You wanted a beautifully smooth concrete surface with a lovely gloss that would maintain it’s appearance for years. However, your newly polished slab is covered in scratches and looks dull and unattractive. How could this happen?

There are several factors that can lead to a slab covered in scratches, scrapes, scuffs, and pitting, and we’re breaking them down so you know how to get the best results moving forward.

Improper Tooling or Machine Usage

The kind of tooling you use on you slab matters. Just like you shouldn’t use a wire brush to clean your fingernails, you shouldn’t use concrete tooling on a marble slab. Yes, the job will get done, but the end result will have some serious damage. First, you need to look at three factors to choose the correct tooling:

  • Tooling made for the right material; Make sure you’re using tooling specifically formulated for the slab you’re working on. While many manufacturers say a tool can be used on concrete, marble, and terrazzo, that’s not accurate. The chemistry required for each surface is specific and specialized in order to get the proper results, and you need to get tooling that aligns with that.
  • Using the proper bond: Hard slabs require a soft bond that keeps the diamonds open and cutting, while soft slabs require a hard bond that will prevent too much of the diamond from coming through and creating an inconsistent scratch pattern.
  • Using tooling that works with the grinder; If your concrete grinder has a head pressure of 300 pounds and 200 RPM, using a tool designed for a machine with a head pressure of 450 pounds and 350 RPM is not going to work. Using a machine with tooling that is made for it means you’ll get predictable, quality results.

Poor Quality or Incorrect Diamonds

Even if you use the proper bond that works with the machine and is made for concrete, you still need to make sure you’re using high-quality tooling from a reliable source. If a diamond pad is made poorly, it may have been contaminated by diamonds left in a mold made for another tool, creating a rougher grit than what you intended.

Think about it. You’re working with a 200 grit tool that came from a manufacturer that reuses molds and doesn’t do quality control. Left in the mold was grit left behind from a 30 grit tool, and that got pressed into the 200 grit pad. This will create a much rougher grit and a scratch pattern, rather than a polish. Getting diamond tooling from a reliable source is essential.

Poor Execution of the Project

Even if the proper equipment is used, if it’s not used properly, you’ll end up with a suboptimal result. If an operator is going too quickly during the polishing phase, they won’t fully remove the existing scratches or skip sections altogether.

A more common issue that happens is contaminating the slab during the grinding and polishing stages. If the floor isn’t cleaned properly in between each polishing stage by vacuuming or using a wet mop to get all the particulate and debris, or people are walking across the slab while it’s being polished, it can create micro-scratches that mar the surface and leave it looking dull and damaged.

Get the Right Equipment for a Proper Outcome

If you need to redo a polished slab or you want to make sure the next one is done right, make sure you start with the proper equipment. We have a wide variety of diamond tooling made from trusted manufacturers as well as high-quality concrete grinders to help you get the job done right. Reach out to us today at  (815) 472-9749 or by filling out our contact form to get started!