Concrete Countertops: Achieving a Quality Finish

Concrete Countertops: Achieving a Quality Finish


 Versatility, malleability and uniqueness of concrete are only a few alluring characteristics.  But it’s the durability and longevity of concrete countertops that have given the surfacing product a place among timeless materials such as marble and granite.  For concrete countertops to join ranks with natural and engineered stone surfaces, a high quality professional finish is critical and only achieved with the right tools.

 

Concrete Diamond Tools for Concrete Countertops

Concrete is a complex material. Various concrete mixes, local aggregates and a multitude of additives can drastically change the density, texture and quality of a concrete countertop. These varying attributes make concrete different from natural stones.  Granite diamond tools are often too hard and scratch concrete surfaces.  While diamond tools for marble are too soft and will wear prematurely. We always suggest using concrete diamond tools for concrete surfaces.

Tools For Edge Work: Adding Style

The edge design gives style and character to the concrete surface.  Sintered, electroplated or vacuum brazed diamond tools easily bevel and sculpt the edges by gradually grinding away material.  Edging countertops requires precision and finesse to produce elegant curves and even bevels.

Modern Kitchen by Wilmington General Contractors Plantation Building Corp

Aluminum turbo resin filled cupwheel

Aluminum Turbo Resin Filled

  • A light weight aluminum cupwheel ideal for chamfering edges.
  • The added resin dampens the aggressive sintered segment. 

Spiral Cupwheel

Spiral Cupwheel - Medium

  • A sturdy steel cupwheel with smooth turbo style segments.
  • An aggressive 60 grit sintered segment removes stock quickly.

TruFrom Shape B

TruForm Profile Wheels

  • This vacuum brazed profiling router easily shapes concrete edges.
  • Shapes E, shape B and shape F are the most common shapes sold for this application.
  • Designed to fit on a common hand held grinder.

Excalibur Flexible

  • The most versatile tool for concrete countertops.
  • When paired with the Ultra Flexible Backplate, this electroplated grinding disc is ideal for manually shaping edges

Ultra Flexible Backplate

Ultra Flexible Backplate

  • Extremely flexible backplate designed for edge work and working with complex shapes.

Tools for Surface Grinding: Laying the Foundation

Surface grinding tools are designed to remove any inconsistencies or unevenness on the surface of the slab.  They can also be used to expose underlying aggregates producing a more textured looking surface.  Surface grinding tools are often run between 50 and 200 grit depending on how much material needs to be removed.  Surface grinding is an essential first step preceding the polishing phase.  A uniformly ground surface lays the foundation for a lasting finish.

Excalibur Flexible

  • Paring the Excalibur Flexible with a Rigid Rubber Backplate turns the tool into a surface grinding disc
  • The exposed diamond grit quickly grinds the surface
  • The tool leaves a uniform scratch pattern ideal when beginning the polishing stage. 

Copper Flexible Hybrid

Flexible Copper Hybrid

  • The added copper in this resin pad makes it ideal for surface grinding.
  • It's a long-life pad ideal for processing large surfaces. 

 Rigid Rubber Backplate

  • A popular backplate that is rigid, but supple enough to ride over the surface without gauging or leaving marks
  • Add weight and stability to hand-held grinders

Tools For Polishing: Refining the Surface

Polishing is the final phase of the process.  Depending on how many steps used, a matte or gloss finish can be achieved.  The polishing steps typically begin at 400 grit and can go all the way up to 3000 grit for a highly reflective surface.  The image below is a great example of a perfectly polished concrete surface. 

FLEX C 4eb430708b7ef 150x150

Flex C 

  • One of our most popular resin pads for bringing a high gloss finish. 

Matador

Matador

  • Thick 8mm pad ideal for large surface areas
  • Ideal pad for the professional installer who runs large productions or has large areas to cover.

Tools for Installation, Repairs and Maintenance

On occasion, on-site adjustments or repairs need to be made to concrete countertops.  Specially designed tools for dry applications are ideal for this type of work.  To keep a concrete surface looking new, we always recommend maintaining the surface with a PolyPad.

 Dri Flexible

Dri Flexible

  • Specially formulated resin performs best when used dry.
  • Ideal pad for on-site adjustments or repairs.
  • Pair the Dri with either the Ultra Flexible Backplate for edges or the Rigid Rubber Backplate for surface repairs

 Flat Hand Pad

Flat Hand Pad

  • A complete series of Flat Had Pads is ideal for repairs.
  • A great tool to have on-had during installations.
  • Also used to grind and polish small nicks or chips.

 polypad grit group 150x150

PolyPads

  • Used as a final stage in the polishing process.
  • Deepens the quality of the gloss finish.
  • When used as part of a maintenance cycle, the PolyPad keeps concrete countertops looking fresh and new.

It is the advancement of diamond tools that have given concrete elite status among traditional countertop materials.  Diamond tools continue to elevate this once humble building material to a surface we treasure in the heart of our homes.


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