How to polish concrete countertops and floors
Polishing concrete is similar to sanding wood. Abrasive disks or pads (similar in function to sandpaper) gradually grind down the concrete surface until the desired of shine and smoothness have been reached. Concrete can be polished using either a wet or dry method. Professionals often use a combination of both methods. The wet method injects water to cool the diamond abrasives and reduce dust. One advantage to the wet method is that the pads last longer, though it is messier. For dry concrete polishing, some manufacturers sell resin-bonded disks and pads that withstand the friction of dry polishing.
To polish countertops or small floors, use a handheld wet polisher rather than a grinder. For ease of control, locate a tool that operates at between 500 and 3000 RPM. Faster tools become difficult to handle. To polish large floors, a larger tool will save your back. You may want to rent one if you have only one project. If you're polishing a countertop, wear an apron to avoid splattering your clothes.
Start with 50-grit pad, moving on to 100, 200, 400, and 800. Next polish with a 1500-grit pad and notice the sheen. Continue polishing until you are satisfied with the shine. Dry concrete pads at 5" cost about $165 for a set of three.
An eco-friendly and durable floor may be waiting to be polished under your carpet. Likewise, that outdated Formica countertop may be begging for a unique polished concrete countertop. You may be amazed at all the beautiful ways to make concrete a beautiful part of your home or business décor.