Polished Concrete Process
The polished concrete process begins by using special floor polishers which are fitted with diamond-impregnated disks to grind down concrete surfaces until the desired smoothness and high-gloss finish is achieved. There are about ten to fifteen steps for concrete polishing which can take a long time to complete, and can be expensive.
Polishing concrete can be compared to sanding wood. To smooth down a roughly sewn piece of wood, you begin with a coarse piece of sand paper then progress down to a very fine piece of sandpaper until the wood is smooth enough for you. With concrete, a heavy-duty polishing machine equipped with progressively finer grits of diamond-impregnated disks or segments is used to gradually grind down the concrete.
The concrete polishing process starts with coarse diamond segments, coarse enough to remove light coatings from the floor, stains, blemishes, and minor pits. This initial rough grinding may take three to four steps depending on the condition of the concrete.
Next comes the fine grinding of the concrete surface. Professional concrete polishing crews use finer grits of polishing disks until the floor has the desired shine. The experienced professionals know when to use the next-finer grit just by observing the surface and the amount of materials removed.
For the final polishing step, some contractors apply a commercial polishing compound into the surface in order to make it more glossy. The compounds help remove any residue left on the surface during the concrete polishing process, and they leave the floor with a dirt-resistant finish.
The process of concrete polishing consists of grinding, honing, and polishing. During the process, a densifier or hardener is applied which is absorbed into the concrete to make it, of course, harder and more dense.
Basic Polished Concrete Process
1. Remove any type of coating or adhesive from the concrete surface. Use a 16-grit or 20-grit diamond abrasive tool specifically for removal of coating. 2. Fill in holes, seal cracks and joints with an epoxy or acrylic tile adhesive type of product mixed with the grinding dust or cement powder.
1. Grind the concrete with a 30 or 40-grit metal-bonded diamond. 2. Grind with 80-grit metal-bonded diamond. 3. Continue with a 150-grit metal-bonded diamond. 4. Apply a concrete densifier or hardener.
1. Polish with a 100 or 200-grit diamond resin pad. 2. Polish with a 400-grit diamond resin pad. During this step, the concrete starts to shine but the clarity of the sheen depends on the resin grit used.
1. Polish with an 800-grit diamond resin pad. 2. Finish with 1500 or 3000-grit diamond resin pad, depending on the level of sheen desired.
After all the polishing steps are completed, it is recommended to use a burnishing pad to finish the concrete cleaning process and to give the newly polished concrete floor its maximum shine.
The grinding, honing, and polishing process is more technical that many people realize. There are many things that can affect the end result of the concrete polishing process. Some of them are within the control of the contractors, such as the quality of their equipment and abrasives, and the speed and the motion at which they operate their equipment. But there are other things that are beyond their control, such as the flatness and levelness of the floor.
When trying to find contractors to do concrete polishing for you, look for professionals who can pay attention to the important details, those who are results-oriented, and who can perform the most professional polished concrete process.