The polished concrete and decorative flooring industry has had an eventful 2013 with notable changes influencing existing perceptions of concrete flooring products and shifting the customer’s expectations.

Polished concrete is becoming a popular choice not only due to the extensive benefits that the products offer but also the hard work, dedication and commitment of the contractors in the industry who continually deliver high quality and lasting flooring solutions.

The slowdown in the construction industry has also impacted the flooring sector, resulting in increased competition amongst contractors for survival. In terms of polished concrete contractors this competition has ignited a price war where there are no winners. Contractors who choose to indulge in extensive price-cutting are lowering their profit margins and even quoting below cost; to overcome this, they resort to cutting corners including delivering inferior specifications.

Customers who take advantage of contracts with unrealistic prices are in turn receiving a substandard version of what should be a premium product, and having to deal with floors that are aesthetically unappealing, hard to maintain, have a short lifespan and ultimately lower the reputation of polished concrete floors. These are all characteristics that contradict the primary reasons for installing polished concrete floors.

The poor quality work being delivered by these contractors is not only damaging the reputation of a premium flooring product but making it extremely difficult for the companies who remain committed to providing high quality products and customer service to remain competitive in the market. The success of polished concrete and related concrete flooring products will only remain if this commitment is shared and delivered by all contractors, with their focus remaining on the long-term benefit to the customer and the product alike.

Despite shifts in the market, 2012/2013 has also brought about some positive results for the industry with many architects, big-box retailers, large corporations and government bodies recognising the benefits in specifying polished concrete and decorative concrete floors and pledging their ongoing commitment to utilising these products in their future developments. This is a great step forward for the industry.

Through a series of articles over the coming months, Transitions Polishing and Grinding will aim to empower customers, industry personnel and key decision makers with accurate, unbiased information on how to make more informed decisions regarding the concrete flooring products they specify and how to analyse and compare the quotes they receive to ensure that all requirements are met.

Transitions Polishing and Grinding  will also focus on re-establishing polished concrete as a premium flooring product once again. The company aims for all polished concrete contractors to work collectively towards the shared benefit of the products they sell and to strengthen the industry as a whole.