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  • Jeffrey Smedley

Concrete Polishing Levels Explained

Updated: Jan 24

Concrete polishing has different levels because each level represents a different level of grind and hone applied to the surface of the concrete. The levels range from a rough grind with heavy aggregate exposure, to a fine hone with a smooth surface. The level of polish desired is typically determined by the intended use of the concrete surface and the level of wear and tear it will be subject to. For example, a high-traffic area may require a higher level of polish for durability, while a low-traffic area may only require a lower level of polish for aesthetics.

Concrete polishing is a multi-step process that involves grinding and honing the surface of the concrete to achieve a smooth, glossy finish. The process starts with a rough grind that removes surface imperfections and exposes the aggregate (small stones) in the concrete. This is known as the "coarse" level. As the process continues, the surface is gradually ground and honed to a finer finish. This is known as the "medium" and "fine" levels.

Each level of polish represents a different level of smoothness and shine. For example, at the coarse level, the surface of the concrete will be rough and have a lot of aggregate exposure. As the process moves on to the medium level, the surface will become smoother and the aggregate will be less visible. At the fine level, the surface will be very smooth with a glossy finish.


concrete polish level 1
Level 1 Polish

The choice of level of polish depends on the intended use of the concrete surface and the level of wear and tear it will be subject to. A high-traffic commercial space, for example, may require a higher level of polish for durability and easy maintenance. A residential space with less foot traffic may only require a lower level of polish for aesthetics.

Also, some factors like budget, maintenance, aesthetic appeal, and intended use also play a role in determining the level of polish. It's not only a matter of durability.



concrete polish level 2
Level 2 Polish

How do you achieve a level 3 concrete polish?

Achieving a level 3 concrete polish typically involves a multi-step process that includes grinding, honing, and polishing the surface of the concrete. The process typically starts with a rough grind using a coarse diamond abrasive to remove surface imperfections and expose the aggregate. The surface is then progressively ground and honed using finer diamond abrasives to achieve a smooth surface with minimal aggregate exposure. Here is a general overview of the steps involved in achieving a level 3 concrete polish:

concrete polish level 3
Level 3 Polish

Surface preparation: The concrete surface should be clean, dry, and free of any coatings or sealers. Any cracks or surface imperfections should be repaired before starting the polishing process.

  1. Coarse grinding: Using a coarse diamond abrasive, the surface of the concrete is ground to remove surface imperfections and expose the aggregate. This step is typically done with a planetary grinder or a floor grinder fitted with diamond abrasive disks.

  2. Medium grinding: The surface is then ground again using a medium diamond abrasive to further smooth the surface and reduce aggregate exposure. This step is typically done with a planetary grinder or a floor grinder fitted with diamond abrasive disks.

  3. Fine grinding: The surface is then ground again using a fine diamond abrasive to achieve a smooth surface with minimal aggregate exposure. This step is typically done with a planetary grinder or a floor grinder fitted with diamond abrasive disks.

  4. Honing: The surface is honed using progressively finer diamond abrasives to smooth out any remaining imperfections and create a uniform surface. This step is typically done with a planetary grinder or a floor grinder fitted with diamond abrasive disks.

  5. Polishing: The surface is then polished using a diamond polishing pad to achieve a glossy finish. This step is typically done with a planetary grinder or a floor grinder fitted with diamond polishing pads.

  6. Densifying and sealing: to protect the surface from stains and moisture, the surface is densified and sealed.

It's important to note that the process can vary depending on the type of concrete, the condition of the surface, and the equipment being used. A professional concrete polish contractor typically uses specialized equipment, such as planetary grinders, and has the experience and knowledge needed to achieve a high-quality level 3 concrete polish.






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