How Much Will a Concrete Grinder Remove? (And 8 Other Important Questions)

How Much Will a Concrete Grinder Remove? (And 8 Other Important Questions)

Polished concrete offers a sophisticated look to any room. However, most people don’t know how to obtain that sleek and sophisticated style.

If you have any type of concrete surface, it can be smoothed with a concrete grinder to achieve the desired look.

A concrete grinder is an abrasive tool working with a diamond attachment. It works on rough concrete surfaces, resulting in a smooth and stylish finish.

If you’d like polished concrete, you may be wondering, “How much will a concrete grinder remove?” We’re here to answer that, along with eight other commonly asked questions.

1. How Much Will a Concrete Grinder Remove?

Technically, a concrete floor grinder can remove as much concrete as you’d like it to. How quickly that happens is the bigger question.

Another consideration is how much you’ll take off at a time. A concrete grinder uses diamonds or tungsten to shear off layers of concrete.

Generally, most people use a concrete grinder to remove minute amounts of concrete or to grind off glues and imperfections. With standard grinding wheels and work, you can expect to take off around 1/16”.

Remember, the more work you put in, the more wear you put on the pads. If you want to grind hard, you may require an extra set of grinding pads.

Concrete grinding is often seen as a finishing or refinishing procedure. If you have too much concrete to remove, contractors may suggest removing the concrete and re-pouring it instead.

2. How Long Does Concrete Grinding Take?

The time concrete grinding takes depends on several factors. This includes:

  • How large the surface is
  • Whether the area is open or if there are lots of small spots that require extra intricate work
  • Which concrete polishing system you need out of full polish or grind and seal
  • How much exposure of stone you’d like to see
  • The level of gloss or shine you desire

To give you some perspective, a standard garage for a grind and seal takes approximately two days for concrete grinding. A house that has around 100m2 of full exposure and polish takes about five to six days.

3. How Much Does Concrete Grinding Cost?

Usually, concrete grinding is quoted at a per square footage rate, and the cost depends upon the details of the procedure. Many variables will establish how much a polished concrete job will cost.

Variables for cost include:

  • The size of the surface to polish
  • The amount of depth to be polished off
  • The hardness of the concrete and preferred finish (rough or fine)

Rough finishes are usually more affordable. And the bigger the total surface you’re finished, the lower the per-square-foot cost.

4. What Kind of Finish Can I Expect From a Concrete Grinder?

A few of the options available include:

  • A rough surface
  • A surface suitable for glue application or slip protection grip
  • A finely densified, smooth, and polished concrete floor

The finish you receive from a concrete surface grinder depends on your requirements and budget. 

5. Can All Concrete Be Polished?

Yes, all concrete can be polished. Any pre-existing concrete can be ground down and smoothed with the right devices and skills.

But, the ease and difficulty of the concrete grinding can vary depending on how old the slab is. In general, older concrete is much easier to grind.

The strength of the concrete also affects the ease and difficulty of the process—for example, whether it’s hardened or soft composite.

The overall quality of the concrete is another variable. You’ll get different results depending on if it’s porous or cracked concrete.

Even exterior concrete can be successfully polished using the same or similar methods to interior concrete grinding. However, more variables must be considered before embarking on the procedure.

Not surprisingly, exterior concrete is affected by higher UV radiation exposure and water damage. This can be detrimental to any epoxy or polyurethane application.

Likewise, concrete polishing will smooth the surface and make it slippery when wet, so safety is also a concern.

6. Is Concrete Grinding Messy?

Many concrete grinding companies use high-grade three-phase dust extractors, meaning there’s very minimal dust in the air during the process.

After each step during the grinding, the floor is usually cleaned. On completion by any reputable company, there should be no mess or dust left to clean.

7. Is Polished Concrete Environmentally Friendly?

Yes, polished concrete is usually environmentally friendly.

Often, polishing procedures are done on existing concrete which is created from the most common mineral on the planet—limestone. Concrete is a tiny contributor to greenhouse gases.

8. How Do I Clean Polished Concrete?

The best way to clean and maintain your finished polished concrete is to use a PH neutral cleaner. Then, use clean and hot water on it. Most common detergents and floor cleaners are fine, but it’s best to avoid using hard abrasive chemicals like acids.

If you’re not sure about the cleaning agent you want to use, try testing a small area first. A microfiber mop or cloth can also help remove dust.

9. Can I Choose Any Color for My Polished Concrete?

If you want to grind the concrete of an existing slab, then you’re limited to the color already in the concrete.

If you don’t like the shade of the cement, your other option is to apply a color dye over the top. Consult a professional for more advice.

Professional Concrete Grinding

Now you know the answer to the question, “How much will a concrete grinder remove?” We’ve also provided answers to other common questions about the grinding process and what to expect.

If you’d like to prepare your concrete floor for polishing, we’ve got you covered. Check out our services to see how we can help.