What is the difference between concrete polishing and grinding

Difference between concrete polishing and grinding

One of the major flooring trends today is exposed concrete floors. They are durable, long-lasting, affordable, and environmentally friendly. You can achieve a glossy shine by concrete grinding and polishing them. Although, concrete polishing and grinding seem similar and both involve leveling off the concrete but they are not. Polished concrete is more labor-intensive and needs extra steps than grinding concrete. Know the difference between the two more accurately by reading the complete article.

Difference between concrete polishing and grinding 

Concrete polishing is the mechanical process of polishing of concrete slabs. It is done with the help of engineered floor grinders fitted with industrial diamonds. Use finer grits of diamond abrasives to hone and polish the concrete. Repeat the process puntil a floor reaches the desired level of shine. You can choose a level from 1-4 that is matte to a high gloss. However, concrete grinding is a much simpler process and requires fewer grinding, honing, and polishing steps. You can achieve the gloss from a tropical sealer. Other than this, here are the  key highlights about their difference:


You can achieve a uniform look with the help of a tropical sealer while that is not true for polished concrete. The reason is that a high-performance sealer is consistent on each application. However, the polish is reliant on concrete’s profile. Concrete grinding may be beneficial for you if you want to match sealed concrete floors throughout the space. With polished concrete, the look may vary from place to place. This is because a different canvas is present and extraneous factors can affect the final finish of the polished concrete.


In terms of durability, polished concrete has a much longer life expectancy than concrete grinding. Polished concrete offers the benefits of densifying, hardening, and dust-proofing. Concrete polishing is great in high-volume spaces. It has a scratch-resistant finish and requires less maintenance.  However, you may need to reseal the sealed floors annually. Hence, it is not great for larger spaces as this can ultimately be more expensive than polished concrete.


Polished concrete is more labor and resource-intensive. Hence, it will cost you more in comparison to concrete grinding. If the area is large, it may cost you a little more than that of concrete grinding but its benefits are worth it. For smaller areas, you can choose concrete grinding.

You can apply color stains to both concrete polishing and grinding and add vibrant colors to the floor. Also, both concrete polishing and grinding protect the floor against grease, oil spills, and external stains.


Concrete polishing or grinding are perfect for many applications. For example businesses, warehouses, retail spaces, homes, restaurants, and art galleries. However, there are key differences between concrete polishing and grinding.

Know the basic difference between the two and decide what is best for you. Depending upon the choice you make, you can have refinished exposed concrete. The look can vary from low sheen to high gloss resembling glass. For more information, you can also connect to us through  our website http://www.concretepolishingauckland.co.nz/ .

Five tips for using to get beautifully polished concrete floors

Gone are the days when concrete floors were typical only for commercial and office spaces. Nowadays, concrete floors are present in residencies as they look modern and beautiful. Basements, garages, warehouses, and retails aren’t the only spaces where concrete floors are used. Appealing and long-lasting, these floors are slowly becoming top favorites for residential projects as well.

When done right, your concrete floors will stand the test of time. Should you opt for concrete floors, the following considerations will factor into your project.

What should you do for the best concrete grinding results

1.      Select the proper mix

Using the appropriate flooring mix is essential. To get it right, you need to have the proper ratio among the ingredients. Most of the compounds include cement, sand, and aggregate (the crushed stone chips). How much of each ingredient you use will affect your concrete floors’ color, strength, and overall appearance.

The most concrete mix ratio is 5 to 1 to 5, sand, cement, and aggregate. Even if you do it by the book with the ratio, the aggregate and sand can still affect the finish of the concrete floor. Do due diligence when selecting your ingredients so that you obtain the look you have in mind.

2.      Use the proper method to pour the concrete

There are many wrong ways and only a proper way to pour the concrete floor. Depth, timing, and accurate level are crucial for best results. The most vital thing is to pour the concrete the moment it arrives. See that the level is precise before you begin to pour. If you will also grind and polish the concrete, make sure not to tamper with it after pouring the concrete.

3.      Reduce the risk of cracking

Remember to pay attention to the expansion joints so that you reduce the risk of cracking. You should place them near the entryways to hide them by the door saddle. If the space is vast, you should use expansion joints to divide the floor into several squares.

