When you manage or own a commercial facility, the maintenance of your floors makes a world of difference. If neglected, floor surfaces can wear out quickly and will need to be replaced far more often than you might like. That’s why, if you have even the most basic concrete surfaces, a concrete floor polisher could be exactly what you need to reduce the long-term care expenses of your facility and its floors.
More commercial facilities are turning to polished concrete surfaces, not just because they look great, but because they require minimal maintenance. You have probably seen polished concrete in many locations, most commonly in public spaces, such as at your local mall or an office building lobby.
How do you polish concrete?
The first thing you are going to need is a concrete floor grinder. If you have a large facility or multiple facilities, it is a great investment to make so that you always have a floor grinder in your cleaning arsenal. However, you can rent these machines as well if that’s what fits better with your specific needs. (Just make sure you have the right personnel who know how to properly operate the machine so that no damage is done to the floors or the rental!)
You will also need different types of grinding disks that vary in grit, (Generally speaking, grits are rated from about 30 to 3,000) as well as polishing pads.
During the process of grinding down the concrete to a polished shine, it’s a good idea to have an industrial shop vac on hand to keep the dust to a minimum. As you can well estimate, there is going to be a great deal of dust getting kicked up when you polish concrete, so it is best to have a powerful vacuum cleaner hooked up to your concrete polishing machine to suck up the dust when dry grinding or polishing.
Polishing concrete is similar to standing a hardwood floor.
If you have ever done or seen a hardwood floor sanded down and refinished, you already have a basic idea of what’s going to happen during the process of polishing concrete. If you’ve never seen this, you may want to get some proper training on how to polish and refinish concrete floors.
Keep in mind, though, that contrary to sanding hardwood floors, when you’re polishing concrete, there are going to be many, many more passes with the grinding machine and concrete floor polisher to get a good finish. (It is also advisable to spray a densifier or hardener in between passes with the floor grinder.)
When do you switch from grinding discs to a burnishing pad?
Once you have the concrete ground down to a near smooth finish, this is where you would switch to a burnishing pad. The floor will start to look very smooth, and eventually will take on that polished look you want.
Before you burnish the final pass, apply a thin coat of concrete sealer over the entire surface of the floor. Then, once you’re finished, the surface will shine like wax or even oil, which is what makes the look of polished concrete so appealing.
Does your facility truly need a concrete floor polisher?
If you have a warehouse-style facility with a lot of foot traffic, machines rolling over it, dirt, oil, grease, and other materials constantly getting spilt on it or dragged across the floor, you may or may not want to polish the concrete floor surface as often.
However, if you are thinking of a lobby, an office building, or other facilities where you will see a lot of foot traffic from retailers, for example, medical office staff, clients, and so forth, a polished, smooth, finished floor surface might be more appealing.
This is one of the primary reasons why you should invest in a concrete floor polisher, especially if you are repurposing old warehouses in office spaces, have numerous facilities, are looking to expand your physical spaces, and so forth. Even in retail outlets, instead of tearing up the old linoleum tile or ceramic tile floors and putting down new tile when a new retailer moves in, this is a great opportunity to switch to a polished concrete surface.
When you have your own concrete floor polisher, you can save a tremendous amount of money over the years, so long as you have adequately trained and experienced staff to use the machines. This small investment will not only help your company save money over the next five, 10, and even 20 years, (because you won’t have to constantly replace the floor surfaces) but those floors will make your space look great and be far easier to maintain in the long run.