January 28, 2020

Our InfinityFloor Polishing System

Find out how our InfinityFloor concrete polishing system is challenging the big brands in the market. Learn how the professionals at CARRcrete revolutionised the polished concrete process.

An example of an exposed stone concrete floor to InfinityFloor polished concrete standards

InfinityFloor is a unique system designed to create beautifully refined polished concrete flooring. You’ll not find this system elsewhere as it is the culmination of years of experience and experimentation by our MD Dave Carr, designed to surpass all other polished concrete systems on the market. It truly is innovative and we’re all very proud of it here at CARRcrete.

Having spent close to a decade grinding and polishing concrete we’ve seen pretty much every aspect of the industry, both the very good and the shockingly bad. Many would assume that the process of floor polishing is just a simple process of moving back and forth with some kind of polishing equipment or at best a grinder or two. Due to the very changeable nature of concrete the reality is completely different and it requires a lot of skill to understand what is required when the process you used on a previous job just won’t work on the next one.

With everything we’ve learned and experienced over the years, it has taught us not to settle for second best and to drive beyond the limits of our competitors. This is why Dave Carr created the InfinityFloor system and why since then, he has insisted on designing his own tools, chemicals and accessories with the assistance of local engineers and chemists.

InfinityFloor was created to not only give our staff a surefire way to get the best out of a concrete surface using a wholly mechanical process, but also to provide a framework for other concrete polishing teams to adhere to for optimal results. Once the system was perfected we then created the abrasive pads, concrete hardeners and sealers to complement the methodology.

You could say that InfinityFloor is a holistic approach to polishing concrete floors, concrete wall, concrete worktops, concrete countertops it is an end to end solution for the trade that we and others love.

Yes, we understand there are other concrete polishing systems out there used by industry big brands, all of them purporting to be the best. We have tried these systems, their tooling, equipment and chemicals over the years when collaborating with contractors we help out on larger projects. We can honestly say we believe our system to be superior in more ways than one. It produces better results, it’s more flexible and easier to follow.

Here’s A Few Regions We Have Worked
But please do not forget we undertake project throughout the UK
Birmingham - Cardiff - Derby - Exeter - Leicester - Lincoln - Nottingham - Sheffield - York

Benefits of polished concrete - InfinityFloor system

  • Durable flooring solution
  • Easy to clean
  • Environmentally friendly
  • High level of slip resistance
  • Good level of stain resistance
  • Concrete densifier and concrete sealer included as standard in our process
  • Better scratch removal than other polished flooring systems

We are incredibly proud of the fact that our system is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK. Not many if any can boast that!

Why CARRcrete Developed Their Own Diamond Abrasives

At the dawn of CARRcrete’s beginnings we used to rely on diamond tools from some of the top suppliers in the business, some from the USA and others from Europe. whilst they did get the job done, diamond polishing was always tough and problematic. There were even a few diamond tools that simply did not work on our concrete floors. Whether it was because the abrasive design was of poor quality, a lower grade synthetic diamond had been used or the bond of the tool was not compatible.

Either way, these tools made our life more difficult and things needed to change to enable us to be more productive when producing a quality polished concrete. For removing coatings, resin, epoxy flooring and to refine concrete floors mechanically at the highest levels of performance many different tools need to be used. If one of these tools doesn’t perform it’s harder for the rest of the tools to do their job and this just wasn’t an acceptable position for us to be in.

You may be thinking that this thought pattern is bordering on the obsessive but we’re of the mindset that our clients deserve to have the best version of what their concrete can offer. We have seen first hand how badly some concrete can be laid in the UK. We provide a comprehensive specification in all instances which explains we need a flat, smooth surface free of defects and commonly we’ll receive a tamped or roughly floated surface with little or no chance of a decent finish being possible. It’s a horrible feeling to have to inform a client that either their concrete is unsuitable for polishing or is going to incur greater costs to get to an acceptable standard.

This is why we created our own range of amazing diamond tools including PCD’s, metal bond and resin bond pads. With a far greater volume of diamonds present in these pads and the diamonds being of a higher grade than those of our competitors, we are guaranteed to achieve a better result in a shorter amount of time.

