Frequently Asked Questions
How is concrete polished?
We refine your concrete floor with progressively finer and finer diamonds until your concrete becomes smooth and shiny. It is very similar to the way that marble and granite are polished.
What exactly does the polishing process entail?
Using water, or large vacuum dust collection equipment attached to our planetary grinding machines, we begin the diamond polishing process by grinding the floor to open, and profile with #20 grit diamond metal segments. There may be some aggregate exposure. Then we refine the sratches made in the first cut with finer and finer diamond metal segments in the following steps: #40, #80, and #150 grits.
We use a dust grout product along with this last metal step, followed by a coat of densifier. Then, after the densifier dries, diamond resin pads in the following steps: #50, #100, and #200 grits. After the #200 grit, we vacuum, wash and dry the floor, and a second coat of densifier is applied and allowed to dry. Polishing is then completed using #400, and #800 grits, with the further option of #1500, and #3000 grits.
After polishing, a penetrating sealer is applied to protect the floor from oil and water intrusion. All of our sealers are penetrating, that is, they work just below the surface. That way, there is no build-up on the surface to hide the natural beauty of your diamond polished concrete.
How do you treat the edges?
Edges will be polished and blended into the field of the floor. We can go right up to a wall, if necessary.
How long must I wait to use the floor after sealing?
Floor may be opened to light foot traffic 3 hours after sealing is complete.
How does the diamond polishing process compare to a "grind and seal" job?
First of all, we actually polish the concrete itself, so that it is smooth and shiny. This smooth surface is less likely to catch dirt and has a vastly superior look and feel.
If concrete is merely ground, and a topical sealer such as epoxy, or urethane is applied on top to make it shiny, it won't have the look of actual polished concrete, nor will it have the feel. Think about it: would you varnish your granite? That is what you have, if you coat concrete with epoxy, or urenthane.
In addition, epoxies and urethanes can delaminate, yellow, or fog, especially of they are subject to moisture coming up through the concrete.
Our floor has vinyl tile on it, can you remove that?
We can, but you will probably save money by having your contractor, or demolitiion crew do it. In any case, you should test for asbestos, first.
Can you test for asbestos, and mitigate, or remove it, if necessary?
We at Avant Design, Inc. do not test for, mitigate or remove asbestos. Asbestos removal must be practiced only by licensed asbestos removal contractors.
Assuming the test for asbestos comes back negative, can you then remove the mastic?
Yes, we can.
We will be doing a lot of construction after the floor is finished. Do I need to protect the polished floor?
While a polished concrete floor is extremely durable, it should be protected by the contractor or owner, like any finished surface, during subsequent construction or painting, with drop-cloths, paper, masonite, or Ramboard type temporary floor protection.
Tape, even blue tape, should not be used to secure paper or anything else to the floor, as the glue can migrate into the floor and leave marks that are difficult to remove.
What about maintenance?
Maintenance is simple and can be done by keeping the floor swept clean, and damp mopping with water alone, or when necessary, with a diluted liquid concentrate concrete cleaner available from AvantDesignInc.com.
What about the dust?
We endeavor to be as clean as possible, but grinding a concrete floor surface into dust is messy, however, by using very large vacuum dust collection machines, connected to our grinding machines at the source of the dust, we limit the airborn dust to practically nothing.
What kind of concrete can be polished?
Almost any concrete, usually encountered in a building in the United States. Exceptions might include, concrete mixed and placed with way too much water in the mix; this results in weak, soft concrete with lots of shrinkage cracks, concrete made with beach sand; this sand has too many fines, and worse: salt, concrete that is extremely rough and fractured, although you might be surprised at what we can bring to a smooth polished surface.
My concrete is very rough; can you polish it?
Yes, you would be surprised! Very rough concrete can be ground smooth and polished. You will have varying degrees of aggregate exposure, depending on the concrete.
Some of our favorite floors have a lot of aggregate exposure.
How will the exposed aggregate look on my floor?
Aggregate is present in all concrete. If you grind concrete, some aggregate will show. How much aggregate will show and how it will look will depend on the size, type, color range, and amount, as well as other factors, including how the concrete was placed, screeded, floated, finished, cured, et cetera.
I am about to pour a slab that I eventually want to be polished; what should I, my concrete contractor, and my general contractor consider beforehand in order to optimize the concrete for polishing?
We have prepared a pdf sheet that you can download here that describes recommendations to consider before you pour your slab.
For answers to any other questions you might have, to schedule a consultation visit, or for a no cost, no obligation estimate, e-mail us with your questions, information, or drawings.