How can some companies produce polished concrete at a far lower cost the next? Are they missing something out of the process, using inferior products or simply more efficient? Let us look at some of the aspect affecting polishing concrete pricing.
The overwhelming fact you need to consider is ‘You get what you pay for‘ All of the processes involved in polished concrete cost time and money to undertake, there’s no real way of saving money without leaving something out or doing aspects incorrectly.
For example, on your quote how much of the surface is to be ground off? If you don’t have a figure (1mm, 2-3mm, 5mm) how do you know what you are getting? Obviously grinding 5mm away is far more expensive than 1mm, or a 16 grit initial grind is way more expensive than a 100 grit hone. You have to balance like for like. Grinding tools are costly and many contractors will try to extend their life as far as possible, but not using them as much as they need to.
For a low price is your concrete floor going to be fully hardened or densified? A quality densifier is expensive but necessary for a quality finish that last years, is lower in porosity, dust free and highly abrasion resistant. Without thorough saturation of the concrete surface with a quality silicate densifier you are highly unlike to get a decent floor, sand and stones will pull free from the concrete matrix during polishing and more than likely there will be a dusty appearance to the surface.
For the low price are you getting a fully processed floor? Or worded differently, are the grinding and polishing scratches being removed through the use of finer diamond abrasives? I’ve lost count of how many floors I’ve visited where you can tell the contractor has jumped through the grits to save time, leaving behind scratches that are unsightly and attract dirt; possibly hoping they will be covered by the sealer. Polished concrete requires the scratches for each set of tools to be removed by a finer set on the next pass. For example 200 grit tools remove the scratches produced by 100 grit tools.
How is the floor being sealed for your low price? Concrete is inherently porous and without thorough sealing, it is easy to stain if the contaminant is not removed quickly. Many contractors will claim that the densifier (the product they’ve used very sparingly to save money) will seal the floor effectively. That isn’t true I’m afraid. Concrete densifier should only be seen as part of the overall sealing process.
You will always need additional stain protection to give you reaction time to remove spills and dirt contamination. Sealers take time to apply, cure and dry. Quality sealers are expensive but necessary products.
How proficient are the operatives undertaking your polished concrete? Do they have skill and experience? A portfolio of past projects? Do they know their trade inside out?
Lower prices are often attributed to those who are looking to get into the market, maybe they’ve recently been on a two day course or bought an expensive machine and looking to learn at your expense? May be they have watched a few YouTube videos and think polished concrete is as easy as it looks; couldn’t be further from the truth.
So polished concrete flooring basically boils back down to the saying at the top of this article ‘You get what you pay for‘
When checking your estimate or quotation, firstly look at how it is presented and prepared for you. Is it a ballpark price quickly knocked out in an email or a professionally presented quotation, clearly setting out what is included in the cost?
What are you getting for your money? Are you comparing like for like? Don’t assume you are going to get what is not detailed.
How does there portfolio look? Are they experience and credible?