What to do?
Polished floor is complete
but client wants more shine

a high-speed burnisher is being used to get more shine on polished concrete
A series of steps that includes high-speed burnishing can create a higher polished gloss on a finished concrete floor.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Faller

You’ve completely polished the concrete floor but the client wants more shine. Here are the things you’ll need to fulfill the task:

High-speed propane burnisher – Ensure the machine is clean and dust free. Blow it out with an air compressor. Then clean an area of the shop floor. Next, hook up the vacuum to the burnisher and run a new pad on the floor. If there are particulates in the air, clean again. This is important because right now there’s one issue to resolve. The last thing any of us want to do is create another issue by dusting out that space!

Auto-scrubber – Ensure this machine is also clean, smells fresh, and has brushes and cleaner in the clean water tank. Now scrub the floor until the water you discharge is clean.

Liquids – Densifier, cleaner, vinegar and stain protection.

Supplies – 6-inch razor scraper with new blades, temperature gun, micro-fiber mop, rags, vacuum with wand and hand grinder.

Tooling – Diamond-impregnated pads 400, 800 and 1,500 grit.

If a film-forming stain protection guard was applied:
  1. Clean the slab with an auto-scrubber with cleaner in the tank and allow it to dry.
  2. If the slab absorbed water during cleaning, apply another thin coat of film-forming stain protection.
  3. In either case, put a 400-grit diamond-impregnated pad on a high-speed burnisher and make sure the burnisher is set up. See also: Things to Know About High-speed Burnishing

Now use it to burnish as slowly as the first step of grinding. Do this in both north/south and east/west directions. Repeat this process with the 800- and 1,500-grit diamond-impregnated pads. Note: The walking pace can get a tiny bit faster as you progress to higher grits.

If a film-forming stain protection guard wasn’t applied:
  1. Clean the slab with an auto-scrubber with cleaner in the tank and allow it to dry.
  2. If the slab absorbed water during cleaning, apply more densifier to rejection.
  3. In either case, put a 400-grit diamond-impregnated pad on a high-speed burnisher and make sure the burnisher is set up. Then use it to burnish as slowly as the first step of grinding. Generate heat of 90 to 100 degrees F. Check temperature often with gun. Burnish in both north/south and east/west directions.

Now, check the gloss. Then repeat this process with the 800- and 1,500-grit diamond-impregnated pads as needed. Note: The walking pace can get a tiny bit faster as you progress to higher grits. Use a temp gun to check. Go as fast as you want as long as you consistently generate 90 to 100 degrees F.

Here’s the tip

A “spiff coat” of densifier can be your champion (on a floor with no guard on it)! To achieve this, a crew member will spray densifier directly in front of the burnisher. The burnisher will drive it into the concrete until the area is dry. Continue to move forward, repeating this process.

Believe it or not, Walmart used to specify a “spiff coat” as a standard procedure.

Got more questions about your project?

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpeg, jpg, gif, png, pdf.
    Allowed formats: jpeg, jpg, gif, png, pdf
  • How would you like us to respond?

  • Note: Some questions will be published anonymously with their answers at the end of this story to share with other readers.