Polishing Ideas: When Is the Best Time to Polish Concrete During a New Build or Renovation?
Following some concrete polishing best practices ensures your floors are as durable and beautiful as possible
- Polishing concrete floors involves following some standard practices
- The timeline for polishing a surface depends on whether it’s a renovation or a new construction project
- Waiting for the concrete to cure is essential
- Scheduling your contractor for the right time provides the best results
Construction projects have many moving parts, and creating a schedule is an essential part of the process. This timetable becomes even more vital when involving various contractors because each job requires a specific timeline, and you might have to make arrangements well in advance.
When it comes to polished concrete, your timeline for the job depends on the project type. Freshly poured concrete has different requirements than a surface that has been there for a while. As a result, you’ll need to factor that in when organizing your contractors. Your polishing ideas could also influence when you book a contractor.
The stage of the rest of the project also determines the ideal time to polish your concrete floors because it’s easier to work on the surface if the room is empty. There are always exceptions, though, since other construction tasks could be more critical.
Scheduling your concrete polishing contractor for the correct time ensures you aren’t left waiting to complete your job. Here’s a look at some scenarios that influence when you’ll want to book your concrete expert to finish the flooring aspect of your construction project.
Steps for polishing concrete
Before figuring out the best time to polish your concrete, it’s a good idea to learn a bit about the process. This information ensures you understand how long it might take to complete the surface preparation, polishing, and guard application steps during your project.
When dealing with an existing concrete floor, the polishing process begins with removing any existing coatings. The method depends on the coating’s thickness, as thicker layers require a more aggressive tool. Your contractor will typically use a 16- or 20-grit diamond abrasive to remove this coating.
Next, your contractor will seal any cracks and fill any joints in your surface using epoxy, polyurea, or urethane caulk. This step removes inconsistencies in the concrete and prepares it for the next stage in the polishing process.
Once the concrete is ready, your contractor will grind it using progressively finer diamond tools. The grinding process creates a uniform surface that looks and feels much smoother after it’s polished.
From there, the contractor might apply a hardener to the floor to make it more durable. This hardener penetrates the surface and ensures your floor will stand up to all kinds of abuse in the future.
Finally, it’s time to begin polishing your concrete floors. Like grinding, polishing requires progressively finer grits until the desired sheen level is reached. The contractor could have to go over the floor a few times before it’s ready, and a stain guard might be applied afterward to protect the floor and make maintenance easier.
As you can see, there is a distinct process to polishing a concrete floor. Understanding that this job takes time helps avoid scheduling conflicts when the time comes to start.
When to polish your floor during a renovation
So, when do you schedule your floor polishing contractor? The reality is that it depends on the project type and your desired outcomes.
When polishing concrete as part of a renovation, the extent of the job will help determine when to schedule your contractor. Assuming the project is simple and doesn’t involve removing drywall or replacing any of the structure, the best time to begin this job is after applying the primer and first coat of paint to the walls but before the final coat of paint.
You’ll also want to schedule this appointment before installing the trim, doors, and cabinets. This is because having more items in the room makes the job more challenging for your polishing contractor and can slow the work down considerably.
Working on the concrete during a renovation also means the surface was likely poured years ago, so we don’t have to wait for it to cure before beginning the job.
Timeline for polishing concrete during a new build
The timeline is a little more open when a new construction project requires polished concrete floors. The polishing job will require electricity, lights, and water, so scheduling it for a time after these services are available is wise.
You’ll also need to give the concrete at least 28 days to cure after pouring it to maximize its durability. Concrete that has been given the proper time to cure will have better resistance to abrasion and scaling and will maintain its moisture levels to prevent cracking.
Your contractor might prefer to begin the polishing job before the walls are even up because it makes it a much simpler process. However, providing electricity and lighting in that scenario could prove challenging. You’ll also have to adequately protect the floors while constructing the walls if you go this route.
Your contractor can probably make most timelines work when it comes to new construction, as long as the concrete has a long enough curing phase and the workers have access to the services they need. Concrete also does best in a controlled environment free from outside moisture, so waiting for the building to be enclosed is ideal.
Hiring an expert to handle the job
No matter your project’s timeline, developing a plan and scheduling the necessary contractors is vital. You don’t want to wait on specific aspects of the project because you weren’t proactive enough in the planning stages, so understanding how long each job takes and when to schedule it is essential.
Concreate can assist with nearly every aspect of your concrete floors – we do everything but pour it! We’ll fit our services into your project whenever you need us, ensuring your building’s floors are ready to go for opening day. Contact us or visit thisisconcrete.com for more information on polishing ideas and common practices.