If you need to remove an old coating, smooth a rough surface, or prepare concrete for fresh epoxy or urethane, using a concrete floor grinder is often the best option. To get the best results in the quickest time, we recommend you diamond grind the concrete, meaning using diamond impregnated pads to open up the floor and achieve the proper surface profile. If you’re new to concrete grinding and polishing, we’re going to walk you through how to diamond grind your concrete floor.
Why Use a Diamond Grinding Pad?
Diamonds are such a hard material that they are able to create a more intense scratch pattern into concrete. If you need a rough surface profile that will accept self-leveling concrete or thicker coatings or you need to grind away mastic, epoxy, or paint, diamond pads are able to cut in more easily and quickly.
Choosing the Right Diamond Tooling
Before you start grinding your concrete, you need to have the right concrete tooling. For a softer concrete, you can choose a harder bond tooling with a finer grit, whereas harder concrete requires a more aggressive grind. You will most likely choose a soft bond with an abrasive grit, like a 30 or 40.
Depending on the goal of grinding, you may need several pads to get the surface you want. If you want to keep the concrete open and with a rough profile for epoxy coatings, you can stick with the lower grit. However, if you want a smooth, more polished surface, you’ll gradually use lighter grits, finishing with 800, 1500, or even 3000. Think of it like sanding wood – the smoother the wood, the finer the grit on the sand paper you’ll need to use.
Getting Started with a Diamond Floor Grinder
Grinding a concrete floor means more than just using a grinder, you also have to have the right equipment, including a dust collector. This will prevent a majority of the concrete silica dust from blowing around the job site. You can also use water for “wet grinding” which will also keep dust to a minimum but is often more difficult to clean up.
As you start grinding, you want to move in a slow and steady forward motion, arcing left to right slightly to keep the concrete level as you grind. After you go over the floor the first time, you want to make sure you thoroughly vacuum away dirt and debris or use a squeegee for wet slurry. This will prevent gouging or cutting the floor in further passes.
Getting the Right Surface Profile with a Diamond Grind
If you’re grinding concrete with an end goal of polishing it, you will use gradually finer grit as you make several passes over the concrete, creating a smoother and smoother surface. On the other hand, if you want to create a rougher texture to ensure a good bond with a thin coating of epoxy or urethane, you may need to go over the concrete with an even more coarse diamond grit, such as a 15.
As you work on the floor, if you notice the surface isn’t changing, or it’s taking several passes to get any kind of grind, you may have glazed diamonds. This is common on very hard, smooth concrete and you have to add an abrasive texture to open the diamonds back up and grind the concrete effectively.
Contact Us for Diamond Concrete Tooling
If you need tooling to successfully grind your concrete surface, we can help! To learn more about our concrete tooling and see which is right for your next job, reach out to us today at (815) 472-9754 or fill out our contact form to get started!