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What Is Burnished Concrete?

To achieve a Burnished/Salt and Pepper polished floor, it must be mechanically steel troweled with a power trowel (helicopter) to within an inch of its life. These floors are 99.9% in the concreter’s hands to get perfect, where we can only take credit for the pleasing shine and hard-wearing look through the process of Mirafloor polishing.

Many clients seek the look of a Bunnings floor in the hope they are a cheap and effortless option, however, these floors are one of the hardest to attain. It requires an 80-page document to lay the concrete for Bunnings and takes 2 helicopter machines working within an inside weather controlled environment, to perfect the floor. The concreters further require a gloss level of 25 on a gloss meter before the polishing system can begin. A house slab rarely goes to such measurements and is a huge ask from any concreter, regardless of their skill level.

I will always say no when clients ask if I would incorporate a Burnished/Salt and Pepper floor in my house, as a result of too many inherent risks that may occur. Screed marks and footprints must be removed during the helicopter process before the concrete sets and uneven troweling may also result in an uneven floor. If the concreter leaves small dips or humps in the floor they will largely be visible in the finished process, where multiple colour variations and inconsistencies are not appealing in a finished floor and edges that weren’t troweled enough will end up lighter in colour.

Regardless, there is still a chance you will be the 1 out of 20 individuals who we do Burnished floors for that will be happy. There will be hundreds of visible variables existing within the concrete from colour, stains, through to tool marks that you may love, however most don’t.

If your end goal is to achieve the best-looking floor I recommend going for a Salt and Pepper to Light Exposure grind that will cut these variations out. This will not work 100% of the time, however it will give your floor the best chance of a great finish and as the old saying polished concrete is a perfectly imperfect floor, stays true.

After 22 years of polishing concrete, the one thing that appears relevant is that the customer seems to have a better idea and is always right when it comes to achieving Burnished/Salt and Pepper floors! At Geelong Concrete Grinding, we strive consistently to produce a great finish to our floors and are only as good as our last floor. Burnished/Salt and Pepper floors continually fail to live up to expectations, so please take my advice and think twice before choosing to settle with a Burnished/Salt and Pepper grind.