Concrete grinding for beginners

Concrete grinding for beginners


Concrete is a durable building material. However, it may become brittle and crumble over time due to exposure to weather elements and climate changes. Grinding is used to fix concrete surfaces.

This method can correct problems such as unlevel concrete that poses a tripping hazard, uneven or cracked sidewalks, and surface defects in concrete slabs, patios, and outdoor pavilions.

Grinding can also help improve water drainage from concrete surfaces and fix uneven connections between slabs or tiles.

Besides fixing problems, grinding can also enhance the appearance of concrete surfaces. It can improve rendered walls by removing loose mortar and grinding the surface so that the following rendering will adhere well.

Concrete damage will only get worse.

Imperfections and damage to concrete will only worsen over time and must be addressed promptly. Tripping and slipping hazards are just a potential lawsuit in the making.

Owners of concrete needing repair are rightly concerned about their liability should their faulty concrete hurt someone.

Therefore, they must be proactive about correcting any defects. Concrete grinding of high spots can remove the cracks and uneven textures that are tripping hazards.

Grinding out dips and slight imperfections in concrete surfaces can reduce incidents of holding water that lead to slippery conditions, causing falls.

Hiring concrete grinding contractors can save money and time.

Hiring an experienced professional with all the specialized equipment needed for grinding and resealing concrete is the best solution for correcting problems and making concrete slab flooring look fantastic and new.

Many pros will offer free estimates so an informed choice of which concrete grinding company to hire can be made.

I’m not saying this only to promote contractors. Sometimes, the grinding job needs specialized tools that can be expensive to rent.

Those tools can also be challenging and dangerous for inexperienced users.

The easy way to decide is to ask for estimates from multiple contractors. Then, compare the price to what it would cost to rent or buy those tools yourself. You can also add some value to your own time.

If the damage is minor and you own the hand tools, I’ll explain how to DIY.

How to grind concrete with an angle grinder

There are different models of grinding equipment for different types of problems or upgrades to be made. All concrete grinders utilize an abrasive of some kind for grinding and polishing.

Diamond grinding is the usual method for removing surface layers and prepping the newly exposed surface for resurfacing coatings or sealers.

Diamond grinding wheels can be bought for an angle grinder, a cheap home tool. It’s not optimal, but you can fix small things if you don’t want to rent proper concrete grinding tools that you can use with a construction vacuum.

There are also silicon carbide grinding wheels and diamond pads for the angle grinder. Diamond pads are usually used for polishing concrete. Smaller handheld grinders are used on concrete countertops and smaller tile surfaces.

For most home users, the diamond grinding wheel is the way to go for handheld tools. It can level the concrete quickly and remove the loose concrete.

While using the diamond wheel, you must be careful not to draw too much concrete.

Protecting yourself before you start

Concrete grinding produces a lot of dust, which unfortunately contains respirable crystalline silica or RCS. Such particles are incredibly harmful to the lungs and can cause silicosis.

Professional grinders wear dust masks and use equipment fitted with a local exhaust ventilation system (LEV), significantly reducing the worker’s exposure to concrete dust and cleaning time. People should stay away from the work area until the grinding project is finished to avoid exposure to RCSs.

It would help if you also protected your eyes and ears as the loose concrete can shoot fast from the wheel. Ear protection is always helpful in this kind of job, as the noise is damaging.

Using a concrete grinding machine

This is quite simple after you have proper protection. Word of warning: Without a vacuum attached, it will produce lots of dust, so don’t have cars or anything else nearby.

The most common tool in every household is an angle grinder. Therefore, I’ll first explain how to grind concrete with an angle grinder. Word of warning: it will produce lots of dust.

Turn the angle grinder on and gently grind the unlevel edge; you need a diamond wheel. If you push a lot, you will notice that the diamond wheel will eat into the concrete very fast. Move the angle grinder from side to side so you will grind out concrete equally. This is very dusty, so you must take breaks to let the dust settle.

You can work more smoothly if you’ve rented a handheld concrete grinding machine. It has a more extensive concrete grinding disc than an angle grinder. You can move it side to side like an angle grinder or make small circles.

How much will a concrete grinder remove will depend on the disc and the force used. Doing the small circles while you grind will help you avoid making new edges with the tool.

You can even go through the driveways if you’re resurfacing the floor. Still, I’d recommend using more extensive grinding tools for that kind of job, but it is possible. It’s just a lot of work, depending on the project size.

Floor grinding machine with vacuum would be best for big surfaces

Resurfacing and sealing

After you’re done grinding, the look is only sometimes pleasant. If there’s rebar near the surface level, it might need to be cut and patched. If the concrete surface doesn’t look good, it might also need patching and resurfacing.

When grinders work to polish an existing floor and make it look new again after it is cleaned, they will apply a modern sealer that will last far longer than those used on floors 20 or more years ago when the process was in its infancy.

Polishing is a great alternative to recoat a floor surface periodically. The sealer will last much longer, and the floor is beautiful.


Concrete grinding is essential when a concrete structure has substructure problems like roughness, indentations, out-of-level surfaces, or cracks. This process is necessary to correct the issue and enhance the concrete’s appearance while improving its overall performance.

Polishing floors is crucial in high-traffic areas like public spaces and warehouse environments. This process protects the surface from wear and tear, making it more abrasion-resistant.

Polishing the floors also increases the surface’s light reflection and aesthetic appearance, making the area more inviting. If you want to repair, protect, or restore old concrete, then concrete grinding done by a professional is the way to go.

It is a highly affordable method that rejuvenates old concrete, enhances its appearance, and improves safety.