What is a Floor Grinding Machine and How Does it Work?
Concrete surfaces look beautiful when they are first installed. However, over time they can become stained and scratched. To keep your concrete floors looking their best, you will need to invest in a floor grinding machine.
A floor grinding machine, also known as a concrete grinder. is a tool that is used to smooth and polish the surface of the concrete. These machines come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but they all have one common goal: to make your concrete look amazing! In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of floor grinding machines, as well as their benefits. We will also give you some tips on how to choose the right machine for your needs.
What is a Floor Grinding Machine, Exactly?
A floor grinding machine is a powerful tool that is designed to remove stains, scratches, and imperfections from concrete floors. It uses a rotating disc to grind down the surface of the concrete, leaving it smooth and even. You can then use a sealer to protect the floor from future damage.
Concrete floor grinders are typically used for polishing concrete, hardwood floors, and stone flooring. They can also be used for removing paint, adhesives, and other materials from floor surfaces. Both residential and commercial buildings use floor grinders for a smooth and level surface.
Apart from polishing flooring surfaces, it is also used for concrete restoration, refinishing exterior wood surfaces, removing coatings and mastics, grinding tile grout lines, and leveling uneven surfaces. A floor grinding machine requires special attachments depending on the surface you need to work on.
For instance, most floor grinding projects will require a diamond cup grinding wheel. This type of wheel is designed to remove material quickly and easily. It has small diamonds embedded in the surface that help break down the concrete. You can also use it for sanding wood surfaces, removing rust from metal surfaces, and more. As for newly laid stone floors, it is used for honing and polishing the surface to reveal a perfectly smooth finish.
Types of Concrete Floor Grinder Machines
There are many different types of floor grinding machines on the market, but they can be divided into three categories: handheld, walk-behind, and ride-on floor grinding machines.
Handheld Floor Grinding Machines
Handheld floor grinding machines are small and lightweight, making them perfect for use in tight spaces. They are also very easy to operate, which makes them ideal for beginners. However, handheld floor grinding machines can be difficult to control, so they are not always the best choice for large projects.
Walk-Behind Concrete Grinders
Walk-behind floor grinding machines are larger and heavier than handheld models, but they are also more powerful. These machines are perfect for large projects or for concrete floors that are too difficult to reach with a handheld machine. Walk-behind floor grinding machines also offer more control and precision than their handheld counterparts.
Ride-on Floor Grinding Machines
Ride-on floor grinding machines are the largest and most powerful options on the market. They are designed for large industrial projects, and they offer the most control and precision of any type of floor grinding machine. However, ride-on floor grinding machines can be very expensive, so they are not always the best choice for smaller projects.
How Do Floor Grinders Work?
Most floor grinders use a spinning disc to remove stains, scratches, and imperfections from concrete floors. The disc is usually made of diamond or another abrasive material. Different degrees of cutting power might be accessible to the blades, which can be adjusted depending on the job at hand. The discs rotate at high speeds, and they are able to remove even the toughest stains and scratches.
To use a floor grinder, you will need to first wet the surface of the concrete. This will help to lubricate the disc and prevent it from becoming clogged with debris. You can then adjust the machine to the desired cutting power, and begin grinding! Be sure to keep a close eye on the machine while you are using it, as it can be easy to cause damage if you are not careful.
The grinding process creates a great deal of dust, so it is important to use a dust mask and goggles while operating the machine. It is also important to keep children and pets away from the area while the machine is in use. Additionally, you will need to wear proper safety gear while you are using the floor grinder aside from the dust mask and google, you also need to wear earplugs, gloves, and a respiratory mask.
After you have finished grinding the floor, you will need to vacuum up the debris and then apply a new coat of sealer. This will help to protect the floor and keep it looking its best. Floor grinders are an essential tool for any concrete worker or DIY enthusiast. With the right machine, you can create a perfect finish on your concrete floors!
Benefits of Using a Floor Grinder
There are many benefits of using a floor grinder on your concrete floors. First, floor grinders can remove stains and scratches that would otherwise be difficult to remove. Second, they can also be used to polish newly laid stone floors. Third, floor grinders offer more control and precision than handheld models. Additionally, they are perfect for large floor grinding projects or for concrete floors that are too difficult to reach with a handheld machine. over, floor grinders help to seal the concrete floor and protect it from future damage. Finally, they can be used to create a variety of finishes on concrete floors, hardwood floors, and stone floors depending on the type of machine you are using.
