Choosing a Polishing Method: Wet vs. Dry

Choosing a Polishing Method: Wet vs. Dry

You can polish concrete using wet or dry methods. Although each has its advantages, many polishing contractors prefer the dry method because it’s faster, more convenient, and environmentally friendly.

Wet polishing uses water to cool the diamond abrasives and eliminate grinding dust. Because the water reduces friction and acts as a lubricant, it increases the life of the polishing abrasives.

Wet cutting is also more aggressive than cutting dry and may bemore effective at exposing the aggregate, if a terrazzo look is desired. The chief disadvantage of this method is the cleanup.

Wet polishing creates a tremendous amount of slurry (a soupy mixture of water and cement dust) that crews must collect and dispose of in an environmentally sound manner. This can dramatically slow productivity. Anotherdownside of polishing wet: The water and slurry make it hard to see the slab surface as you’re working.

Dry polishing requires no water. Instead, the floor polisher is hooked up to a dustcontain ment system that vacuums up virtually all of the mess. Today’s dust-collection equipment extracts about 99% of the dust from polishing, keeping the worksite clean and the air quality safe. Because dry polishing is the method most commonly used in the industry today.