Surface Profile Inspection Guide from SP1 to SP10

A surface profile of concrete or asphalt is a number associated with the material’s desired roughness or texture and its general appearance. It helps in determining if the surface is fit for a specific purpose. Roughness can be an indicator for:

  • Wear-ability
  • Friction coefficients
  • Performance in terms of cracks or corrosion
  • Adhesive properties

Our Surface Profile Inspection Guide helps in determining the desired surface profile of your concrete or asphalt and indicates the proper diamond tooling and machinery required for achieving it during the preparation process.

Surface Profiles (SP1-SP10)

The lower the surface profile (SP) number (SP1), the flatter the surface. An SP10 rating is an extremely rough surface. An accepted definition of surface profile is “the average distance from the peaks to the valleys of the surface, as seen through a cross-section of the prepared substrate.” The range of variation with your specific concrete slab, substrate or asphalt depends on its strength, composition, aggregate and finish. The final surface must allow for the secure mechanical bond of any sealer, coating or marking material, so make sure the surface is free of any dirt, oil, films, paint, coatings, cure, sealer and any other material before creating your desired surface profile.

Runyon Surface Prep carries a full line of HTC, Husqvarna, and CPS grinders, Edco scarifiers and scabblers, National floor scrapers, diamond tooling, carbides, scrapers and shot blasters for use in surface preparation.


Exposed Aggregate, Polished Garage by Paul Rogers Group

Paul Rogers out of Michigan just did a gorgeous exposed aggregate polish on this garage floor. See how well it turned out and the machines, tooling and chemicals he used below…

Machines Used:
The Process:
  1. 40 grit HTC metal bond (with adapter plates)
  2. 80 grit HTC metal bond
  3. 150 grit HTC metal bond (for applying GM3000)
  4. 100 grit Husqvarna transitional copper bond
  5. Ameripolish 3DHS densifier
  6. 200 grit Husqvarna transitional copper bond
  7. 400 grit resin
  8. 800 grit resin
  9. 1500 grit resin

For more information on how to properly polish with Husqvarna tooling, check out this infographic. If you have any additional questions about these products or the process, please let us know. You can contact us here.

[GUIDE] How-To Pair Your Concrete Equipment with the Proper Vacuum

One of the trickiest parts of choosing which vacuums you need on the job is determining which goes best with the equipment you already own, or the equipment you want to purchase. Based on voltage, water lift, amperage, etc. there are certain vacuums that are better suited to particular pieces of equipment. In order to simplify this process, below is a chart that outlines which equipment models are compatible with each Ermator vacuum and pre-separator duo. [Note: Ermator is our preferred dust extraction system.]

However, this is not an all-inclusive list – there are many equipment models not on this chart. So, if that is the case, let us know and we would be thrilled to pair you up with the proper dust extraction system. Also, be sure to check out our small grinder packages and large grinder packages.

Ermator Comparison Guide

Understanding & Using Diamond Tooling for Concrete Surface Preparation

From industrial facilities and manufacturing hubs to residential buildings and high-end corporate headquarters all over the world, floors made from concrete, especially polished concrete, are becoming the preferred choice for contractors and their customers. In addition to reducing maintenance costs, concrete floors are durable, long lasting, environmentally sound for LEED projects, reflect light beautifully and can give the appearance of unique stonework.

Before a floor can be transformed however, the hard work of preparing an old floor for a new application must be taken care of. Not only to clean and sanitize, but to remove all built-up residues or coatings, which, if left on the surface, will impede any successful concrete polishing job. Depending upon the type of residue, the hardness of the concrete, the desired finish and the square footage of the area, grinding removes almost any coating, epoxy, glue or mastic. Between the actual grinding machine and the concrete is the diamond tooling, the real workhorse of any equipment package. Understanding how to determine the appropriate type of diamond tooling relative to the substrate you are working on, as well as the desired end result, is crucial.

Anatomy of Diamond Tooling

Definition: Diamond tooling cuts or polishes a concrete surface using one of the hardest materials on Earth: diamond grains, a distinct advantage compared to tools that use common abrasives such as corundum and silicon carbide.

Bond: In order for a grinder to use diamonds to cut, small chips of diamonds are suspended in a bond made from metal, resin, carbides, hybrid or mixed-resin (a blend of both resin and metal bonds) or polycrystalline PCD.

  • Metal-bonded diamonds are ideal for removing brittle adhesives
  • Carbide-bonded diamonds are ideal for removing tacky adhesives, leaving a smooth finish and no damage to concrete
  • PCD-bonded diamonds are ideal for removing epoxy coatings, adhesives, leveling compounds or membranes and quite popular because they are so aggressive

To achieve the greatest productivity on hard concrete, a soft-bonded diamond needs to be used; conversely, a hard-bonded diamond needs to be used on soft concrete.

