Surface Preparation Equipment—Tools of the Trade

By May 20, 2015August 23rd, 2018Surface Prep

Concrete resurfacing is a big undertaking, especially when it comes to industrial and commercial concrete floors. The first—and arguably most important—step of this laborious and time-consuming task is surface prep, getting the surface ready for the application of overlays and coatings.

For concrete flooring contractors to successfully prep a floor for resurfacing, they not only need a high level of expertise and experience but also an arsenal of top-notch equipment and tools. In today’s blog, we are going to look at some of these tools used in surface preparation and concrete resurfacing.

As Denver’s leading concrete flooring experts, we at All West Surface Prep take great pride in our work and in our ability to complete jobs quickly and professionally. Learn more about our services here.

Read on to learn about some of the common tools of the surface-prep trade.

Shot Blasters

Shot blasting is one of the most preferred methods for stripping a surface. Not only is it considered to be the most cost-effective and time-saving method, but it also produces a roughened, open-pore texture that enhances the adhesion of decorative displays and coatings.

Shot blasters primarily consist of a wheel with paddle-like blades that propel steel shot in order to fracture the surface layer, therefore, removing any dirt, coating, contaminant, and other imperfections. By adjusting the shot size, shot flow rate, and speed, a range of surface profiles can be achieved, which ultimately ensures for a tighter, more durable bond.

Shot blasters are great for removing a range of tough coatings, apart from rubbery, elastomeric coatings that deflect the steel shot.


Often called surface planers or milling machines, these tools are commonly used on concrete, asphalt, and steel surfaces. Scarifiers work by fracturing or abrading existing coatings using carbon-tipped cutters that rotate to pummel and chip away at a concrete surface.

Scarifiers are used for a variety of profiling tasks. They can remove heavy epoxy, rubbery elastomeric, and other difficult surfaces, and they are able to level misaligned concrete joints and make walkways slip-resistant by cutting grooves.


Grinders use horizontally rotating discs, and unlike shot blasters, they typically give a floor a smoother profile. Because they won’t create ridges, like scarifiers, grinders are a good solution for preparing a floor before applying a thin coating or paint, or for adding a light texture to your surface.

The versatility of grinders is largely dependent upon their attachments. However, for jobs that require a deeper, more extensive floor grinding, shot blasters are often used.


Ride-on floor scrapers are high-powered machines great for commercial and industrial floor removal. These large machines are capable of removing carpet, VCT, hardwood, ceramic tile, mortar, elastomeric coatings, and virtually any other type of commercial flooring. Because they require little physical labor, they are perfect for sizeable jobs. There are various types of scrapers, including both electric and propane-powered scrapers, and many—like the ones at AWSP—are equipped with catalytic convertors that ensure clean air and safe inside-use.


All big equipment requires a big energy source. This is certainly true of surface prep and concrete resurfacing equipment. At AWSP, for example, we have powerful generators available when necessary. Because we own our own portable generators, we are able to get them on-site quick, allowing us to stand behind our slogan—”If you want it done ASAP, call AWSP!”

Dust Collectors

Concrete grinding and resurfacing is a messy job. Using dust-collection systems not only improves safety and air quality, but it also keeps dust off the floor allowing flooring experts to see the scratch pattern as they grind. At AWSP, we have some of the largest and top vacuums on the market, and we take pride in leaving a project site in better condition than when we found it.

From commercial concrete polishing to concrete leveling, we are Denver’s go-to concrete flooring contractors. Contact AWSP today to learn more or to get started.