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Which way is the market going?

Polished concrete is without a doubt the hottest market segment in decorative concrete today. It has held that title for the last few years and shows no signs of giving up the number one position any time soon.

The commercial and industrial flooring communities have embraced polished concrete as the new standard when a combination of aesthetics, durability, reduced construction costs, and minimal environmental impact is desired.

Many large retailers have switched to polished concrete as the standard flooring for both new and existing stores. The word on the street from experts from all fields of polished concrete is that there is a common recurring theme – “growth.” The polished concrete industry barely existed 15 years ago. However, today, it now dominates the decorative concrete marketplace, as evidenced by the annual revenue it generates.

What’s more, the growth in the popularity of polished concrete is unlikely to wane, especially as the word spreads about the many benefits of polished floors. Unfortunately, along with this huge market growth comes the lure of easy money.

Many installers have ventured into the industry without a true understanding of the market and the large capital investment required. For many, reality soon replaces perception as it becomes evident that polishing concrete requires a high level of concrete expertise, on-the-job experience, and some deep pockets to survive the initial startup.

The biggest mistake installers new to polishing make is to assume that all concrete is a good candidate for polishing. With polishing, the concrete you start with has the biggest impact on what you end up with, and in many cases, the installer has no control in how the concrete is placed and finished.

Learning to read concrete is an art that comes with years of being on the floor behind the machine, a fact often missed by the novice installer.

In recent years, the level of education provided by the supply side of the industry regarding the reality of what it takes to be successful has been increasing. This trend needs to continue, with an emphasis not only directed toward the installer side of the business but to end-users as well.

In the early 2000s, polished concrete was marketed and sold to designers and owners as a maintenance-free flooring option. But it didn’t take long before many polished floors began showing significant wear and required some level of maintenance to perform as promised. An industry-wide reality check in the mid-2000s brought the marketing side of the industry in line with the true production capabilities of polished concrete floors.

It is a testament to the staying power and market acceptance of polished concrete that the industry absorbed those initial failures, changed the marketing focus, developing new products and systems to meet the demands, and hardly missed a beat.

Barefoot Concrete offers polished concrete coating systems that are carried out in a multi-step mechanical process, with or without aggregate exposure. The most popular finish is grinding the concrete surface to expose aggregates or stones in the concrete and showing the natural beauty of the stone.

Polished Concrete Floors are extremely durable, low in maintenance and create a unique and stylish look with maximum protection due to a seamless finish.

There are two types of polished concrete. The first one is called “grind and seal,” which is followed by the application of a topical surface sealer. The second is called “mechanically polished concrete,” where densification of the concrete surface is carried out during the process. This happens by mechanically polishing the concrete in stages with finer diamond tools, which is then sealed with a penetrating sealer.

Barefoot Concrete uses industrial-grade, water-based, high strength penetrating potassium densifiers which have been specifically formulated to strengthen and harden the concrete. It provides a surface that will be more resistant to wear, chemicals and dusting.

Due to the products unique features, it has excellent penetration, good dry and cure. Our densifiers are suitable for use on concrete surfaces and exposed aggregates, and an excellent choice for polishing concrete. This high-performance product will increase the life of the concrete and provide maximum protection.

Polished concrete flooring is used in many environments such as residential, commercial and industrial applications where a long-lasting solution to floor maintenance and hard-wearing protection is required. Call us to find out more.