WHAT ARE FLOOR GRINDING AND POLISHING MACHINES?

WHAT ARE FLOOR GRINDING AND POLISHING MACHINES?

Floor Grinding machines are mostly used by do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts and professionals who do infrastructure repairs and restoration. Floor grinders use rotating discs to polish, clean, and refinish floor surfaces. The floor surfaces floor grinders are commonly used on are concrete, hardwood, and stone surfaces. The floor grinding machine is fitted with abrasive pads on the bottom of the device to grind the surface of the floors. The grinding of floor surfaces by floor grinders is to help remove level or surface-level blemishes. Some machines are fitted with pads that can polish the floor's surface to a high shine or help clean it. When people ask what are grinding and polishing machines for flooring? They are either floor grinding machines or floor polishing machines or used interchangeably. 

A concrete grinder as a finishing tool is also used to grind and level the concrete surface to provide a smooth finish. The concrete grinder can be used as a surface preparation tool, an aggressive coating removing tool, and a concrete polishing tool. The basics of concrete grinder, its types, and its benefits are briefly explained below.

Floor grinding machines have helped solve certain flooring problems and create a clean surface ready for further treatments. The main functions of concrete grinding machines are

  1. Getting rid of uneven floors that may have protrusions
  2. Grind, polish, and cut rough concrete surfaces to be smooth
  3. Remove concrete work flaws, surface contaminants such as glue, paints, grease, wax, bitumen etc., proving difficult to remove with degreasers or high surfactant detergents.

What are the functional components of a Concrete floor grinder?

The functional components of floor grinders are also an essential feature of all concrete grinders, a rotating head that helps to smooth and level the surface. Nowadays, most of the concrete grinding is performed by diamonds. Using Diamond to grind is a process known as "diamond grinding" because the abrasive discs used to smooth the surface have diamond particles in them. The main components of a concrete grinder is the Diamond and the bond. Bonds are another vital part in a concrete grinder. The concrete grinding tool works well if the bond used does not match the material used for grinding. The primary purpose of the bond is to hold the Diamond used for grinding ultimately. During the grinding process, the bond undergoes wearing in a planned way so that the new Diamond is exposed for grinding without the sudden breakage of the Diamond. The choice of diamond grit and the bonds varies and depends on the application requirements.

Types of floor grinding machines.

There are three types of concrete floor grinding machines.

  1. Handheld floor grinding machines.
  2. Walk-behind floor grinding machine.
  3. Ride-on floor grinding machine

Handheld Floor grinders.

As the name implies, handheld concrete grinders are handheld power tools for cutting, grinding, edging, and polishing surfaces. The handheld grinders are the smallest type of concrete grinders, and they are very important tools for concrete demolition or restoration companies.

A handheld concrete grinder works concrete surfaces at the corners and tight areas. These are used in walk-behind concrete grinders or Ride-on concrete grinders that cannot be easily reached for grinding. The grinding process creates a large amount of dust, and it is advisable to attach vacuum dust extractors to take out the dust through a shroud and extraction hose attached to the tool unit.

The advantages of Hand-held Concrete grinding machines

The most important benefit of any handheld device is that it is portable and the convenience of having something handy cannot be over-stressed. 

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Other benefits include.

  1. It can effectively remove roughness and include roughness on surfaces. Most handheld grinders are able to smooth out rough surfaces before concrete or any other coating application, while at the same time they are used to roughen the surfaces, especially when the application of the coating is on the wall or floors.
  2. Can get into very difficult to reach locations during a job. Standard concrete grinders cannot reach some difficult areas in the worksite, but handheld grinders can access such sites. Apart from that, they can be used on vertical structures, fit into tiny small spaces on walls. Even some home designs require that it cannot reach some spaces with standard grinders.
  3. Properly remove defaced items such as graffiti or worn murals such as those painted on walls by teenagers, floors that need some smoothening, and homes whose some defaced locations have to be removed.
  4. The lightness of a handheld tool enables the handheld concrete floor grinder (usually between 5 and 9 inches) to be very portable and easy to use for removing substantial work blemishes. Standard concrete polishing and grinding tools are bulky and unable to access difficult areas in a worksite. Handheld grinders' portability enables us to carry them around, reach difficult places and be cheaper to acquire, especially for budget-conscious companies/people.

Handheld concrete grinders also have limitations or disadvantages, as stated below

  1. They are unsuitable for large projects, and with a handheld floor grinder at work, projects will experience significant delays. For bigger projects, the follow-along or ride-along is better. Handheld grinders are ineffective to profile large areas of concrete
  2. Usually harmful without a Vacuum dust collection. The handheld concrete grinding machines become uncomfortable to work with when they have no vacuum dust collector and cleaner to minimize dust release during cutting, grinding, and edging operations. However, some handheld grinders do have a vacuum dust collector as an optional accessory. We advise that all concrete grinding machines should be connected to a vacuum dust collector to avoid the dangers of inhaling dust. The availability of a vacuum dust collector does not replace using appropriate personal protective equipment while at work. Hand Gloves, safety shoes (boots), eye protection goggles, nose masks, and earmuffs are examples of PPE to use

Walk-behind floor grinding machines.

