What Does a Floor Grinder Do?

Floor GrinderA concrete floor grinder is used to smooth and polish concrete surfaces, indoors or out. An average worker can polish roughly 500 square feet per day with a typical grinder. While the average weight of an upright, single-head grinder is about 250 pounds, they are designed to be easily maneuvered, which most able-bodied people have no trouble handling.

The type of jobs you typically do will determine what unit to purchase. Smaller machines are great for working in tight quarters and working in multi-story buildings where it is impractical to carry the larger, heavier units between floors.

Using a quality floor grinder, a rough concrete floor can be polished to a mirror gloss. It is a time consuming task that requires up to three metal bond grindings and five full polishing passes.

Metal Bond Grinding is a process wherein a diamond grinding wheel is placed on the grinder. The diamond, nature’s hardest mineral, effectively grinds the softer concrete surface like a heavy-duty sander smoothes wood. Surface blemishes are resolved and the process leaves even the most dingy looking concrete with the look of polished marble.

Some grinding units utilize a heavy horseshoe weight that attaches to the top of the machine to ensure consistent surface contact. Other units have smaller weight plates that are placed on plate holder pegs and are easily applied or removed. Weight is removed when the metal bond grinding is completed and the job moves to the polishing phase.

The metal bond grinding phase consumes about seventy percent of the total job time. The other thirty percent is spent polishing.

Floor grinders are used to remove glue and paint, to prepare the surface for gluing and painting, or to give a concrete surface a smooth appearance. No flooring project is too big or too small and floor machines are made for both large commercial projects and small residential jobs. Most grinders are made to handle dry and wet surface jobs.

Successful grinding requires proper clean up and disposal of the concrete dust or slurry created by the process. The perfect end result should be a glossy, mirror-like finish.

Safety equipment is required when using a floor grinder. This includes safety goggles, a respirator, and ear protection. It is important to note that while grinders can be used without an attached vacuum to collect the resulting concrete dust, it is wiser and safer to use the vacuum and the cleanup time afterwards will be measurably reduced when the concrete dust is removed during the grinding phase.

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