What Is Concrete Polishing?
If you have walked into a museum or some other high-end center, you may have noticed the polished concrete flooring of the place. The high gloss it gives, the different colors and patterns that can be seen at. The meticulous work that went into such concrete floors is amazing, and you can’t help but wish it to be on your garage floor.
There are many ways in which such a floor can be arrived at. However, concrete polishing is one of the best and the most durable ways to achieve such an effect.
What exactly is polished concrete and how is it different from the glossy floor types?
Pouring a concrete slab means you have a solid piece that is not really good to look at, even though it is more than adequate for the job. After the concrete polishing step process is done, the end result is a solid sea of polished concrete floors that has a mirror-like finish, end to end.
The step process begins by using a set of coarse diamond abrasives bonded to the underside of a metal disc. These diamonds will remove any pits they come across on any flooring surface, as well as stains or blemishes that are etched into the polishing concrete surface. This will be the start of a grinding process that can be three or four steps long.
As the grinding steps goes on, the kind of tools used will get finer and progressively finer until the initial grinding process on the floor has achieved a nice gloss shine to it. The grinding process begins with a 160-grit diamond scrub and will go up all the way to 1500 grit.
In getting a floor polished, a good number of contractors will use a sealer that seeps into the concrete floor surface. This helps to harden the concrete surface and reduces the need for maintenance in the long run. It is also common for polishing contractors to pour a commercial polishing compound over the surface of a polished concrete. This helps to give the floor that high extra shine that it requires.
There are two main methods through which a polished concrete floor can be achieved. These are wet and dry polishing methods.
The wet method is used mostly to preserve the life of the diamond discs as the water works to cool the abrasive discs. The water also works to remove any dust that may fill up the existing concrete floor. The downside to this is that a slurry will be left behind, therefore increasing the workload of a polishing contractor as they will have to clean it up.
Another process is the dry method. The abrasive discs will chew up the concrete floor and during the process, the life of the surface of the concrete flooring has reduced. This is because the increase in friction will mean more wear and tear. Concrete particles and dust will simply be sucked up by a dust containment system for removal.
While it is possible to achieve results with either, contractors tend to combine both. They will use the dry method at the beginning of the work. As they move up to a smoother finish, they will then switch to the wet method.