If you plan on polishing a concrete slab, you know how important good abrasives and following a multi-step process are to getting long-lasting, professional results. However, the most important factor in getting the best results is knowing the quality of your concrete before you get started. Watch the video below or keep reading to learn how to improve your slab so you can achieve a beautifully polished concrete surface.
Testing Your Concrete Quality
There are two factors that will affect the outcome of your project:
- The hardness of the concrete – A soft slab will crumble and crack during the grinding process, making it impossible to bring it to a shine.
- Pinholes, voids, and chips – Flaws in the surface will grow with traffic, and epoxy or other coatings won’t grip the surface properly.
To test the hardness of your concrete, you can purchase a scratch test kit from Amazon that measures the MOHs, or hardness. If your concrete scratches at a five or below, we’ll explain how to polish soft concrete by chemically hardening the slab and using the right tooling.
Polishing a Soft Concrete Slab
If the main issue is the softness of the slab, you need to build up the concrete chemically. This means applying a concrete densifier that will react with the concrete and build up the crystalline structure. As its name suggests, it makes the slab denser, and thus harder, making it easier to get professional results when grinding and polishing. Typically, you will need to identify the concrete at least twice during the mechanical polishing process.
Also, it’s important to use the right tooling for your slab. A softer slab needs diamonds with a harder bond so the diamonds stay open without damaging the slab, whereas a hard slab needs a softer bond that will wear away steadily through use to keep the diamonds exposed.
Filling Pinholes and Voids in a Concrete Slab
Having surface flaws in your concrete leads to additional problems, including cracking, crumbling, and coating failures. During the grinding process, we recommend taking time to put down a grout coat of epoxy and marble flour to fill the holes properly before continuing the grinding then polishing steps. The video above along with our more in-depth article about using grout when polishing a concrete floor will provide more insight.
Contact Us for Concrete and Floor Grinding Equipment
From concrete densifier and tooling to high-quality, durable floor grinders, we have everything you need to restore and polish a concrete slab to a beautiful sheen. Reach out today to speak with a member of our sales team by calling (815) 472-9744 or by filling out our contact form to get started!