Besides water, concrete is the most widely used material in the world. Because of its popularity, people have been innovating new ways to create, maintain, and polish concrete surfaces over the course of decades.
Concrete grinders are the most current and effective way to polish and smooth out uneven concrete surfaces. If you’re a contractor looking to add concrete grinding to your portfolio, you likely are wondering how you can choose the appropriate tool for your needs. That’s what we’re going to talk about here today! Read on for a comprehensive guide to the concrete polishing and how you can choose the tools that best suit your specific applications.
How Do They Work?
If you’re contracted to work with concrete flooring in garages or other surfaces, you know that finished concrete has a smooth finish. Concrete grinders are used for creating this polished texture from the sort of bumpy concrete used to make sidewalks. It grinds down the imperfections and uneven surface elements to make the area level and glossy.
It does this by using a rotating head made with diamond particles. This head is abrasive and grinds down the surface of the concrete. Since diamond particles are incredibly strong and have the capacity to chip away at uneven surfaces, they assist in creating smooth concrete planes.
These diamond particles are held in place by a bond. This bond holds the diamond in place so that they don’t move or chip when being run over hard concrete surfaces. You don’t need to worry about ruining the disc of your polisher (assuming you select the appropriate one).
In addition to grinding down and polishing unevenly casted concrete, grinders remove stubbornly strong adhesives from these surfaces. Ultimately, this leads to a shiny finish that appears comparable with natural stone surfaces (such as quartz and marble).
Types of Concrete Grinders
Generally speaking, there are two types of concrete grinders: walk-behind polishers and hand-held ones.
Walk-behind grinders are operated similarly to how you would use a vacuum cleaner. You push them in front of you to grind and polish the floor as you move forward. These machines are usually powered by petroleum or diesel.
On the flip side, hand-held polishers that you hold in your hand and press against the surface that you’re polishing. You turn them on and adjust the settings so they grind at the desired strength and pace. Generally, they are battery-operated. The small concrete particles that they generate goes into a small vacuum off to the side to avoid a mess.
Another main difference in various concrete grinders has to do with the size of the diamond particles in the rotating disc. When you have a stronger or bumpier surface and need a more abrasive head, you’ll use a grinder with larger diamond particles. For those surfaces with fewer imperfections and an already semi-smooth texture, smaller diamond particles will do just fine.
How Can You Choose the Right Tool for You?
When choosing whether you want a hand-held or walk-behind grinder, you will need to consider its desired applications. You will need to consider the size of the space that you want to operate in. You also will want to think about the type of projects that you’ll be performing most often. Commercial and residential spaces have different needs, as do concrete floors vs other large concrete equipment.
Applications of Walk-Behind Grinders
Walk-behind grinders are the polishers that you will most commonly use to smooth concrete flooring. They hit larger areas of the ground and therefore can polish your space more quickly, accurately, and efficiently. You can think of walk-behind polishers as the ‘main’ tool used for creating even and smooth concrete flooring.
As a contractor, it’s essential that you invest in one of these high-quality grinders. You will also likely want to purchase multiple discs that can be inserted into the grinder, each of different hardness. This will allow you to make your clients happier and do better work on the jobs that you are hired to complete.
When to Get a Hand-Held Grinder
Hand-held grinders are intended for use in conjunction with their walk-behind counterparts. It’s impossible to use walk-behind grinders to hit corners and small, hard-to-reach areas of your room. You can go over these surfaces with hand-held grinders for an even finish.
In most situations, you’ll find that you need both types of grinders to complete a project! Additionally, you will need a hand-held grinder if your services include being hired to polish concrete walls. They also can be used on small concrete shelves and garden decor items. Basically, hand-held polishers are essential for small applications.
Choosing Diamond and Bond Strength
When selecting a rotating head for your concrete grinding equipment, it’s essential that you choose the correct level of abrasiveness. If you have diamond particles that are too small, your grinding efforts will be ineffective. However, using overly large diamond particles will ruin your grinder more quickly and waste resources. Harder and rougher surfaces require larger diamond particles, so select a harder disc if this describes your concrete plane. Softer concrete requires smaller diamond particles, so you want a smaller disc if you’re working with these surfaces.
As you may expect, a stronger bond will be needed for grinders that use larger diamond particles. This ensures that everything is kept in place and that breakage of the rotating disc does not take place.
Get Started With Your Next Project
While selecting concrete grinders can be a challenge, you need to get the best materials out there to ensure client satisfaction.
Contact us with any questions you may have about concrete polishing. Our experts are committed to helping you find the perfect tools for any application, so we’re excited for you to reach out!