Concrete floors are elegant, especially when it’s smooth and colored. Concrete is hard to maintain, many factors can affect the quality of concrete. In an average of 20 years concrete top surface will begin to crack and fragment. Maintenance of concrete surface is hard mission, where it could paint using epoxy layer. However epoxy look nice, it does not suit outdoor applications because the sun will ruin it. Therefore it will not last for long period and will be expensive solution. On the other hand, grinding concrete top surface is another solution, however it grinds is a hard and sensitive mission. This topic will discuss the process of concrete grinding as FAQs. I got these informations throughout my experience at renovation of a petrol station that has a concrete floor.
The concrete color is a powder added to concrete surface during concrete initial sitting. Craftsman distributing color powder by throwing it over the surface. Thickness of colored layer can’t be customized, and it isn’t equal it all areas. Therefore, if concrete defected and cracks are small then it will be easier to grind a thin layer and keep it color. In case of large cracks it has to be grinding until reach concrete gray color. Noted that color layer thickness usually is few millimeters, but could be a few centimeters in some spots.
Grinding concrete is about the blades, the blades can install at hand grinder or floor grinder machine. Floor grinder is better because it gives level grinding surface, however floor grinder is hard to reach small area. Hand grinder is suitable for small areas, but it requires a skill worker to smooth and level concrete surface.
Concrete grinding blades came in different sizes, 10” to suite floor grinder and 7”, 5” and 4” fit hand grinding. When blade’s segments number increases it will grind faster, also different segments shapes can give smoothing, leveling or reaching corners. Producers write at the products the differences between them and where to use each.
Grinding the concrete surface will cause a lot of dust, dust is air pollution that affect the environment. Also the powder on the surface has to be collecting because it will give roughness to the surface. Dust can collect by a vacuum (dry grinding) or by pouring water (Wet grinding) to dissolve the concrete power in order to remove it away from site.
Wet and dry grinding are methods to collect grinding dust. Dry grinding is to collect dust by vacuum, where it requires a special system and accessories for tools. Wet grinding requires fewer machines and installation, it requires water only. However wet grinding requires less installation, water will ruin the blade faster.Also powder and water will contaminate the sewage system, especially when it has a colored powder.
Unfortunately, concrete has sand therefore it will not be smooth as top surface or terrazzo tiles. Sand particles are very strong and hard to break, sand used for sanding materials to have rough surfaces. So sorry you will not have a smooth surface.
By adding chemical materials like stains. Stains will make concrete appear as it’s wet, although different products have different glossiness. Stains also protect the concrete surfaces from scratching and reduces absorption to avoid oil and water leakage inside the concrete.
There are anti-scratch paint types, also use outdoor paints to protect it from the sun rays. Some types of epoxy paints has auto level specifications, which will level the surface in order to have it smooth and elegant. Some types of stains have color in it, it will remain translucent and concrete texture will appear in different colors.
This by creating a saw cut in concrete surface in width of few millimeters and few centimeters deep. Then using Sikaflex product to glue aluminum T profile to the groove on concrete surface. Be careful to clean aluminum and the groove from any dust before glue it. Remember that aluminum is installed at the floor, and it’s prone to scratching and unglued from concrete due to movement.