Concrete Polishing: How it Works

Concrete Polishing: How it Works

Dec 7, 2020 | Concrete Polishing Tips

Concrete polishing has become a favorite among home and business owners. No matter if it’s in the garage, a warehouse, or a manufacturing plant, you can see polished concrete everywhere nowadays!

But how does concrete polishing actually work?

That’s the question that we’re here to answer! In this short article, we’ll cover the concrete polishing process and how it creates that distinctive look and durable surface that everyone seems to love! Continue reading to learn more!

What is Polished Concrete?

Put simply, polished concrete is just a concrete floor that’s been polished with a mechanical floor grinder. The polishing process will make the concrete more durable, resistant, easier to maintain, and last longer.

Polished concrete has a high-gloss finish that can be customized to the level of sheen that you prefer. These floors can also be stained and patterned to suit any design needs!

The Concrete Polishing Process

Inspection and Repairs

The first thing that happens when you choose to have your concrete floor polished is an inspection. The concrete will need to be cleaned and inspected for any significant damage, such as cracks or chipping areas.

If any damage is found, it’ll require repairs before the process can continue. Cracks are generally repaired using an injectable epoxy filler to prevent them from spreading. Chipping areas can be fixed with a simple concrete patch. Any minor blemishes will be addressed during the next step.

The Rough Grind

The purpose of the rough grind is to remove any minor blemishes and prepare the floor for fine polishing. This step involves using a floor grinder equipped with a coarse, diamond grinding wheel. The rough grind is usually a three- to a four-step process that begins with around a 30 to a 40-grit grinding wheel. Your contractor will move up to a finer grit to finish around a 150-grit wheel with each pass.

Sealing the Floor

After the rough grind is complete, your concrete will need to be sealed with an impregnating sealer. This type of sealer will protect your concrete from the inside out. As it permeates the newly ground concrete, it strengthens and densifies it to create a more durable and resistant surface that can easily be polished. The sealer also helps to eliminate the need for any kind of topical coating.

The Fine Polish

The last part of the process is fine polishing the concrete. The same floor grinder from the rough grind will be used, but the coarse, diamond grinding wheel will be switched out for a resin-bond diamond polishing wheel. The polishing is a four- to a five-step process that begins with a 100 or a 200-grit polishing wheel. Just like the rough grind, your contractor will switch wheels to a finer grit with each pass they make. The concrete polishing is finished with either a 1,500 or 3,000-grit polishing wheel, depending on your desired sheen level.

Finishing Up

Once the fine polish is complete, your floor will be ready for full use! There’s no curing time or topical coating necessary to install after polishing the floor. This helps to minimize downtime in businesses and lets homeowners get straight to enjoying their floors!

Now that you understand what polished concrete is and how it works, you can make an informed decision on whether or not it’s right for you and your space!