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Advanced Surface Preparation: Embrace Safer and More Efficient Methods

A contractor operating a floor grinder to get the best mechanical surface preparation out of concrete for an epoxy flooring installation.

Unlock the Potential of Mechanical Surface Prep!


As the epoxy flooring industry pushes forward, we've learned to embrace innovative surface preparation techniques. Acid etching, one of the most common methods, is on its way out. Mechanical surface preparation has become the new gold standard. The superior benefits of mechanical surface preparation methods like shot blasting and diamond grinding are obvious, especially when you consider what we've learned about acid etching over the years!


Recent insights from experts indicate that acid etching is no longer recommended as the preferred concrete prep method due to its limitations. Not just because it's an inefficient solution, but because it comes with high inherent risk! Instead, contractors are encouraged to adopt safer, more efficient, and eco-friendly mechanical methods for better results.


A diamond-tipped floor grinder is the most efficient, most consistent tool for mechanical surface preparation.

Understand the Limitations of Acid Etching


Inefficiency, Inconsistency of Acid Etching


Although acid etching has been widely used for preparing concrete surfaces, it lacks precise control over the texture, which will impact the adhesion of epoxy. Achieving a consistent Concrete Surface Profile (CSP) can be challenging with acid etching, leading to uneven floors and compromised epoxy applications.


Concrete surface profile is one of the most neglected parts of epoxy installations. New contractors often forget to make sure their concrete foundations are up to the task of epoxy! You need a slightly rough surface to make sure that the epoxy will form the strongest bond it can with the concrete.


Acid etching is simply too inconsistent, too inefficient to be your main solution if you're serious about flooring.


Safety and Environmental Concerns:


Working with acid-based solutions poses safety hazards to contractors, and not just exposure to harmful fumes and chemicals. The disposal of chemicals like acid requires careful consideration to prevent environmental contamination. Remember, the acid used to etch is strong enough to deteriorate concrete; safety will always take more effort when you work with a solution like that!


AllGarageFloors article on the safety hazards of acid etching points out, "it will eat through most anything it comes in contact with ... fumes alone can burn the lining of your nose and lungs if you aren’t careful." Acid etching is too inefficient and inconsistent to be worth risking your safety over!


Embrace the Advantages of Mechanical Surface Preparation


Achieve Precise Surface Profiling:


Mechanical methods like shot blasting and diamond grinding provide unparalleled control over surface profiling. When you're a contractor who works on multiple jobs a week, you need consistent results. Especially for epoxy installation surface prep.


With mechanical surface preparation, you can confidently achieve the CSP you need. Don't skip out on preparation! With consistent preparation, you're building the strongest foundation possible for your epoxy floors.


Lower Risk, Easier Safety Measures:


Contractors are always encouraged to prioritize safety on the job. You'll always need proper equipment and training, creating a secure work environment. Adopt best practices and always use your safety gear! Your, and your employees', health should always be the highest priority.


Safety procedures to avoid the risks that come with mechanical methods are much more effective than any acid-based solution. They're also easier to follow! Contractors just need to invest in proper safety equipment, such as:


  • Masks
  • Gloves
  • Industrial-grade dust vacuums
  • Appropriate shoes
  • Training for operating a floor grinder safely


Our online store here at EpoxyETC will sell you all the safety gear you'll need! Whether it's dust vacuums or shoes, we got it for you.


Boost Efficiency:


Mechanical methods are much more efficient than acid etching. A good chunk of the work of finding your CSP can happen before the grinder even touches concrete! Get the right pads and diamond tips for your floor and the grinding stage will be a breeze. You can speed up project timelines and boost productivity for all your future jobs!


And it's not just that grinding is faster on its own. With acid etching, you may have to apply it several times to get the result you want. White Rabbit Inc tells us of some horror stories where acid etching can even start to peel long after its application!


Our experience has shown us, and many contractors like us across the country, shot blasting and diamond grinding equipment can complete concrete prep faster. This lets us take on more jobs, finish more floors and build our business!


Choose Eco-Friendly Solutions:


Mechanical methods eliminate harmful chemicals (VOCs), reducing the impact on the environment. By adopting these eco-friendly practices, contractors can attract clients who prioritize sustainability. Green solutions are booming across every industry, so don't be left behind! Start to market your services as eco-friendly, and truly mean it.


The acid used to etch concrete is, as you can imagine, very strong. When it's not disposed of correctly (which it often is not), it can kill local plant life, seep into the soil and more.


Discover Mechanical Surface Prep Methods


Shot Blasting:


Shot blasting, a powerful technique that uses small steel balls, efficiently removes contaminants and weak concrete. It's a great solution to create that clean and rough surface profile you need for epoxy adhesion, but it's even better for coating removal. Trust quality suppliers like us here at EpoxyETC to offer a wide range of shot blasting equipment, without breaking the bank.


Generally, you'd use shot-blasting when you just need to remove old coatings. It's not as good as grinding if you need to create a pretty looking surface, but its strength makes it perfect for old, heavy, industrial coating removal. It's also easier to clean up!


Diamond Grinding:


Floor grinders equipped with diamond-tipped tools effectively roughen up the concrete surface, offering precise control over the texture. By choosing the right tips and pads, contractors can achieve consistent surface profiles for different epoxy applications. Our shop here at EpoxyETC sells grinders, pads and more designed specifically for flooring!

Because grinders are designed to give contractors maximal control over texture and finish, they're perfect for grind and seal jobs. Whether you need to polish concrete, or get that CSP you need for epoxy to bond, grinders will do the job.




In the dynamic world of epoxy flooring, new innovations constantly revolutionize the industry. Contractors have embraced safer, more efficient, and eco-friendly methods like shot blasting and diamond grinding, leaving behind the limitations of acid etching. Embrace the future of surface preparation! Start to build your business' kit out and make your floors better with mechanical surface prep.

For personalized guidance in selecting the right method for your project, reach out to us at (954) 228-8856. Explore a wide array of equipment and materials on the EpoxyETC online store to kickstart your epoxy flooring journey!


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