Polished Concrete Floors: Concrete Polishing Tools Checklist
Polished concrete is a hot trend in residential and commercial flooring. It’s a sleek, modern look that’s affordable, durable, and easy to maintain.
It has an industrial vibe. Yet, thanks to vibrant dyes concrete floors can be any color from deep blue to bright red.
Designers are choosing polished concrete floors for restaurants, spas, and retail spaces. It’s popular for residential use, too. Vinyl, tile, and carpeting are out. Custom concrete floors are in.
If your clients don’t want the same old flooring, introduce them to polished concrete.
Wondering what equipment you’ll need to deliver a beautiful concrete look? We have you covered with this checklist.
Keep reading for a list of concrete polishing tools.
Checklist for Polished Concrete Floors
Whether you renovate an existing floor or install a new one you need the right equipment. It’s a complicated process that demands quality commercial equipment.
Filler for Repairs
Use repair filler to patch cracks in existing concrete floors during the prep stage. An epoxy or semi-rigid crack filler is best.
Make sure all repair filler is level so the polishing heads move across the floor in a smooth manner.
Large Floor Polisher
Every polishing project needs a large floor polisher. The best machines have a primary polishing head between 17 to 36 inches in diameter.
Three or four satellite heads surround the primary head. The satellite heads hold the diamond abrasives.
When the machine is on, the satellite heads rotate in the opposite direction of the primary head. This prevents linear grinding marks in the floor.
A large floor polisher is heavy. They can weigh 110 to 570kg. Heavier machines produce more friction. The result is a better polish.
Pro Tip: If you plan to polish floors dry, get a machine with a built-in vacuum port to capture the dust.
Walk-behind Hand-held Polisher
The large polisher can’t do edge work. You’ll need a smaller hand-held polisher.
Choose one with a diameter of 7 inches or less to reach tight spots and edges.
Set of Diamond-segmented Abrasives
You’ll need two types of abrasives to polish concrete. A higher grit number produces a finer abrasive level.
The first type is coarse diamond segments bonded into a metallic matrix. Use this for surface prep and initial grinding. Coarse segments are 16 to 300 grit.
The second set you need is finer diamond segments embedded in a resin matrix. The finer type is 100 to 3000 grit. Use the finer grit for honing and final polishing.
Any basic starter kit should include three abrasives at each grit level. The diamond abrasives should fit the satellite heads on your polisher.
If the concrete has coatings or mastics from an existing floor, you may need a special grinder.
Choose a tool designed to remove heavy coatings and mastics for best results. It may do the job in one pass.
Pro Tip: Choose the best abrasives based on the condition of the floor surface.
If you’re polishing a concrete surface there’s going to be dust. Choose a machine that captures 99% of the dust from polishing.
Most large polishers include dust-collection equipment. The dust collector connects to the polisher. It extracts the dust through a hose and stores it in a separate container.
Once the coarse grinding is complete it helps to apply a chemical hardener to the concrete.
The hardener adds density and extra protection against water penetration and stains. Harder concrete creates a better polish.
You can use chemical hardener on new or existing floors. The hardener creates a chemical reaction that results in a crystalline structure.
Topical Stain Prevention Treatment
After you reach the look and polish you want, protect the surface with a commercial top coat. It’s essential if grease, oil or chemicals are in use.
Stain prevention for concrete is like a fabric guard for upholstery. It creates a barrier so that the floor is resistant to stains and dirt.
Apply the treatment with a pump sprayer or wax applicator. Apply the treatment every few months to maintain protection.
Power and Lighting Equipment
You can’t plug a floor polishing machine into any outlet. They use a lot of power. Models consume from 220 to 460 volts and up to 40 amps.
Verify the place you’re working has enough electrical power to operate the equipment.
It’s worth investing in a portable generator to guarantee you’re ready for any job.
The same goes for lighting your workspace. You need to see the surface. If the area isn’t bright enough, rent or buy portable halogen lights.
Enhancements and Accents for Concrete
There are many special treatments available for concrete floors. These included painted and scored concrete to produce stunning results. Change the floor color to complement or match any decor.
Consider adding color or chemical stains to the concrete during polishing. Use a subtle stain to tint the floor and show off natural imperfections.
You can enhance new concrete floors with concrete aggregate, glass or metal pieces. Seed the decorative bits into fresh concrete before it sets. Polishing reveals the accents on the floor.
Create Concrete Floors with Lasting Durability
If you’re rehabbing a suburban ranch or creating new floors in a modern loft, use this equipment list as your guide.
Invest in commercial grade equipment and products to deliver floors your clients love. Besides their good looks, polished concrete floors are allergen-free, strong, and versatile.
Contact Canberra Diamond Blade Suppliers for your concrete flooring supplies and equipment. We’ve been serving tradesmen since 1993.
Order 24/7 online or visit our showroom in Canberra. We deliver anywhere in Australia. We’re here to help your business look good.