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Polished Concrete Floors: 18 Projects that Combine Aesthetics, Durability, and Ease of Execution

Polished Concrete Floors: 18 Projects that Combine Aesthetics, Durability, and Ease of Execution

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, the use of raw materials can save resources by bypassing the use of additional coatings and processes. This type of solution was most commonly used in utility buildings, such as infrastructure, factories, and warehouses. Exposed concrete floors, for example, were primarily found in industrial spaces, parking lots, and gas stations. However, they are increasingly being used in structures of different programs due to their appearance, durability, resistance, and vast possibilities for finishes. But what are the main factors to be aware of when using a concrete floor for a project?

First, it is important that the designer takes into account factors such as the conditions of the terrain, the function of the space, the distribution of loads, and whether there will be exposure to agents that can corrode the concrete. To do so, it is essential that the relationship between water, sand, gravel, and cement in the concrete allows it to be finished with special machines after curing, bringing it to the desired strength and shade. It is also important that the service is well orchestrated and programmed, since it is usually done right after pouring the concrete of the slab itself.

© Fernando Guera | FG+SG
© Fernando Guera | FG+SG

After pouring the concrete, leveling the slab and ensuring proper density is important to eliminate trapped air bubbles, empty spaces, and excess water inside. The floor must also receive cuts for expansion in predefined areas in the project to avoid issues such as cracks when the structure expands and contracts naturally. It is only after the concrete has dried that polishing with special machines should be started. Depending on the process, it is possible to obtain a more or less polished finish. For future protection and a final finish, the application of a resin suitable for the specific use is recommended.

© André Scarpa
© André Scarpa

Although it is more common to maintain the natural tone of the concrete, which varies between light and dark gray and contains characteristic stains, there are also opportunities to add pigments to the mixture and achieve different shades.

© Gaudenz Danuser
© Gaudenz Danuser

The most common concrete floors are those armed with wire mesh. Currently, there are also options in the market for floors with metallic and polypropylene fibers that reduce concrete shrinkage and, consequently, the resulting cracks. There are also options with prestressing systems of steel strands, tensioned inside the floor, allowing the execution of floors without expansion joints.

See below a selection of projects with exposed concrete floors:

Residential Projects

Old Jaffa House 4 / Pitsou Kedem Architects

© Amit Geron
© Amit Geron

Sapucaí-Mirim House / APBA – Arquiteto Paulo Bastos e Associados

© Daniel Ducci
© Daniel Ducci

Ecuestre House / Luciano Kruk

© Daniela Mac Adden
© Daniela Mac Adden

Angatuba House / messina | rivas

© André Scarpa
© André Scarpa

Cariló House / Luciano Kruk

© Daniela Mac Adden
© Daniela Mac Adden

New Concrete House / Wespi de Meuron Romeo architects

© Hannes Henz
© Hannes Henz

House in the Trees / Luciano Kruk

© Daniela Mac Adden
© Daniela Mac Adden

Cipolla House / Felipe Assadi Arquitectos

© fernando Alda
© fernando Alda

Hass House / Feuerstein Quagliara

© Anna Ritsch
© Anna Ritsch

Jellyfish House / Wiel Arets Architects

© Jan Bitter
© Jan Bitter

Affordable Housing in Zurich / Gus Wüstemann

© Bruno Helbling
© Bruno Helbling

Refugi Lieptgas / Georg Nickisch + Selina Walder

© Gaudenz Danuser
© Gaudenz Danuser

Other programs

Center for Interpretation of The Battle of Atoleiros / Gonçalo Byrne Arquitectos, Lda. + Oficina Ideias em linha – Arquitectura e Design, Lda.

© Fernando Guera | FG+SG
© Fernando Guera | FG+SG

Saya Park / Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira

© Fernando Guera | FG+SG
© Fernando Guera | FG+SG

0219 GHTK Interior Office / iplus Architecture

© Hoang Le
© Hoang Le

Swiss National Museum / Christ & Gantenbein

© Roman Keller
© Roman Keller

Grow Out Cellar / bergmeisterwolf architekten

© Gustav Willeit
© Gustav Willeit

Proofread by Lilly Cao

About this author
Cite: Souza e Pereira, Eduardo e Matheus. "Polished Concrete Floors: 18 Projects that Combine Aesthetics, Durability, and Ease of Execution" [Pisos de concreto polido: 18 projetos que unem estética, durabilidade e facilidade de execução] 20 Feb 2020. ArchDaily. (Trans. Souza, Eduardo) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/933296/polished-concrete-floors-18-projects-that-combine-aesthetics-durability-and-ease-of-execution/> ISSN 0719-8884

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