Here’s a rundown of the main uses of floor grinders.
- Remove scratches, paint, or coatings from a concrete surface
- Smooth out bumps or ridges
- Grind down protruding nails or screws
- Prepare a concrete surface for staining or sealing
- Removing rust, grease, or other contaminants from a concrete surface
- Remove old sealers or coatings
- Level a concrete surface before installing new flooring or tile
- Treatment polishing of concrete surfaces
- Prepare the surface for sealing or staining
- Extend the life of your concrete floors
How to Choose the Right Floor Grinding Machine
Now that you know what a floor grinding machine is and how it works, you need to choose the right one for your needs. Here’s a quick guide on how to choose the right floor grinding machine for your needs.
The first thing you need to consider is the size of the job. If you only need to grind a small area, then a handheld machine will be sufficient. However, if you are working on a large project, then you will need to use a walk-behind machine.
Type of Surface
The second thing you need to consider is the type of surface that you are working on. If your concrete floor is in good condition and only needs minor repairs, then a handheld machine will be sufficient. However, if the floor is in bad condition or needs major repairs, then you will need to use a walk-behind machine.
The third thing you need to consider is your budget. If you are working on a tight budget, then a handheld machine will be your best option.
Purpose of Use
The fourth thing you need to consider is the purpose of use. If you are only going to be using your floor grinder occasionally, then a handheld machine will be sufficient.
Frequently Asked Questions About Concrete Grinding and Polishing
1) Can you regrind old and existing floors?
Yes, you can. Floor grinders can be used to remove old sealers or coatings from a concrete surface and prepare it for staining or sealing.
2) How is the polishing process done?
Concrete polishing is comparable to sanding wood. Heavy-duty polishing machines with progressively higher diamond grinding discs are used to grind down surfaces to the required degree of brightness and smoothness. After the grinding process is complete, a coat of epoxy polish is applied to protect the floor and give it a high-gloss finish.
3) What is the proper care you should apply to a floor that has been polished?
The recommended care for a polished concrete floor is to sweep or vacuum it regularly and damp mop it with a pH-neutral detergent. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, as they can damage the finish. For deep cleaning, a weak solution of ammonia and water can be used. Be sure to rinse the floor well afterward.
4) How long do polished concrete floors last?
The life of a polished concrete floor depends on the amount of traffic it receives and the type of sealer that is used. With proper care, a polished concrete floor can last for 20 years.
5) How often should you grind and polish concrete floors?
Most concrete floors only need to be ground and polished every 2-3 years. However, if the floor is in a high-traffic area, it may need to be done more often.
Now that you know what a floor grinding machine is and how to choose the right one for your needs, you can get started on your next project. With the right machine, you can create a perfect finish on your concrete floors!
Concrete Polishers Equipment
Thanks to recent advances in polishing equipment and techniques, you can now grind concrete floor surfaces-whether new or old- to a high-gloss finish that never needs waxes or coatings. Offering superior durability and ease of maintenance, polished concrete has become a popular flooring surface in warehouses, retail spaces, schools, and other high-traffic facilities. But polished concrete serves much more than a utilitarian purpose. It’s also an economical flooring alternative for homeowners or businesses that can’t afford pricy marble or granite floors but want the same brilliant, mirror-like finish.
Diamond Tooling Get tips and insights on choosing the right type of diamond tooling for polishing concrete floors. Diamond Tooling Tips
Free Polishing Ebook Discover five developing trends in concrete polishing from ConcreteNetwork.com’s new e-book. You’ll also get insights and guidance from veteran polishers that will help you stay profitable in today’s market. Concrete Polishing Today
Polished Designs Graphics A step-by-step guide to taking your polished concrete floors to the next level with designs and graphics. Concrete Polishing 101 x2
Get the Look Gallery View our polished concrete installation gallery to see completed projects and find out what products and equipment were used. Get the Look. Polishing Pictures
Concrete Polishing Videos Watch a collection of videos featuring demonstrations on how to use and maintain polishing equipment.
