You can yourself carry out polishing of concrete floor and save a ton of money besides making sure that the job is done perfectly. All you need is a few tools and the know-how. You can hire machines and buy the abrasive grinding discs or wheels. Spare a few days and the job is done.
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If you have a concrete floor that needs to be polished or re-polished, before proceeding with the job of concrete floor polishing, check the level of floor, to find out dents and depressions and also for high spots. If there are cracks in the floor,attend them first. Widen the cracks with a tool and fill it with epoxy putty and sand it.
The next step is to put the tools together and prepare a plan. Rent a walk-behind floor grinder and also a small hand held grinder to reach corners and edges. Buy resin bonded wheels in various grits. The grit size should range from 16 to 50 to 200, 800 and 3000. Lower numbers indicate coarse grit and higher numbers represent fine grit usually for polish. 800 may be sufficient but if you want mirror finish you will need 3000 grit.
There are two methods of floor polishing. One is the dry method and the other is the wet method. It is better to stick to the dry method because it is easier to clean the dust than to collect wet slurry.
This is how you carry out dry concrete floor polishing:
Level the surface. If there is an existing coat of lacquer this needs to be removed by using coarse 16 grit pads. Move the grinder machine back and forth in a straight line according to width of the grinder for each pass. Replace the pads for each pass.
Once you have completed the floor of one room with one grit size pad, use double the number for the next pad. From 16, progress to 32 and then to 64.
At this stage you clean the surface thoroughly to remove any dust.
Mix and pour in a liquid densifier that will harden the concrete for the next stage. Let the densifier soak into the concrete and harden overnight.
Start the polishing process with grit size of 100. Double the size for each pass.
Once you reach 400 grit size, stop and think if you wish to stain the concrete. If yes, carry out this process with a suitable colored stainer. Let dry and then proceed with polishing until you reach 800 grit size.
Clean and inspect. If the polish satisfies you,apply a coat of sealant.
If, however, you need mirror finish then fix a 3000 grit pad to the machine and work away until you achieve the desired reflective finish. Vacuum, clean and inspect. That’s that. Your work of concrete floor polishing is done.
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Apply a coat of sealant.
Use a penetrating sealant of the silicone type. It will go deep inside and will not affect the surface finish.
If you have not mirror polished the floor you can apply a coat of sealant based on epoxy, polyurethane or acrylic. Acrylic gives a nice wet look but may scratch easily. Polyurethane is the toughest wearing. An added advantage of applying a polymer seal coat after concrete floor polishing is that you can stain it for a nice color to match your walls and furniture.