what are the top five polished concrete frequently asked questions?Polished concrete has gained in popularity, to the point where it’s one of the most common floors found in commercial real estate, as well as restaurant dining spaces, and hallways and corridors in educational facilities to name a few of its uses. Polished concrete is a highly affordable option, known for being a distinctive and functional floor, while also giving you a low-maintenance surface that is easily cleaned and maintained.

When facility managers are contemplating installing polished concrete floors in a commercial space, there are a number of “typical” polished concrete frequently asked questions that come up in the initial conversation that we address.

Answering Your Top Five Polished Concrete Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can any concrete be polished?

Almost. Usually, yes, this can be achieved. However, there are a few situations where polishing new or existing isn’t ideal. For example:

  • Floors made of lightweight concrete isn’t the best candidate for polishing
  • Concrete which has been damaged by caustic chemicals
  • Outdoor concrete made with a freeze/thaw mix shouldn’t be polished
2. Does the polishing process disrupt business and how long will cleanup be once it’s complete?

In most cases, there is very little cause for concern during installation. We can work around your schedule, during downtime periods and off hours, and we ensure that your space is left as it was found (with the addition of an enhanced flooring solution.) We prefer a dry-grind polish procedure, in which all the resulting dust is immediately vacuumed up by a system within the polishing machinery. However, occasionally a wet-grind polish may be called for, which will result in a sort of rock-slush that will need to be disposed of. However, Black Bear crews will handle waste materials resulting from construction.

3. Is polished concrete eco-friendly?

Absolutely! In fact, polished concrete is arguably the most eco-friendly commercial flooring solution you could install. Concrete is a natural surface comprised of rock and water. Plus, it’s frequently recycled, reducing your carbon footprint. The durability of polished concrete means it lasts longer than most products and results in less waste overall which is why it’s sought after for green-building requirements. Its reflective surface saves on energy costs and is compliant with all LEED standards.

4. How stain-resistant is polished concrete?

One of the disadvantages of polished concrete is that it’s not as stain-resistant as epoxy or urethane coatings. While additional sealants protect the surface, unfortunately, the porous nature of concrete will mean it’s always somewhat susceptible to staining or other damage from spills – particularly if they are left standing. To prevent staining, clean any moisture or spillage immediately after it happens.

5. How slippery is polished concrete?

You might be surprised to learn that while shiny in appearance, polished concrete isn’t a very slippery surface at all. It only looks slippery because of its high reflectivity. In reality, the concrete still has a very bumpy surface, at the microscopic level. This gives it superior friction coefficient even when wet. It’s actually less slippery than many other common flooring options which is why it’s so popular for corporate lobbies and entryways.

Black Bear is the Leading Contractor for Polished Concrete Solutions

From performance to design, Black Bear Coatings & Concrete ensures that each client’s individual needs are recognized and reflected in the product we provide for optimal results. Check out our portfolio, including samples of polished concrete finished products for brands, and our client list to learn why more businesses and general contractors trust Black Bear to engineer longer-lasting concrete, epoxy, urethane, and MMA solutions. The above list of polished concrete frequently asked questions is just a sample of the insight our team can offer you during your commercial flooring buying decision process. Request a free, on-site assessment to learn how Black Bear can provide compliant, visually appealing, and durable polished concrete floors for your business.

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commercial concrete coatings for campus flooring projectsA hallmark of colleges and universities are typically expansive buildings and grounds. Each area unique in its look and feel, as well as its purpose.

One of the biggest considerations, when architecting new spaces, or renovating and repairing areas on campus, is the floor system that is installed. Both indoors and out, commercial flooring solutions for college campuses have significant safety implications, impact budget and financial allocations for the school, and should support or enhance the look and feel of the environment in which it’s installed.

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If you would have asked a designer 10 years ago if they ever thought polished concrete would emerge as a preferred choice for commercial floors, they probably would have shaken their head with a definitive “no.” However, that’s just what happened.

Polished concrete has long been associated as one of the most indestructible, lasting solutions. It solidified its place in industrial, utilitarian construction projects. But, it has also come a long way from the stigma of just being a cold, practical flooring product.

