IS A GRIND AND SEAL THE RIGHT FLOOR FOR ME?
We get many calls these days from customers asking for grind and seal. Its a very popular procedure that’s fast, cost effective, looks great, but is not to be confused with polished concrete. Simply put, polishing concrete is similar to sanding wood. Heavy-duty polishing machines equipped with progressively finer grits of diamond-impregnated segments or disks (akin to sandpaper) are used to gradually grind down surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness.
A grind and seal on the other hand, is a process by which we grind the concrete clean with diamond blades. For a bit more money the slab is then hit with a second sanding pass to remove scratch pattern from the more aggressive blades. Once prepared, we then seal the pores with a topical coating to preserve and enhance the slab. The topical coating used is based on the intended purpose and ultimate look of the floor. Acrylic sealers, Wax Sealers, Urethane coatings and Epoxy Coatings can all be used for this process. While Epoxy is cosmetically the most pleasing, it’s not always the strongest or most scratch resistant. Choosing the right coating for your grind and seal is as important as choosing the right company to perform the work.
Here is a list of coatings that can be used on a grind and seal. This includes the protection factor that they provide and also their propensity to cosmetically darken the slab.
Epoxy Coatings: (STRONG PROTECTION, moderate darkening) Epoxy is a two part system by which a liquid resin and hardener are mixed together and applied as a dense fluid. The result is a high gloss, cosmetically pleasing top coat that cleans easily and is easy to maintain.
Acrylic Coatings: (MEDIUM PROTECTION, slightly darken) Acrylic Floor Coating is an interior/exterior, semi-gloss, industrial-grade, single-component waterborne floor coating. It offers a quick drying, slip-and abrasion-resistant formula and easy water cleanup. It generally needs more than one coat for full protection benefits.
Polyurethane Coatings: (MAXIMUM PROTECTION, will darken) The term “Urethane” is used interchangeably with the term “Polyurethane” when talking about the manufacture and installation of floor covering products. Both terms refer to a polymerizing carabamate compound that produces flexible, non-toxic floor coatings. In addition, urethane floors provide an extra level of abrasion resistance due to their flexible nature, and will remain glossy and new-looking even if in contact with abrasives like glass, sand, or concrete.
Wax Coatings (High Solids): (LIGHT PROTECTION, minimal color change) Floor wax is a liquid mixture of chemicals that create a thin, hard, protective surface when applied and allowed to dry on a surface. Floor wax offers glossiness, additional hardness, slip and scuff resistance, while protecting the floor from water or other liquid damage.
So when choosing a company to do your grind and seal, be sure to ask them a few questions. One, how many passes will be performed? Two, what sealer will be used based on your needs? We have found that the easiest solution is to grind a small section. Place tape dividers and mark. Then apply a few options onto the actual slab in question. That way the customer can determine what best suits their looks, needs and purpose. GRIND AWAY!