We recommend a complete surface preparation system including: floor grinding/polishing machine(s), concrete dust vacuums equipped with Hepa filters, diamond tooling, chemicals (densifier, sealers and dyes). It is also important to receive proper training to ensure that your projects are completed in a professional, timely and cost-effective manner.
Because All Star Rents has all of the machines available for rent, you can start your business at a much lower cost. Plus, our Territory Manager can assist and guide you through the process to help you become profitable more quickly.
All Star Rents holds regular Concrete Polishing Certification classes throughout the year. Additionally, we have color, sealer and overlay product manufacturers doing demos. Check out our Training Calendar for dates and cost.
Choosing the proper floor grinding and polishing machine and diamond tooling is critical and dependent on the scale of the project. The following questions should be addressed first:
Understanding how diamond tools work is a must to anyone who wants to be successful in this industry. Diamonds are not all the same. The two terms most often used when speaking of diamond tools are diamond grit and bond. Most diamond tools are made of synthetic diamond powder, measured in microns and called grit, and a bonding material, usually metal or resin, or a combination of bonding materials (hybrid tools). They are bonded together through injection molding, hot and cold pressing, electroplating, and vacuum brazing. Speaking of tooling bonds, there are two common problems that you can run into: the tools cut well but their life is too short (premature wear) - this usually happens when using soft bonds that easily open on soft / abrasive floors; or, the tools don't cut well at all and just slide on the floor surface, which is called tool glazing - typically happens when using hard bond tools on hard concrete.
Each grit is designed to refine the scratch pattern, and the rule of thumb is each consecutive grit is to be approximately doubled in size, so it can remove the scratches of the previous step. For example, if you start with 30 grit, the next grit is 50 or 70, then 100 or 120, 200 or 220, 400, 800, etc. Following proper grit sequence is a fundamental principle in concrete processing. Skipping a grit step will put you up against some serious scratched floor challenges. The grits steps are usually divided into three stages — grinding, honing and polishing.
Grinding is the first step and includes grits as low as six grit but typically 30 or 50 grit and up to 120 grit. The tools used here are typically metal-bond tools or pcd tools for coating and glue removal. There are many shapes and designs on the market . What is more important, especially in the initial cutting steps, is the bond or hardness of the tools. Many contractors have trouble understanding how bonds work relative to different kinds of concrete. Depending on the bonding material, abrasives have different hardness which determines how diamonds are exposed. Hard concrete requires a softer bond to prevent glazing and to allow new diamonds to get easily exposed for maximum cutting. Soft concrete requires a harder bond, so it can last longer (soft bond will cut but it will wear out too fast on soft concrete).
Honing includes the steps between 100 to 400 grit, the tools used in this stage are usually cermic hybrids or resins. The hybrids, made of a combination of bonding materials — metals, resins, or ceramics, are especially useful for removing scratches left by the metal bond tools.
Polishing is from 800 grit up to 3,500 grit. The most popular choice for concrete polishing are resin pads/pucks, which are made of poly-phenolic and ester-phenolic. Another thing to consider when choosing tools is there are bonds/tools designed for wet use only, dry use only or wet/dry use.
Following all the grits may seem like a lot of steps, but well-trained contractors know that this is crucial for proper floor refinement and achieving a good wear-resistant floor finish. It is tempting to buy the cheapest diamonds or skip grits but concrete grinding and polishing is a very labor-intensive business and lost productivity and time spent redoing a floor is more costly.
The point is that not all diamond tools are created equal, and diamond tools should be always chosen relative to a specific project. Knowing what kind of concrete you are dealing with is important for finding the right combination of bonds and grits which will increase your productivity and ROI, and produce the best floor finish. Better to spend the time doing it right, once, then the labor to go back and repair mistakes from poor diamond choices or skipping steps.
With proper maintenance, facility managers can keep their polished floors looking good at a comparatively lower cost than alternative flooring options. Traditional daily maintenance includes mopping and auto scrubbing with diamond impregnated pads using only water or non-reactive cleaning agents when necessary, and cleaning spills and stains promptly. They also require occasional re-application of sealer depending on the foot traffic and reflective properties desired. Furthermore, the maintenance program or schedule has to be designed for a specific floor (not for concrete floors in general), and it will be different from one facility to another, depending on the type of facility, foot traffic, etc. Without proper maintenance schedule in place, the floor shine quickly deteriorates and facility managers end up with a “failed” polished concrete floor.
Diamond impregnated pads are usually the tool of choice for mechanical maintenance of polished concrete floors. How often to do periodic maintenance is largely determined by the facility foot traffic. Talk to us about a maintenance program for polished concrete that equips you with the right tools for the right job.
There are many variables a contractor needs to consider — labor, abrasives, the floor itself, just to name a few ...