Trowel polishing is a new method, notable for its high production rates in large areas. Polished concrete offers a wide range of benefits to industrial sized spaces. The low cost, comparative to other flooring, plus its strength and durability are key. The factor which can give some facilities managers pause is the time it takes to polish a large concrete floor. There are circumstances where an area can be sectioned off, with the rest of the building remaining in use. More usually, the whole building has to wait for the polishing to be finished before it can serve any useful purpose. The risks posed by concrete dust, both to personnel and equipment, cannot be fully mitigated. This can make inferior resin or epoxy floors seem like a more attractive option.
Trowel polishing uses modified ride-on floor trowels, instead of grinding machines. It is suitable for large, relatively flat floors of 500m² and upwards. Both new and existing floors can be polished with a trowel system. Plates fit onto the trowel, which are in turn fitted with diamond pads. The plates are equipped with a floating bearing mount so they can rotate independently of the trowel. This results in a more consistent scratch pattern and a more efficient polishing process.
One other important characteristic is that the polishing must be performed wet. This will often mean masking the walls and any other surfaces which need to be protected. It is important to stress that trowel polishing is for industrial buildings. The equipment and tooling would not perform well in smaller spaces.
Trowel Polishing Suitability
Using trowel polishing rather than floor grinders makes sense when:
- Project time is amongst the most important concerns
- The area of the floor is 500m² or larger
- There are no structural obstacles, such as pillars
- The floor does not require levelling
- Wet grinding does not pose any problems, including slurry management
- No aggregate exposure is required
A salt and pepper finish will be achieved across the floor, although the final look will be determined by the mix design of the concrete.
Warehouse and factory space is at a premium in the UK. As a result, there is a real need to get the most out of every building. That process starts from the ground up, with flooring that will last for the lifetime of the building. Trowel polishing can remove the capacity limitation which has held back some facilities managers and owners from investing in polished concrete floors. Concrete Polishing Equipment is currently undertaking experimentation to find the best trowel polishing system and bring it to the UK market. Any customers or who have had positive, or negative, experiences with a system can contact us and help us to make a more informed decision on which brands to stock.