If you thought that you could apply a floor coating right to your concrete without prepping it first, you wouldn’t be alone. Many people assume that that’s how the floor coating application process works. However, in order for the floor coating to properly adhere to your concrete, your concrete needs to be prepped first, either through acid etching or diamond grinding.
If you’ve played with the idea of getting a floor coating before, you’ve likely heard the terms acid etching and diamond grinding getting tossed around. But what’s the difference between acid etching and diamond grinding? Is one a more effective method than the other?
Here’s what you need to know about the differences between acid etching and diamond grinding – and why you need to do either of these in the first place.
Why Do You Need To Prep Your Concrete Before Applying Floor Coatings?
If your concrete is older or has some damage, either in the form of cracks or stains, it may be a no-brainer that you need to take care of those issues before applying a floor coating, so that they don’t impact your floor coating. However, even brand-new concrete needs to be prepped before you apply a floor coating to it.
This is because you need to expose the pores of the concrete. Beautiful as newly laid concrete is, that smooth surface isn’t conducive to applying floor coatings. You need to profile the concrete – aka, expose the pores – so that the floor coating can penetrate into it and form a mechanical bond. If you don’t profile your concrete, or it isn’t profiled properly, your floor coating can fail.
You can do this yourself with acid etching. A professional typically does this with diamond grinding. This allows for much better adherence so that your floor coating looks its best and lasts you as long as possible.
What Is Acid Etching?
Acid etching is when you apply acid to your concrete in order to profile it, typically with a spray. Then, you let it sit and work its magic. Acid etching helps to expose the pores of your concrete, but it won’t remove any damage or stains. As such, this method is best for brand-new concrete.
The acid needs to be cleaned off properly, in order to prevent issues with your floor coating. You also need to ensure that you dispose of it properly.
Acid etching is typically used by DIYers, due to the fact that diamond grinding involves special equipment and expertise.
What Is Diamond Grinding?
Diamond grinding is typically done by professionals. While acid etching just exposed the pores of your concrete, diamond grinding removes the top layer of your concrete. This roughens it up enough to create an ideal surface to apply a floor coating to. Since diamond grinding removes the top layer of your concrete, it can also remove issues like stains.
Diamond grinders have grinding pads, floor buggers, power washers, and dust shrouds in order to ensure the best prep job possible. You need expertise in order to operate these and get an even surface without any gouge marks. You also need to be careful to take the proper measures to protect yourself from the dust, as well as to clean it up before applying the floor coating.
Acid Etching And Diamond Grinding: Which Is Better?
Whenever comparing anything, people naturally want to know which is better. Talking about the differences between acid etching and diamond grinding is no different.
Diamond grinding is better than acid etching. However, many people cannot access or safely operate these grinders. As such, acid etching is an effective alternative for DIYers.
That said, while both acid etching and diamond grinding profile your concrete, if you’re having a professional floor coating done, you want to ensure that the company uses a diamond grinder. This is because diamond grinders provide better results. Since floor coatings are an investment, you want to ensure that your floor coating is applied properly.
Professional Floor Coating Services In Colorado
Solid Custom Floor Coatings provides professional floor coating services throughout the Denver, Colorado area. We use diamond grinders to prep your floors, and also take care to clean up properly after ourselves, so there’s no dust left behind. To learn more about our floor coating process or to receive your free quote, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!