Concrete Surface Preparation

Learn about various substrate preparation methods before installing polished concrete floors, metallic epoxy, urethane cement, MMA Resin flooring systems. Concrete surface preparation is an essential first step for any decorative concrete flooring or industrial flooring project. It is a time consuming process that many contractors may overlook, even though it is critical to the success of the project.

Preparing a concrete surface is done to make to the concrete look like plain concrete again, or as a prior step to installing an industrial or decorative floor finish.

The measurable characteristic of a properly prepared concrete substrate is its texture, or its Concrete Surface Profile (CSP). For proper bonding of primers, concrete overlays and top coats, the correct CSP must be attained. The international Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) provides a benchmarking system for concrete surface profiling. The system ranges from a CSP of 1 (smoothest) to a CSP of 10 (very coarse). Generally the thicker the overlay, the more coarse or higher the CSP needs to be.

When preparing concrete for the application of flooring products, always follow the manufacture’s directions in determining the correct CSP. If you are using Duraamen products and have questions, you can visit this website or call 1.866.835.6595 to speak with a Duraamen representative. Representatives are available 24/7.

Concrete Surface Preparation Explained

In this how-to video series, Bob Harris of the Decorative Concrete Institute explains the tools needed, and demonstrates the techniques used to properly prepare a concrete substrate for the application of almost any concrete flooring product.

Videos 1: Bob explains Concrete Surface Profiling in detail. He also discusses safety precautions and introduces commonly used concrete surface preparation equipment—hand-held scrapers, cleaners, repair products, diamond grinders and shot blasters.

Video 2: Demonstration on how to use a buffing machine.

Videos 3: The importance of understanding the difference between static and structural cracking is discussed. Bob demonstrates the use of a crack chaser blade and crack-filler product. Preventing crack repairs from ghosting through a finished floor is discussed.

Videos 4: Demonstration of the application and removal of gelled acid to profile a concrete substrate.

Videos 5: This video illustrates the use of a diamond grinding machine to profile concrete. Tips for using water to check your work and profile testing with selection chips is also shown.

Videos 6: Bob Harris gives expert tips for using a shot blaster to profile concrete in this demonstration video.