Segment: Segment refers to the raised part of the tool that holds the bond. More segments on the mounting plate means less head pressure, whereas a single segment withstands all of the head pressure.

Grit: Diamond tooling is available in various grits, indicating the size of the diamonds within the bond. The lower the number of grit, the larger the size of the diamond. The higher the number, the smaller or finer the diamond. Most concrete grinding jobs require a combination of diamond grits to achieve a desired end finish.

Concrete Hardness

Knowing whether the substrate you are working on is soft, medium or hard concrete determines the correct diamond bond to use, which dramatically increases productivity. You can determine concrete hardness by conducting a Mohs Hardness Test, which ranks the hardness of all minerals on a scale of 1 to 10 from softest to hardest. Concrete falls between 4 and 8 on the Mohs scale.

Surface Prep Selections

Diamabrush Mastic Removal Tool

  • Removes mastic, carpet or tile adhesive, thin-set and thin mil coatings like urethane or paint
  • Uses rigid, exposed diamond coated blades to grind stubborn coatings from concrete, creating a level floor with normal use
  • Retains sharp cutting points over the life of the tool
  • Designed to fit a wide variety rotary flooring machines
  • Low profile design enables tool to travel over gaps in the concrete
  • Simply apply water to eliminate dust and to flush debris away
  • Money saving replaceable blades

Husqvarna Pirhana PCDs

  • Rids concrete of hard-to-remove coatings, adhesives and screeds
  • Specially formulated grade of Pirahna PCD diamond scraper inserts ensure maximum wear and productivity
  • For use on the PG machinery range in conjunction with the Redi Lock system
  • Single or double quarter-round PCD with protective diamond strip
  • Tools can be re-tipped once worn out

HTC Metal-Bond T-Rex Series

  • Removes coatings as opposed to grinding them, including thick coatings such as paint, epoxy, varnish, acrylic, glue and screed residue
  • Finer scratch pattern
  • Leaves a good profile for laying down a new floor covering
  • T-Rex EZchange Gold allows the user to choose the correct grinding pressure needed

Trends In Diamond Tooling

One of the hottest trends in diamond tooling today is the use of transitional diamonds or hybrid diamond tooling, which combines the deep cutting and grinding action of metal tooling with the softer polishing action of resin tooling, making the progression from grinding to polishing easier and faster. Modern contractors are also testing the use of diamond-impregnated pads, which are easier to use and tend to last longer than traditional diamond tooling.

[INFOGRAPHIC] How to Polish Concrete with Husqvarna

After several requests for a step-by-step guide to polishing concrete with Husqvarna tooling, here it is. This 9 step concrete polishing process gives a general outline for which grits to use in each stage, the exact tool to use in each and best practices. Keep in mind however, that this is by no-means translatable to every concrete slab, it may vary, but it gives a solid starting point.

Also, in order to understand the speed requirements, it’s important to be familiar with Husqvarna’s Dual Drive Technology™ and specifically the functionality of Husqvarna floor grinder control panels, which have 2 speed controls (potentiometers). For an overview of Dual Drive Technology™, check out this blog post.

How to Polish with Husqvarna

For a complete catalog of Husqvarna grinders and tooling, visit our website. Please contact us with any questions you may have. And if you would like a customized infographic for you and your crew, please contact us and we will make it happen!

Hunter Advanced Concrete Polishing: Christensen Field Floor Makeover

There is something to be said about a concrete floor that is enlivened and totally transformed with a natural grinding and polishing process. It is obvious after little time when a floor is done poorly, but properly polished concrete that is maintained will exhibit a long-lasting sheen. Hunter Advanced Concrete Polishing embodies this concept and is to be admired for the highlighted project below.

For years, Hunter Advanced Concrete Polishing has been a preferred provider of some of the region’s leading retailers, restaurateurs, contractors, schools, municipalities, commercial and industrial, and others who understand the value of their property – and the importance of preserving it. What began as a small family business has become an enterprise with more than 20 employees. Together they continue to apply the very best techniques and learn-by-doing to ensure that every job is done right. From the materials used, to the equipment and techniques used to apply them, Hunter ensures high quality craftsmanship in the production of polished concrete floors that instantly become a mark of pride for their customers.