4.      Polish and grind

There are several ways to polish and grind, which lead to various results. If you aim for a glossy finish, you need to go deep and expose the aggregate. Therefore, you will need to remove up to 0.19 off the top and go through several steps to get the expected results. Another method is to use a surface paste—it will produce similar results. Just keep in mind that once you grind the floor, you have to protect it until you complete the whole project.

5.      Expand the lifespan of your concrete floors

One of the reasons why people turn to concrete floors is the effortless maintenance. As long as you create a cleaning schedule and stick to it, you should expect your concrete floors to last for decades. Remember to buff the floor to get rid of the marks and scratches for the nicest look.

What should you do for the best concrete grinding results?

Concrete grinding is more challenging than it seems from a distance. Several factors weigh in and impact the final result. For the best results, you should do your homework and follow as many tips as necessary. You don’t want any surprises when grinding your concrete floors.

There are many things to know when it comes to concrete grinding. We put together a list of the most common and valuable tips to use when grinding concrete floors. They will come in handy, for sure.

Five tips for using to get beautifully polished concrete floors

1.      Use the appropriate diamond tool

You won’t get great grinding results when you don’t use the proper diamond tool with the correct bond hardness for your surface. The tooling can cause success or a complete disaster for your grinding project. Should you use the wrong tooling, your tooling will wear out quickly or glaze over. Additionally, you will need more time for tooling than necessary.

2.      Throw some sand onto the slab

Don’t start grinding until you throw some sand onto the slab. Do it especially if you notice sticky residues on the surface. The grit will open the diamond segments on the tooling and work as an extra abrasive.

3.      Pre-soak the slab

Pre-soaking the slab keeps the temperature of both the surface and tooling low. It will also improve the performance of your diamond tools. It’s a great tip to use in hot climates or when working the slab in warm conditions.

Do you use a multi-directional grinder?

When you use a multi-directional grinder, you have to reverse the spinning direction of the heads from time to time to re-open the diamond tooling. The trick will get you to obtain the best performance and results that your tooling can provide. It will also reduce the risk of scratches and inconsistent wear patterns.

If the tooling has become inefficient or has glazed over, you have to take it to a new part of the surface and start grinding to re-open the diamonds. The trick is highly efficient when you remove adhesives or coatings.

4.      Manage the dust collector

Begin with setting the dust collector on a low power setting so that the dust begins to collect under the machine. This way, some of the particles will open the diamond tooling. It’s also helpful to get rid of a highly sticky adhesive; the dust will mix with the adhesive residue and ease the cleaning. The tooling will perform better and be cleaner.

5.      Step up your game in challenging projects

For the most challenging jobs, you should consider using several pieces of equipment with your grinder. Use a shot blaster or a ride-on floor scraper to eliminate the leftover glue on the slab before grinding. If you scrape off the excess glue, you save yourself time and energy. Plus, you improve the tooling and grinder’s performance. It will also do good for your production rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to polish regular concrete?

You need to use a 150-grit metal-bonded diamond to grind the surface. Densify the concrete by applying a chemical hardener. Get a 100- or 200-grit resin-bond diamond or a combination of the two to polish the surface.

How long should you wait until grinding the concrete?

Grinding is the first phase when working with concrete. Typically, you should wait between 10 to 20 days after laying the concrete. If the concrete is old, you can do it at any moment.

Is it necessary to seal the concrete after grinding?

You should permanently seal the concrete after grinding. Grinding the concrete floor will smooth out the surface and reveal the marbled look of the aggregate. Therefore, the concrete surface will have a more robust and more appealing finish.

Is it possible to grind existing concrete?

As long as you have the proper equipment and skills, you can grind and smooth any pre-existing concrete. However, the level of difficulty to grind depends on the age of the slab. Most of the time, old concrete is easier to grind than new concrete. The porosity and grade of cracking will affect the results of the grinding.

Is sealed concrete slippery?

Sealers for concrete ensure good protection and improve the appearance as well. However, the thin and plastic coating can become very slippery when wet.


About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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