Back in July, a large independent company here in Georgia who manufactures high inertia motors, gears and generators consulted with us on the basics of polished concrete.
Right adjacent to our group's training area was one unsightly panel that stood out like a sore thumb.
The slab was in poor condition with stains and scrapes that needed to be addressed, cracks and joints that required chasing, cleaning and filling, as well as serious pitting.
The next day we started with hand grinding the epoxied cracks flush since it is not a good idea to run the walk behind grinding machines over these very rigid raised areas. Once the 150’s were complete and after the rigid plates on the machine were changed to flex plates, we chose to skim coat the entire section with a gray cement-based microtopping because the slab had excessive pitting probably due to the manufactured sand used in the concrete.
It is very important to always inspect the edges of your diamonds since little chips or gouges like this can scratch the floor. Always inspect every tool as you attach it to the machine checking for gouges or knicks that can also scratch the floor. Water based dye is applied making sure not to brush the color over the epoxy since I have seen the color stain the epoxy before. Remember, before you consider taking your polished concrete floors to the next level including designs and graphics, refine and perfect the basics discussed in this article. No returns or exchanges, but item is covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee - opens in a new window or tab. This item will be shipped through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking.
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By clicking 1 Click Bid, you commit to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. The teeth are induction hardened and the comfortable bi-material handle is screwed and ultrasonically welded. Our guests mentioned they had several 500,000+ square foot buildings that they were considering polished concrete for and that a company came in and produced a mock up for them. One of the challenges on the cracked sections was that they abuted right up to finished polished concrete. Notice the careful transitioning taking place (Note: there are still 5 steps more to go in this small area). Although, the skim coat worked great, you may want to consider using a grind and fill product which is spray applied in front of the grinding machine usually somewhere around the 80-150 grit.
In one case while consulting on a project, I was watching the equipment operator’s mannerisms once starting a new grit sequence.
After the color has been applied, it's time to carefully remove the dye residue trying not to contaminate the un-colored or gray sections.
It was at this phase of the project we applied a lithium based densifier to help lock in the color.
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Since they were not familiar with polished concrete and they felt that that their job site representative mockup was marginal at best, they decided they wanted to learn the entire process, as they put it, the right way. This meant having to address them by hand since the grinding and honing stages using an HTC 800 could not overlap onto the finished sections, which leads me to our next consideration, which is transitioning from new to finished polished concrete. You also need to be equally as thorough as cleaning the dye residue to make sure you clean any crystalized densifier residue from the surface.
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This is molding clay (putty would work as well) to act as a dam preventing the epoxy from running on to adjoining sections.
When done properly, it is really quite easy; however, I have seen multiple contractors really mess up when it comes to this important step. A couple of ways to check if the floor is clean after this step is while the floor is wet, it should not have a slimy feel to it and if dry, it should not have a gritty texture to it. Fortunately for us we had neither, which meant it was time to move on to the 800 grit resin bond diamond.
Next was the 1500 grit which can now technically overlap into the finished adjoining section without damaging it; however, in our case we had one dominant joint that was substantially higher than the other panel which meant we could not overlap without damaging the diamonds. In our case, the previously polished panels were not extended far enough into the unpolished sections which meant that there was only roughly one foot to complete 8-9 steps of transitioning. Most polishing contractors stop at this grit however, I wanted to run one additional 3000 grit to see if there was a difference in gloss readings from the 1500 of which we did get about 5 points higher by running the 3000’s. For this reason, it’s best to slightly over fill these areas so after the initial grinding, they end up flush. Once the cracks were filled, the contraction joints were filled with colored polyurea and then shaved flush roughly 45 minutes after application. One other very important consideration for polishers, is to know the type of surface you will be working with such as soft, medium, hard or ultra-hard concrete.
Gloss readings were taken pre-guard with average readings of 68 and post-guard with average readings of 84. Once the first pass with the 40’s were complete, soft bond 80 grit metals were used overlapping roughly 1” closer towards the finished polished concrete panels.

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