If you’re looking to take on a concrete polishing project, it’s useful to go over some of the basic types of concrete polishing machines and accessories that you will probably encounter.
This is the concrete polishing machine that most people imagine. It’s big. It’s heavy duty. It accomplishes a lot of the job for you. They are best for polishing heavy, dense concrete. But within this category, there are heavy and not-so-heavy options. There are electrical versus propane-powered machines. You may need a portable generator for certain types of electrical machines. Machines that require less than 190 volts are heavy duty enough for most projects. Large machines typically have multiple heads, usually one large planetary drive with several smaller heads. Some of the more modern models have an automatic control option, which can allow the machine to move without resistance within a defined space.
Another main differentiation among heavy machines is dry versus wet. You’ll want to do a little research based on your project, but wet machines often have the most advantages.
These are smaller and generally used to compliment the polishing and grinding that was done by the heavy machines. They are low cost and lightweight. They can be used for edge work, leveling high spots, and grinding away cracks on the surface.
This is a type that falls somewhat in between the two types previously mentioned. They are also used to get at the edges and corners, but they are not hand-held and are operated while standing. There are flexible and rigid head assemblies, as well as many other options and variables that come into play when selecting within this group of machines.
Along with the polishers and grinders themselves, there are a number of other equipment needs that may need to be addressed. Air scrubbers are often needed to clean the air around the work. High powered vacuums are often needed for similar reasons, but some machines come with an attached vacuum. Sometimes smaller dust control units are good enough for smaller projects. As noted, a portable generator may be necessary for some machines to work for a project. And then there are the polishing pads and concrete stains and chemicals that are a must. Hand-held or heavy duty sprayers may be needed for when treating the concrete. You’ll probably need a scraper at a certain point. Assess the project beforehand and walk yourself through the steps to make sure you have the equipment you need, big and small.
[November 25, 2013]