Concrete flooring is ubiquitous when it comes to commercial, industrial and public-sector properties. As a reflective, hygienic and durable material, polished concrete is the perfect choice for manufacturing plants, warehouses, schools and other commercial properties. It can help save money on electricity by reflecting light and lasts for decades. However, although concrete is a popular choice, it can be a tricky and stubborn material to work with. Once set, concrete requires heavy-duty machinery to grind down, polish and repair. So what happens if you have laid concrete which needs to be levelled or repaired? Perhaps you have an existing concrete floor that needs to be laid with adhesives for a new coating? In these circumstances, you will likely require a concrete grinder machine, as well as a range of other high-quality flooring machinery. Here, we take a look at concrete grinders in greater detail.
What Is a Concrete Grinder and How Do They Work?
As the name suggests, a concrete grinder is a machine that is used to grind concrete! Concrete grinders come in a range of shapes, sizes and configurations for several applications. Hand-held angle concrete grinders, for example, are used for smaller concrete cutting or edge grinding jobs. Whereas large industrial walk-behind concrete grinders are used for grinding larger commercial concrete floors. There are myriad concrete grinding machines to choose from depending on your specific needs.
Walk-behind concrete grinders are more robust and powerful than hand-held grinders. They require more energy to work and operate under much greater stress. This additional pressure is due to the high level of sliding friction when grinding large areas of concrete.
Concrete grinding machines grind concrete floors using an abrasive material. Common abrasives used for floor grinding are diamond-coated discs and diamond blades, which are supplied in a range of grits from coarse to fine.
Floor Grinding and The Many Other Applications Concrete Grinders Are Used For
Concrete grinders are incredibly versatile pieces of kit. Use a concrete grinder to grind a minute layer of concrete from the surface of a floor in preparation for adhesives or polishing.
Floor Grinding and Levelling
Before polishing or painting a concrete floor, the surface must be properly prepared beforehand. If a concrete floor is cracked, damaged or simply uneven, then it must be levelled before it can be polished or painted. Floor grinders are designed to do just that. Using rapidly rotating discs, walk-behind floor grinders smooth any inconsistencies in the concrete’s surface and edges. The process of concrete grinding results in a smoother, more level and consistent finish. Once the dust is removed, the floor should be ready for the polishing or painting process.
When a concrete floor is cured and set, a floor grinder is required to go over the surface several times with the coarsest diamond discs. Only when the floor is level can a grinder polisher machine, with fine-grit diamond discs, be used to achieve the final polish sheen.
Polishing Concrete With a Grinder Polisher
As mentioned above, once a concrete floor has been ground down to a satisfactory smoothness, it can then be polished with a finer grain diamond disc. Just like sanding down a piece of wood, the process always starts with a coarse disc and moves towards finer abrasives each time it is ground. Once the concrete floor has been ground to a satisfactory level and smoothness, the polishing process can begin with a grinder polisher machine. Depending on the level of shine required for the floor, between 1500 and 3000 grit is usually used for the final polishing.
Paint, Latex and Adhesive Removal
A large part of concrete floor preparation consists of removing materials and coatings from the surface. Some contractors may decide to use chemicals, power washing tools or even large quantities of baking soda to remove paint, latex or adhesives. However, by far the most efficient and effective method for removing paint from a concrete floor is by using a concrete grinding machine.
Using a walk-behind floor grinder provides a chemical-free solution to coating removal. Moreover, once the coating has been removed, the ground and polished concrete will be ready for a new layer of adhesive, paint or latex paint. Through floor grinding, you can remove the existing paint and prepare the surface for a new coat simultaneously.
Bitumen is an adhesive material that may contain asbestos and was widely used up until the 1980s as part of the flooring process. As an affordable, fire-proof and water-resistant material, bitumen was very popular for floorers. However, we have since discovered the deadly impact that asbestos can have on our health. With that in mind, bitumen must be removed from floors when found. If discovered, an asbestos survey should be performed on the property to ensure that any asbestos can be removed in compliance with the relevant legislation.
When removing bitumen from a floor, by far the most effective method of doing so is by using a concrete floor grinder. Solvents and sanding simply won’t cut it and can even make the situation worse. Instead, depending on the range of power you have access to, either grind the area with a single-head floor grinder (if you have access to three-phase power) or scabble and then grind with single-phase power.
Screed is often confused with concrete. Although concrete and screed have chemical similarities, they are fundamentally different. The main differences between screed and concrete are the size of the aggregates used, the grade and finish of the cement as well as the mix consistency used. Screed is a much thinner layer of material that is poured onto a floor and then set to create a smooth coating under the top layer. Screed is commonly found underneath tiles or above underfloor heating systems with a damp-proof membrane attached above.
When repairing or renovating a floor, you may need to remove the layer of screed. Again, an efficient and effective method of removing screed is to grind it down using a concrete grinder. This process will prepare the floor for a new layer of screed or a change in the flooring material.
The Options Available When Choosing a Concrete Grinder
Preparation grinders are the perfect choice for areas of concrete flooring which require adhesive removal, a mechanical key or a heavy-duty grind. Smaller concrete grinders are designed to operate with limited space and remove old coatings, oil deposits and stubborn dirt. Larger concrete grinders are typically petrol-powered or require a significant amount of electricity from a generator or other power source. These heavy-duty options are also used to remove existing coatings as well as improve faults in a slab.
Polishing Finishing Grinders
Polishing finishing grinders are used by contractors once a preparation grinder has removed existing adhesives and prepared the concrete. These diamond grinding machines create the final glossy sheen of a reflective concrete floor. The type of concrete polishing finishing machine you choose will largely depend on the area of concrete you need to polish. Smaller areas of concrete, with limited access to power, will likely require smaller pieces of kit like the Blastrac BMG435 Grinder Polisher. A much larger area may require something more heavy-duty, like the HTC 800 HDX.
Concept Flooring Technology: Providing High-Quality Floor Grinding Machinery For Hire
If you’ve been looking for specialist concrete floor grinder hire ‘near me’, look no further than Concept Flooring Technology Ltd. Based in Buckinghamshire, we provide high-quality flooring machinery hire services for clients in Buckinghamshire, London, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Hampshire, Essex, Surrey, Kent, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire the West Midlands and beyond. Originally founded more than 20 years ago, we’ve gained a reputation for our high-quality hire services and our commitment to excellent customer service!
We can supply a wide range of floor grinding, polishing and buffing equipment for commercial clients. Whether you require machinery to level, prepare, grind, repair or polish a floor, our equipment will fit the bill. Moreover, our expert technicians can also provide equipment demonstrations and set-up services. So whether you have the experience and just need a machine or need someone to help guide you with your machinery, get in touch with us today!
To find out more about our services, please feel free to contact us today. You can find us at Concept Flooring Technology Ltd, Unit 3. Independent Business Park, Mill Road, Stokenchurch, Bucks, HP14 3TP. Alternatively, call us on 01494 485952 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.