It is concrete based so hard wearing it has been down for 8 weeks while people have been doing internal works and aren't very careful but there is no damage sustained.

Thanks Mike. We look forward to your photos.

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Guest MrsRA
17 hours ago, IanR said:

 

I was quite impressed with Senso Floors UK, but they have just bought themselves out from their Dutch partners and are now branded as Sphere8, should be the same quality, but I haven't been back to them yet. 

I just checked out Sphere 8 and was impressed by the acoustic ratings on the rubberised aggregate. This could really be an option if the cost is feasible, as I was a bit concerned that our overall design and choice of material might create an echo chamber.   They look really great too. Thanks for the lead. 

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54 minutes ago, MrsRA said:

I just checked out Sphere 8 and was impressed by the acoustic ratings on the rubberised aggregate. 

 

If that's the one that has a 3mm ish rubber layer under the poured resin then I think it's aimed at a nursery play area type of environment. It's a bit too soft for normal flooring. I was surprised how their standard floor felt (without the rubber mat), I expected it to be hard, but it does compress a little and feels warm under foot even without UFH.

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Topcret make a product called Baxab, 2mm polished concrete which they say ensures a 120N/mm2 surface hardness whatever that means in the real world.

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So any updates? Im following with interest as this is something id consider doing if price is reasonable.

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@MrsRA where are you based?   

We are looking at something very similar and have been looking at Micro-screed/micro top and poured resin finishes.  I'm up n the north east of England and we have struggled up here to get anyone who seemed half decent to do the job.  We now have it narrowed down to two companies both of which I think I would be happy to give the job to.  Waiting on final prices but indicative quote from both of them seemed around the £80m2.

During the tendering process we have weeded out a lot of cowboys.  Most could talk a hell of a game but when it came to offering guarantees or answering technical questions you found out what they were truly about.

I would ask for samples from any company you are looking to get to do the work.  What seem like subtle colour differences and effects can be very different from pictures shown in portfolios or on websites.  Also it gives you a chance to break down the material and find out what they are using (we had one guy who claimed he was using micro topping but when we ground into his sample it was a basic sand/cement mix which had been dyed).

I have some details of the main UK suppliers for Elite-crete (which seems to be a reputable brand for resin) and the guy from there was extremely helpful and said he has a list of reputable contractors for most parts of the UK.  Their website is truefloorsolutions.co.uk

For micro topping Ideal Work seemed to offer a good product but they only offered the product and the owner couldn't recommend any contractors in my area.

If you are on Facebook you can also add yourself to a group called 'Concrete Locator - Next Generation'.  Its mostly contractors based out of the USA but there are a few British guys on there.  More than anything it can give you ideas of whats available and achievable design wise.  A lot of the yanks have some extremely garish designs but there are some good examples of plainer designs which is what we were looking for.

 

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I Thought the polished concrete may have been a cost saving but am surprised at the price of it goont to try a local firm mear Exeter tomorrow for prices.

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Just had a ball park figure for 100m2 of laying and polishing concrete, £8500 doesnt sound too bad considering id need 75mm of screed then the cost of tiles and planned bamboo etc soon adds up.

 

this figure was based on 100mm of concrete then £73 per m2 to float polish and seal, what are thoughts on this depth of concrete over ufh? I know its well above minimum but would it be too much?

 

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For a low-energy property, it would be fine.

Sounds like what is being offered is a power-trowel finish, rather than a true polished concrete where some form of surface grinding is normally done to expose the aggregate.

No issue with that, but you have little control over the final appearance, so any surface cracking in the slab will be visible. Not that that's an issue, as long as that is what you are after.

You can't expect the same level of finish as per a concrete screed poured specifically for polishing, or a microscreed designed to simulate that effect.

If that pricing is "just" power-troweling and sealing, (not concrete and pump charges) it seems a little steep.

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