Traditional polished concrete is the polished concrete that is first ground and then sealed with a topical sealer. This is hte best option for softer types of concrete like 20 and 25MPA. This is also a type of polished concrete and the DIYer can achieve themselves. YouTube is your friend !!! Once all the grinding is finished its time to choose a sealer. There are literally hundreds of different sealers on the market how do you choose? Its important to break it down on the area of application first. Is it inside or outside? IF outside you are going to want to use a more impregnating sealer otherwise it will be super slippery when wet. Inside you choice is wider. Do you want it glossy or more of a satin finish? Do you want a sealer that darkens the concrete gives it a wet look or do you prefer the more natural colour?
Polyurethanes will wet the concrete that is they will make it darker like it is wet. It is important to note with polyurethanes is they are all not the same. There are two different polyurethanes UV stable and non-UV stable and a big price difference between them. Non-UV stable are exactly what the name suggests they are no UV stable and this means with sunlight exposure the sealer will yellow. There is no timeline which tells us how fast this will happen just that it will happen. This isnt a problem if you area has no natural light. However the UV stable sealer will not change colour with time. With these types of sealers when the floor has scratched up or wore through the only way to reapply the sealer is the completely grind the floor again and start again (so long term management plan is important to think about). In saying that the UV stable sealers are exceptional quality and do last a good period of time. When it comes to the finish either gloss or satin or matte. In our experience these sealers do gloss very well but the satin and matte finishes are not as desirable. With hese sealers you normally apply 2-3 coats.
Epoxy sealers are very much like the polyurethanes, they are just usually 2 pack where as polyurethanes are single pack (epoxy's you need to mix part a with part b). UV stability and long term management are the same as polyurethanes.
Waterbased sealers; there are also a huge range in this category but choosing the right one. We generally work with one particular brand. Waterbased sealers don't change the colour and appearance of the polished concrete. These sealers often need more coats on the floor. The style we use in our work requires 2-3 coats of the base coat and then 2-4 coats of the top coat. With this type of sealer you can choose gloss, satin or matte and all produce a good result. These sealers also can be UV stable and long term management is easier. If the floor is looking worn and tired or scratched only the top coats need to be removed using an autoscrubber and you can then simply reapply top coat again.
When choosing a sealer we are happy to discuss you job with you to help guide you in choosing the sealer that works best for you. Ask the questions now as it is easier to change your mind about a sealer before it is applied.