From Grind to Shine: How to Polish Concrete

Concrete is the most commonly used construction materials and it has been that way for centuries. Why not? It is a versatile product and it is durable enough to last for years. There are many ways this material can be used. It can be used for walls, floors, and more. When it comes to design, there are several concrete floor finishes out there one could choose from if they prefer something that is a lot more decorative than plain, old concrete.

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Polished Concrete

One such option is polished concrete. It may just be that, a polished form of cement surface done through sanding concrete, but it is sought after by both residential homes and commercial establishments. Why? It costs a lot lesser, it is easier on the upkeep, and it looks much better than poured concrete. Sounds interesting enough? Wait until you learn about the process of how to polish concrete:

The Concrete Polishing Process

1. A polished concrete floor usually starts out as a dull gray sea of cement or an old existing slab that has evident signs of usage.

2. If your concrete floor has old paint or stains that you want removed, an acid wash is often required to remove them.

3. An acid washed concrete, once dried, can now be sanded initially with a concrete polisher that uses a coarse grit of diamond abrasives embedded into a metal, plastic, or resin matrix to remove and smoothen cracks, pits, and old staining.

4. A series of grinding would take place after this, each time changing the matrix on the concrete polishing equipment to a finer grit. The number of grinding rounds would depend on how shiny or polished a customer wants their concrete floor to be.

5. Once the desired level of sheen or polish has been achieved, the floor can now be applied with a polishing compound or sealer to help protect and prolong the glassy look.

6. If the customer wants to customize it further, a variety of color and design options can be applied on polished concrete floors. Some of the most common customizations include:

  • Concrete staining
  • Exposed aggregates
  • Dyed concrete
  • And more…

Wet and Dry Concrete Polishing

There are two methods of polishing concrete floors: wet and dry. The dry method is more commonly used and is usually done on the initial stages of the polishing process, when more debris is being removed from the surface. Any debris or dust are sucked into a dust-containment system that helps vacuum it for proper disposal. The wet method, on the other hand, is meant to cool down the diamond abrasives and lubricate it for more efficient grinding. This, however, may produce a lot of slurry or mud, which is a mix of debris and water, that the installers need to collect and dispose of in an environment-friendly manner.

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