Building a new cafe with polished concrete floors in Melbourne
- Type of site: Brand new construction
- Size of area: 140 square metres
- Services: Mechanical concrete polishing on new floors
- Floor: Mechanical polished concrete full exposure grind, satin finish
- Cost: $12,000 – $14,000
- Time required: Approximately 7 days
Haynes Polished Concrete was sub contracted by a builder in Melbourne to polish all the concrete flooring in the new cafe that was being constructed. The building owner and architect chose to have concrete flooring because it is the most environmentally friendly building material available today. The design of the cafe needed to have sustainable elements and concrete is made from readily abundant natural materials. The other benefit when used in a cafe or restaurant is it can help to improve air quality, reduce waste, and even cut down on the heating bills.
They chose to have the concrete floors completely polished because that is more durable compared to only getting them sealed. Concrete, especially when it has been polished and sealed, is so durable that it can withstand pressure from anything that restaurants, hotels, and any other hospitality facility can throw at it. Quite often these types of retail locations will need to have furniture, heavy appliances and even customers’ high heels constantly impacting the surface which can very quickly deteriorate if it was timber, vinyl or carpet. That is why so many venues in Melbourne choose to have polished concrete floors like restaurants, cafes, event venues, commercial kitchens and bars. The combination of durability and slip resistance makes it a great choice which is more cost effective in the long term to maintain for a tenant or landlord.
If you own an existing cafe, are thinking of buying one or even about to build a new one then you want to have a high quality look and feel to be able to compete locally and give customers an amazing visual experience even before they walk through the front door. Beyond the aesthetics, a polished concrete floor will keep staff safe while also helping to maintain health requirements with ease. Concrete flooring in retail environments enable you to tick so many boxes. You can operate a venue that not only looks welcoming and modern but stands up well to high foot traffic, is slip-resistant, and is easy to clean or maintain.
For this site the owners did consider just grinding the concrete and sealing it but they didn’t really like the rough, almost unfinished, look that it produces. They wanted to create an interior design for this new business that was modern, luxurious and felt high-end to match the rest of the fit out. So, they chose to get fully polished concrete floors instead. It was a large floor area that was more than one hundred square metres in total area including multiple dining areas and hallways. Once we completed the concrete grinding on the new concrete slab we started to do the mechanical concrete polishing of the floor with a full exposure polish.
As you’ll see in the photos, the full exposure finish has lots of texture with a mix of black, white, grey and even a few gold coloured aggregate.
What are the benefits of polished concrete floors in a cafe?
The choice of flooring solution that is chosen for use in the hospitality industry will vary based on the aesthetic, functionality, budget and intended positioning of the site in question. The most popular choices are floor tiles or concrete flooring because of their cost-effective installation and low maintenance.
Some venues will opt for wooden floating floorboards, carpet, marble or even vinyl to cover the floors. They have their own distinct benefits, but a polished concrete floor is a smarter, long-term, choice when you add up the reduced ownership costs it can provide.
An existing floor can have the floor materials removed and we can grind the surface to remove glue or any other imperfections to then seal it as the cheapest way to polish your floor. It means a floor that is in any type of condition can be made to look amazing. A deeper grind that goes further into the surface can expose more the aggregate to give you a more textured and interesting look. This can be fully polished with a satin, mid or high-gloss finish for a premium look.
Sealed vs mechanical polishing.
Don’t get confused between concrete sealing and mechanically polished concrete – using mechanical polishing machine means your floor is hardened with a densifying compound and uses diamond encrusted resin pads to provide a higher gloss level. You could choose to use epoxy concrete flooring which is a mix of polymer resins and hardeners that chemically bond together creating a rigid floor coating but typically these are not as hard wearing. It is like throwing a few layers of chemicals over your floor.
Indoors or outdoors.
Concrete flooring can also be used in outdoor areas of cafes and restaurants, with a wide range of options with a pavilion finish that is a bit rougher to the touch or honed concrete, for a smooth, refined surface that is popular for alfresco dining. Both of these options are a step up from standard exposed aggregate.
What are the benefits of concrete floors in a cafe?
Every industry has to meet specific regulations to operate safely and within the local laws in place. For food and beverage providers this becomes even more important because they are serving consumers directly every day. Cafes or restaurants needs to keep floors durable enough to withstand the high traffic of kitchen staff and food lovers alike. These floors also need to be kept clean and be able to repel spills, grease and stains from food or liquid spills.
The biggest benefits of concrete flooring include;
Flooring in a cafe needs to stay looking new and safe for a long time. There is constant foot traffic across these types of floors so you want to avoid them chipping, breaking or pieces to wear away that may create a trip hazzard. You need a flooring option like concrete that will not break or get loose like tiling or floorboards. Plus, businesses don’t want to lose money by constantly reinstalling new floors or having to refurbish or repair them. Concrete floors are built to last, when these floors are installed and sealed properly, they will last practically a lifetime.
One requirement for OH&S is to minimise any chances of a fall. The textured surface of a polished concrete floor can help prevent this from happening, especially it is a pavilion or honed finish.
If a customer spills a drink or a plate oof food falls nto the floor, staff need to get the mess cleaned as soon as possible. Luckily, cleaning up spills on concrete floors is very simple and in most cases only requires warm water. There are also not joints or grout lines to worry about which means dust or food particles won’t get stuck in them. All that is needed is regular cleaning with a damp mop.
A lot of business owners are being asked by their customers if they have environmentally sustainable practices. Using concrete for the flooring helps with this because the materials are typically recycled, it is durable, requires little maintenance and even has great thermal properties to help with heating or cooling costs.