Before I got into this industry, I didn't really think it was possible to give seemingly dull, grey concrete an industrial, reflective shine. The following information in this article will tell you the basics of polished concrete, what people seem to like so much about it, a few of its many uses, and tips on how to make concrete literally shine.
There are many tools that will be needed in order to create the look that most customers want in their concrete. That being said, different cuts are required for the many different looks that can be achieved. For example, the interior of the average grocery store will have a 400 diamond grit cut. This is mostly because the wheels of a shopping cart are around a 400 in roughness. Whereas the average homeowner would usually prefer a cut from around an 800 grit.
So how do you polish concrete exactly? This is essentially done by shaving off the top layer of the concrete with the desired grit diamond that you would like your floor to be as the end result. Now obviously you do not just jump directly to an 800 grit cut if that is what you would like the final product of your floor to be, but you start small. In most cases, you do an initial cut using 50 grit diamonds, then you go to a 100 grit diamond. Than 200, followed by a 400, and finally you get to use your 800 grit pad.
As you go higher up with the cut, The higher polishing pads would help to close up the pores in the concrete, and give you a more reflective shine. This creates heat that works with the calcium in the cement to harden up the concrete. You can not over polish a concrete but you can put burn marks if you are too aggressive.
Once you have finished with the polishing process with your diamonds, You would want to put a water based guard. These guards are usually an acrylic base that fills up the microscopic and allows the concrete to breathe. You would want to apply these with a microfiber mop. Once you have finished that, you will want to varnish it in with a high speed varnish. This creates intensive heat by hardening up the acrylic. Depending on the hardness of the concrete that you have started out with, you would want to use a scale of aggressive pads, white pads being the least aggressive, up to black pads being the most aggressive.