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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Concrete Polishing for Countertops—Everything You Need to DIY

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In this article, we will talk about concrete polishing. Concrete Polishing is essential when you want your counters to have a nice finishing that looks good aesthetically. It will give the countertop a shine that will bring out the designs made in the concrete itself.

Another benefit of concrete polishing is that it will remove any spots or blemishes from the slab. So, if you know how to concrete polish by hand, you can give your countertops tops a new look. Today, we will cover everything you need to know related to this topic.

Understanding Concrete Polishing

First of all, you need to know that concrete is a mixture of many compounds including cement, sand and different types of rocks. You can think of cement as a glue between sand and rocks. A cement slab isn’t that good because cement is brittle. So, the proportion of rocks is essential in the countertop.

Now that you understand the composition of the countertop, let’s talk about the different layers of polishing. When the top is being polished, the top cement layer can be removed. This is known as light polishing. After light-polishing, the very fine particles of sand in the countertop will get exposed. Then, deeper polishing is used. In this step, the deeper polishing will expose rock aggregate.

There are many different ranges of finishes available for the same piece of concrete. Usually, a concrete polisher is used along with a set of diamond sanding discs.

Tools that you Need for Concrete Polishing

The following is the complete lists of tools that you will need to polish concrete countertops:

  1. Wet or Dry Handheld Concrete Polisher
  2. Wet Polishing System
  3. Concrete Polishing Pads
  4. Safety Goggles
  5. Earplugs
  6. Grinding Pads

If you want, you can get the concrete polishing machine on rental.

You should wear a particle mask before you start doing any dry grinding. This is because the concrete dust can be dangerous for your lungs when you breathe it in. Also, make sure that you are careful with electricity and water. Your electric polisher will have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. However, you should also wear rubber gloves to protect yourself because the rubber is a good insulator. So, even if you get shocked, the current will not travel in your body.

Now that you know all the safety information, let’s get to the actual process as to how to polish concrete by machine.

  • Step 1

The first step is to wash the slab with water. Then, you can clean it with a squeegee. This will remove all the grit that could gouge the concrete later on.


  • Step 2

After you have cleaned the slab, check carefully if there are any voids in the slab. You must make sure that you fill the spaces, otherwise, you will not be able to polish the slab properly. You can patch the slurry in the bug holes.

Make sure that the color of the slurry is the same as the countertop. If you want, you can even make the slurry yourself by mixing cement with fine sand and water. For the color, you can add a pigment.

Obviously, it is easier to purchase a store-bought slurry. However, that may not be suitable if you don’t find the same color pigmented slurry.

  • Step 3

The third step in how to polish concrete by hand is to start the process by using the coarsest pad. This will usually be 50-grit. At this point, make sure that you use a constant supply of water on the surface as you grind.

  • Step 4

After you have polished with the 50-grit concrete polishing pad, it is time to use a 100-grit pad. This process will continue up to the 1500-grit pad.

The slab will get polished at different levels. You can get any finishing level depending on how deep you polish. With a uniform finish, the concrete will have a uniform color. If you are using a light polish, the thin layer of cement will be removed.

As mentioned earlier, this will bring out the fine sand aggregate. If you want a ground finish, you can polish deeper. This will expose the larger aggregate rocks. An important thing to note is that you will have to check the surface if there is any debris forming.

Many people ask how long it takes to polish concrete by hand. The answer to this question is that there is no specific time range. It typically depends on how hard the concrete is. Also, it depends on the results you want to achieve.

If you want a fine sheen, it will take more time to use the concrete polishing machine.

Must Read: 6 Things to Consider When Buying a Coffee Table

  • Step 5

Now, let’s talk about how to polish concrete by hand. You will have to use hand-held diamond blocks for the areas where the concrete polishing machine can’t reach. During the final step, you can use a concrete polishing compound to clean any residue and give the top an attractive sheen.

You can also use this method for residential polished concrete floors.

Benefits you get from Concrete Polishing

Now that you know the step-by-step process as to how to make polished concrete, let’s talk about the benefits of polishing concrete.

  1. Long-lasting

The first and foremost benefit of this process is that it creates a long-lasting and durable top. This polished countertop will not stain or chip.

  1. Cost-effective

With concrete polishing, you will not have to worry about the expenses of frequent resurfacing. It will create an attractive surface without the need for any costly materials. So, this will prove to be a quick and affordable solution that is also durable.

  1. Environment-friendly

Another thing about concrete polishing is that it is friendly for our planet. There isn’t any non-biodegradable waste that will accumulate. It is an effective solution to improve the indoor air quality as well as removes dust.

It also makes the slabs a ‘bad’ place for molds and mildews to grow.

  1. Attractive

Concrete polishing can make any kind of concrete look attractive. So, it will provide a pleasant look that is durable for many years to come. The concrete polishing compound will add an additional shine to the slabs.

Wrapping Up…

Concrete polishing is a great way to give your old countertops a new look and a new life. This step-by-step guide will help you do it yourself. You can also use concrete polishing for your floors.

We hope this article will help you learn some new things about concrete polishing.

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