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How to polish a concrete floor

Date posted: 6 March 2015

Whether installed indoors or outdoors, and regardless of its type, a concrete floor makes a fantastic finish. To maintain its spectacular looks though you need to clean it regularly. This is the only way, alongside regular polishing, to know it will look at its best for many years to come. In order to polish your floor effectively, you will have to work in stages, with a variety of disks. This calls for some patience. However, the result are well worth the effort and you will definitely be rewarded for your time and labour.

Here’s how you can polish your concrete floor in 6 simple steps.

1. Clean the Floor

Before you apply polish, you need to clean the floor well with a broom, to make sure all debris and dirt are swept away. Clear everything away with a vacuum cleaner or by using a dustpan, and then mop the floor with water and mild detergent, so your floor is dust-free and stain-free. Wipe the floor dry and you are ready to begin polishing it.

2. Polish: Phase 1

Start polishing your concrete floor with a coarse-grit polishing disc as it is more effective than others when it comes to removing stubborn stains and smoothening rough areas on the surface of the floor. A polishing disc that measures, for example, 500, will get the job done well.

Start polishing at the one end of the floor and slowly (and systematically) move all your way upwards from side to side, with circular motions, until you cover all the surface.  It is important to insist on stubborn stains and remove them as much as possible, and you must also avoid overlaps. 

3. Polish: Phase 2

Now, it’s the time to switch to another polishing disk, a fine grit disk, to proceed to the next phase. Again, with circular motions, work all over the floor, always minding to avoid overlapping. During this stage, any stains you could not remove with the coarse-grit polishing disc will eventually come off, and you will have a surface that looks uniform and clean, with no rough patches or stains whatsoever.

4. Polish: Phase 3

Just remember that the goal of each phase is to buff off lapping (the scratch pattern) from the previous stages. This is the final stage of polishing your concrete floor and requires the use of a polishing disk with the finest grit of all (e.g. 1500) to give your floor a beautiful glass-like sheen. That said; this is the only phase where you DO need to overlap. Just do so with circular motions, as in the previous stages.

In time, and as you gain more experience, you will know when you need to switch to the next grit level and move from coarse to the finest polishing disk. 

5. Apply Polish

To give your floor an extra sheen, you need to use a floor grinder to apply polish all over the surface. In our website, you will find a plethora of the latest floor grinders that will do the job for you in a timely manner, so you can enjoy the best of results and have a floor that looks fantastic.

Anyway, just before you do that, you might want to provide your floor with some extra protection from staining and water penetration, by applying a liquid chemical hardener to the floor that will also help densify and solidify the concrete. However, it is not something required, rather than optional. 

Tip

  1. To protect the surface you have polished, especially if it will be exposed to chemicals, oil, or grease, you can apply a commercial stain-guard product, with a wax applicator or a pump sprayer. The product will penetrate the surface and make the concrete floor more resistant to dirt and stain absorption. 
  2. If you want to add colour to a concrete floor, you can use specially formulated reactive concrete stains and dyes, which you can apply half way through the polishing process. This means, somewhere between switching from 200 to 800 grit. 

To see our range of floor polishers and scrubbers visit Best at hire your National tool hire supplier. Next day delivery available direct to your door.

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