Our winery floor is all dressed up and ready to work. The floor was previously unfinished cement, and we were trying to decide what the best solution would be for an easy-to-clean, waterproof, surface.
Sometimes simple is best. We decided to go with polishing and sealing.
Polishing concrete is very similar to sanding wood. Machines equipped with diamond-segmented abrasives (somewhat like industrial-grade sandpaper) are used to grind down concrete surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness. We gradually progressed from coarser-grit to finer-grit abrasives. The result is the glossy, mirror-like finish you see above.
You can polish concrete using wet or dry methods. Although each has its advantages, dry polishing is faster, more convenient, and environmentally friendly. Wet polishing uses water to cool the diamond abrasives and eliminate grinding dust. Because the water reduces friction and acts as a lubricant, it increases the life of the polishing abrasives. The chief disadvantage of this method is the cleanup. Wet polishing creates a tremendous amount of slurry that crews must collect and dispose of in an environmentally sound manner. With dry polishing, no water is required. Instead, the floor polisher is hooked up to a dust-containment system that vacuums up virtually all of the mess.
We went with the dry method.
After polishing, we mopped on a polyurethane sealer and let it dry. Did it one more time, and called it done. It should last many years before we need to go back in and re-apply. We think the result is both practical and beautiful.