Free Polishing Machine Catalog Get information from SASE Company such as a free catalog, color charts, info sheets, pricing, and more.
Polished Concrete Training Find companies that offer training courses for developing your concrete polishing skills.
Concrete Polishing Equipment Buying Tips
Before you invest big money in a concrete floor grinder, be sure to listen, learn and ask the right questions
When you factor in the expense of a concrete grinder and all of the accessory items, you’re looking at a major investment. Do your homework and ask plenty of questions.
My, how the polishing industry has evolved since its inception back in the mid-1990s. Back then when you visited the World of Concrete, you’d find less than a handful of grinding equipment manufacturers and diamond tooling producers interspersed throughout the exhibit halls. Fast forwarding to the current market and specifically this year’s WOC, the amount of choices available is overwhelming, to say the least.
I felt sorry for the new generation of aspiring concrete polishers looking to get into the business, thinking that they were going to find all of the answers under one roof at the world’s largest concrete expo. At one point, I stumbled upon one of my former students visiting the show, and he pulled me to the side and said, “Help! I’m so confused on what I should be looking for when considering purchasing new equipment. All of the manufacturers are telling me their equipment has the latest and greatest bells and whistles.” Here was my advice to him, and it holds true for anyone overwhelmed by trying to make sense of which equipment best fits their company’s needs. Reflecting back on our conversation, the scenario reminded me of an episode from the old TV series Kung Fu.
Master Po: [after easily defeating the boy in combat] Ha! Ha! Never assume because a man has no eyes he cannot see. Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Ask what kind of production rates can be expected with the equipment you are proposing to buy. Bigger floor grinders with more heads will cover large areas faster.
Master Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Young Caine: No.
Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
Young Caine: [looking down and seeing the insect] Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?
Our version went something like this:
Master Po: Ha! Ha! Never assume because one grinder manufacturer claims to have the best and fanciest equipment on the market that they do. Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the same darn story at every booth I visit that their equipment is the best!!
Master Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Young Caine: Who wouldn’t hear their own heart beat after what that damn salesman quoted me on the price of their equipment!
Master Po: Do you feel the scratch pattern left behind from the previous grit at your feet, which is a result of advancing the machine at too fast of a pace.
Young Caine: [looking down and seeing the scratches] Old man, how is it that you feel these things?
Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?
Take the grinder for a test drive. You want to avoid a machine that leaves behind visible lines or striping.
Know Your Market
As in the Kung Fu example, the decision on the appropriate type of equipment for your needs starts with listening and learning. You must truly have an in-depth understanding of what your target market is going to be and the project size your company intends on pursuing. Purchasing equipment can be a huge capital investment, and the differences between some of the equipment can equate to tens of thousands of dollars. This is why it is imperative to understand who your clients will be and if you will be servicing the residential, light industrial or heavy commercial market.
When making such an investment, take into consideration that single-head machines can range in grinding widths from 20 to almost 40 inches. Obviously, the smaller machines are great for getting into tight and hard-to-access areas and fit through most conventional doorways. But they aren’t as efficient as larger machines in open areas. Conversely, larger equipment can almost double production rates on large projects, but they require higher voltage and three-phase power to operate. The reality of this market is that it is tough to compete with the big guys already established in the polishing world, especially when you are trying to get into this business.
25 Inch Versatile Grinder Great for small retail and residential spaces
Polishing Diamonds Options for hard, medium, and soft concrete.
Raider XL5 Budget-firendly prep and polishing machine (8,985)
Scanmaskin Diamond Tools A wide variety of different sizes and hardness
Rhino RL500. trackless grinder Compact/powerful. 1/8 edge clearance
Titan XT Engineered for industrial surface prep, grinding and polishing.
Bull 1250 EBS Propane Propane powered, industrial dust extractor.
Learn the Terminology
Do you know the difference between a “planetary” and “nonplanetary” grinder? To differentiate between the many choices of equipment out there, you’ll need to learn some basic industry terms. Let’s start with “active planetary” and “passive planetary.” Active planetary is where there are two belts, one driving the drum and one separate from the drum driving the grinding heads. Passive is where the drum is driven with a single belt, which means the drum is rotating but the grinding heads are just spinning freely and not being driven with a secondary belt.
