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Technical Guides
Ways to Smooth a Rough Concrete Surfaces
Mar 22 , 2021

There are several ways to repair rough/uneven surfaces. The first and most common method is to grind and polish using a wet polisher and diamond polishing pads (and possibly a diamond grinding cup wheel, depending on the severity of the imperfections). You would begin with the lowest grit necessary and work your way up. Usually you will go up to at least 200 grit. You can continue to polish higher but keep in mind that some stains and sealers won’t adhere to highly polished concrete. Wet polishing can be messy so some people select for a dryer option, like diamond grinding disc. They start with a fairly aggressive 60 grit and go up to 200 grit. These are not diamond in resin like the wet polishing pads, they are electroplated diamond discs. This means they don’t require such a high RPM and can be used on a regular palm sander. This won’t smooth the surface to a high gloss finish that the wet polisher will but it will give the concrete a nice honed finish. Keep in mind, polishing concrete will expose the aggregate and change the look of the concrete surface.

Another option for smoothing a rough concrete surface is to apply a skim coat. You should never use regular concrete for this. Choose a product specifically made for skim coats, like micro-topping. This is a cement based mix that is meant to be troweled on 1/16” to 1/8” thick. If you have low spots, this is probably going to be the best method. We recommend filling in the low spots first and then applying a final top coat over the entire surface.

Finally, you can apply epoxy over the concrete. This will fill in any rough areas making it smooth to the touch. You can add pigment or keep it clear. You can use a thinner, water based epoxy or a more traditional solvent based epoxy. The process for this will depend on the epoxy you choose. The options are almost unlimited as to what you can do with epoxy. The beauty of concrete is that the majority of issues can be fixed by using one or more of these methods. It’s very rare that a top will have to be ripped out completely and redone.

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