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How to Polish Concrete Floors Explained

How to Polish Concrete Floors Explained

Step One – Prepare the surface

You’ll need to remove any existing flooring material and sealers and coatings as well as remnant adhesives. You’ll need to fill any surface cracks and repair any holes or imperfections.  If the floor is already in good shape or is a newly poured concrete floor, you can move on to the initial floor grinding process.

Step Two – Begin Grinding

The next step is to begin the rough grinding with a very low grit diamond and metal grinding pad. The combination of the weight from the polishing machine along with the circular spinning and oscillating of the pad open the surface of the concrete and begin to grind it down. Depending on the condition of the concrete floor to start and its hardness, there may have to be several step involved with gradually higher grit diamonds used.


floor preparationStep Three – Adding Densifier to Harden the Floor

Once the concrete floor surface is open, it’s time to add a liquid concrete hardener called a densifier. Basically, this will seep into the microscopic crack and holes and close them up. This needs to sit and set for a period of time before you can continue the polishing process.  This is done for a few reasons, one of the more important is that a hard concrete allows for a better polish and it also helps make the floor stronger against liquid penetration and therefore staining.

Step Four – Polishing the Concrete Floor

Using successively higher grit diamond polishing pads, you continue to polished up the floor removing the scratch patterns left for earlier polishing. Usually changing the direction of the polishing machine between pads is recommended.  This process is continued until you get the gloss and finish you desire.


concrete polishingStep Five – Protecting Your New Polished Concrete Floor!

We always recommend using a liquid guard to seal and protect your polished concrete floor for a few reasons. One, the floor is going to continue to harden over time so the end of your polishing process is not as hard and sealed as the floor will become. During that time, you will want to help give it some more protection with a guard made specifically for polished concrete floors. As all concrete reacts differently to the process and liquids used during the process it is a good practice to get a little added protection from a floor guard.


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At PolishedCrete, we have installed millions of square feet of polished, decorative, environmental and specialty concrete on projects across northern and central California over the last 50+ years. We work closely with architects, designers, contractors and building owners and operators from the private and public sectors. Please use this short form to send your request right to the inbox of our top estimating consultants. We'll be back with you generally within one business day. Thanks!