Polishing concrete is a fool proof way to achieve high gloss concrete floors and other concrete applications. Sephaku Cement shares a quick guide on how to achieve high sheen and glossy concrete flooring that doesn’t require waxing or exhaustive measures to keep floors polished and shining to perfection.

Polishing concrete floors essentially sees the grinding of concrete surfaces leaving behind a high sheen finish that remains durable, low maintenance and easy on the eye. Requiring very little upkeep, polished concrete floors create the ultimate wax-free flooring solution for homes, showroom floors, contemporary office space and warehousing.

Wet or Dry, which is the best method to polishing concrete?  

Concrete flooring can be polished using either a wet of dry method, both with their unique pros and cons depending on what your polished floor objectives are.

Where dry polishing sees to it faster results, this method is more effective in polishing the very top surface layers of concrete applications, keeping deeper aggregate layers intact without cutting too deeply into the flooring.

When polishing concrete with water, because the water acts as a lubricant and ultimately reduces friction, the diamond abrasives are maintained for longer and can grind more effortlessly into the deeper layers of aggregate. As a result, wet polishing will not only polish the surface resulting in a glossy finish, but will also change the appearance of the concrete flooring as it exposes deeper layers of aggregate material.

Steps to Polishing Concrete Flooring

  • Step OneExamine the current condition of the concrete flooring, taking into account uneven surfaces, cracks, spalling or damage that needs to be repaired as well as sealers, paints or epoxy coatings that will influence the polishing process.
  • Step TwoBefore beginning the polishing process, sealants, coatings and paint will first need to be stripped from the surface by using a coarse grit grinding. A 16- or 20-grit diamond tooling is an effective method to remove unwanted surface coatings as a starting point.
  • Step ThreeWith all previous coatings and sealants removed, now repair any spalling, cracks and other damage to the existing concrete flooring
  • Step FourBegin the initial polishing using a rough grinding tool to prepare the surface and achieve the ultimate polished sheen. Moving from course to fine, these steps will see a number of passes over the same surface area but each time using a finer grit grinding than the one before. Imagine sanding wood that also sees the method starting with course sandpaper and ending on the finest grit paper to result on the most velvety smooth touch to the wood.
  • Step Five:After finishing up the grinding process with either a 150-grit metal bonded abrasive or a 300-grit grind, use a liquid chemical hardener to densify the surface of the flooring and protect the concrete from water and grime stains. 
  • Step Six:The final step to polishing concrete flooring to perfection follows on from the last grit abrasive used in step four. Using an even finer grit, between 200 and 800 until the desired gloss has been achieved, some contractors may even wish to use a grit as fine as 3000 which will result in a glassy, reflective polished concrete

Remember to safe-guard polished concrete flooring from stains, water markings and wear and tear from high foot traffic by applying a stain-guard and coating the surface every four to six months to ensure the longevity and polished appeal of the concrete flooring surface.