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How to Make Concrete Shiny Like Glass [A Complete Guideline]

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Living attractively is a way among many to show who you are. And having a shiny concrete floor is definitely attractive. 

But spending a lot of money on your floor only to leave it dirty is unacceptable. Your concrete deserves to be shiny as a glass.

How to make concrete shiny like glass?

You can make concrete floors shiny by following 2 parts. When it is wet and when it’s dry.  In the first part level and float the concrete floor. After that, I trowel on the concrete floor. And for the second part, you will have to do some mechanical polishing.

Now let me ease you in about both parts through a step-by-step guide. 

Join in!

Stage 1 of 2: When the Concrete Floor is Wet (Smooth It)

You can not get a shiny concrete floor without a smooth surface. Besides that, smooth surfaces come in handy when you decide to glue carpet on concrete floors. So, to smooth your concrete you level, float, and trowel the floor surface when it’s still wet. 

In this segment, I will brief you about it in 4 simple steps. Let us dive right into it. 

Step 1: Level Your Concrete Floor

There are two commonly used tools to level or even concrete. First is the screed board and the second is the derby. 

The screed should be either a strip of aluminum or simply a flat board. Whether it’s a strip of aluminum or a flat board, you will draw it over the concrete. 

But for your convenience, I have recommended the best screed board in the market. Try them out:

Product 1
Product 2

Hopefully, any of these will do the work.

Start by pushing your screed board across the surface. This will fill gaps and remove excess concrete if there are any. Applying darby afterward will further smooth out the concrete surface. 

And to avoid any imperfections you may want to move the darby in an arc-like pattern. Remember to use these tools before the rising of bleed water. And a small warning, don’t confuse leveling concrete floor with leveling concrete patio.

Step 2: Wait for the Bleed Water to Evaporate

Bleed water is a term referring to free water from the concrete mix.  Surely this excess water from the concrete mix will rise to the top and evaporate on its own.  

But how long does it take to evaporate? This totally depends on the quality of concrete and of course on the environment.

And if you didn’t wait for the bleed water’s evaporation. It will surely bite you in the long run. 

Step 3: Float the Concrete Floor

After smoothening your floor with screed and darby. You float it to compact the concrete. Furthermore, floating prepares your concrete floor for additional finishing. Float the concrete either by hand or through a machine. 

If you want to float it by hand. Use magnesium hand floats for smaller surfaces. And bull floats for larger ones. 

Apply the mechanical floating method only when the concrete is firm enough. Mechanical floating machines have larger and flat metallic floats.  

Step 4: Trowel the Concrete Floor

We mostly trowel indoor concrete and it’s important. So, trowel repeatedly with a steel trowel in consecutive sweeps. 

While troweling, remember two things. First to avoid the chatter texture do not tilt the trowel. And second, never add any water while finishing the concrete. 

Afterward, when all the finishing steps are completed. Leave the concrete to cure and dry. And it’s dried, that is when you move on to the polishing steps. 

Stage 2 of 2: When the Concrete Floor is Cured (Polish It)

After the smoothening part now it is time to make the concrete floor glossy like glass. Surely you will get the shine with sealer but not without a quality polish. 

You get two options when it comes to polishing concrete floors. The first is mechanical and the second is chemical. 

Chemical options involve solvent-based sealants and they produce toxic fumes. That is why you are gonna need a lot of ventilation in the work area. Besides, mechanical polish guarantees long-lasting, sustainable, and durable shine. 

We are gonna only talk about mechanical polish. 

Mechanical Polishing Method (Diamond Polishing)

The most popular mechanical polishing method to get the shiniest surface is diamond polishing. The floor you see in airports, malls, and the like is done through diamond polishing. And the benefits of diamond polishing slabs are long-lasting. 

This method utilizes industrial diamonds to smooth, grind and then polish the floor. It means that the diamond polishing method relies on concrete for a reflective finish instead of a sealant. 

And how shiny and glossy the floor should be? This depends on the grit you use. The higher the grit the better shine you achieve. And the abrasives usually come in 800, 1500, 3000 grit.  

FAQs

Question: What are the conditions to avoid maintaining polished concrete?

Answer: To avoid polished concrete maintenance, you need to avoid using acidic or alkaline cleaning solutions. These cleaner solutions include ammonia, bleach, vinegar, and citrus. Furthermore, consider adding joints and avoid excess water while finishing. 

Question: Wet or dry, which is the best method to polishing concrete?

Answer: Definitely the dry one. Because it will achieve more shine as compared to the wet one.  Furthermore, a dry one will give you a higher level of light reflection along with a classier look. 

Question: What is the difference between mechanically polished concrete and honed concrete?

Answer: Both can be used interchangeably and both involve mechanical processing. They differ in terms of appearance, performance, and suitability after the initial grinding phase.  

Conclusion

Surely you get the idea about how to make concrete shiny like glass. It’s important that you follow each step correctly. 

No one says doing it yourself is not achievable. But if you still have concerns, it is always best to hire a flooring professional.  

Hope your guests like it!