Polishing the concrete floor of a car garage in Melbourne

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Is polished concrete in a car garage a good idea?

If you own a luxury vehicle, sports car, restored collectible or simply what the dream car garage of your dreams then don’t put rubber tiles, epoxy or checker plate on your garage floor – do things properly and polish the concrete flooring of your garage for a premium look that your friends will drool over.

A car garage can be made to look and feel like an extension of your home simply by getting the boring old concrete polished with a matt, semi gloss or full floss finish. Imagine doing away with that rough light grey concrete floor to then have something that looks like a car showroom in your own home.

If your walls are bare brick these can easily be covered with plasterboard, painted & with the addition of lighting you have your own personal showroom to store your vehicle, admire it & show it off to friends when they visit. By changing the floors and walls you can great an inviting space that is great for your vehicle, tools, memorabilia and can even add value to your home at the same time.

Why is a mechanical polished floor better than a normal grind and seal?

The reason mechanical polished concrete is a better option than a grind and seal is its long term durability and life span of the floor. Mechanical polished concrete floores are ground and treated with a chemical densifier to harden the concrete matrix of the floor. 

The floor is then polished using diamond pads under the machine to refine and polish the surface. As apposed to painting the surface with a sealer out of a can. Mpc floors will only need a basic maintenance program of cleaning the floor with hot water and mop and thats it. A grind and seal with eventually need to be ground back and recoated after a feww years to bring the floor back to life. 

 

Can a car be parked on a polished concrete floor?

There are so many benefits to using concrete for your flooring, getting it polished just elevates things whether you are renovating or building something new. It has a high level of stain resistance, good light reflectivity due to the glossy finish, its easy to clean and maintenance, its a surface that is not easily damaged, and it lasts a long time (longer than your car probably). It is tough enough to park any type of vehicle on it and with a simple sweep or the use of a blower you can clean it in minutes. 

The other big benefit is you can install a wheel locking device directly to the floor for added security if you have a rare or expensive vehicle.

 

What exposure and gloss level is good for a car garage?

Concrete polishing finishes diagram showing exposure differences

Once you decide to polish the concrete of your garage floor, you then need to choose the aggregate exposure that you would like to see on the surface and then the level of gloss or shine that you’d like. A simple way of comparing would be like this;

 

Aggregate texture

You can choose how much or how little you want to expose, each finish has its own unique appearance and characteristics and we refer to them as;

  • Surface Polish Finish or Nil Exposure
  • Salt & Pepper Finish
  • Random Exposure Finish
  • Full Aggregate Exposure Finish
  • Pavillion or Honed Finish used in Outdoor applications
 

 

Gloss or shine level

The final choice you make is the level of shine and this is normally split into 3 x levels of matte, satin & gloss;

  • Matte floors are typically finished at 100 to 200 grit ploish stage. This will still give a nice low diffused sheen to the floor with very little too no reflection from down lights. 
  • Satin finish is typically 200 to 400 grit polish stage. This will give a slightly more reactive floor with more reflection from down lights and light from windows. 
  • Gloss finished floors are typically finished between 1500 to 3000 grit these are highly reflective floors that have a sharp reflection from down lights and so provide the most durable scratch resistant floors available.  They will also provide the most energy efficient floor as far as lighting goes.
 

There isn’t a right or wrong really when it comes to choosing a combination but you do have to consider how you think you will manage to maintain it.

 

Is it easy to maintain a polished concrete floor in a car garage

Vehicles will bring in dirt and debris from the roads, a lot more than people will from their shoes. The tyres, wheel arches and underbody all catch dirt, grime or even small rocks that can fall onto a polished concrete floor. When you walk in the garage or move the vehicle this can be dragged over the shiny surface.

 

If the floor is not swept or dust mopped on a regular basis, your vehicle tires can actually degloss the finish over a long period of time in the areas where they consistently roll in and out of the garage. The wheels and tyres are going to be slowly grinding the finish of the concrete with a more aggressive grit than what the floor was polished with in the first place. While it will take a while to dull, you can extend the life of the surface with regular cleaning.

 

Maintaining polished concrete is simple due to the fact that it doesn’t take much to clean it. A dust mop is generally all that is required, maybe even using a good blower. Heavier cleaning can be done with the occasional wet mop using clean water only.



Will car polish or oil stain a concrete floor?

In normal circumstances a raw concrete floor will stain really easily, there is nothing protecting the concrete. A polished concrete garage floor will handle a spill of automotive fluids much better because of the density and impregnating sealer that is used in the final step of polishing the floor. . 

 

Even polished concrete has pores even teeny ones so things like anti-freeze coolant, brake fluid, and solvents such like turps need to be cleaned quickly if they are spilt. Acidic based fluids can etch the surface as well but fortunately there are lots of pH neutral cleaners on sale these days that you can use on your car. You could use a stain guards or some protective mat over the area you use to handle chemicals to be safe. 

 

Even if you do apply a sealer to the concrete they will break down if exposed to solvents or other strong chemicals for very long. However, they will buy you time to clean up and they will protect the concrete from staining in many circumstances since they act as a sacrificial layer.



Design tips for car garages

It is important to decide what exactly you want in the garage. Do you want a gym? A seating area? Storage space or maybe even an area to have a big tv and a fridge. Not too many people think about transforming their garage in Melbourne, but it has so much potential to be turned into another living space.

 

As long as you know it is completely waterproofed, has great lighting, insulation and the right level of security you can treat it as an outdoor room while drooling over your pride and joy. The best thing about choosing a polished concrete floor in your garage compared to other materials is that it does not absorb dirt and dust so it is a more hygienic environment, tough & easy to clean – what else could you ask for really?



Mark Haynes
Mark Haynes

Mark Haynes is a professional concrete polisher in Melbourne that has spent most of his life staring at floors to create beautifully polished concrete. Old school values, honest work ethic and an independent operator in Melbourne with amazing reviews.

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