When you’re planning your next surface preparation project, it’s important to choose the right equipment for the task at hand. If your goal is to remove a light urethane coating from a floor you’ll use a different machine than if you need to remove a thick layer of mastic coating. To help you determine which machine you need to have ready for your next project, we’re looking at how to choose between a floor grinder and a scarifier.

What Does a Floor Grinder Do?

As its name suggests, a floor grinder works by powering discs that move across the concrete, scratching the surface. Depending on the type of tooling used will depend on the scratch pattern left behind – heavier grit will create a rougher texture across the surface. Because the tooling doesn’t cut into the concrete, you won’t get a deep surface profile, but it will be consistent and precise. At most, a grinder will give you a CSP of 2-3, ideal for removing epoxy, paint, or urethane and leaving behind a surface that’s ready for a fresh application of a thin coating.

What Does a Scarifier Do?

A floor scarifier is a much more aggressive machine used for intensive surface preparation. Equipped with heavy-duty cutting wheels that act like small hammers that are hitting the floor, scarifiers grind up the the top layer of concrete by chipping and cutting into the area. The concrete surface profile achieved depends on the cutting wheel used, but typically you can expect a highly textured surface around a five.

Choosing a Grinder or a Scarifier

As we mentioned, choosing between a floor grinder or a concrete scarifier is dependent on what your goal is.

Use a floor grinder when you want to:

  • Remove thin coatings, paint, and light adhesives from the concrete.
  • Level an uneven joint or high spots.
  • Break up deposits of grease and dirt
  • Rough up smooth concrete before applying a thin coating or paint for improved adhesion.
  • Get a concrete surface ready for polishing.
  • Achieve a concrete surface profile of one or two.

Use a scarifier when you want to:

  • Remove thick epoxy, carpet glue, or mastic coatings.
  • Leave an aggressive profile for improved adhesion of heavier coatings and overlays.
  • Remove carpet glue.
  • Quickly remove a top layer of damaged concrete.
  • Achieve a concrete surface profile around four or five.

Find the Right Surface Preparation Equipment

At Buy Manufacturers Direct, we have a variety of floor grinders, scarifiers, and other surface preparation machines to better meet your needs. Made by the manufacturers you know and trust, you can feel confident that any equipment you purchase is built to last and provide incredible results that save you time and increase productivity.

To find the right floor grinder or scarifier for your business, reach out to a member of our customer service team. Call us at (815)472-7944 or fill out our contact form to get started!