A few years back, we had a blog post on concrete surface profiles, explaining the differences between them. You can find it here: http://www.descoalberta.com/blog/archives/2013/05/13/what-is-a-concrete-surface-profile/ . However, we still have people wondering why is a concrete surface profile so important? There are many reasons to mechanically abrade a floor to create a surface profile, from cleaning the floor to opening the surface of the concrete, but one of the more important ones is to increase the surface area that the material has to bond to the floor.
The image above shows the different amounts of surface for a coating to bond to based on the different concrete surface profile used (not to scale obviously). For a floor with no preparation, except for maybe a light wash or a sweep, over 10 inches of floor, you’ll have 10 inches to bond to with your material. If you abrade the floor more to open the surface, for instance with a diamond grinder, the coating will have 14 inches to bond with over that same distance. However, if you abrade the floor even more, for instance with a shotblaster, the coating will have 22 inches of concrete to bond with over 10 inches. This is 2.2x as much surface area as no preparation and 1.57x as much surface area as with the less intensive surface preparation. Again, these numbers are not to scale and the actual depth of the surface profile is much smaller, but the differences between the preparation methods is the same. The more you prepare the floor, the better the bond the substrate will have with the topping.