Flooring material needs to be practical, hard wearing and hygienic, especially if it’s being used in high traffic areas or a building like a hospital or a school. Even the most hard-wearing material will need to be repaired, maintained or replaced from time to time and it’s essential to have the right equipment for the job.
A floor grinder is a highly useful piece of machinery that can be used for both DIY and commercial applications. This machine can be used for a variety of projects but it’s important to make sure you know what you’re doing, especially if you’re using a floor grinder for the first time. If you’re thinking about floor grinder rental and want to know more about this machine and how to use it, see below for our handy guide.
What is a floor grinder?
A floor grinder is a machine which uses rotating discs to clean, polish, smooth or resurface flooring. They’re commonly used on concrete flooring but they can also be used on hardwood or stone floors. Floor grinders can be used to prepare a floor (by removing leftover adhesive, paint or glue, or levelling the surface), or they can be used to polish and finish the floor to a high shine.
Floor grinders are available in walk behind or ride-on models, as well as smaller, handheld grinders.
How does a floor grinder work?
Floor grinding machines all work in roughly the same way, although there is a difference in their quality, power and abilities. Abrasive pads on the bottom of the machine grind off the top surface of the floor, helping to level it out or remove surface level blemishes. Some floor grinders use slightly different pads to clean and polish the floor and give it a shiny, reflective surface.
An operator moves the machine over the surface of the floor in a smooth, even motion, while discs underneath spin around. Each disc holds a pad which grinds or polishes the floor (depending on the pad material). Floor grinders can have just one disc, or as many as six working at once.
Diamond-coated discs and diamond blades are common abrasives used in floor grinding machines. They’re available in a range of grits ranging from coarse to fine and it’s important to select the right level for the job (more on this later).
Floor grinders can be used in both wet and dry conditions depending on their application. Wet floor grinders use water to cool down the diamond pads and remove excess dust. Water helps to reduce friction and increase the lifespan of your machine, but it can be quite messy to work with.
If you’re using the dry method, the machine will polish the floor while containers within the grinder remove and store the dust. Both methods are often used for best practice; the dry method will remove any imperfections or uneven sections of flooring and the wet method can polish the floor to give an attractive finish.
Major applications which require floor grinders
Floor grinders are versatile machines that can be used for a variety of different applications. We’ll explore some of the most common uses in more detail below.
Floor grinding and levelling
This application is most commonly used on concrete floors, as the surface must be properly prepared before repainting or adding a coating. Floor grinders can be used to level the floor and smooth away any inconsistencies or damage in the floor’s surface or edges. Coarse diamond discs will be needed for this application and you may need to go over the surface several times to achieve your desired result.
Once a floor has been prepped and made level, it can then be polished to a high shine. Different discs may need to be used during the polishing process, with a move towards finer abrasives with each polish. Floor polishing is highly effective and it gives an attractive, mirror-like shine to surfaces such as concrete.
Hardwood flooring applications
Floor grinders can also be used to smooth and refinish hardwood floors. Grinders remove the top layer of flooring to reveal the fresh wood underneath and this can then be treated with a new wood stain or fresh layer of sealant.
It’s recommended that you refinish hardwood flooring every seven to 10 years and grinders allow you to remove any scratches, dents or stains on the surface of the wood. They also remove any traces of old varnish and allow you to change the colour of the stain if required.
Stone flooring applications
Floor grinders are ideal for use on concrete but they can also be used on other stone flooring materials, such as marble or granite. Floor grinding can change and restore the appearance of stone flooring by levelling the surface, preparing the surface for treatment or polishing the stone to a reflective shine.
Screed is often confused with concrete, but there are differences in the finish, the size of aggregates used and the mix consistency. Screed is poured as a thin layer to create a smooth coating on a floor and it’s often found underneath tiles. When renovating or repairing a floor, you may need to remove an old layer of screed first. This can be done using a floor grinder, which will grind down the top layer until the screed is gone.
Paint, latex and adhesive removal
If you’re replacing flooring like carpet, vinyl tiles or rubber, you’ll first need to use a stripping machine to remove the existing flooring. Once this is done, it’s likely that they’ll be some adhesive, latex or paint left behind. Concrete flooring may also have some patches of an existing coating that will need to be removed before repainting or resealing.
If you need to remove paint, latex or adhesive from a floor, you can do so using a floor grinding machine. They provide a chemical-free way to remove any existing paint or coatings and ensure the floor is prepared for the next stage.
How to use your floor grinder effectively
Floor grinders are versatile and powerful machines, but it’s important to know how to use your grinder effectively. This will make the job much easier and give you the required finish you’re after.
Pick the right diamonds
Choosing the right diamond pads is crucial to achieve your desired finish. You may have to experiment with a few different types but it’s worth doing as much research as you can beforehand. This includes understanding different bonds and segment styles, as well as testing the concrete hardness if possible.
You’ll also need to think about whether you’re removing material (like glue or screed) and if you’ll be polishing the floor afterwards. Diamonds that are too abrasive could scratch the floor beyond repair, so always consult a professional if you’re unsure.
You’ll achieve the best results if you take your time and don’t rush, especially if you’re removing stubborn patches of adhesive or paint. Rushing means that you might have to go over the same area multiple times, which then takes more time in the long run! Go slowly and carefully, especially around the edges of the floor.
Make sure there’s adequate power
Some larger grinders require more than household power. You may need a generator or have to consult an electrician to make sure there’s adequate power before the work begins. This is especially important if you’re using a floor grinder for a DIY job at home.
Concept Flooring Technology – The Specialists in Floor Grinding Equipment Hire
If you’re looking to hire a floor grinder for your next project, get in touch with the experts at Concept Flooring Technology. We’re proud to offer a range of high quality flooring machines for hire, including floor grinders, concrete floor polishers, handheld grinders and preparation grinders.
Our machines are suitable for a wide range of applications, from re-levelling a concrete floor, to polishing, tile stripping or removing existing paints, latex or coatings. Our floor grinding equipment is available for hire nationwide and we aim to offer next day delivery for all customers. Unsure about which floor machine is right for you? Give us a call today to speak to our friendly, knowledgeable team, or contact us online.