Quite the contrary, polished concrete is now a focal point of commercial and industrial floors, and often requested to enhance the design of an overall environment. So, how did this transformation happen?

Aside from being highly durable and virtually maintenance free, polished concrete is an economical choice for many cost-conscious companies. Now, with the introduction of new formulas engineered to provide an appealing look and feel, companies can enhance almost every space. Polished concrete has found its way to the forefront of interior design. So much so, that it has also moved up in the world. No longer just thought of for substrate and commercial floors, concrete coatings are now being created to design raised surfaces such as countertops and workspaces.

Decorative effects such as scoring and etching are being used to personalize concrete with unique styles. Adding high gloss or acrylic sealers, adjusting color levels, and using a variety of application techniques, gives you a polished, faux finished appearance with such looks mimicking limestone décor and marbleized flooring. What’s more, because concrete can be engineered with a number of top coats for protection, though porous in nature, concrete can be waterproofed as well as formulated to offer extra slip-resistance – making this ideal for interior commercial floor projects.

At Black Bear, we have not only witnessed the rise of polished concrete surfaces as a preferred design element and viable commercial flooring solution, but our teams have also experimented with emerging techniques. We remain on the cutting edge of concrete technology. Black Bear doesn’t shy away from applications that have never been tried. Our highly skilled teams often set precedence by trying new methods of installation and engineering alternative formulas to provide the best concrete solutions to our commercial clients. From performance to design, Black Bear Coatings & Concrete ensures that each client’s individual needs are recognized and reflected in the product we provide for optimal results.

Take a look at a sample of polished concrete projects below that we have completed for clients in throughout the Northeast. And, contact us to find out how Black Bear can value engineer a better solution for your commercial or industrial business.


Black Bear will work directly with you or your general contractor to develop a longer-lasting product that saves money and withstands the environmental elements in the Northeast. Whether it’s new construction to enhance the look and feel of your property, or a restoration project that ensures the safety of your patrons, trust the professionals at Black Bear Coatings & Concrete to make sure you get the exact concrete foundation and restoration services that you want and need.

With over 25 years of experience, our crews have the skills required to create a production floor that meets each client’s unique maintenance and aesthetic needs. Call Black Bear to learn how we provide longer-lasting, more effective solutions for manufacturing and production buildings.

Black Bear is a leading concrete and coatings flooring company that serves New England – Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northern Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, as well as New York (north of New York City). Rest assured that we have the staff, equipment, and expertise needed to make your floor project a success. We spend time upfront to assess each client’s needs, identify the best flooring solution, engage in the right preparation, and then install the floor using industry best practices. We’d love to help your company.

Contact us today for a free estimate.

Business owners looking for new or replacement flooring have a number of choices to select from. Most companies go back and forth with whether to lay tile or select a stylized form of concrete. On the surface (pun intended) both options may seem appropriate and will get the job done. But, before making a final decision, you’ll want to define the job itself.

Take a look at considerations to determine whether tile or concrete flooring is better for your business.

What Do You Do? – The first and foremost consideration is the type of business you are running. A restaurant, a manufacturing plant, a healthcare facility, an office – each of these businesses contributes a different set of stressors to a floor, and will require unique specifications.

Where Is This Going? – Look at the environment you are installing commercial floor in. An office space will be vastly different than a warehouse, and a retail store will be subject to more foot-traffic than say a laboratory. How the space is going to be used is an important factor in determining tile versus concrete.

What’s the Budget? – Depending upon the type of concrete and tile flooring up for consideration, the cost per square foot could escalate quickly. Polished concrete will be more affordable than many porcelain tile designs, though vinyl will be a less expensive option. The size of the area will help determine the budget and narrow down your options – making it easier for you to select a floor.

How will it function? – Most people don’t realize the critical role commercial flooring plays in the safety, hygiene and production of a business. For example, a manufacturing plant with around-the-clock motion needs a smooth, seamless flooring system to prevent buckling and workplace hazards. A commercial kitchen requires a surface that won’t trap moisture and byproducts to prevent bacteria and mold. A hospital requires the durability to withstand harsh chemicals and sanitization that can erode floors quickly. The amount of foot-traffic, the environmental impact, and governing regulations of a business are all considerations when deciding if tile or concrete flooring is the right choice.

