After grinding concrete, your next repair option might be to coat, paint or seal. The possibilities are endless, the results stunning. Grinding concrete to achieve highly-polished cement floors makes commercial, industrial and residential floors last longer, easier to clean, maintenance-free and gives an attractive, up to date appearance. Grinding concrete and using densifiers will actually make your floor harder and denser. This makes it more resistant to spills.
Grinding and polishing concrete leaves your floor virtually maintenance-free. Compare that for example to the yearly cost of stripping and waxing 10,000 square feet of VCT: around $5000.
Facts About Concrete Floors
These have a 4 to 6 inch disc and the speed is the fastest you need to use for safety reasons. Most common discs for this grinder are masonry discs; these are of composite material such as carbide, granite with fiberglass binding. These wear semi fast. This is the most versatile of the group, you can grind all masonry surfaces and it’s very soft if you add no pressure or if you push on in it becomes more aggressive. You’re able to get into tighter areas to grind plus it can be used flat or held at an angle. This grinder can be fit for a diamond wheel as well. Cutting wheels are very thin and can only be used on the edge not in the flat position. This grinder spins very fast. The next wheel that can go on this is the planer; this wheel is made of the same material as the cutting wheel, diamonds. This wheel is made to use in the flat position only. This is the most aggressive tool. For a journeyman concrete finisher this is a tool that can be perfected and can do beautiful work out of ugly concrete. This is the machine and wheel you would use on a floor if you had a crack and it began to lift apart till one side was higher, the diamond wheel would make short work out of it and level so you could never tell the slab rose up.
This grinder is the most popular for anyone who works in the concrete industry, it’s bigger and heavier. The weight of this tool adds to the comfort while flat grinding on a floor surface, over head grinding is not fun with this tool. If at all possible use peanut grinders for that task. Floor grinding with this tool works the best, the discs are the same as any other masonry grinders, and this one is 7” to 12” discs so they cover more square footage so you work more efficiently. While operating any hand tool there are safety concerns, this tool is no exception, with all grinding you have to be aware of you and your surroundings. This tool is heavy and spins very fast. It will do serious damage to you and anything around it. It’s definitely not a toy. Managed well and keep it under control this grinder will do beautiful work that you can be proud of. If there are areas that need to be ground downan inch or so this grinder can do that any more than that and you would want to get the next size up.
Walk behind floor grinding is the most aggressive tool you can get to plane a slab of concrete. If you need more then the slab may need to be removed and replaced. This grinder has multiple grinding wheels that spin simultaneously in opposite directions and has powered drive plus an adjustment to lower the wheels to provide pressure intern grind more aggressively. All floor grinders should be used with a vacuum system. Some have shrouds that contain most if not all the dust. Don’t grind indoors with out the use of a vacuum, out side not as important but to keep your work area tidy then a vacuum is something to consider. It’s also a good idea to tape off areas indoors that if there was a dust mishap it wouldn’t get all over everything. A roll of plastic from the hardware store is the easiest and the most cost efficient way to go. Plus it’s reusable. This floor grinder will also work to level the floor as well. If you have a concrete slab that is up to 1” to 1”1/2 out of level, this will grind it down. Anymore and it would cause the slab to be too weak and could have the possibility to crack easier. This grinder can also be fitted with polisher wheels so after the slab has been ground to a nice flat surface the discs can be changed out and with a couple other products it could be polished to a glossy sheen that can be impervious to spills. Cracking and lifting it won’t help with. Any concrete slab that has a crack and has lifted can be repaired. If it’s cracked, pulled apart and lifted more than an inch and a half then consider replacing it. If it’s not structural then it can be done but if weight is on it then there is a good chance it will crack. Or worse it could shatter and have cracking everywhere and if that was to happen then it would cost even more to fix. Concrete grinding is a floor repair technique that can quickly restore a damaged, cracked or uneven slab.
Grinding concrete eliminates raised trip hazards. If you have a business, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) might even require you to grind down raised trip hazards. Concrete grinding can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over a complete surface replacement.With the right grinding equipment, it’s possible to take on just about any job, from sanding a small hump in the cement to excavating a 1” trench hundreds of feet long. Floor Grinding Cement floors are never completely smooth and level. Cement slabs always have hard-to-see imperfections. A smooth, level surface is critical before installing tile, linoleum or engineered laminate flooring.
Professional concrete grinding contractors can make your floor level enough for any purpose, whether it’s tile or linoleum installation or polishing the floor to a high sheen. Here’s how the process works: Any high spot 1/8” or higher will require grinding to level the floor. The contractor will systematically check the floor in every direction to identify these high spots.
Then the proper type of grinder will be chosen, whether it’s a hand-held models or a larger machines that resembles a floor buffer.
Grinders use diamond tipped or diamond embedded wheels or pads to remove excess cement. A professional will know exactly how much to grind. Beware: Inexperienced amateurs will often over-grind and ruin your cement floor.
Here are some possible cement floor problems that might require grinding or sanding:
Diamond Grinding Diamond grinding is a concrete pavement restoration (CPR) technique that can repair cracks in cement floors. When compared to overlay or patching methods, diamond grinding can cost less and last up to 3 times longer, while providing a greener solution.
Diamond grinding removes faulting, slab warping, studded tire wear and unevenness resulting from patches in roads. Diamond grinding also lowers road noise by providing a longitudinal texture, which is quieter than transverse textures.
Grinding concrete is the best solution for dealing with uneven concrete surfaces, such as grout build up, humps in the floor and uneven pours. Floor grinding can be used indoors (with dust control equipment) and outdoors. The alternative is often removal and replacement, which is much more costly.
Grinding concrete floors to achieve a highly polished surface is also becoming more and more popular, from businesses to residential homes. These floors can be a more economical, practical and decorative flooring choice for any facility.
Due to the complexity of the work and the tools used, floor grinding is a job best left to professional contractors. Prices can vary depending on the scope of the job and the amount of cement to be removed. Always hire a professional floor grinding contractor who will protect your investment in your home or business.