Concrete Surface Prep

Concrete Surface Prep

What is Concrete ProfilingWhat is Concrete Profiling?

There are two types of profiling techniques used to prepare concrete slabs to accept a new surface. The methods are mechanical profiling and chemical profiling. Mechanical profiling is the method of choice for Cutting Edge Flooring Services.

About Chemical Profiling

Chemical concrete profiling etches the concrete surface by using an acid to open the pores of the concrete, to achieve a better bond between the bonding agent and the concrete surface.

Our Expert Mechanical Profiling Services

Mechanical profiling, also called mechanical scarifying, is our preferred method to remove petroleum-based products, sealers, coatings or vegetable oils from the concrete, because it is more efficient and produces more reliable results than acid etching. It involves diamond grinding the concrete with grinding equipment to achieve a rough surface.  We use modern grinding equipment, coupled with state-of-the-art vacuum technology DustRam© System equipment to both profile the floor and capture dust simultaneously. All our concrete grinding and surface preparation is aimed to minimize dust that inhibits bonding of new materials. We grind away the surface of the slab, expose aggregate, and create a bondable surface that will allow any coatings, such as epoxy, or adhesives, such as thin-set or mortar, to mechanically bond to the concrete. An appropriately prepared surface ensures a proper bond between the bonding agent and the concrete surface. Optionally, we can create a surface that is properly prepared for concrete polishing.

Steps for Proper Concrete Surface Preparation and Profiling

Surface Examination and Survey

Prior to floor grinding, Cutting Edge Flooring Services conducts a survey of the concrete surface in its current state. As we examine concrete, we check for existing sealers, curing materials, grease, oil, efflorescence, dirt, and other contaminants that need to be removed. If there is an existing surfacing material over the concrete substrate (tile, stone, epoxy coating, etc.), we determine how well-bonded the material is.

Surface Preparation & Grinding

Commercial Concrete Grinding and PrepThe most important step in creating a quality floor is the preparation of the concrete surface to accept bonding or surfacing materials. The proper concrete surface profile (CSP) is generally determined by these factors:

  • Substrate Condition: Is the concrete shelling up, dusty, or cracking?
  • Surfacing material (if any): What type of coating/overlay will be installed on the concrete? Or will the concrete be polished?
  • Job site conditions: Can the work area accommodate grinding and scarifying equipment?
  • Project owner requirement: Are there restrictions on noise, dust, or equipment?

The concrete profiling process begins with the scarification of the surface to remove old floor coatings or shot blasting to remove any contamination or loose concrete. Cutting Edge Concrete specializes in concrete resurfacing and preparation. We have spent years working in this niche of the industry and have the experience and the equipment needed to manage the mechanical grinding of a wide range of surface repair jobs. Our trained technicians are equipped with modern tools and the DustRam© System dust-free technology to clean, prep and grind the concrete surface.


Adhesives and mastics have been used for years to apply industrial or commercial surface materials. Once the decision is made to replace the old floor, the product must be removed and the glue or adhesive must be ground or stripped off. Once the glue is removed, we can then profile the concrete to accept the new flooring surface material.


Removing ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles is a dirty, dusty job unless removed by our dust process. To learn more, visit our Dust Free Tile Removal page. Some contractors remove tile but fail to grind off all the thin-set, which inhibits bonding between the new thin-set and the concrete slab and can lead to delamination, or hollow sounding tiles that eventually crack or come loose. It is impossible to manually scrape off all existing thin-set. Only mechanical diamond grinding methods, coupled with vacuum systems strong enough to capture the dust, will ensure complete thin-set removal. We have state-of-the-art grinding and vacuum technology to capture the dust created during the grinding of thin-set and overlays in commercial and residential environments.


Cutting Edge Flooring Services also removes overlays, epoxy garage floors, and more. Once these materials have been removed, we recommend profiling the concrete for the best bond possible with the new flooring material. We provide you the peace of mind that once the project is completed, you will not have to deal with the cleanup and potential health issues left over from a dusty tile removal.

Some Technical Details Regarding Concrete Profiling

Cutting Edge Flooring Services follows industry guidelines for concrete surface profiling defined by national organizations. The concrete surface needs to be properly prepared with the proper CSP for the proper bonding of any coating or overlay to the floor. A CSP is a recognized measure for the ‘roughness’ of a concrete surface, as defined in Technical Guideline #03732 by the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI):

Selecting and specifying concrete surface preparation for sealers, coatings, and polymer overlays.

This technical guideline provides CSP 3 to 9 used under the following conditions:

  • For coating applications 4–5 mils in thickness, the surface profile shall be a CSP 3, known as a light shotblast.
  • For coating applications 15-50 mils in thickness, the surface profile shall be a CSP 4 or 5, known as a medium shotblast.
  • For coating applications 40 mils to 1⁄8′′ in thickness, the surface profile shall be a CSP 5 or 6, or a medium-heavy shotblast.
  • For topping applications ¼” to ½”, the surface profile shall be a CSP 6 or 7. This is a heavy shotblast.
  • For concrete overlays greater than ½”, the surface profile shall be a CSP 8 or 9, or an extreme shotblast.

Commercial clients, visit our Industrial and Specialty Coatings page to learn more about our high performance coatings.

For a FREE estimate on concrete surface prep services throughout the Houston area, contact us online or call (877) 373-5667 today.