Planetary Grinder for Concrete Polishing
With its range of textures and natural rustic appeal, polished concrete has become one of the most highly sought-after of all floor finishes in recent years for home interiors and outdoor dining areas, cafes, showrooms, retail spaces and offices.
The variation in aggregate exposure offers polished concrete floors a unique appearance so that no two are the same, while the level of shine can extend from a low gloss to a reflective mirror-like finish.
The process of polishing concrete floors has some very specific steps and requires specialist equipment, which is available from Kennards Hire Concrete Care. Just as there’s a difference in the final look of a polished concrete floor, there is also a difference in polishing techniques.
Polishing is a multistep process and depending on the desired look, it can be a full – or true – polish (no topical coating) or completed with a coating. A penetrating sealer is used in this process.
The most critical stage to achieving the preferred floor finish is preparation. This involves thoroughly removing any existing floorcovering or coating. Machines used for this initial step include scrapers, shot blasters or grinders, which are all available from Kennards Hire Concrete Care.
Polishing uses specialised heavy-duty planetary machines equipped with diamond-impregnated disks that gradually grind down surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness. Polishing a floor where a topical coating, such as an epoxy, will be applied to achieve the gloss finish is a faster and less expensive option. Initially 30/40 grit is used to achieve the desired exposed aggregate appearance, then a 60/80 grit is used to remove the scratches from the first grind followed by a 120 grit. This creates a smooth surface and ensures the topical coating will bond to the floor.
When attempting a full polish, the required walk behind grinder must be a true planetary machine. Planetary machines from Kennards Hire Concrete Care smooth the floor and attain higher gloss levels due to their grinding action.
These machines usually feature variable speed and come with adjustable grinding weights. A full grind involves polishing the floor numerous times using a finer grade of polishing pad each time. This method is more labour intensive with the final polish being completed with the use of a fine 3000 grit pad. This seals the floor completely and achieves a water and stain resistant finish without the application of any other coatings.
The aesthetic versatility of design options for polished concrete, including colouring with stains and dyes, decorative engraving and stencilled graphics has led to polished concrete’s increase in popularity.
Practicality, durability and low maintenance is also what makes polished and coated concrete so popular and why people are opting for this style of flooring as an alternative to marble, granite, ceramic tiles, laminate, wood, linoleum or vinyl.
Equipment specialists from Kennards Hire Concrete Care can provide expert advice on polishing techniques, demonstrate how to use a machine as well as advise on which machine is ideally suited to your project. All the equipment from Kennards Hire Concrete Care is well serviced and easy to operate. Each machine also has tailored safety buckets containing the required PPE for that machine.