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What Are “Grind And Seal” Concrete Floors?

Using your concrete subfloor as your flooring can provide a durable, natural-looking surface. Exposed concrete can be used in any area where you want a sanitary, stunning space that’s easy to clean and maintain. But how do you turn dull concrete into gorgeous flooring that will stun whoever walks in the room?

Grind and seal concrete systems finish your concrete floors so their striking, natural look can shine through. Unlike other floorings that are applied atop a subfloor, concrete is the substrate itself. That means whether you’re starting from scratch or you’ve pulled up old floor for a renovation, your concrete’s the foundation of the room. Thus, the concrete floor needs the utmost care in final sealing to ensure it can withstand wear and tear for years to come.

In fact, concrete that is properly grinded and sealed can last up to 100 years!

It’s time to find the right grind and seal system for your domestic or commercial space.


What Is Grind And Seal?

Grind and seal is a term used for the system of applying a clear, protective coating to concrete floors. It’s just what it sounds like: this process grinds and then seals the flooring. Note: this system takes place after the concrete floor has already been decontaminated and neutralized.

The grinding refers to the removal of any impurities or scratches in the surface layer of the concrete. This is accomplished using high-powered concrete grinders that quickly and efficiently saturate the surface of the concrete with scratches. For most grind and seal floors the concrete is refined to 100 grit.l.  

After grinding, a clear, topical sealer is put on to protect the concrete. These sealing coats are usually made of epoxy, acrylic, or urethane.

Although this process is commonly referred to as “polished concrete,” there is a slight difference between “grind and seal” and “grind and polish.” Grind and polish is hardened with a densifier and refined to a much higher level to create the shine. This densifier then reacts to the cement to harden the top layers. It’s then sealed with a polish guard sealer to avoid any water, bacteria, or stains. Grind and polish systems tend to be more expensive but slightly more durable.


What Are The Advantages of Grind And Seal?

Exposure Advantage:

One of the key benefits of “grind and seal” over other concrete processes is that this type of grinding works with any granite exposure. The exposure level is the amount of concrete’s rocks and stones that are exposed.

Zero exposure takes off only the top layer for coating. This is what you might see in a warehouse or garage. Partial exposure takes off a deeper layer from the surface of the concrete, making it consistently flat and polished. Full exposure grinds away several layers so a maximum number of stones are exposed.

After pouring, the concrete surface is grinded back according to the determined exposure level. It’s then sealed with a clear coat concrete sealer to maintain an attractive look at its new exposure.

Other Advantages:

“Grind and seal” also has low installation costs and is less labor intensive than “grind and polish.” This system makes the concrete resistant to high abrasion and wear and tear. You can also add a beading or grit to “grind and seal” concrete floors to enhance slip resistance.

This makes the concrete non-porous, so it won’t harbor any bacteria or stain easily. Moreover, this makes the floor low maintenance and easier to care for than other types of flooring.

Plus, the seals can be matte or glossy, which can create a unique look for the room. Additionally, you can find “grind and seal” coats that have a UV-resistant finish for outdoor spaces.


How Do You Choose A “Grind And Seal” System?

There are a number of different “grind and seal” systems. Choose the one that works best based on the needs of your space and the desired look of the floor. This is especially dependent upon the exposure level of concrete you’d like for the room.

You’ll want to first choose the type of grinder you’d like based on the size of the room and exposure level. For example, a large, commercial warehouse with partial exposure might call for a 30” variable speed pro machine, while a small domestic sunroom at full exposure might need a 20” single speed high machine.

From there, you’ll choose the type of sealant. These can be oil or water-based, with a matte, glossy, or satin finish. Sealers also vary based on the number of coat application in order to achieve the desired look.  

If you’re not sure what kind of grind and sealer system will work best for you, contact Onfloor's expert team! We are concrete pros, excited to hear about the type of flooring you hope to create in your space!

Drop us a message now to start finding the perfect grinder machine and concrete sealant that will provide the beauty and longevity that your concrete floor deserves.

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4 comments

  • Andrew Cigna 05:36 AM

    I read your post and I really like it, Thanks for sharing this useful information….

  • jaque christo 11:09 AM

    Thank you for the information on a grind and seal concrete floors. I do like that the grinding method works with any concrete exposure. I’ll have to pass this along to my friend who is currently looking to hire someone to come do this process on his concrete flooring. http://ccc-co.net/home.html

  • John Hutchins 03:18 PM

    I just finished a 1400 SF basement this morning! Clients love these floors as an economical means of dressing up a floor.

  • Rich Moia 10:43 AM

    Grind and seal systems can be the least expensive way to finish a concrete floor. Unfortunately some contractors are selling grind and seal as a polished floor for half the price. I have seen contractors cut the floor 1 time and apply cheap acrylic sealer and sell it as a polished floor. Educating the client is the best approach Rich Starburst concrete

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