The Basics of Concrete Polishing

concrete polishing

Both wet concrete polishing and dry concrete polishing are two methods of polishing concrete, both use concrete polishing pads or concrete polishing disc, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Wet concrete polishing uses a water-based compound as the lubricant and applies concrete polishing pads or concrete polishing disc to the concrete surface. The compound is highly absorbent and can form a film, this film provides the protection and texture to the concrete. It is commonly available in three sizes, namely, compact, medium and heavy. Another method of wet concrete polishing is using dry compound or dry concrete polishing pads, which is applied by rotating a dry disc cutter blade around the concrete while continuously rotating the pad. A squeegee is used to control the concrete polishing cost.

Dry concrete polishing pads are of two types concrete polishing disc and solvent cement mixture. They provide a good shine but tend to chip after some time due to the moisture retained. On the other hand, solvent cement mixture polish tends to provide a consistent shine on concrete floors that chips and wears too quickly due to constant moisture. Solvent cement mixture polish is also referred to as wet floor polish.

Concrete Polishing Machines

There are four different concrete polishing machines available in the market; a wet process, dry process, rotary process and a combination of the two. Each type of concrete polishing machine produces a unique polish finish on concrete floors and each one achieves a distinct level of polish finish on a concrete floor. The wet concrete polishing process is achieved by applying a solvent onto the floor and then cleaning the floor by water or a solvent-water solution. The other types of concrete polishing machines use the dry process, which includes applying a concrete sealer, grinding and rolling to produce a smooth finish and then applying a clear solvent-water paste to a newly poured concrete floor.

concrete polishing

When using concrete polishing tools and pads, you should first read the instructions carefully before starting the actual concrete polishing process. Instructions on concrete polishing pads are usually illustrated with diagrams and photographs. Some polishers may have unique features like an adjustable slotted handle or an auto shut off feature.


If you want to install a concrete polishing machine and pads on your own, the first step in the process is to choose the appropriate grit size for your purpose. Four main grit sizes are commonly used in concrete polishing: fine, coarse, medium and extra-fine. Fine grits increase the friction and heat while coarse grits reduce it and help in reducing the wear of the pads. Medium and extra-fine grits are recommended for grinding. For painting, fine grits will be too coarse.

After choosing the right size of the grit pad, the next step is to choose the right polisher for the job. Be sure to use the right polisher for the concrete you are working on. A high-quality diamond-tipped polisher can give a natural shine to marble, granite and limestone but will cause a matte finish on concrete. Using a low-grit pad will create a matte look but will not cause damage to the concrete. You can choose from four-sided buffing pads that have higher levels of grits, ceramic polishes or even car wax pads.


It is important to consider curing as well as polishing when polishing concrete. Curing is the finishing process after polishing to attain a flat and level surface. Most concrete polishing experts suggest that after finishing a concrete slab with a high-quality polisher and a good-quality pad, the slab should be thoroughly cured by using a high-pressure water jet. This will make sure that all the polishes are at their maximum level of effectiveness and will also give the concrete a nice glossy finish. Curing should last for at least two years.

Polished concrete that is flat and shiny will attract buyers and keep them interested. A well-polished concrete slab will also resist damage from weather conditions. A concrete polishing expert should also be able to advise you about other ways to keep your concrete floor or slab looking its best. For example, some sealants will provide a protective barrier against moisture, wear and tear and stains so they will not be damaged.