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Grinding and Polishing Equipment

Grinding and polishing the countertop surface wilI enhance both the visual and tactile experience by exposing some of the aggregate and decorative add-ins (if used) and smoothing away minor blemishes, burrs, and rough spots. Here's the basic equipment you'll need to achieve a highly polished finish:

  • A handheld electric grinder/polisher.
  • A set of diamond grinding pads, with grit levels ranging from coarse to fine. Both Rhodes and Girard use diamond pads with grit numbers ranging from 50 to 3,000. The more aggressive, coarser grits work best at exposing aggregates and removing blemishes. Youll use the finer grits for final polishing, progressing to higher grit levels until you achieve the desired surface sheen and smoothness.
  • Hand finishing pads or sanding blocks of various grit levels to work in tight spots and for minor touchups.

Buying tips: A grinder/polisher with an attached water feed for wet grinding will help to reduce dust and extend the working life of the pads. Girard uses a grinder with an operating speed of 4,000 rpm. Since youll be switching pads frequently, also ask if the mounting system on the grinder permits fast changeovers.

And dont neglect the obvious: Be sure to buy diamond pads suitable for use with your grinder and specifically designed for grinding concrete, not granite. Concrete has rough, hard aggregate in a relatively soft matrix. Granite is uniformly hard. If you use pads designed for granite, they will not last as long or work as effectively, says Girard. Sources for concrete grinding and polishing tools and accessories include CHENG Concrete, Granite City Tool, and Leitch & Co..

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