Honing Concrete Slabs into Concrete Floors

Elite Tackles ‘The Worst Slab I’ve Ever Seen’ 

Honing concrete, better known as polishing concrete, is the process of taking a pre-existing slab and turning it into something unrecognisably better.  

Honing concrete includes grinding it down, hardening it with a slew of chemicals and machines, all to be finished off with a penetrating sealer or polished to a finer grind of finish for maximum shine.  When asking any expert on polished concrete what the most difficult part of it is, most respond with the same answer: old, poorly laid out or simply lazily done slabs. 

The Monster Slab of Stafford Heights 

What was originally a simple job of honing concrete and laying out some penetrating sealer, a ‘grind and seal’ job, turned into an absolute beast. Don’t get us wrong, we love working with concrete and with our clients, but it was no easy feat to defeat this potentially 60-plus year-old ancient slab of concrete.  

At an eye’s glance the slab itself was noticeably shabby. It was littered with holes, chips and pinholes that needed some major grouting, something that we mentioned early on and the clients were happy to pay for the extra work.  

But that wasn’t all. The levels, how flat the slab was, were the ‘worst’ our crew had ever seen in over 15 years of polishing concrete slabs. That meant that the HTC Duratiq RX6 that we were using needed to go into overdrive to get this job done in three days.  

The First Day – An Uphill Battle 

The first of three days saw the team grinding out and fixing the levels to create an even surface that aligned with local council’s regulations for height. The client wished to build on top of the concrete and couldn’t do so until we grinded it down to an exact level.  Dealing with strict council and state guidelines is something we are very happy to accommodate and is often the case when honing concrete. 

As we grinded, we began to fill the remaining holes and chips in with grouting chemicals, only to run into yet another hitch thanks to the original pourers of the slab.  

Likely built over 60 years ago, when wheelbarrows and hand-crafted slabs were the norm, the slab had been filled with hundreds if not thousands of little surprises. 

These surprises, that damaged the internal structure of the slab, were balls of mud and chips of wood. That’s right, mud and wood chips. They had dehydrated after all this time and shrivelled inside the concrete, risking the structural integrity of the concrete. The more grinding we did, the more holes we discovered just under the surface and grouting we had to do on the second day.  

Even as we struggled with a difficult slab of concrete, we communicated everything as it happened, and the clients appreciated our candour and clarity in how our process worked. 

The Second Day – All Seemed Well 

With a difficult day behind us, we had worked hard enough to prepare the slab for the next stage: grouting the holes we had found and using a combination of machines and chemicals to densify the concrete to increase the lifespan of the final product. 

It was a tedious process, much like the first day, that required patience on the team’s part. But was a straightforward part of the job that Elite Concrete Floors could easily manage. But as the second day ended, the monster of Stafford Heights made one final attempt to avoid being polished.  

We discovered that the floor had been laid over bare ground, with no plastic seal or film to prevent moisture seeping through the concrete, and thus we had to change plans. 

The Second Day – All Was Not All Well 

It was raining and it was cold but that didn’t matter. We had planned to do a grind and seal job that only required a final application of a penetrating sealer to lock out moisture from rain and spills.  

However, thanks to the lack of protective film on the underneath the slab, moisture could bubble up and through the earth and would eventually ruin the film of sealer. Rather than do half a job, we suggested to the clients to go for a full polish. 

Yet again the clients appreciated our quick appraisal and ability to deal with the slab, originally certain that it would need to be completely removed.  Thanks to our experience we were able to spot this unusual problem before it cost the clients further money after the job was done. 


The Third Day – Polishing Off the Beast 

The final day was one of relief for all parties. It was the warmest and sunniest of the three days and reflected how we all felt. 

 The job of honing concrete, namely the most difficult slab we had faced, was now at its final stage. All that needed to be done was a clean polish up of the concrete slab to a fine 200.  Grabbing out the smaller set of artificial diamond grinders, we set about the last lap of the job. 

The final result was something special and worth every second we spent on it. The clients were thrilled! And why wouldn’t they be? The value of their house had just gone up in just three days and they were finally able to finish their projects in that room they had been hoping to.  

We cleaned it all up, took some photos as keepsakes of the time we defeated the most difficult slab of concrete imaginable.

The beast was slain and Stafford Heights residents could sleep easy now knowing that they were surrounded by only the best in polished floors. 

Honing Concrete No Matter the Hurdles 

As you can tell, we are very passionate about concrete, and are determined to provide the best result, the best bang for your buck, that we or any flooring specialist could provide.  

We really can do it all from honing concrete to polishing, grinding and spot-checking issues as they arise. You’ll find we are all about communicating clearly because we are no-nonsense and believe in the quality and craftsmanship of our work.   

When choosing a floor solution specialist, choose Elite Concrete Floors. We are true experts in honing concrete with an obsession for quality customer service. 

If you found this article interesting about honing concrete and want to know more about us or how we work with honing concrete into polished concrete, click here.  

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