A true nonplanetary grinder is where the drum is not spinning but the heads are gear-driven. The grinding heads overlap each other. Some think that this type of grinding machines is better-suited for heavy bulk removal. If you are not careful with this type of machine, though, it is very easy to get visible lines or striping, which makes it necessary to swing the machine side to side to avoid a corn row effect.
Evaluate Your Power Options
Although I do not personally have a tremendous amount of experience with propane-driven machines, the biggest selling feature with this type of equipment is that they are cordless, which saves in production time because you don’t have to fight with electrical cords throughout the duration of the project. Of course, theoretically this means you would have to have a propane dust extractor too (assuming you are grinding dry), since you would be defeating the purpose if your vacuum was electrically powered. The downside, I’m told, is that propane machines do not have quite the torque or power a 480-volt three-phase machine has. Also, there are certain scenarios where the fumes from a propane-driven machine are not acceptable.
The biggest advantage of a propane-powered grinder is that it’s cordless, so you don’t have to rely on an electric power source or tether yourself to extension cords.
Beware of Package Deals
On the subject of the diamond tooling, most manufacturers are going to try and sell you on their entire package or complete “system,” as they put it. Does this mean most professional polishing contractors use one complete system throughout the entire process? The reality is, more often they do not.
As I’m writing this article, I just finished consulting on two separate 50,000-square-foot projects with different contractors. Each of the contractors was using a certain brand of grinding equipment with dust-extraction equipment and diamond tooling produced by a competitor. The point being, it’s not always a “one size fits all,” and the true professionals of the business find which setups work best for them.
Hear the Grasshopper
The best advice I can give to anyone considering diving into the polished concrete business is to do your research on the manufacturers and ask plenty of questions. After all, would you buy a new car without asking any questions? The last thing you need is to make a large investment, only to find out that your equipment is not performing like it should or you do not have the market to support your investment.
I know of two scenarios in which contractors tried to save a few dollars upfront and purchased equipment that performed marginally, at best. A year later, they put their machines up for sale to purchase grinders that ran more efficiently and, quite frankly, polished a heck of a lot better. In another case, a contractor forked out close to 20,000 on a machine, but had it for five months before getting his first polishing job. Fortunately for him, he was able to use his equipment on a weekly basis for prepping floors for cement-based toppings.
For the greatest versatility, choose grinding equipment that is universal, allowing you to interchange diamond tooling from other manufacturers.
Don’t be afraid to ask very specific questions when talking with vendors, and closely study their track record. Here is a list of questions I recommend bringing up when talking to polishing equipment manufacturers:
- How long have they been producing equipment?
- What makes their equipment different than their competitors’ machines?
- What is the warranty?
- Does the investment come with factory training?
- Does the investment come with jobsite training?
- During the training, do you actually get to operate the equipment? Are maintenance and service-related issues, like changing belts, covered?
- What kind of technical support does the company offer?
- What are the company’s hours of operation and time zone (East Coast vs. West Coast)?
- Will you be assigned a salesman covering your territory so you’re not just dealing with a customer service rep?
- Do they have facilities at different geographic locations, in case you encounter a problem on the jobsite?
- What kind of production rates can be expected with the equipment you are proposing to buy?
- What are the power requirements (if powered electrically)?
- Do they have diamonds for soft, medium soft, medium, medium hard, hard and ultra-hard concrete, and do they have specific diamonds for polishing cement-based toppings?
- What is the life expectancy of the diamonds on the various hardnesses of concrete?
- Is their equipment set up to be universal, so you can interchange diamond tooling from other manufacturers?
- What is the square-foot cost of a set of diamonds?
- If down the road you want to upgrade, is there a trade-in program or will they help you sell smaller or older equipment?
- Assuming you purchase their equipment and go through the proper training, do they have a referral program?
Checklist of Equipment and Supply Needs
HTC-America in Knoxville, TN
This is the indispensable workhorse on any polishing project. Look for a machine with a planetary drive system.- a large primary polishing head (ranging from 17 to 36 inches in diameter) fitted with three or four smaller satellite heads that hold the diamond abrasives. When the machine is operating, the satellite heads rotate in the opposite direction of the primary head to eliminate linear grinding marks in the floor.
