Using in situ polished concrete as a flooring material has many advantages when incorporated from the outset in any new build or refurb project. Concrete is durable, ages beautifully with the passage of time, can form an almost seamless finish, works both inside and outside, will stain but is relatively low in maintenance and has huge advantages associated with heating and cooling efficiency.
Using in situ concrete as the material of choice is a leap of faith as not only is it a bold choice of material per se but also by definition, in situ means you cannot choose, fully control, or replace any bits of it you don’t like. Concrete’s uncompromising honesty as a material along with the infinite variations in tone, texture and patina will give you a floor like no others. You will inevitably appreciate, understand and respect the certain nuances it displays because it is what it is, an honest truth to materials and the stuff of stuff. You will mould to it but it won't mould to you.
When I first dabbled in concrete I found (in hindsight) that I was often sold a product, provided with technical help to use that product but not afforded the necessary inquisitive mind to delve further into what I really wanted to achieve. Over time I developed telephonic relations with some sturdy support, like-minded folk whose cornerstone has been to solve. Gems our industry and craft. Here’s a personal appreciation of some of these lovely people who by nature will go beyond the call of duty. This list is of course only brief. How great it would be one day if we could have a “Yellow Pages Of Architectural Concrete”. My copy would start with:
Has a whole warehouse dedicated to testing diamond polishing of all types of natural stone, concrete and terrazzo. They hand-build polishing machines akin to a Spitfire. Technical white coats and safety glasses are very apparent. Derek, his crew and the Aladdin’s cave of diamond is something to behol...