Methods for Industrial Floor Coating Surface Preparation

Posted by Jamie Gillespie on Dec 29, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Methods for Industrial Floor Coating Surface PreparationGetting your floor surface ready for a professionally-applied industrial floor coating is one of the most important parts of our job. Preparing your surface the right way can mean having a long-lasting, beautiful, and easy-to-clean industrial floor coating for decades to come.

Preparation involves many steps, which you can read about in our in-depth floor surface preparation post, but the final step once the surface is chemically cleaned and dried is to carve out a rough texture. This texture helps create a high-friction surface for the coating to bond with, which helps prevent failures and makes the coating last longer. Textured floor surfaces also give your professional industrial floor coating installation crew more control during application, allowing for a surface as smooth and level as a still mountain lake.

Here are the methods used to ensure proper surface prep and achieve yet another satisfied customer:


Cutting is performed with giant concrete floor saws, which resemble their circular saw cousin. This method generates a large amount of dust, exceptional noise, and requires a large amount of power to perform. On the positive side, cutting can create interesting decorative effects if the right equipment is used.

Most industrial floor coating professionals do not use this technique unless circumstances or client demands call for it.

Acid Etching

The process of acid etching involves diluting chemicals like muriatic acid or citric acid and applying the mixture across the entire floor surface. Some bubbling occurs, indicating the acid has eaten away at the surface layer and left behind a rougher texture. Once the bubbling action is completed, the floor is flushed and checked for the desired effect. Unsatisfactory or too shallow of etching means that the entire process must be repeated.

As you can imagine, acid etching on a large scale can be quite dangerous. Handling the materials, avoiding the resultant fumes, and then disposing of the flushed acid solution all present hazards that are best avoided if possible. Acid etching can also be unpredictable, leading to inconsistencies or undesired effects. For these reasons, most professionals do not use this method unless they are unable to operate their typical equipment.

Shot Blasting

Shot blasting uses an abrasive (like sand) projected at high speeds to “blast” away the top layer of a surface. It can be precise enough to cut a pattern in a chicken eggshell if the right equipment is used. Another positive is that shot blasting can remove surface impurities, both cleaning and addding texture at the same time. All of this makes shot blasting a very efficient method of floor preparation.

On the downside, shot blasting does not always have enough power to cut a deep enough texture in industrial floors. It can also be time consuming compared to other methods. For these reasons, shot blasting is most often done on small-to-medium-sized jobs, or by companies who do not specialize in industrial floor coating application.


Grinding uses large, circular floor grinders, such as planetary grinders, diamond grinders, or polishers. These machines have a wide grinding area and enough power to get floors texturized quickly and easily. They can also be set to precisely control their pattern and grinding depth, though not quite to the degree of shot blasters.

We here at CPC Floor Coatings prefer floor grinders for their power, efficiency, and control. They can quickly handle the job and produce the desired results without intensive re-work.


Scarifying is a technique that uses steel or carbide-tipped cutters to gouge out surfaces. While powerful enough to work on concrete, asphalt, or metal, the equipment is usually a bit too strong for typical floor surface preparation needs, making it useful only in certain instances.

Which Industrial Floor Coating Surface Prep Method Does Your Job Need?

If you have a floor that needs a new coating, you can see that there are a lot of options at your disposal. Let us help choose the right one for you so that your floor coating can be a source of pride for your company. Contact CPC Floor Coatings at (864) 855-0600 or right here online today!

Surface Preparation

Topics: Surface Preparation