Project Overview

Hunter ACP was tasked with transforming the above main arena floor at Christensen Field in Fremont, NE. It was in fairly rough shape before, as evidenced in the top left picture, due to a poorly executed resurfacing job by a different contractor two years prior to Hunter getting their hands on it. The Hunter ACP crew first ground down the surface with a Husqvarna grinder and rugged diamond tooling. Then the crew filled in the 2″ wide joints with joint filler from Metzger/McGuire. And the final step in the process was polishing the entire surface to the desired shine by working up to a higher grit with each pass.

Products Used

The Lasting Results

Hunter ACP is a large proponent of a natural, long-lasting result achieved from truly polishing a surface, not simply applying a protectant and then burnishing, which will wear and dull more quickly over time. Thus, the truly polished floors at Christensen Field should last for years to come, especially when maintained to Hunter ACP’s prescribed specifications. Hunter ACP guarantees that the floor will not spall or lose its luster as long as the maintenance program is followed, which is something to consider. A maintenance program is vital for the upkeep and lasting effect of a concrete surface, especially when heavy foot traffic is a factor.

Glass + Concrete Overlay: A Colorful and Dynamic Combination

Glass AggregateShiny, yet bland concrete floors are not suitable for every business, which is why the trend toward decorative concrete flooring is so prominent. Decorative concrete is especially helpful for company branding purposes, or to make a bright and impactful statement in an indoor or outdoor space.

One of the main ways to achieve a colorful and dynamic polished look is by incorporating glass into concrete overlay. There are two recommended methods with which to accomplish this – either by mixing integrally or by broadcasting. And throughout both processes, it is recommended you use CTS Rapid Set’s TRU Self-Leveling overlay, glass from American Specialty Glass, integral color from Ameripolish and CS Unitec’s HIPPO Porta-Mix.

Mixing Integrally

For the first option, it is recommended you mix the overlay initially. If you are using Ameripolish’s integral color, the water and dye are mixed together before the overlay material is added. Next, screen the product with a 1/8” classifier to remove any unmixed material or clumps. Lastly, mix the glass with the overlay. This technique is ideal for a 50% load using size 0 or size 1 glass. You want to use smaller glass because then it has a better opportunity to stay close to the surface when placing it on the floor.

In terms of the finishing technique, you can generally gauge the rake depth at 3/8” depending on the load. Be sure not to use a spiked roller – it would only succeed in pushing the glass around. Rather, for mixing integrally, the preferred finishing method is with a smoothie.

Broadcasting Glass

Glass-Infused Concrete OverlayChoosing to broadcast is a much more delicate process than mixing integrally, the primary reason being that this option really depends on the set time of the overlay. If you throw the glass too early, it will all sink to the bottom, meaning it isn’t visible. Conversely, if you wait too long, the glass will sit on the surface, not penetrating, and could be pulled out of the overlay during the initial grind.

The size of the glass influences when to broadcast since the weight of the glass is relational to the size. You can use up to a size 2, but generally size 1 is best. If the glass is larger, thus heavier, then you should wait longer. Whereas, if the glass is smaller and lighter, then broadcast sooner. Again, keep in mind: this is a delicate process, so time this as accurately as possible.

When you do the initial grind, be sure to grind the surface enough to where there is not a void between the glass and the TRU – you want the two to bond or else the polish will be diminished. Also, be aware that when you broadcast, it is difficult not to have pull-out. We have used a grout coat from Husqvarna and Metzger/McGuire to fill the pit left behind when the glass is removed.

For the broadcast finishing process, here are the steps:

  1. Place the product
  2. Gauge rake to set depth
  3. Purge any air pockets with a spike roller
  4. Soon after the product begins to set, broadcast the glass

When you get to the third step, consider using a new porcupine roller on the market, one that Joe Zingale from CTS Rapid Set recommends. The spikes are stainless steel and are 1.25″ in length. The advantage to this new roller – it doesn’t leave spike marks in the TRU like plastic spike rollers do. This new metal roller has pin-like spikes, meaning they aren’t as thick.

Once the four-step process is complete, and the initial set of the overlay occurs, do not use a trowel or any other tool to press down glass that did not fully penetrate the overlay. Doing so will leave an impression, which could be difficult to get out.

Finished WOC Concrete FlooringThe Hybrid Approach

While not usually a common method, it is possible to combine the above two techniques into a hybrid approach. Meaning, you would first mix the glass integrally, and then you would broadcast after the product is placed. However, bear in mind that this is only effective with a load less than 50%.

This is really only a surface level understanding of the glass-infused concrete overlay process, and after mixing integrally or broadcasting the final step is grinding and polishing. If you would like to learn more about the next step, or how to implement the above listed techniques, then contact a Runyon Surface Prep sales rep, or for more on the products needed during this process visit the Runyon Surface Prep website. To view this post in its original article form, see the Concrete Decor post here.