Concrete polishing is a process that refines and finishes the surface of newly poured or existing concrete slabs. The goal is to create a highly reflective and durable finish that looks stunning.
The concrete is processed with a progressive grit abrasive, or grinding tool, to remove rust, oxides and other impurities that may be present on the surface. The grit abrasive must be properly refined and used in the proper grit sequence to ensure the maximum clarity of reflection.
Once the concrete is properly polished, a protective coating is applied to help keep the surface looking its best. This protective coating protects the concrete from water, dirt, abrasion and other environmental elements.
After the protective coating is applied, a variety of colors and decorative materials can be added to the concrete. Colors can include dyes and staining.
Different companies offer different coloring choices. Many of these color choices can be combined with other aesthetic elements, such as aggregates and quartz, for a truly unique look.
When choosing a polished concrete company, consider the experience of their employees. A contractor with a lot of years in the industry will be more familiar with the equipment and techniques necessary for achieving the best results. A contractor who is new to the business will likely have trouble operating and using the specialized concrete grinding and polishing equipment.
In general, a minimum of four steps are required for a concrete slab to be considered fully polished. These steps entail the use of progressively finer grinding tools (grits), or abrasives, such as metal bonded diamond pads.
Depending on the type of concrete, a range of finishes are available. Some of these are more uniform, while others reveal the larger aggregate in the concrete mix.
For example, when a concrete floor is poured, it contains a thin layer of cement paste that forms on the inside surfaces of the form work. This thin layer of concrete is what gives the concrete its uniform color.
Once the concrete has been cured for at least seven days, a polishing contractor can start the grinding process. The process can be done in two ways, dry or wet.
Dry polishing requires large, corded electrical machines to polish the concrete. The wet method uses water during each step of the grinding and polishing process, which helps cool down the diamond abrasives and minimizes dust contamination.
It is also more cost-effective than the dry method because of the lower amount of time and labor needed to polish a concrete slab. However, the wet method can produce a less lustrous surface than the dry method.
Generally, the wet method is better for larger areas and high-traffic floors. The dry method, on the other hand, can be used on smaller spaces and in areas that require a higher level of durability.
Before any of the above-mentioned procedures are performed, the concrete must be thoroughly inspected and tested. If any issues are found during the inspection, a repair patch should be made before polishing the concrete.