The Basics of Polishing Concrete

When we talk about polished concrete we refer to a concrete floor that features a mirror-like and glossy finish. There are a lot of design options when it comes to this type of flooring. For instance, you can select almost any color, establish patterns using saw cuts or instill aggregates or other interesting items into the concrete before polishing is carried out.  According to commercial concrete floor contractor MN experts, the popularity of polished concrete especially in commercial buildings is due in large part to ease of maintenance. Polished floors require only some regular dust mopping or the occasional use of a cleaning product in order to maintain its luster.

Polishing Method

The process starts with coarse diamond segments being bonded onto a metallic matrix. The coarseness is able to remove blemishes, minor pits, light coatings and stains from the floor prior to final smoothing.  Given the current condition of the concrete, the rough grinding process usually lasts to about three to four steps.

Subsequently, grinding of the concrete surface utilizing diamond abrasives embedded in a resin or plastic matrix. Workers use very fine grits of polishing disks until the desired sheen is achieved. For clients that want to achieve an extremely high-gloss finish, 1,500 grit or greater is utilized.

Wet and Dry Method

According to decorative concrete contractor MN experts, you can polish concrete using either the wet or dry approach. Each has its own advantages. The dry process however is the standard in the industry due to ease of application, convenience and its friendly use to the environment.  As the name suggests the wet method uses water, lots of it in order to cool the diamond abrasives as well as to get rid of the dust. The fact that water reduces friction and behaves like a lubricant, the lifespan of polishing abrasives are extended.

Most of the time contractors use a bit of both methods. Usually the dry method is used in the initial grinding steps when a lot of concrete is removed.  As the surface gets smoother, they then shift to the wet polishing approach using metal bonded to the finer resin-bonded diamond abrasives.