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10/3/2018 Polished Concrete Floors - Making Procedure and Benefits

Polished Concrete Floors – Making Procedure and

Polished concrete floor surface is made by a mechanical process of grinding and polishing with
the help of a penetrant chemical to provide different texture. The polishing of concrete is a
multi-step process which requires specialized tools and equipment.

The chemical penetrant employed for polishing is called as hardener. The construction process,
features and the benefits of making polished concrete are explained below.

Also Read: Methods of Finishing Hardened Concrete Surface

Table of Contents 

How to Make Polished Concrete?

The property of polished concrete is obtained through a surface effect. There are several ways
to bring this surface effect of polished finished look. Whatever be the method chosen, the basic
approach is the same.

Fig.1.Polished Concrete Floor; Image Courtesy: Gardening Landscaping Ideas

1. Grinding Process
For polishing concrete surfaces, machines that are equipped with diamond segmented
abrasives is employed. These machines help to grind down the concrete surfaces till the desired
shine and smoothness is achieved.… 1/5
10/3/2018 Polished Concrete Floors - Making Procedure and Benefits

Fig.2. Surface Preparation of Concrete for Polishing by Grinding; Image Courtesy: Werk

As the grinding process proceeds, the coarser grit moves to finer-grits. Grits here is defined as
the particle size of the diamond. Most of the concrete grinding process starts from a value less
than 100. The machines available in the market have grinding discs with different grits.

2. Concrete Polishing Methods

The concrete can be polished by two methods, namely:

1. Wet Method
2. Dry Method

1. Wet Method of Polishing Concrete

In the wet method of polishing concrete, during the grinding process, water is used to cool the
diamond abrasives. This hence reduces the amount of dust created during the polishing
process. The water used in wet polishing method helps to reduce the friction. This water also
acts as a lubricant, thus increasing the life of the polishing abrasives.… 2/5
10/3/2018 Polished Concrete Floors - Making Procedure and Benefits

Fig.3. Wet Method of Polishing Concrete; Image Courtesy: Runyon

Surface Prep

As water is used throughout the process, a huge amount of slurry is formed. This creates
difficulty in cleaning and disposal.

2. Dry Method of Polishing Concrete

In case of a dry polishing method, no water used during the process. To the floor polisher, a
containment system is attached so that the dust formed is directly taken through this
arrangement through vacuum effect. This clears the mess along with the process. This is an
added advantage over wet polishing method.

The dry method is used commonly in industrial floor polishing as it is more convenient, fast and
environmentally friendly.

Procedure to Polish Concrete

The step by step procedure to obtain a polished concrete are:

1. The first step is to prepare the concrete surface by grinding. The concrete surface to be
polished is prepared by removing the existing coatings over it. This can be performed by
using a diamond abrasive of 16 to 20 grit. This must be the tool that is specifically used to
remove coatings.
2. If cracks or joints are present on the concrete surface, it must be sealed by means of fillers
(semi-grid) or epoxies.
3. Once sealed, the surface is grind with the diamond abrasives. The grit used can range from
30 to 40. A metal bonded diamond is used. This is followed by a metal bonded diamond
grinding of 80 grit. Then with a 150 grit metal bonded diamond.
4. After the series of grinding, the surface is densified by applying a chemical hardener.
5. Polishing is performed by means of a resin bond diamond with grit varying from 100 to 200.
A combination of both can also be used.
6. Next polishing is performed by a 400 grit followed by an 800 grit resin bond diamond.
7. The final finishing is performed by a 1500 or a 3000 grit resin-bond diamond.
8. In order to maintain the surface, a coat of stain guard over the concrete surface is

Note: The different levels of grit values chosen depends on the smoothness and polish required
by the manufacturer or the owner for the concrete surface.

Benefits of Polished Concrete… 3/5
10/3/2018 Polished Concrete Floors - Making Procedure and Benefits

1. High durability
2. Creates non-slippery surface as it has a high coefficient of friction
3. Low maintenance
4. Insect attack and mold growth are not encouraged
5. Helps improve natural lighting
6. Use the existing materials for construction, hence are sustainable
7. Polished concrete can be easily cleaned by water or neutral cleaners
8. Polished concrete can withstand extreme industrial environments
9. The concrete surface is improved by polishing
10. The appearance of the concrete surface is improved
11. 3D forms can be easily achieved by concrete polishing compared with natural stone.

Also Read: Stamped Concrete and Its Preparation and Construction Methods

Neenu Arjun
Neenu is a Civil and Structural Engineer and has experience in Design of Concrete and Steel Structures. She is an
Author, Editor and Partner at… 4/5
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