These are complimented by our own high-speed burnisher pads, concrete densifiers and impregnating sealer. As we often have to grind away far more material than originally quoted for, or have to grout and fill holes and damage in the slab that should not be there, our products complement each other and allow us to adapt to the needs of each individual substrate.

There is simply no better way to transform a rough dull concrete slab to a premium concrete finish than with premium industrial grade diamonds and top quality chemical consumables. We figured if we’re going to be in this business for years to come, with more hours spent behind a polishing machine than we dare count, we might as well design the best diamond tools on the market and put our name on them.

What Diamond Abrasive Tools Are Used In The InfinityFloor System

Our polished concrete floor finishes Cream, Salt:Pepper and Stone all require slightly different tools to achieve the desired finish. Being that our work is all completed through the use of diamonds, we need to use varying levels of aggressiveness to refine the surface. Some require very fine grit tools, others require highly aggressive grit sizes.

The InfinityFloor Cream specification requires the most delicate of tools to be used to prevent the removal of too much of the power trowelled material, ‘the cream’ of the flooring. We use very fine ceramic bonded abrasives at a low rpm to gently smooth out and refine the surface so that it starts to shine.

The ceramic diamond tools are then followed by our flexible bonded abrasive polishing discs, fitted beneath a high-speed burnisher to further polish the surface with little to no material removed. The high speed and soft material of the discs creates little pressure when burnishing the floor, so there’s no worry of removing too much of the decorative concrete, exposing any large aggregate or losing it’s beautifully cloudy appearance.

The key thing to remember with an InfinityFloor Cream finish is that the slab needs to be installed in an almost perfect manner. Any rough sections need to be minor almost minuscule otherwise the work will not look right and we would be forced to offer you alternatives.

For our salt:pepper finish we often start with either a 50/60 grit metal bonded abrasive or a 50 grit ceramic bond to gently expose the sand which resides directly below the creamy surface layer. Deciding which tool to use is strictly down to how the concrete flooring has been installed and placed and how it fares during our pre work strength tests. Rough floors require the metal tools. On smooth power trowelled floors the use of the ceramic tools is recommended.

Once the sand layer has been exposed, it is expected that the grinding pattern and tool marks will be visible in the form of spiral scratches. These need to be removed completely with the next set of tools which will be our ceramic transition tools. These attach to the grinder via velcro in the same manner as our resin tools do.

A transition tool is basically a very aggressive abrasive which leaves a smooth finish with very fine scratches. They are an excellent tool for removing coarse grinding scratches and leaving the flooring smooth enough to be continued with the finer grit abrasive resin tools.

The resin tools we use are specifically designed to hone, polish and yet leave very little behind. Why is the lack of resin residue important? Well, unsightly marks may be accepted by another concrete polishing contractor as being part of the process but this isn’t acceptable to us. Soft resin tools are renowned for leaving behind material which fills the surface to create a fake glow or colour enhancement on the concrete floor. We really do not like this look, often the colour left behind in no way complements the concrete floor! This is why all of the tooling we work with incorporates very little colour and leaves little to nothing behind.

Our process for a InfinityFloor Stone (reminiscent of terrazzo floors of old) starts with very coarse metal bonded abrasives, sometimes even as aggressive as PCD shoes. We need to remove a lot of material from the concrete to expose the aggregates and the amount we grind away varies on every floor. Without such extreme tools the process would be far too time consuming and unproductive, in some cases it might not even work.

If we start with 16 grit metal tools to grind away the surface this will leave visible scratch marks in the surface which will need to be removed either with a 30/40 metal bond or a 30 grit ceramic transitioning tool. But if we start with a PCD, the massive deep scratches will need to be removed with the 16 grit tools before then proceeding to finer grits.

The remainder of the system is exactly the same as the salt and pepper process.

What Chemicals Are Used With The InfinityFloor System?

To help ensure the greatest chance of successfully polishing a concrete surface, there needs to be a level of chemical involvement during the polished concrete process. Without these necessary chemicals an optimal finish is often not achieved.

So what do we need? There is not a massive list of chemical solutions required but the single most important one is a premium quality densifier. If you’re somewhat unsure what a densifier is, it is also known as a chemical concrete hardener.