What does it need to look like? – In today’s commercial flooring marketplace you have style choices – many many style choices. Tile and concrete alone offer numerous color, design and customization options that support the aesthetics of a business. As you deliberate which floor is more appropriate for your space, consider the look and feel you are trying to achieve and how the flooring can enhance the overall environment.

Tile flooring used to offer more in the way of style, whereas concrete was synonymous with durability. However, polished concrete has come a long way in terms of customization, and now offers more flexibility to tailor a look and feel to your business. Coupled with unparalleled resiliency and easier maintenance, commercial concrete flooring has given tile a run for the money. A longer-lasting system results in a more cost-effective option for many companies, which may account for the shift to concrete in a number of industries.

Talk to Black Bear Coatings & Concrete, the experts in commercial flooring, to value engineer the right solutions for your facility. We would be happy to discuss what solution would best fit your needs. We have years of experience working with industry leaders in a variety of sectors. Black Bear is a leading concrete and coatings flooring company that serves New England – Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northern Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, as well as New York (north of New York City). Rest assured that we have the staff, equipment, and expertise needed to make your floor project a success.

We spend time upfront to assess each client’s needs, identify the best flooring solution, engage in the right preparation, and then install the floor using industry best practices. We’d love to help your company. Contact us today for a free estimate.

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Polished ConcreteThe healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries require mission-critical performance from a commercial flooring system. The versatility of polished concrete offers an array of benefits that these companies should recognize.

Polished concrete has become the solution of choice for many commercial buildings including medical device and drug production facilities. Pharmaceutical companies take advantage of the durability and chemical resistance without sacrificing the look and feel of a space. From the operations floor to office spaces, storage units to lobbies and hallways, polished concrete flooring can be a single source solution for pharma industry flooring.

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concrete flooring solution

There’s a lot more to creating a perfect concrete flooring solution than simply hiring a quality concrete contractor.  Concrete is a great basis for virtually any kind of commercial or industrial flooring, but that is only the starting point.  The right contractor can guide you through the choices to be made and help ensure you receive a floor which will meet all the demands of your business, while also looking nice.

Here are some of the key aspects to consider when laying down a concrete flooring solution.

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When Flooring Hazards in Food & Beveragethe safety and integrity of your business is on the line, it’s a given that you address any concerns immediately and resolve problems before they get out of hand. In the food and beverage industry, questionable flooring could lead to substantial problems for owners and managers. The dangers lurking in deteriorating floors far exceed a negative first impression. Flooring hazards can result in safety violations and environmental contamination with wide-spread consequences.

Most food and beverage industries must either repair or replace their commercial flooring every seven to ten years. Depending on the reliability of the system, this could be even sooner. If your floor is beginning to wear, there are several tell-tale signs you should never ignore.

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There are plenty of factors to consider when buildingGrocery Stores & Supermarket Flooring or renovating a grocery store, supermarket, deli, or similar business. You have a lot of compliance regulations to adhere to, plus you have to create a space that’s safe and attractive for visitors.  In these situations, it’s easy to overlook matters like flooring – but you shouldn’t.

Too often we see grocers who have made the wrong decision in flooring simply because they “thought” it was the more cost-effective system – using vinyl tiles that started becoming damaged within a matter of months.  Repairing the flooring in an active store ends up costing more for the store owners in repairs and downtime and, in extreme situations, can result in lawsuits from patrons who have fallen or become injured due to a broken floor.

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food and beverage flooringFor those in food and beverage manufacturing, or looking to enter the sector, there are a lot of aspects of your facilities to consider. One critical area that should never be overlooked, however, is your choice of flooring.  Not all flooring will be FDA compliant and meet the regulations that cover food and beverage manufacturing. The wrong industrial food and beverage flooring choice could lead to costly fines and renovations, or worse – result in a complete shutdown of operations until replaced.

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