Buying tips: Floor polishers can weigh anywhere from 250 to 1,250 pounds. Heavier machines produce greater friction levels, resulting in a better polish. If you’re polishing dry, be sure your machine is equipped with a built-in vacuum port to collect the dust.
Handheld polisher or walk-behind edging tool
7 inches in diameter or smaller to work along edges or in tight spots where a large walk-behind floor polisher can’t maneuver.
Set of diamond-segmented abrasives
Get various grit levels, ranging from about 16 to 3000 (the higher the number, the finer the abrasive level). You’ll need two basic types of abrasives: Coarse diamond segments bonded in a metallic matrix for surface preparation and initial grinding (from 16 to 300 grit) and finer diamond segments embedded in a resin matrix for honing and final polishing (from 100 to 3000 grit). See summary of the Basic Polishing Steps.
If the job requires removing thick elastomeric membranes, coatings, or mastics from an existing floor, it may be necessary to purchase a more aggressive grinding head specifically designed for removing heavy coatings and mastics, such as the Terrco Model 6200. This tool achieve high removal rates, often completing the job after one pass.
Buying tips: The choice of polishing abrasives depends on the condition of the surface and the hardness or softness of the material being polished. Consult with your supplier to determine the right diamond tooling to use for a particular application. A basic starter’s kit should include at least three abrasives at each grit level. (Most suppliers color-code their diamond abrasives by grit level for easy identification.) Be sure the diamond tooling is sized to fit the satellite heads of your polisher.
This is used to capture the dust generated from grinding of the concrete surface. Look for a machine capable of extracting about 99% of the dust from polishing (many of today’s models do). For large scale jobs and ease of operation there are different size dust extractors for grinding and polishing.
Penetrating chemical hardener
After performing initial coarse grinding with the metal-bonded diamond abrasives, it’s often beneficial to apply a liquid chemical hardener to the concrete to help solidify and densify the surface and provide extra protection from water penetration and staining. Hard concrete also produces a better polish. These products, which can be applied to new or existing floors, work by reacting chemically with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete to form a hard, crystalline structure. They are sold under different trade names, but are usually made of sodium-, potassium-, or lithium-based silicates.
This is used for patching any cracks in existing floors during the surface preparation stage.
Buying tip: Use an epoxy or other semi-rigid crack filler, making sure to level the filler at the surface. This will enable the polishing heads to move more easily over the floor.
Topical stain-guard treatment
Once you obtain the look and polish you’re striving for, you may want to protect the surface by applying a commercial stain-guard product, especially if the floor will be exposed to grease, oil, or chemicals. Similar to Scotchgard for fabric, these solutions penetrate the surface to make the floor more resistant to stain absorption and dirt. They are usually applied by pump sprayer or wax applicator, but must be reapplied every few months or so to maintain their effectiveness.
Supplemental power and lighting
Floor polishing machines consume a lot of juice (from 220 to 460 volts and up to 40 amps). Make sure the facility you’re working in has the right electrical outlets and enough power to operate your equipment. Consider investing in a portable generator to eliminate downtime due to insufficient power. Also check the lighting: Is it bright enough to clearly illuminate the surface you’re working on? If not, you’ll need to bring in portable halogen lights.
Optional decorative enhancements
You can enhance the lustrous beauty of polished concrete by using various coloring products and specialty treatments. To add color, you can apply chemical stains or dyes to the concrete during the polishing process. For new concrete floors, colored aggregate, glass pieces, or bits of metal can be seeded into the freshly placed concrete before it sets. The polishing process will reveal these decorative embellishments.
Concrete Grinders Polishers. What types are there? Which one is best for you?
By Randy Wheelis Grinding, Polished Concrete
Knowing your concrete grinder types — and what they are used for — is critical for successfully completing your grinding polishing projects
There are many styles of concrete grinders to choose from and it can get both confusing and a little intimidating. Especially when trying to decide what design type is best for you and your projects.
This article will outline the basic types of concrete grinders on the market and address the positive (and negative) aspects of the most common machines.