Get ready for the science part! When a silicate densifier is applied to the concrete surface, it soaks into the slab and begins converting deposits of calcium hydroxide (free lime) and turning this into calcium silicate hydrate. The benefits of this product application are huge and include:-

  • Lower porosity levels
  • Greater abrasion resistance
  • Improved stain resistance
  • Higher levels of gloss
  • Lower maintenance
  • Reduced dusting of the surface

Whilst a chemical hardener is not essential for a concrete polishing process, it is highly recommended and does make a huge impact on the finish. It should always be used by trade professionals when polishing concrete and this is important to remember.

We developed our own PROhard silicate densifier a few years back which is a blend of sodium silicate, lithium silicate and potassium silicate. We have found this product to be by far the best densifier we have ever come across and it has, in fact, saved quite a few concrete floors that have not been laid optimally for polishing. It never fails to let us down on our projects and is suitable for all concrete surfaces.

The most important factor to remember is that a densifier needs to be applied until the surface is saturated. All the pores of the slab should be fully saturated with the liquid solution.

On well laid strong concrete sometimes you are very lucky and only one application is required. Most often, the concrete has had a little too much water added to the mix and is full of minute pores and capillaries. These floors will require more product to be applied in multiple applications.

The great thing is that the concrete slab you are working on will tell you exactly how much concrete densifier it needs. Our teams most commonly spray PROhard down onto the surface until there is a fine layer of liquid all over the floor. This is allowed to dwell for 20-25 minutes before any excess is worked into the surface. If the floor dries out before the 20-25 minutes is up, the concrete is telling you that more product is required and the process should be repeated until any liquid holds out.

You’ll notice that we’ve made no mention of using either resin or epoxy flooring systems during our InfinityFloor process. We at CARRcrete are huge fans of concrete and it’s inherent rustic, organic properties. InfinityFloor is all about making the concrete we’re working with look the best it can look but we still want it to look like concrete, flaws and all! We feel using resin flooring, an epoxy coating or floor coatings of any kind can detract from the natural appeal of concrete flooring making it look similar to synthetic options and we don’t subscribe to this, especially when each properly diamond refined concrete slab is unique!

As well as not offering epoxy floor services, we also tend not to work with acid stain, dyed concrete (concrete stained after laying). This is primarily because their results are varied, patchy and cannot be guaranteed.

InfinityFloor Training Is Now Available

We knew years back that there needed to be a skill increase in the polished concrete industry. It is largely unregulated and much of our work used to be re-polishing concrete that competitors had previously completed.

CARRcrete are very proud of the fact that we have trained some excellent concrete polishing technicians in the last few years. Some prepare concrete with diamond tooling ready for resin coatings or paint. Some specialise in the grinding and polishing of a concrete substrate as do we. We regularly travel to other sites to oversee the concrete polishing works and to offer direction when thing don’t go to plan.

There is no doubt this is is a very difficult industry to do well in. The costs of machinery and tooling are high and a lot of companies find it difficult to get started. Not to mention that concrete can often not act as you expect it to and you need to be prepared for all eventualities.

We offer training both to people new to the industry and also to experienced contractors who feel like they would benefit from up-skill training. New industry advancements are happening all the time and it can be difficult to keep up with them all. At CARRcrete not only do we try to keep up with them, we aim to be the company discovering these advancements first.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you feel your company or your teams would benefit from on site training with our MD and industry innovator, Dave Carr. All we ask is that you keep an open mind, have an ability to learn and to be flexible in your approach to the complications that concrete often presents.

With polished concrete, patience is a virtue, whether it be because you are pushing a large concrete grinder across a floor for twelve hours per day or waiting for concrete densification products to dry. Our trade requires a lot of time, skill and a lot of thinking on the spot.

We’re sure you’ll agree that InfinityFloor is the UK’s no1 flooring option when choosing polished floors for your next project. Decorative, polished concrete can be stunning, durable and the light reflectivity is high which in a commercial environment can actually save on lighting bills! Whether you are looking at floor systems for your living space, garage floor, commercial unit or industrial building there is an option for you. Contact us and let us know where you are in the country and the area of your project in square metres (or square feet!) and we’ll get the ball rolling.

If your concrete turns out not to be suitable for polishing we can also help with a concrete overlay that is also manufactured right here in the UK. Please ask for more details.

Concrete floor polishing is our business and we wouldn’t choose anything else!

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