When is the Low Bid Not Really?


Polishing is a technical process with a bit of artistry. Anyone can be taught to stand behind a machine and move across a floor, but it takes a technical artist to do it right. The polisher needs to understand concrete and know how to read the floor and feel his machine. There is no set doctrine as to what it takes to polish concrete. Every slab is different and every bit of every slab is different. The polisher must know how to finesse the tools and work with the concrete to create art from the earth.

The photo shown is not a DMA installation.

  • Maximum Refinement – It is possible to make several passes over the floor with a particular grit of diamonds and fail to achieve maximum refinement. It is possible to move from one step to the next without achieving maximum refinement, but it will show in the finish. Failure to do so will result in a lack of clarity in the polish and may still show the scratch pattern of the diamonds.
  • Use of a Guard/Sealer – A guard is a great way to enhance the shine of a polished floor and to protect it against some spills and stains, but it can also mask the true shine of the polish process. A floor that is polished to an 800 grit can be made to look like a 3000 grit, but only for a little while. The shine will eventually wear and the durability of the floor will be lessened. This is why it is important to inspect prior to installation of a guard.
  • Densifiers – Densifiers are used to increase the hardness of the floor during the polishing process. They should be applied to rejection and allowed to dry. Failing to do so will result in an incomplete reaction and a less dense surface that is more prone to wear.
  • Food/Stain Resistance – Food/stain resistant systems are systems. They typically require several steps be taken during different phases of the polish process. Missing a step can break the synergy of the system and cause it to fail and no one will know until someone spills a glass of wine on it.

Not to say that anyone would intentionally use substandard procedures or products, but with the competitiveness of the bid process it is vital that scopes be reviewed properly and the quality of the installer be taken into consideration.