A Comprehensive Guide to Maximum Refinement of Concrete Floors

Maximum refinement is a term widely used within the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA). But unfortunately very few people in the industry have adequate knowledge about this one of the most significant aspects of concrete polishing process.

A glossy floor surface is often as misinterpreted as maximum refinement. Two different types of floors can look similar in surface glosses values, yet would remain significantly different in appearance.

Concrete Floors

A large number of contractors who have been involved in concrete polishing and polished concrete management for years participate in the CPAA Craftsman Accreditation course and struggle with the concept of maximum refinement. They are more likely to wrestle with the theory onto a few months later when, during one project, they fail to get the needed shine on the concrete floor.

Mostly they will seek help from phone customer support given by CPAA technical team and will finally come to know that they have overlooked in the concrete floor refinement process.  Make use of a good quality concrete polishing equipment with the required size of diamond grit to give the final touch to the floor surface.

Work Smart, Not Hard

Getting the perfect refinement isn’t about more labor, but all it needs is the right skills and knowledge. For most of flooring projects, it is a term that needs to be met during each and every step of the concrete floor polishing process before the floor stars showing up characteristics as expected by the customer.

 “Maximum refinement is defined as the point in time when the diamond tool has refined the surface to the degree to which it no longer cuts—or cuts very little—under its current weight and variables as defined by the CPAA.”

Including specific grinding grits and sequences sometimes restrict contractors to give the best of their ability. Pressures imposed upon the technicians during the floor polishing process may create a huge difference in the final result.

However, the weight of the machine, the linear speed of the machine during operation, diamond tooling pressure, diamond tooling design, and diamond tooling quality are also major variables of the process that must be taken into account.

Maximum Refinement – There is still a BIG confusion!

Perhaps it is because of a simple fact that the concrete polishing industry is divided in so many different segments, some architects don’t know what the polishing contractors need to do to achieve that high standard of quality in their work. In order to create the legitimate benchmarks, the CPAA has defined ‘polished concrete’ and its classifications.

As defined in the CPAA guideline, the polished concrete process is the act of changing a concrete floor surface, with or without aggregate exposure, to obtain a specified level of gloss using one of the classifications mentioned below:

  • Bonded-abrasive polished concrete
  • Burnished polished concrete
  • Hybrid polished concrete

To know each specification and guideline in detail, click here.

To conclude, Maximum refinement is the product of knowledge and it is directly related to the display and quality of the finished product. Obtaining maximum refinement converts every job site into an unmatched work of skillful art.

Author Bio:
With her expertise in concrete polishing and polished concrete management, Rosy help readers choose the best contractor in the town and make the most of their money.

Erin Emanuel


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