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Is Polished Concrete Cold & What Is Thermal Mass?

Updated: Apr 9, 2023

Is polished concrete cold, or will having polished concrete make my home cold?





This is a question we are asked regularly and a myth I would like to debunk!


I want you to think about why you think concrete or polished concrete is cold?

Is it because the most common spaces you have walked into with concrete floors or walls have been factory’s or industrial workplaces?



Lets be honest factories and industrial work spaces are not the nicest warmest environments.

I believe this is where the "concrete is cold" myth or misconception comes from. This stigma is built from the constantly cold temperatures of factories and industrial workspaces where concrete is commonly used.


So if concrete is not cold, why are these spaces always so cold, you ask? Ultimately this is due to the complete lack of other forms of insulation, exposed roofs, little to no natural light or exposure to the sun, and lack of heating or cooling. Which all cause the concrete to feel very cold in winter or hot in summer forming this misconception.



Why concrete is not "actually" cold.

Concrete & polished concrete actually store and regulate the surrounding temperature. This phenomenon is caused by something called a thermal mass;

Definition: thermal mass is a property of the mass of a building that enables it to store heat, providing "inertia" against temperature fluctuations.





Basically, concrete will mimic the temperature surrounding it. The concrete or polished concrete will store the surrounding temperature, slowly regulating or releasing this temperature throughout the space.

This is the reason why concrete & polished concrete is commonly used in eco-friendly architectural homes & spaces.

Polished concrete provides these buildings with unprecedented energy efficiency and temperature regulation.



Conclusion:

So is polished concrete cold? Generally speaking, no!

Polished concrete itself is not actually cold as it only stores the surrounding temperature in its thermal mass.

Polished concrete is a tool that can be used to drastically increase the temperature regulation of your home.

Correctly utilising your concrete or polished concretes "thermal mass" makes your home or space warmer in winter, with simple things like opening the blinds to store the sun's heat and turning on the heater to reflect and store the heat through out your home or space.

Or cooler in summer by keeping the blinds shut to block the sun & or turning the aircon on, will effectively keep your home or space cooler.

The concrete will regulate & reflect the temperature of your surrounding environment making your home more comfortable for longer periods of time with less energy expenditure.

Note: to the use of in floor heating is the ultimate utilisation of thermo mass



The only time your concrete will be too cold or hot is where poor environmental factors are present; remember, it's not the concrete or polished concrete that is hot or cold. It is the surrounding environment the concrete simply stores and regulates this temperature.



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