MOST COMMON TYPES OF MACHINES
- Single head machines.
- Dual head machines.
- Three headed planetary grinder/polisher.
- Four headed planetary grinder/polisher.
- Multi-disk non-planetary grinders.
- Variable speed and reversible machines
SINGLE HEAD grinders
While there are exceptions, most single head machines are small and light (around 100. 300 lbs.)
And most will vary between 9” 18”, run on either 110 or 220 power.
WHERE WOULD YOU USE A SINGLE HEAD MACHINE?
They are great for smaller areas that bigger machines cannot access, edges and hard- to-reach areas like small rooms, bathrooms or offices or lightweight capacity floors.
These smaller machines are also really great for taking slight ridges and high spots out of a concrete slab. This eliminates the need for contractors to “float off” these ridges with a floor patching compound in order to prevent these imperfections from “telegraphing” or transferring through to the surface of the new material being installed.
These machines are cost-effective, lightweight and essential. EVERY flooring contractor should have a machine like this strapped to the inside of their van.
WHERE WOULD A SINGLE HEAD NOT BE THE BEST CHOICE?
Larger square footage projects are less suitable for a machine that has a single head, or a machine that is small and light in general. While t hese small machines will perform well on larger projects. the time involved (if you used a small machine only for a large area) is too great and most contractors will opt-out for a larger machine for higher productivity.
These smaller machines also wouldn’t do well on floors that need grinding to a flat consistent surface. because with the smaller footprint it is difficult to get that smooth consistent cut. A larger machine like a 24” or a 32” machine will produce a much more consistently flat surface.
DUAL HEAD MACHINES
Dual-headed machines are great for quickly producing an aggressive CSP, (Concrete Surface Profile). they are easy to use and cost-effective ; and are a common choice for a concrete grinding machine, especially in the rental market.
A dual headed machine with the correct diamonds can produce a CSP of 2-3, maybe even a CSP of 4 (a rougher finish) on some concrete. This profile is great for most epoxies, moisture mitigation systems, and is a great “blank slate” for skim coating in preparation for sheet goods, VCT, and carpet.
WHERE WOULD A DUAL HEADED MACHINE NOT BE A GOOD CHOICE?
These machines are typically not a good choice if you are polishing concrete. as they tend to slightly gouge the surface and fail to give the very smooth, consistent surface necessary for a good polished concrete floor that a true planetary grinder delivers. As we will see below.
THREE-HEADED PLANETARY GRINDER/POLISHERS
Here is where we start to get into the larger, more versatile machines that not only grind the floor to the desired CSP but are effective concrete polishers as well.
These machines can be chain-driven, gear-driven, belt-driven, or even centrifugal-force-driven, depending on the manufacturer.
WHAT IS A PLANETARY GRINDER?
A three-headed planetary grinder works like this. the large drum you see in the image above operates similar to a “solar system”. T his drum will rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise. The three cutter heads are the “planets”. With all three headed planetary grinders. all three heads will rotate in the opposite direction of the main drum/plate, providing an effective, consistent cut to the concrete. The heads working in opposite directions make for a machine that is balanced and comfortably controlled by the operator.
One difference between THREE headed machines and FOUR
As mentioned, with three-headed machines all three grinding heads rotate in the same direction. On a four-headed machine, 2 of the grinding heads rotate opposite from the other two. Think of it like this: The “North” and “South” heads will turn clockwise and the “East” and “West” heads will turn counterclockwise, resulting in a VERY smooth-running machine.
Also — a very important point — many of these machines are VARIABLE SPEED! This allows you to run these machines slower when “cutting” the concrete, producing the desired CSP. then speed up the machine when you begin to polish the concrete.
Another feature in most planetary grinders is that they are reversible. they will run either clockwise or counterclockwise. This is a nice feature for many reasons.
ONE. Sometimes diamonds will actually cut better and faster when you occasionally switch directions from clockwise to counterclockwise.
TWO. When using “directional” diamonds like a lot of PCD diamonds (PCDs are man-made, big aggressive diamonds) you must run them in the direction they are designed to be used as the image below shows. And, with a reversible machine it is easy to do.
