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How to Polish Concrete Floors

Finished Concrete is a wonderful interior flooring option. It's durable, long-lasting, low maintenance, environmentally friendly, and more cost-effective than other flooring options such as carpet or tile. However, to have your finished Concrete floors look pristine, they will have to be polished. Polishing Concrete is a multi-step process that requires proper tools and equipment to achieve the best results. We have compiled a list with the best tips and tricks for polishing your Concrete floors.

1) Remove any leftover adhesive or other foreign material on the concrete

The first thing you will need to do is clean and remove any existing coating or leftover materials. To do this, you will need proper Concrete grinding equipment and proper tooling to ensure the coating or adhesives will come off. You can purchase Concrete Grinders from Concrete Equipment Suppliers such as Unicon, or if you are tackling this as a home owner and have no need for one afterwards, they can be rented from most Tool Rental Facilities.

A Concrete grinder with the proper tooling should be sufficient for getting an adhesive off. However, if the adhesive is challenging, you may need to remove it with a solution that removes coatings, such as Eco-Strip. It is designed to remove many types of coatings.

2) Repair cracks

Once the Concrete has been cleaned of any adhesives, you will want to assess if any cracks have emerged. If the crack isn't too significant, it can be filled in with an epoxy type of joint filler. However, if there are spots where the Floor is rougher, then a concrete patch may be required. Contact your local Construction Supply company for the best recommendation for the job.

3) Grinding the Concrete

If you have experience sanding wood, Concrete will be a breeze as it is very similar. To accomplish this, you will need a Concrete grinder and the proper diamond tooling to be attached to the machine. You will want to start with the highest grit where possible and move down to lower grits when needed. Typically the grits are completed in stages and you double the grit when changing stages (Ex: if you start at a 40 and are ready to move on, go down to a 20). Once the metal grinding is complete you can switch to a transition stage, this removes any scratches and preps the surface to be densified.

4) Densify the Concrete

Prior to applying the densifier, you will want to ensure the floor has been cleaned and vacuumed and all the tool marks are gone. To ensure the best performance and appearance of your Concrete Floor, you will need to apply chemical densification. This is a relatively simple step, as they are sprayed applied and then the pools are spread out with either a microfiber pad or a soft bristled broom.

5) Polish the Concrete

The polishing process is identical to the grinding process. The only difference is you will need to use a different higher-grit tooling attachment, beginning with one that is 100- grit to 200-grit diamond—and finishing with 800-grit to 1500-grit diamonds. Again, when moving up a stage the number of grits will double (200-400) you will now need to determine the type of shine or polished look you want. Matte finished are finished at a 200 grit where you can get a high gloss by going up to a 1500grit.

6) Protecting your Concrete with a Sealer

The last step is helping you protect your freshly polished Floor. Apply a coat of Concrete Sealer to ensure all your hard work hasn't gone to waste. Be sure to follow all the manufacture instructions for applying the sealer, but ensure your floor has been cleaned first so you don’t trap any contaminates under the sealer.

7) Burnishing the Concrete – OPTIONAL

If you are wanting to maximize your shine, you can always use a burnisher on the concrete after the sealer has been applied. This step is optional and not required. Now that you have read this article you are ready to get started. Contact the Pros at Unicon for more information.