How to Polish Concrete Toppings


Concrete toppings by their very nature are applied anywhere between 3/8" to 1.5" thick. They are used as thin, lightweight toppings over other floor surfaces and most of the times they may be only 3/8 of an inch thick. You might use a topping when you want to cover an existing substrate that is badly stained, cracked or chipped, not level, or has inconsistent aggregate, color patches or ghosting from ceramic or porcelain tiles.

When thinking about how powerful most concrete grinders are, how can the concrete toppings survive the polishing? Surface prep is key. The surface must be free of contaminants, properly profiled and primed. Then, apply a topping over the existing concrete slab or whatever the flooring substrate might be.

When you’re ready to start polishing, use the right diamond grit. A Moh's hardness test can tell you how hard your surface is. Once you determine this, ask a diamond supplier what diamond grit to use based on how relatively hard or soft your concrete topping is. When you use the right diamonds, you'll get the proper grinding on your polished concrete topping. When grinding soft concrete use hard-bonded diamonds, and if the concrete is hard use soft-bonded diamonds. Once you choose the appropriate diamond, do a sample test to make sure it wears properly. You certainly don’t want to grind too deeply. Your concrete can be densified, which means it is chemically altered to become even harder. This means it will take your grinding gear and give you a beautiful, hard polished floor. Here are some of the benefits of a polished concrete topping on your floor.

Polished concrete toppings on a floor are low maintenance. Once polished and sealed, concrete doesn’t take much effort to maintain.

Polished concrete toppings on a floor are easy to clean. Polished concrete toppings don’t collect dust or other allergens, unlike carpet. Simply sweep or mop, or wipe with a damp cloth, to clean.

Concrete floor toppings are durable. Wood, tile and carpet show wear, staining and age very quickly. Just place a heavy desk or dresser on your tile or carpet floor and go back to it in six months to see what the flooring looks like. Denting and chipping won’t happen with concrete.

Your polished concrete topping can be any color. You may not want gray concrete. If you don’t, no worries! Integral color can be added to the polished concrete topping so that it is any color you can imagine. Stains or dyes can be added to the concrete topping to give it the look of marble, wood, or rich color.

Designs can be added to it. You can add color to the edges, in a pattern or to the whole floor. Additionally, you can use a concrete saw to score in any line patterns with their own color that you might want.