How to polish a concrete floor with a handheld grinder

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to polish a concrete floor with a handheld grinder
You can't beat the look of polished concrete. (hoses on concrete image by pearlguy from

Polished concrete is durable and attractive. Polished concrete is also a terrific way to update your home without a lot of expense. You could hire a contractor to come to your your home, make a big mess and charge you a fortune to bring out the shine in your concrete floors. Or you can get the job done yourself with a lot less hassle and expense. A small section of concrete can be polished with a hand sander.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Water
  • Low-tack painter's tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Handheld sander
  • Diamond polishing pads
  • Protective eyewear
  • Gloves

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  1. 1

    Vacuum the area thoroughly to remove all dust and debris. Wash the concrete with a mild dishwashing soap and water. Rinse away all soap residues. Allow the concrete to dry.

  2. 2

    Cover any vents and under doorways with plastic sheeting and low-tack painter's tape. Dust will seep through these openings if not properly sealed. Open as many windows as possible to provide ventilation.

  3. 3

    Attach the appropriate sanding disk to the handheld grinder. A diamond pad is the more common name for a disk that will grind concrete. Every manufacturer will have a different naming system for their sanders. Use a disk that is indicated for grinding concrete. Put on protective eyewear to avoid particles damaging your eyes.

  4. 4

    Turn on the handheld grinder and lower slowly to the concrete. Grind it in using a back and forth and up and down motion. Polish the entire surface until the shine is visible.

  5. 5

    Vacuum the area to remove the majority of the sanding dust. Wipe the area with a wet towel to remove any small particles that were missed by the vacuum.

Tips and warnings

  • After polishing, you can easily take the next step and stain your concrete with great results.
  • Some handheld grinders require a wet application. They need to be used on a wet concrete surface. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using your handheld sander.

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