7 Common Concrete Polishing Mistakes

What happens when you take an ordinary concrete floor and give it a good polishing? You transform it into a durable, attractive and low-maintenance solution that can give any room a big boost.

However, to achieve the perfect result, you must ensure that the process is done right, otherwise you might compromise the outcome of the whole project. To help you prevent that and understand which issues could crop up, please read on for seven common concrete polishing mistakes. 

Inadequate Surface Preparation

Starting at the most basic level, one of the most common mistakes is not to properly prepare the surface for the application. Before the polishing even begins, the concrete surface must be cleaned thoroughly to remove dirt, oil, grease, or other contaminants.

Typically, this involves sweeping, vacuuming, and scrubbing the surface to remove anything that could interfere with the application of the polish. You also must remove any previously applied coatings or sealers to ensure the new coating can properly adhere. If you fail to do so, it may lead to poor adhesion, uneven polishing, and problems with the durability of the finished floor.

Skipping Grit Levels

Properly polishing concrete involves a multi-step process that gradually lowers the grit level to achieve the intended sheen and smoothness. Starting out with coarse grinding, the grit level is adjusted in stages to get consistent results. If you try to advance to quickly or skip grit levels, you might scour the surface and create visible scratches and end up with a lacklustre finish. The gradual sequence is designed to remove scratches from the previous step.

concrete polishing

Overlooking Moisture Content

The moisture content in the concrete substrate may seem like a small detail, but in fact, it can significantly impact the success of the whole project. Excessive moisture can lead to issues such as efflorescence, staining, and delamination of coatings. But not having enough moisture is also not good because it can result in a dull finish and reduced durability. Perform moisture testing, install a moisture barrier or allow fresh concrete to dry properly before starting the polishing process to ensure you get the best possible result.

Rushing the Drying Time

We know that patience is a virtue, but who has time for virtues these days, right? Well, when it comes to concrete polishing, it’s not just a virtue, but it’s critical. If you try to rush the drying time between polishing steps, you can compromise the integrity of the whole finish and end up with inferior results. It’s crucial you wait fir the sufficient time to ensure the concrete can cure and harden properly, otherwise you’ll get premature wear, surface defects and your floowing will not be as durable as it should be. So, even if it may extend the overall project timeline, this is something you definitely shouldn’t rush.

Neglecting Edge Polishing

While the main area of your polished concrete floor is the star of the show and gets the most attention, you shouldn’t forget the edges. Neglecting the edges can make your flooring look uneven, rough and unfinished. While it’s not necessarily critical for the functionality, it takes away from the overall aesthetic. Depending on the area, you may need specialized equipment and techniques to get all the way to the edge, so this is something to keep in mind when you plan the project.

concrete polishing

Using Incorrect Equipment or Tools

Another common mistake is not using the right equipment or tools. To get the best results, you must ensure to get the right polishing pads, diamond abrasives and machinery to avoid damaging the surface and causing unsightly scratches. Using aggressive or too abrasive equipment can remove too much material and if it is not strong enough, you might not get the level of refinement you’re looking for. Consult with experienced professionals to ensure to avoid costly mistakes and get the best results.

Failing to Apply Protective Sealant

The final step to concrete polishing is the application of a protective sealant. Yes, it will add some extra time for drying and curing, but it’s essential to preserve the finish and extend its lifespan. A quality sealant acts as a barrier and protects the polished surface from stains, scratches, and wear. If you skip this step, you risk damage to the floor, requiring additional maintenance and cost sooner than you otherwise would. It’s also crucial to select a sealant that’s compatible with the polished surface and to follow the recommended application techniques to ensure the best possible protection. Regular maintenance of the sealant is a lot less of a hassle than having to redo the whole flooring.

Avoid These Costly Mistakes with TTM Finishes

Polishing concrete can be a bit of an artform to get the best results and the specialists of TTM Finishes have mastered it with years of experience. We have the equipment, tools and expertise to help you avoid mistakes when it comes to polishing your concrete flooring, whether you’re renovating a commercial space, industrial facility, or residential property.

TTM Finishes is fully bonded and insured and only uses high-quality products, environmentally-friendly techniques, professional equipment and WHMIS-trained and certified personnel on all painting and concrete floor finishing projects.

Contact TTM today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 905-850-0335 or complete our online form to learn how to transform your concrete floor from drab to stunning!