Concrete Polishing Wet vs. Dry: Which Method is Right For You?

So you’ve decided to spruce up your concrete floor by giving it a new finish. You know how to prep your floor, from cleaning off any adhesive materials to repairing cracks and filling joints. Now you’re ready to start grinding, but you’re not sure whether to use a wet or dry concrete polishing method.

Our experts here at Pro Concrete Design are more than happy to help you make that decision. With over 15 years of experience in this business, we’ve got all the know-how to provide you with a stunning, polished concrete floor. In this blog, we’ll discuss what each method involves and then compare the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Wet Concrete Polishing

As you already know, polishing concrete is a process of using abrasive tools (like diamond grinders) to grind down the top surface of the concrete in order to create a smooth, shiny finish. Wet concrete polishing is the oldest way of grinding and polishing concrete. That is why most people default to it when looking to polish their concrete floors.

Water is used during the grinding process to act as a lubricant that helps to reduce friction. This helps keep the diamond grinding tool cool as it works, avoiding melting resin or causing the material to glaze over.

In the diamond grinding process, tons of dust and other small (potentially toxic) particles are kicked up into the air. This can be dangerous for the workers and anyone else in the area, and the inhalation of these particles can lead to health issues. Wet concrete polishing reduces, if not fully eliminates, this danger since the particles are trapped in the water as the diamond grinder creates them.

However, this process leaves behind slurry, which is a paste-like substance that forms from that mix of concrete particles and water. This slurry needs to be responsibly disposed of, and the correct way to do so legally varies from state to state.

wet concrete polishing

Dry Concrete Polishing

The process of dry concrete polishing is the same as that of wet, but simply without the water. Initially, this was the less preferable method of concrete polishing due to the exposure of the previously mentioned harmful dust. However, with the advent of a variety of dust extraction systems that attach right to your diamond grinder, this issue has all but been eliminated. However, it is still recommended to always wear a facemask and other head protection just to be safe!

A significant advantage to dry concrete polishing is that the polished area can be immediately used after the job is completed, with no waiting for the floor to dry out completely. This is a great time saver, especially on larger projects. And thanks to those dust extraction systems, the cleanup happens simultaneously as you polish the floor.

Your concrete floor will also receive a much more stunning shine and finish once the dry polishing process is completed.

So, which one is better?

Finally, the big question. Which one is better: wet or dry concrete polishing? Unfortunately, there isn’t really a definitive answer – it depends on your specific situation, location, and concrete floor. However, it does seem like dry concrete polishing is currently on top with the advancement of modern concrete grinding technology.

So let’s make some final comparisons, and then you can decide which you think fits your situation best!


Since new dust extraction technology is on the rise and becoming more accessible, one of the wet polishing’s best selling points is gone. Now that the person grinding is safe from those harmful dust particles, dry polishing is far better when it comes to waste. Dealing with slurry from wet polishing just isn’t worth the time and effort to clean and dispose of.

As previously mentioned, dry polishing will always provide a better shine than wet polishing. You’ll find that it looks much classier and reflects light much better.

Equipment Efficiency

Wet concrete polishing is far kinder on your diamond grinding equipment. It keeps your tools cool, so they receive less heat damage, and it also helps the machine to grind faster. That extra speed is why wet polishing is far better for tough concrete floors.

Conversely, this dry polishing is much better for softer concrete floors. The extra speed given to your grinder by the water can cause the diamonds to over-grind and leave uneven gauge marks in the concrete floor.

Now it’s time to choose!

At the end of the day, what matters most is who is doing the concrete polishing. So whether or not you’ve already decided between wet and dry polishing, it’s time to call Pro Concrete Design. Over our long career, we’ve installed over ten million+ square feet of floors, and we show no signs of stopping. The highly-trained professionals on our crew will handle any floor, no matter the size and difficulty.

If you are interested in learning more, you can visit our website and click through our various information pages. For any questions, please feel free to contact us by phone at 816-356-6440 or send us an email here.

Don’t be afraid to connect with us on LinkedIn as well!

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