Adobe Stock / Argus

A couple years ago, I became editor of Concrete Surfaces magazine in addition to my responsibilities as Public Works editor. I didn' t know much about concrete then and can't say I'm an expert now, but I do know one thing: A beautifully polished slab is, like public works, taken for granted.

Polishing subcontractors have little, if any, input into concrete mix design or placement. Architects specify polished concrete without fully understanding how others in the floor's delivery chain -- the cement supplier, for example -- impact the canvas that the polisher receives. Sometimes the concrete's much harder or softer than expected. Sometimes the slab's so roughly finished it takes days to smooth out, which eats up valuable time on tight completion deadlines. Sometimes no one knows how many layers of carpet or tile must be scraped away before work can begin. There's also a bewildering array of products that claim to strengthen the surface to resist scratching, gouging, and other damage.

We received six entries in the Public Projects category. Some are new construction; some are rehabilitation or restoration of historical facilities. (Click here to see them.) We're asking folks to review each and vote for their favorite for our Readers' Choice award (via the Vote for your favorite entry in the 2017 Polished Concrete Awards link at the bottom of each write-up). Have fun and Happy Thanksgiving!