THE SCIENCE OF POLISH
“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions.”
– Grace Hopper, the first to devise the theory of machine-independent programming languages
THE MANY-HEADED HYDRA OF THE CONCRETE POLISHING PROCESS
When a contractor sets out to polish a concrete surface, different processes are required. All are critical to the quality of the final product.
Whether the work is starting from a fresh pour or other materials are involved (carpeting, paint, epoxy, adhesive etc), the surface must be mechanically ground down, beginning with heavy tooling and then transitioning to lighter as the surface becomes smooth. Essentially, this is the stage where the uppermost layers are removed and the concrete is “opened up.”
Once the desired appearance/texture has been reached, if stain is to be used, this is when it’s done. Also, due to the thin layer of concrete removed in step 1, the concrete itself is now weak and soft. To close the pores and harden the concrete once again, a concrete densifier is applied.
Once the stain and densifier have completely dried, the surface is mechanically honed using higher grit diamond pads. This is when you should start to see the gloss, or “shine.”
Now it’s time to polish! Depending on the amount of gloss desired, the process continues using resin grit diamond pads up to a maximum of 3,000 grit (mirror-like finish).
Burnish with polishing pads, which will give the concrete its ultimate shine.
Myth: If it looks shiny and bright, it must have been done right.
As you can see, polishing concrete is a multi-faceted, complex process with numerous opportunities for error. Many factors can affect the basic “look” of a polished concrete floor (lighting, angle, time, etc) and flaws may not be readily apparent, with even a detailed examination. The only way to know for sure what you are getting is by an accurate measurement.
Runyon Data Services excels in this!