Concrete Polishing And Processing Facts You Should Know Before Commencing Work

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The industry of concrete polishing is fairly new but growing at a rapid pace. While concrete grinding and polishing along with other processing methods have been performing for around 10 years, it has just been over the past 2 or 3 years that it is been well noted by professionals like –

General Contractors
Property Owners
Interior Designers

and more. The people who have taken the time to learn and understand about these methods are being richly rewarded as this market is ever expanding.

Birth Pains

All new industries face challenges to overcome. Contractors who are new and just breaking into the concrete polishing business Melbourne believe it’s nothing more than just laying on some type of abrasives over the concrete from a machine they operate. However, the truth is that these polishing solutions are quite technical and there are many variables involved. That means there are areas where a contractor may not have the experience and know-how necessary to get the desired results so their results will suffer. They must learn the ins and outs in order to overcome the obstacles they will face.

Concrete Polishing is Actually a Process

Because this industry is in its infancy a lot of the terminology is being misused. ‘Concrete Polishing’ is pretty much a mechanical process involving the cutting or the refining of the concrete surface to reach a desired result. Polished concrete is the result of using multiple abrasive agents appropriately within the grits.

Not all concrete that has been processed can be called ‘Polished Concrete’. Within the honing and grinding category the difference can be the methods that affect the low, medium, or high gloss of sheen that reveals itself without going through the same steps as the concrete polishing processes.


Categories and Processing Methods

Ground Concrete – The lowest category of processing methods on concrete surfaces is ‘ground concrete’. Any kind of grit abrasive (if in grit form) from around 50-grit resin and beneath is said to be a ‘grinding’ step. This is a ‘ground’ concrete surface that appears to be ‘flat’ with no reflective quality and a low sheen.

Honed Concrete – The method behind this type of concrete surface is any kind of grit abrasive that is from 100-grit resin to 400-grit resin within the process. This is said to be a ‘honing’ method. This surface will have the appearance of a slight reflection with a low, medium, or high quality of sheen.

Polished Concrete – This is the highest category in the methods of concrete processing. Any grit abrasive process that is 800-grit or above (usually 1,500 – 3,000) is said to be a ‘polished concrete’ method. This surface will possess a mirror-like reflection with a glass-like finish.

The Variables

Most people don’t realize how technical the 3 processes of grinding, honing, and polishing truly are. There are a lot of pre-existing variables involved that affect the end results of each method or process. Some will be within the control of the contractor and others will not. Within the contractor’s control will be the equipment quality, steps and actions, speed of steps taken, and what abrasives to use.

Beyond the control of the contractor will be flatness of floors, levelers, concrete mix design to use. A knowledge of how these variables work and how to use them will make all the difference in the results that these professional craftsman are able to achieve.

Residential Surfaces – One of the most crucial variables involved in the entire process is the concrete itself. The residential projects usually involve a low PSI concrete mix (around 2,500 or below) that’s been hand-troweled. A lower PSI concrete will not polish up as well due to its surface being more dense and hand-troweled. That type of process leaves the surface with a lot of highs and lows.

Commercial Surfaces – These surfaces are of a higher PSI concrete mix (from 3,500 and above). This concrete mix is machine-troweled in open areas while being hand-troweled in corners and tighter areas. A high PSI concrete will polish up better due to its density and a surface with less highs and lows.

If the contractor knows beforehand how a concrete slab needs to and is going to ‘polish up’ in a certain setting they have a much better opportunity of achieving their desired results. Customers and contractors alike will reap the rewards of a job well done. Customers get a better floor with a lower cost for the finish and the contractor gets great reviews for future work.

Just because there are 2 contractors using the exact same grit method doesn’t mean that their outcomes will be the same. Those results can drastically come out in a different way. That’s why it is so crucial that contractors take the time to learn all they can about these methods and processes in order to achieve their concrete processing goals.