FOUR HEADED PLANETARY GRINDER/POLISHERS
Four-headed, belt-driven planetary grinders — like the Predator grinder/polisher shown above — are considered by many to be the absolute Cadillac of concrete grinder/polishers. Why? Their effectiveness. their comfort to operate, and their utterly unrivaled ability to produce a high degree of clarity and reflection when polishing concrete.
They are (in my opinion) the best, period! This, however, is not to say that three-headed machines do not do well in this regard, they actually do very well producing a great shine and clear reflection, it’s just that a four-headed machine excels at it.
SHOULD I BUY A THREE- OR FOUR-HEADED PLANETARY GRINDER?
So the next question immediately is. What’s the difference between a four-headed and a 3 headed planetary grinder?
Three-headed planetary grinder PROs
- Three-headed machines use less tooling. So, this saves the contractor money.
Four-headed planetary grinder PROs.
Four-headed machine Cons.
When trying to choose between these two great types of machines I’d ask these questions.
“Do you do more concrete profiling to achieve the needed CSP and less polishing?” “Are you starting out in business and the cost of equipment is a concern?”
if your answer to these questions is “yes” then a three-headed machine is probably the choice for you.
But if you answer these following questions with a “Yes”.
“Do I plan to FOCUS most of my projects on polishing versus surface preparation?” “Will I FOCUS on high-value / high-quality customers and finish expectations?””Will my workload and project types support a higher quality/priced machine?”
Then most likely a four-headed machine is the best fit for you.
Power Trowels have been around for many years, they are used in the placement of wet concrete. But in recent years manufacturers have learned that the correct polishing diamonds attached to a float pan, makes a great polishing system with unheard-of production rates! While this system is NOT suited for some projects, where it is applicable, it is an awesome choice.
WHERE WOULD YOU USE A POWER TROWEL?
This system is a great choice for very large projects 20K sq. ft. and more. the reason for this is its very high production rates. this system is great for warehouses, production facilities and manufacturing floors.
WHERE IS THIS SYSTEM NOT APPROPRIATE?
Smaller, high-end, projects where wall and millwork finishes are already installed, as well as occupied spaces. the reason is that you must use a power trowel “WET” the floor must be flooded with water and polished using this “wet method ” and this method is just not practical for these types or projects.
MULTI-HEAD NON-PLANETARY MACHINES
These machines vary in size and number of heads. It’s common for this type of equipment to have between six and eight cutter heads, though there are machines with more heads and fewer. These machines have no main drum rotating, just the individual heads turn.
They are also operated differently than true planetary grinders. But with a little training, these machines can be a good option.
Like all the other styles mentioned, this type of grinder can be a good choice. or not. depending on the manufacturer. So, be sure to do your research before purchasing one.
a few more IMPORTANT POINTS
ANY MACHINE IS ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS TOOLING
Simply put, tooling selection is just as important as machine selection. You can do all your research and buy the best machine for your projects, but if you do not understand tooling, and do not use the correct tooling — in this case mostly diamond tooling — you will be unhappy with the machine’s performance.
So, do your research, educate yourself on how diamond tooling works, call your manufacturer and ask for directions from their tech-reps and trainers. Tooling and equipment manufacturers will typically have these resources available.
Here at Bartell Global, all our sales reps are very familiar with both the equipment we manufacture as well as the tooling options available for each machine. We also have a dedicated product trainer who responds to these inquiries every day. And we are by no means alone, most reputable manufacturers and distributors are more than willing to help, as we all want contractors to have a positive experience w ith the equipment we manufacture.
So, yes, there are a lot of types of concrete grinders to choose from. And, it can be a little intimidating. but with a little research and advice from Pros that have experience with grinders you can succeed! And choose the
How to Choose the Right Diamond Tool for Concrete Grinding and Polishing
Concrete floors, especially polished concrete, are proving to be the top choice for contractors and customers everywhere, from industrial facilities to residential developments and high-end corporate headquarters.
Besides reducing maintenance costs, concrete floors are durable, long-lasting, environmentally friendly, reflect light beautifully, and can look like natural stonework.
To transform an old concrete floor, the hard work of preparing it for a new application must first be completed. Cleaning and sanitizing are essential, but so is removing any residues or coatings that can interfere with a successful concrete polishing job.
