Polished concrete floors are in high demand these days. They are extremely durable and long lasting, resistant to slippage, easy to maintain and affordable. With the right concrete floor polishing equipment, do-it-yourselfers can produce amazing results that rival the looks of expensive granite or marble. A big savings advantage is that no extra materials, such as tiles, hardwood slats, sealants, etc., are required. The foundational concrete can be turned into a beautiful and durable surface that lasts 100 years or longer with the proper maintenance.
The Proper Concrete Polishing Equipment Is Important
Special concrete grinding machines are required to produce polished concrete floors and, with the right equipment, the task is not much different than wood floor refinishing. Because you are working with a stone-like material, a combination of special grinding features is required.
The first step is the initial grinding of the rough surface using pads containing diamond abrasives bonded with metal. Next, pads containing resin bond diamonds are used which are more refined and produce the smooth and shiny finish. Low grit pads, which go as low as 16, grind more aggressively while grit pads of higher grades can possess up to 3000 grit and are used for finishing. Therefore, the proper concrete floor polishing equipment is essential for achieving the best results.
How to Accomplish DIY Concrete Polishing
The first step in the concrete polishing process is determining the surface condition. This requires obtaining and using a MOHS Scale Concrete Hardness testing kit. Trying to grind concrete that is too soft will only chew it up and destroy the floor.
Once your concrete surface has passed the hardness test, you will need to remove existing coatings and sealants as well as repair holes, cracks and other blemishes. This step can be skipped if the target floor contains only minor blemishes or a light coating.
The first portion of the grinding process involves using heavy metal bond diamond abrasives. Depending on concrete condition, the grinding process can require three to four steps. Once the initial grinding process has been completed, a chemical liquid is often applied, which helps to create a denser surface. Although not always necessary, this application can make the floor surface more solid and more resistant to staining and water absorption.
The last step involves using concrete polishing equipment containing finer grit pads. This is also a multi-step process that requires buffing out the grain marks left by the last grit used. It normally takes some experience to know when to switch grit levels, which can be gauged by observing the amount of material removed and the floor surface finish. The final result is an attractive and highly functional polished concrete floor.
[February 16, 2015]