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How to Grind Concrete Floors By Yourself The Easy Way

>> Jun 1, 2018

Beautiful Concrete

A well finished concrete floor is a solid foundation upon which to build. It keeps its cool when things heat up. It handles spills, abuse, and cover-ups like a champ. A concrete floor is a thing of functional beauty, but beautiful?

Yes, your concrete floors can be beautiful. They might just need a little facelift. This starts with removing the surface of the old floor. If you are a "Do-it-Yourselfer", you can learn how to grind concrete floors yourself, or you can call a concrete floor grinding service to do the dirty work for you.

For the brave souls who take on the task, there are a few things to know before you get started, and a few tips to make it less of a chore.

Safety First

Grinding concrete is a dirty job. Always curtain off areas you are working in so that other areas of the building are not contaminated with dust and debris. Be sure to stage all preparation equipment near your work area before you start.

Dry grinding kicks up dust containing silica, which can cause Silicosis or lung cancer. If possible, a dust collector should be employed to vacuum up as much dust as possible. Respirators, not dust masks, should be worn when dry grinding.

Wet grinding will keep the dust down but creates a dangerously slick slurry. Always step carefully when wet grinding. Be sure to hose down the area and vacuum up the slurry periodically. If the slurry dries, it can be difficult to remove.

Concrete is made with materials which are caustic, and may cause chemical burns to the skin. Always wear gloves, boots, protective clothing, and safety goggles when working with concrete in any stage. Due to the inherent dangers, there may be laws governing which method of grinding can be used. Check with your local building inspector before starting any DIY grinding projects.

The Right Stuff

The type of concrete floor grinding equipment you will use depends on the scope of your project. If you are smoothing out a small area, such as a concrete counter, steps, or entryway, a hand held unit may be fine. A small concrete floor grinder will come in 4 or 8 inch disk size.

For larger projects, such as a basement or garage, a traditional type of electric floor grinder should be used. These are "walk-behind" units that you push in a straight line, then pull, while moving from side to side, avoiding circular motions that will create swirls in the pattern. A hand held grinder may still be needed to get into hard to reach places. All Prep Equipment Service can steer you in the right direction for the best concrete floor grinder for your job.

The grinding surface for all types of concrete grinding equipment consists of a rotating flat plate, fitted with grinding pads or diamond encrusted sanding blocks. The interchangeable blocks are impregnated with industrial diamonds of varying sizes, typically from 20 to 1800 per square inch. The higher the number, the finer the grit, and the smoother the finish.

On The Face Of It

Begin your project with a thorough cleaning of the floor. Remove as much grunge as possible. A layer of sawdust or cat litter will soak up excess grease and oil. Once you have swept it clean, soak it with a mixture of powdered dishwashing detergent and hot water. Rinse and allow to dry.

Starting with a coarse grit, you remove the roughest surface of the concrete, and change the blocks to progressively finer grit as you continue to sand, until the surface is acceptably smooth. This also opens the concrete's pores and allows for better adhesion of a surface coating. If you are applying an epoxy type paint, 1000 to 1200 grit blocks should provide an adequate surface. For a polished concrete finish, finer grit blocks will be required.

When you have achieved the perfect surface, it is a good idea to seal it with a paint specially designed for concrete. These paints are often epoxy based and come in a wide variety of colors and textures to suit your whims.

Caroline is a writer with years of experience in business administration. She enjoys meeting new people and reading more books to get inspired for her own book. Her twitter, @BCarolinebird12.

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