Concrete grinders use horizontally rotating discs to perform a multitude of tasks, from light texturing to open the pores of the surface to the removal of paints and thin coatings. The key to their versatility is the grinding attachments, which are available in a variety of types and grits to suit different applications. Concrete floor grinding and polishing machines are machines that use rotating discs to polish, clean, and refinish floor surfaces. The floor surfaces floor grinders are commonly used on are concrete, hardwood, and stone surfaces. This article is a comprehensive guide on how to use floor grinding machines
Because grinders use rotary action rather than impact to remove material, the depth of material removal is limited to about 1/8 inch, depending on the type of attachment used. They generally leave behind a smoother profile than scarifying or shot blasting, and when working on hard, dense concrete they may polish rather than abrade the surface. Concrete grinding is actually a lot easier than you think it will be. Obviously, this depends so much on what you are trying to do and the circumstances, but the basic operation of the machines was easier than expected.
We will do a walk-through on how to use the different types of concrete grinding and polishing machines so that you can have an understanding of how it can be safely applied in your project. This is not a replacement for reading and understanding the product user manual of your floor grinding tools and the needed support that should come from the respective manufacturers.
There are three types of concrete floor grinding machines
- Hand held floor grinding machines
- Walk behind floor grinding machine
- Ride-on floor grinding machine
A hand-held grinder could be one of the most versatile items in your tool chest. It’s a fast solution for smoothing out bumps and other irregularities in both horizontal and vertical concrete surfaces. You can also use it to remove graffiti and worn coatings or paint and to roughen up floor surfaces in preparation for coating application.
With grinding diameters of 5 inches or less, these tools can’t replace walk-behind surface preparation machines for profiling large areas of concrete. But they work easily in tight areas where the larger units can’t maneuver, such as in corners and close to walls.
Although walk-behind machines are well suited for profiling large slab surfaces, you can also buy handheld grinders for working in tight areas where larger units can’t maneuver, such as in corners and close to walls. These smaller workhorses are available with grinding diameters ranging from 5 to 12 inches and can also be used to remove bumps, form marks, and graffiti from vertical surfaces or to grind concrete countertops. Like their larger cousins, handheld units come with a selection of grinding accessories and can be hooked up to an industrial vac for dust control.
WALK-BEHIND CONCRETE GRINDERS
For floor and slab surfaces, you can find walk-behind grinders ranging in size from single-disc units for working in small or restricted areas to dual-, triple- or even four-disc machines for high-production grinding of large slabs. A single-disc grinder has a working width of 10 to 12 inches while a dual-disc unit covers 20 or more inches in one pass. Disc rotation speeds range from about 250 to over 3,000 rpm. On multiple-disc units, the discs usually are counter-rotating to provide balanced torque so the grinder won’t pull from side to side.
For more even grinding, some machines are also equipped with floating heads that will follow the contour of the floor and adjustable rear wheels to keep the grinding discs level. Many manufacturers offer a choice of power options, including electric, gasoline, and propane. Most machines are equipped with vacuum ports for dust-free dry grinding. Some models also include water mist systems so they can be used with wet- or dry-cutting attachments. It is also necessary to know if you will be doing wet concrete grinding or polishing or the dry type. Take a look at why you need to know this here
WAYS TO USE A CONCRETE FLOOR GRINDER
Many of today’s grinders can serve multiple functions and are generally more adaptable than other types of surface prep equipment, especially when it comes to decorative work.
They are good for the following applications:
- Profiling floors before application of thin coatings or paints because they won’t create ridges in the surface, as can scarifiers
- Breaking up deposits of grease, dirt and industrial contaminants
- Leveling uneven joints or high spots
- Removing paint, sealer or other coatings
- Polishing concrete surfaces (grinders with finer-grit abrasives