Diamond grinding removes virtually any coating, epoxy, glue, or mastic depending on its type, the hardness of the concrete, the desired finish, and the size of the surface. Diamond tooling is the real workhorse, between the grinding machine and the concrete surface.
It is essential to know how to determine the type of diamond tooling that will be most effective for the substrate as well as the end result you are after.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about selecting diamond tools for grinding and polishing concrete, how to use them, and where to buy them.
Diamond Grinding 101
You can chip away at hard surface materials such as concrete, granite, and marble by mounting a diamond grinding tool to a grinding machine. On the Mohs scale, diamonds are rated 10 on hardness. As a result, diamonds are the hardest materials on earth.
Depending on the diamond grit you choose, however, can affect the surface area you are applying them to. Choosing a diamond grinding tool with the correct segment bond is essential.
To begin with, you should ensure you have the right size diamond tool for your project. Larger size tooling might be necessary for grinding concrete than for removing a little paint.
In general, diamond tools with smaller surface areas are considered more aggressive. Therefore, these tools leave more scratching behind on surfaces after grinding.
The smoothest finish is likely to be achieved with larger diamond tools. Before selecting the size of your concrete grinding tool, make sure you understand your resurfacing plan.
What is a Bond?
As diamond crystals are ground to the slab surface by means of an abrasive grinding process, the bond holds them in the diamond tool. Diamonds are revealed as the bond wears out over time.
Grinding tools with soft bonds work well on hard surfaces. Eventually, the bond will wear out, so the sharp diamond pieces are exposed and able to do their part.
In the event that you have a soft or gritty surface to work on, you’ll need a harder bond. As a result, the diamond does not wear out as fast.
What are Segments?
‘Segments’ refer to the three centrally located parts of the diamond tool. These diamond pieces can be attached to the cup in several manners.
Surfaces such as concrete and stone benefit from larger segments. On a smaller job, you might have smaller segments. Paint and epoxies can be removed easily with these types of segments.
What is a Grit?
As a final factor, you will need to evaluate the grit of the diamond, which tells you whether it is coarse or fine. A diamond that has a coarser grit (30 to 40 should do the job) is best for a concrete floor grinder working on a coarse surface. A finer grit will be needed if you want to polish your surface. Smoother surfaces can be achieved if the grit is higher than 40. You will need to use higher-grit grinding cup wheels for a longer period of time. If you are trying to balance your end result with your productivity, you should refer to your grit levels.
Finding the Proper Diamond Tools
When it comes to finding the perfect diamond grinding tools, there is no need to look any further! Xtreme’s metal bond diamond tools are manufactured to the highest quality standards to provide optimal performance.
In addition to offering industry-leading products and services, Xtreme Polishing Systems makes the process of surface preparation as effortless as possible for our customers.
If you have the opportunity to work on another concrete project, review this article once again. Make sure you choose a concrete grinding wheel with the right size, shape, bond, and grit. See which diamond tool category fits your needs by looking through the different categories.
You make a big decision when you decide to purchase the best equipment for your next flooring project. Machines that are cost-effective and reliable are what we all want. Selecting the right diamond tooling can be the real challenge here. Productivity and cost-effectiveness depend on the right tool, but checking and measuring the performance of different tools can also help you learn.
Now that you know the basics to get started, all you need is a little patience and curiosity to try out different tools. Understanding errors is the greatest source of knowledge.
Resources, Guidance, and Support
At Xtreme Polishing Systems, our team of experts understands that concrete can variate in properties, therefore each slab must be treated differently. We also know how common it is for those unforeseen complications to occur after hours while still on the job site. It is crucial to have immediate support for achieving beautiful concrete finishes.
Whether you’re a professional contractor or a do-it-yourself type of person, our top-of-the-line concrete product supply and industry expertise are available to anyone. Our pros are here to discuss all your project concerns to assist you every step of the way, from START to FINISH.
Questions? We would love to hear them! Our professionals are readily available to answer all your questions and to provide you with concrete knowledge and industry expertise in the overall preparation and completion of a concrete floor project. Shop Online or Call (877) 958-5732 for all your concrete flooring needs!