The Polished Concrete Industry: A Year in Review

As a new year commences, we reflect upon the year that has passed and for those in the polished concrete and decorative flooring industry it has certainly been a year filled with notable changes. Such changes have ultimately resulted in perceptions of concrete flooring products and the customer’s expectations shifting in the market.

The Polished Concrete Industry - A Year in ReviewPolished concrete is the fastest growing flooring solution in the Australian commercial sector. This growth is not only due to the extensive list of 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.

It is without doubt that recent times have proven difficult for the construction industry as a whole and with the slowdown in work comes increased competition amongst contractors, for survival. In terms of polished concrete contractors this competition has ignited a price war and as a result no one, including the customer, is winning. This outcome is due to the reality that contractors who choose to partake in extensive price-cutting are lowering their profit margins; many below cost, and to overcome this are resorting to corner cutting methods and the delivery of inferior specifications. 

The Polished Concrete Industry - A Year in ReviewCustomers who take advantage of contracts with unrealistic prices are in turn receiving a substandard version of what should be a premium product. The end results are floors that are aesthetically unappealing, hard to maintain, have a short life span and ultimately lower the reputation of polished concrete floors. These are all characteristics that contradict the primary reasons for installing a polished concrete floor to begin with.

The poor quality works being completed 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.

Polished Concrete Flooring: A Year in ReviewThe following images show the differences between quality projects completed or rectified by Transitions in comparison with competitors who partake in price cutting.

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 and the products in which we provide.

Through a series of articles over the coming months, Transitions Polishing & Grinding aim to empower their 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 accounted for. Furthermore, through this process Transitions Polishing & Grinding will focus on re-educating and reestablishing polished concrete as a premium-flooring product once again. Essentially, Transitions are taking a stand against the poor quality concrete floors, substandard workmanship, dishonest contracts and unfaithful
warrantees currently being received my many customers. Not only this, but Transitions Polishing and Grinding aims for all polished concrete contractors to work collectively towards the shared benefit of the products we sell and to strengthen the industry as a whole.