Walk-behind floor grinding machines or walk-behind floor grinders are large concrete grinder units that help to grind the concrete over the body of the floor. A walk-behind floor grinder can grind larger areas of concrete than a handheld type. There are different models of walk-behind floor grinders depending on what it runs with, and some are powered with LP, Petrol, or diesel fuel while others are connected to electricity using long cables.

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Ride-on floor grinders

This concrete floor machine is superior in the market for effective grinding and polishing concrete surfaces at extravagant degrees, to say the least. This powerful grinding and polishing machine delivers great production rates that are built to last! The Ride-on floor grinders are designed precisely for king-size concrete floor projects that involve applications for refinishing, resurfacing, and preparing concrete and terrazzo surfaces. The ride one type of floor grinder is mostly used to grind and polish commercial flooring, showrooms, distribution centers, retail outlets, and warehouse floors. A ride-on floor grinder can grind and polish up to 5 feet wide on one pass, producing flat, durable, and high gloss floors. All concrete grinders are powered by either gas, propane or electricity. Electric floor grinders come in 110V, 220V, and high voltage models for heavy-duty floor grinding

HOW FLOOR GRINDERS WORK

Floor grinding machines all work in the same basic way, though there are differences in their quality, power, and abilities. An operator either sits on or walks behind the machine while it works. They move the machine over the floor's surface in smooth, even movements while discs on the bottom spin underneath. Each of those discs holds a pad that grinds the floor, depending on what material is used to make the pad. The number of discs on the machine will vary depending on the machine and the surface you are working on. There may be as few as one disc and as many as six working at the same time. It is essential to read the owners manual or data sheet to understand how to effectively use a floor grinding and polishing machineSome floor grinders work on a wet surface while others work only on dry surfaces or both such decisions must be made adequately informed. Either may use a vacuum for dust or water control. Operators can also use a dust skirt to help keep the dust from the grinding process to a minimum. One of the most essential part of floor grinding and polishing is to be aware of the dangers of inhaling dust, a vacuum dust collection using a vacuum dust extractor is necessary

Operators start with a high-grit pad for most floor grinding projects and work their way down to the finest grit pad. If working on concrete or stone, the polishing process can begin when the floor is perfectly smooth and level.

These machines are instrumental in creating beautiful, shiny, and perfectly finished floors.

WHAT FLOOR GRINDING AND POLISHING CAN DO FOR DIFFERENT FLOORING TYPES

CONCRETE FLOORS

Floor grinding and polishing machines are most commonly used on concrete floors. That's partially due to the popularity of concrete flooring. Concrete is assumed to be inexpensive, extremely durable, and it will last for a long time. So it's a low maintenance option for warehouses, but that doesn't mean it won't ever need some maintenance. Concrete can crack, become uneven as the building settles, and experience chips and stains from spills and accidental drops. So when a concrete floor starts to look worse for wear, it's time to put a floor grinder and polisher to work.

Floor grinding is a great restoration option for concrete flooring because it can:

  • Remove spills and stains.
  • Help create a smooth and level surface.
  • Grind off mastic, glue, or epoxy
  • Polish and clean the floor
  • Prepare the concrete for further treatment.

Floor grinding is the ideal first step for refinishing a concrete floor. From there, the concrete can either remain as-is or be treated further as you or your client desires. With the right combination of finishing techniques, floor grinding be the first step in turning a boring concrete floor into a surface that looks like wood or marble.

STONE FLOORING

Stone flooring, such as marble and granite, is a popular choice for residential and commercial buildings, and it's one of the best flooring options for an office. When professionally maintained, stone flooring provides a hard-wearing surface that's easy to care for and extremely fire resistant. Like all flooring types, though, stone floors will eventually need some maintenance. Stone floors can lose their shine as the finish wears off and high traffic areas experience years of use. They can also be a victim to accidental drops, leaving dents and damage on the surface.

Floor grinding can help restore the appearance of stone flooring by:

  • Leveling the surface of the floor
  • Preparing it for treatment
  • Polishing the stone to a high gloss

This is beneficial for both newly laid stone floors and those that have been down a long time and need refreshing. Refinishing the stone's surface with a floor grinder is much cheaper than replacing it with new stone flooring, too, meaning an investment in a floor grinding machine or polishing machine could end up paying for itself.

The most common concrete floor polisher/grinder is the walk-behind model which a person pushes the grinder while controlling the speed and direction. These models have between 1 and 6 disks. Then there are ride-on-floor grinders. These are commonly used to polish large floor areas found in warehouses and shopping centers. Depending on the size and model of floor grinders, they can be powered by gas, propane, or electricity.

Safety in operating a grinding and polishing machine

Operating a floor grinding machine requires using safety pieces of equipment such as eye goggles, respirators, and ear protection. Floor grinders have different features, that it is crucial to understand the type of machine used for the safety of everyone who will be near the job.

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