Depending on what kind of end result you want for your concrete slab – a smooth surface with a satin sheen or a rough texture to better grip a mastic coating – the equipment you use plays an essential role. One question we’re asked frequently, is “Can a grinder achieve the same profile as a shot blaster?” The short answer to that is “No.” We’re going to take a closer look at why that is to help you determine the best machine for your next project.

Understanding Concrete Surface Profiles

Concrete surface profiles (CSP) is a scale determining the texture of the concrete by measuring the average distance between the highest point to the lowest point when looking at the slab as a cross section. It’s a 1-9 scale with a 1 meaning the concrete has almost no variation between the highest point and the lowest point and it’s almost totally flat. A 4 or 5 has mild to moderate texture and a CSP of a 9 is incredibly rough with a measurable difference between the “peaks and valleys” of the concrete.

Why Are Concrete Surface Profiles Important?

If you want to lay a sealant, epoxy coating, or other floor covering over your concrete, you’re going to need to have some type of texture in the slab. The uneven surface has more surface area for the coating to better adhere and the texture improves grip as it cures. A thin sealer would require a very light CSP, like a 1 or a 2, whereas a high-build coating or a self-leveling coating would require the CSP at a 4 or 5. For the thickest polymer overlays, the manufacturer recommendations may be at a 7 or 8.

Can You Get the Same Profile with a Shot Blaster or Grinder?

As we answered above, you can’t get the same surface profile with a floor grinder as you can with a shot blaster. No matter how rough of a grit or how abrasive your diamonds are on your floor grinder, you’ll only be creating a scratch pattern. The surface will be rough, but that’s only part of the profile. A floor grinder can’t get the same texture or the height differences.

With a shot blaster, the steel abrasive is hitting the concrete with such force that it’s creating the peaks and valleys that create the surface profile. The larger the shot and the more power behind the machine, the higher the CSP.

If you know how you want your concrete slab to look as the end result – whether you’re using a urethane skim coat or a mastic coating – you’ll be able to better plan what kind of machine to use. The specifications for any coating you use will most likely recommend using a shot blaster, so if you have any questions or concerns regarding varying from that, you’ll want to reach out to them directly.

Contact Us to Get the Shot Blaster You Need

If you don’t already have a shot blaster to prepare your concrete surface, remove old coatings, and achieve the CSP you need, we can help. We have a variety of shot blasters, from small, hand-held options to powerful ride-on blasting machines. Get a quote today when you contact us at  (815) 472-9740 or by filling out our contact form to get started!