Of all of polished concrete’s applications—commercial, retail, industrial, educational, and more—residential has a look all of its own. A polished concrete floor in a home gives an aura of coolness and brings a contemporary look to the party.

This is certainly true for the Levin residence in Aventura, Fla. The project, completed in 2010, was a challenge from the beginning. The contractor originally hired another flooring subcontractor who was using an overlayment. GLC3 and Couture Concrete Systems were called in after five holes, about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter, developed. The holes looked like small whirlpools, as if water had been draining. The contractor believed the subsurface had not been properly prepped. It was the GLC3 and Couture’s job to remove the overlay and start over.

Although there were discussions of using diamond grinding to achieve the polished look, George Lacker of GLC3 believes the true beauty of such a floor is the surface cement paste layer at the top. You would not polish your car by taking a grinder to the paint, so why would you do this with concrete? Instead, the contractor used HTC Twister pads, which consist of microscopic diamonds, to polish and clean the surface. Because there was no exposed aggregate, diamond grinding was not necessary, the contractor reasoned.

The contractor specified the floor flatness be within a 1/8-inch in 10 feet tolerance, based on the cabinets, doors, and other hard goods that had already been custom ordered. There also was the need for “perfect match” counters, baseboards, and an assortment of aprons.

The home is a true showcase in highlighting the best in polished concrete. In addition to 3000 square feet of polished concrete floors, the project included more than 150 square feet of concrete countertops and vanity tops, tub aprons, and backsplashes. Even if a project doesn’t start in the best fashion, it can always have a stylish ending.

For more on the contractor, visit www.coutureconcretesystems.com.