How to Sand Concrete

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Concrete is usable in various applications, and the most significant application is flooring. Concrete is now being used for outdoor fixtures, basements, counters, garages, and others. It is because they are durable and can be appealing, as per the work execution. Among all the procedures, sanding is one practical aspect that is inevitable. There are few ways using which you can sand the concrete projects at ease.

How to Sand Concrete?

In order to ensure that you are proficient in sanding concrete, it is important to possess the right skill. In fact, it is no rocket science and demands no expertise. But, it does require a rightful approach and skillful execution.

Concrete floors are quite easy to maintain and clean, but you need to prepare them before worrying about maintenance. Therefore, if you possess the right tools, then this guide will certainly help you to learn how to sand concrete all by yourself!

A brown-colored sandpaper for cement

Method 1: Sanding Manually With Hand

  1. Check on the concrete area that you have to polish.
  2. If the polishing area is small, then using a manual approach is convenient.
  3. You will need diamond sanding pads or usual sandpapers. Also, you can use 30-60 grit sandpaper for the said purpose.
  4. Use your hands to give smooth and even strokes on the surface.
  5. Continue the rubbing process on the target area until you get the desired finish.

Pro Tip!

If you intend to use sandpaper for sanding a large concrete surface, it is better to approach it in sections. It will make the job easier for you!

Method 2: Sanding With Orbital Sander or Power Tools

If the sanding area is big, then the manual approach might consume time and effort. For such scenarios, it is evident to make use of power tools such as a sander. In fact, it will help you minimize the sanding effort, and the work will be over in less time. The steps for the same are:

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Step 1: Arrange All the Materials

  1. Buy or rent a sander tool, or instead, you can use a floor grinder for the purpose.
  2. Get the right diamond sanding pads for the tool.
  3. Keep a mop and water bucket alongside you while sanding the concrete floor.
  4. A vacuum cleaner will help clear the after-effects of sanding.
  5. Get a concrete sealant or epoxy resin, as per your choice.

Step 2: Prepare the Concrete Surface for Sanding

  1. A thorough cleaning is essential for the concrete surface before commencing with the sanding process.
  2. Now clean the surface with the use of a vacuum cleaner and follow it up with mopping.
  3. Wet the concrete surface, and eradicate the excessive dampness to clear the dirt over the floor surface.
  4. For concrete countertops, sweeping and vacuuming is sufficient.
  5. Now, make use of a concrete cleaner to get rid of any texture issues.
  6. Cover all the surrounding objects that you want to protect from concrete dust.

Step 3: Fix the Holes Within Your Concrete Surface

Patch up all the holes within your concrete surface. Also, do not worry about overflowing those holes with more concrete, as you can sand it down in the next process.

Man using a floor grinder to sand a concrete floor

Step 4: The Sanding Process

  1. Plug the power tool or sander into the power outlet.
  2. Ensure that the cable is long enough to let you drag the grinder around the surface seamlessly.
  3. Keep a firm grip over the handle, and run the sander or grinder over the concrete surface.
  4. You will see how fast the surface grinds and smoothens up in comparison to sandpapers.
  5. Hold the grinder for a bit more time on the overfilled hole patches to bring them to level.
  6. Continue the process until you get the smoothness and achieve your desired outcome.

Step 5: The Finishing Process

  1. After the sanding is over, rinse the surface with water. It will clear out the dust and dirt over the uneven spots.
  2. Leave the concrete floor to dry. It might take around two days for complete drying.
  3. Now, you can proceed with the application of the sealants, as per your choice. The epoxy resins are ideal picks for this purpose.
  4. Apply the coat of epoxy resin sealant to the concrete surface, and let it dry for around three days straight.

Here is a complete video demonstration of using a sander tool for sanding the concrete floors. Check out this YouTube link after going through the methods and steps for better understanding.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Things That I Should Consider While Grinding Or Sanding My Concrete Floor?

The first thing you need to keep in mind is figuring out what you expect at the end before starting with the job. In fact, the above methods can help you out in order to achieve the result or finish of your concrete surface. Also, you need to understand the right preparation techniques for ideal outcomes. For more information about the same, you can refer to this article which explains tips for beginners.

Why Is It Important To Pick The Right Diamond Sand Bars Or Sandpapers?

In order to carry out a manual approach, you must buy industrial-grade sandpapers or diamond sand bars for your concrete polishing applications. It is because the usual low-impact sandpapers do not have the potential to grind out tough concrete surfaces. So, make sure you pick the right one, ranging between 30 to 60 grit, for your concrete polishing application.

Conclusion

If you intend to save money and do not want to hire professionals for your concrete sanding project, this article is the go-to guide to provide you with the right knowledge. Smoothening and polishing the concrete floor is not a difficult task. However, you need to approach the application with ideal skills to ensure that the outcome doesn’t lead you to more hassles. Therefore, get the right tools and learn the correct techniques to get the job done.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.