Prepare the concrete surface
Preparation can include but is not limited to, sweeping, cleaning, crack repair, patching, leveling and hardening soft or deleterious concrete areas, normally found on old or weakened concrete.
The actual process of polishing using industrial diamond pads or disks starts by using a coarse grit diamond and progressively going finer with each pass. The surface will begin to show signs of luster. The machinery can be as simple as an angle grinder (usually reserved for countertops, edges or small spaces.) or as large as a 60 Inch ride aboard machine. The process does take some time and will require patience.
Chemically Hardening the Concrete
During the polishing process, a chemical hardener may be applied. These hardeners can help densify, seal and harden the concrete. The chemicals are generally scrubbed into the slab surface, given time to react, and then the excess material remaining on the surface is washed away. Part of the chemical reaction takes place immediately while some hardeners will only become fully apparent in weeks to come. Hardeners are a great way to keep polished concrete floors looking great for years to come.
Final polishing may still take place after the hardener has been applied.
An approved on-site mockup as well as a gloss meter are great ways for determining the expected and required level of shine.
Maintaining a polished concrete floor can be quite straight forward. The installer should provide instructions although generally a neutral floor cleaner and floor maintainer work on large spaces while a mop and bucket are ideal for small or residential areas. Polished concrete, similar to granite or marble can be re-polished as necessary with the final diamond grit to rejuvenate or bring back its original luster. Click here for general maintenance instructions