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Diamonds are forever

In surface preparation, choosing the correct tooling is as important as renting the correct machine...

Top tips on using diamond tooling in surface preparation

In surface preparation, choosing the correct tooling is as important as renting the correct machine. Contractors need to survey the status of the floor, assessing the material that needs removing and the desired finish. This allows the contractor to choose the correct tools for the job. Diamond tooling, for example, is best used for harder surfaces such as concrete and rock to efficiently prepare the surface.

Here, Ed Biggs, territory sales manager at surface preparation expert, National Flooring Equipment, explains how contractors can use diamond tooling in surface preparation.

Diamond tooling in surface preparation

In surface preparation, contractors need durable equipment and high-quality tooling to prepare concrete. Using diamond tooling on a floor grinder is one of several methods of preparing a substrate for another coating.

Diamond tooling is predominantly used for grinders, both planetary and counter-rotational. The tooling strips old coatings and prepares concrete to the desired finish or readies it for a new coating. The tool’s grit determines the finished profile — the higher the grit the higher the polish level.

Why diamond?

Diamond tooling is perfect for grinding and cutting because of its long lifespan and fast production. The versatility means that it can prepare concrete in most applications, such as rough and uneven concrete or thick coatings. When selecting tooling for removing tougher surfaces and preparing concrete, contractors should look to diamond tooling first because of its versatility.

There are some applications where only diamond tools will deliver the desired finish. The circular motion of the tool and strength of the diamond easily removes thick and flexible coatings that might fracture other tools or prematurely wear down the grit.


Despite its durability, diamond tooling has a determined lifespan that varies based on the applications that it is used on. On average, manufacturers suggest that diamond tooling has a lifespan ranging between 5,000 and 15,000 square feet.

For larger jobs, contractors should consider taking extra tooling to reduce downtime by ensuring that you have the size, and grit to cover any type of concrete or coating removal. However, there are ways that contractors can increase the life of diamond tooling. Most grinders have a forward and reverse setting that contractors can change to allow the tooling to wear more evenly and increase its lifespan.

Diamond tooling is also most efficient when kept cool. Contractors can wet the tooling before starting the machine, which will reduce wear and improve production rates.

Training and support

To get the best results, contractors should consider many factors when choosing tools and equipment. Type of existing floor covering, desired result, scope and accessibility are a few of the many factors that will determine the equipment and tools contractors need to complete surface preparation work.

Selecting the right tooling for a job might not always be easy. However, manufacturers and rental companies are knowledgeable in what tools each application will require. Finding an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or a rental company that offers long-term training and support will help contractors make the best decisions.

Contractors can choose the correct diamond tooling by surveying the site and consulting with OEMs and rental companies to determine the size and grit they need. Diamonds may not last forever in surface preparation, but contractors can rely on diamond tooling when working with tough materials and concrete.