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Floor Polishing: Instruction step by step


An article about floor polishing, its tasks, methods of execution, choice of equipment, and work technologies. Methods for processing bases made of various materials are considered.

Floor polishing is the removal of its eroded outer layer in order to improve the surface quality. This treatment is widely used in the finishing of coatings in many public and residential areas. Large area concrete and self-leveling floors are polished by specialized organizations. During home repairs, many do the work themselves. You will learn about its technology from our material.

Tasks and methods of floor polishing

Floor polishing is the final stage of its grinding. In fact, these are identical concepts, since in both cases the same equipment and technology are used. The only difference is that when polishing, an abrasive material with a finer grain is used than when grinding, and a smaller machine.

Removing the unstable top layer of the floor using special installations solves several problems:

  • Small defects are eliminated on the surface, it becomes even and smooth.
  • Its degree of adhesion to any building mixtures increases.
  • Dirt and remnants of old floor finishes are removed.
  • Dust formation on the surface is reduced to almost zero.
  • The waterproofing of the floor is increased and its appearance is improved.

Floor polishing can be done dry or wet:

  1. Wet . Provides for surface wetting during processing. Most often, this method is used in the manufacture of mosaic floors with granite or marble filling. When finished, after polishing, they have an absolutely smooth and even surface and a decent appearance. The disadvantage of this finishing method is its high labor intensity and rather low productivity, which is caused by wet sludge, which periodically clogs the abrasive elements of the machine. It is difficult to remove it in a timely manner.
  2. Dry . More popular. It allows visual control over the process and does not need time to dry the floor after processing. The only drawback of the dry method is the large amount of dust that forms during operation. This requires connecting an industrial vacuum cleaner to a sander or polisher. Concrete floors are often sanded in this way.

Choosing equipment for floor polishing

Today, buying a device for polishing and grinding the floor is not a big problem. Such equipment has two categories: professional machines and power tools that can be used to process wood, cement and polymer coatings.

Undoubtedly, professional installations are in the lead in terms of quality. They are equipped with special main and additional satellite discs with diamond tips. During the operation of the machine, the main and auxiliary working elements move in different directions, grind the surface and make it absolutely smooth and even.

When using professional floor polishing equipment, it is possible to regulate the speed of rotation of the discs, the supply of water for wetting the floor, and to collect and remove dust that inevitably occurs during such surface treatment. The cost of these machines is quite high, but there are their “budget” options, which differ from professional installations in compactness and the presence of only one working disc with a diamond coating.

At home, the surface can be polished with an angle grinder equipped with an abrasive disc or a diamond-coated bowl. In hard-to-reach areas of the floor, such a tool is even more convenient than professional equipment.

Floor polishing technology

Quite often, sanding and floor polishing is the final stage of its finishing. After their completion, the treated surface can be put into operation.

Concrete floor polishing

It aims to remove scuffs, cracks, and create a perfectly flat, smooth, and shiny surface. Most often, such a floor treatment is required in warehouses, sales areas, and other high traffic areas, where the coatings are subjected to high mechanical stress.

Polished concrete has excellent abrasion resistance, reflects light, is durable, and looks beautiful. If necessary, it can be decorated with various paints and varnishes.

Before polishing the concrete floor, it should be sanded. This work is performed in the following sequence:

  • First, the old finish layer is removed from the surface. This can be done with shot blasting or with a grinding tool equipped with a 30 grit diamond disc.
  • Then all potholes, cracks, and expansion joints must be repaired on the concrete floor. For this purpose, an epoxy-based putty is best suited. Defective areas after embedding must be aligned flush with the overall floor surface.
  • When the putty is dry, turn on the sander and sand the floor with 40-grit discs.
  • After that, the floor must be cleaned of dust and a special hardening compound applied to it. Penetrating into the material, it reacts with calcium hydroxide, which is part of the concrete and forms an astringent on the surface, which closes the pores in the floor. As a result of this reaction, it becomes moisture resistant and more durable.
  • Then the surface is sanded with 400-grit discs. As a result of this procedure, the floor acquires resistance to mechanical stress and can now withstand not only the intensive movement of people but also the driving of heavy lift trucks.

At the last stage of work, the floor surface is polished by a machine, the discs of which have a grain size of 1500-3000. After the completion of the process, the surface of the concrete acquires a gloss. By using alternately different grit sizes of diamond abrasive, you can get a floor of any level of polish, up to a mirror state. It is very convenient to wash such a coating with water and a cloth.

Another article on this blog that may interests you:

Floor Polishing: How Much Does It Cost To Polish Flooring?