A concrete floor grinder is a significant investment for flooring companies. However, with so many types of concrete grinders, it can be tasking to select the correct one for your project. The wrong machine can be the difference between a smooth and glossy finish and damaged floors.
Flooring companies should acknowledge the changing dynamics in the grinding and polishing market since global growth is projected to surpass $2 Billion by 2025. The US is poised to maintain a 3.4% growth rate, thanks to innovations and growth in the construction industry.
Below we explore various factors that flooring companies can use to get the right grinder:
Hand-held grinders are compact, and they suit smaller residential projects like bathroom floors. The primary sizes are 4-5 inches and 7-9 inches.
A walk-behind grinder is ideal for a flooring company that pours a lot of concrete slabs in a week. You should also invest in one if you handle a few but large concrete slabs. The grinders range between 16-48 inches and single-disc units or those with multiple discs.
A Ride-on grinder can grind and finish up to 5 feet (1.52 m) wide in a single pass to reveal glossy floors. It is the correct grinder size for major projects, and it can be powered by propane, electricity, or gas.
How to Choose the Right Concrete Grinder Model
Hand-held grinders are suitable for small grinding applications, coating removal, and surface cleaning. Use them in areas like tight spots and corners, where walk-behind machines are impractical.
Walk-behind grinders work best in residential grinding projects, areas around sheds and swimming pools, and coating removals in large open spaces.
Ride-on models are used to grind vast surface areas like retail outlets, showrooms, warehouses, and shopping centers.
1. Power Usage
Electric-driven units are popular among flooring companies, but you have to meet their power requirements for maximum performance.
Cord-electric grinders are typically 110V, 220V, or 450V. A medium-sized grinder with a 220-2240V unit is the correct grinder size for flooring companies with large residential projects. Some 220V models can run on single- or three-phase. A 450V heavy-duty unit will quickly remove coatings and membranes and smoothen large open areas.
The amperage requirements typically range between 20-60 amps, although high voltage will translate to lower amperage.
How Much Power Does Your Concrete Floor Grinder Need?
The OF16S-L runs on 10-120V, which is powerful enough for professional contractors. Flooring companies will benefit from Onfloor's patented and unique attachment system, which is the fastest tool change in the industry.
If you want powerful performance, you will like the efficiency of the OF20S-H. This grinder runs on 208-240, single phase with production rates of up to 500 square feet per hour. The OF20Pro will prepare over 600 square feet per hour on single-phase 208-240V power if you want even faster production rates.
The durability of concrete demands high polishing speeds. Deep grinding is also necessary because coatings like sealants hold tighter in concrete.
You can get grinders in low, high, or variable speed options, depending on the usage. A high-speed, low power model will quickly remove coverings and prepare a concrete floor for coating.
Flooring companies that take on large projects will appreciate how quickly a variable speed, high power machine can get the job done. The versatility of such a unit will come in handy when polishing exterior decks and interior wood floors.
Selecting the Right Speed for Your Project
The OF20S-L excels in low-speed applications making it a handy companion for any professional contractor. It has a speed of 500 rpm that is adequate for concrete floors, interior wooden floors, and exterior decks. This versatility is enhanced by Onfloor's patented tool attachment system and triple-belt technology.
Flooring companies can diversify their services with the variable speed control offered by the OF16PRO. By changing the tooling of the machine, you can prepare and polish concrete floors, stone floors, and interior and exterior wooden surfaces. You can use the speed range of 0-1450 rpm to match every tool.
Flooring companies are well aware of the impact a machine's weight can have on productivity. There is no correct size when it comes to floor grinders, and any choice depends on the nature of the jobs you want to accomplish.
Hand-held units average at around 20 pounds, and they are easy to pack and transport. It is easy to maneuver hand-held grinders because of their compact build.
Walk-in grinders range between 110 to 2,000 pounds, and they will grind deeper into surfaces. A larger model results in even surfaces because the amount of pressure is consistent. With a hand-held unit, the contractor's pressure is bound to fluctuate.
Ride-on grinders average at over 13,000 pounds, and they are ideal for larger jobs due to the cost of transporting them. You may even require a flat-bed tractor-trailer to move some extra-large units. The high-efficiency of heavier equipment will, however, offset the high transportation costs. Large machines will get the job done quickly so that you move on to another task. Some units can also disintegrate into smaller pieces for easier transportation.
4. Head Count and Disc Size
The major types of heads on concrete floor grinders are single, double, and planetary actions. You can also get a unit with three and four heads for super-efficient polishing.
Single-headed grinders feature a central shaft, and smaller ones have a single 250 mm disc. Larger ones boost their performance with multiple discs that provide a grinding width of 550mm or higher.
The grinding width of double-headed grinders will typically range between 750 mm to 1000mm. The double shafts on these units can take one or multiple discs that can operate in similar or opposite directions.
For all-round performance, flooring companies should invest in a planetary action grinder like the OF20PRO. Its high production speeds are unparalleled in polishing and preparing concrete. The unit uses our patented triple-belt planetary technology to follow the pattern of the substrate and polish it evenly.
The larger the disc, the more surface area it will prepare per spin. Grinding discs are typically between 8-12 inches in diameter, and you get a deeper grind if the unit has several of them.
Selecting the Correct Grinder Size for Your Project
Ultimately, the choice of a concrete floor grinder comes down to the size of the job. Is the project in a large open area, or is it divided into smaller rooms? If the area is 2,000 square feet or under, you can use the 20ʺ OF20S-H. It is easy to operate and use, and the production rates of 500 square feet per hour will improve productivity.
Flooring companies may need several units of the same equipment in larger areas. Keep in mind that larger models offer less versatility, but they require fewer workers to use.
Flooring companies have to consider many issues when purchasing polishing and grinding equipment. Factor in the power requirements, speed, weight, disc size, and grinder types to invest in the correct model.
If you are still unsure about the grinder size to use, contact our experts at Onfloor Technologies and we will be more than willing to give you a free and informative consultation.