Starting your surface prep project with the right equipment will do more than help you complete the job. Prepping concrete correctly from the get-go will boost your efficiency and ensure you don’t have to do extra work or, in some cases, backtrack. In this post, we’ll lay out the necessary machinery, tools, and accessories for prepping concrete surfaces. Of course, not all these products are necessary for every job. What you need will depend entirely on factors like the condition of the surface you’re working with as well as the size of the area and whether you’re working inside or outside.  

What You’ll Need for Stripping and Cleaning

When approaching the removal of epoxy coatings or other unwanted layers, be sure to use the proper equipment or you risk wasting time or making unwanted marks on a surface that may not need much prepping.

Floor Scrapers

First, remove any unwanted material like paint, tiling, or carpet glue with a good quality floor scraper. You can get self-propelled floor scrapers and even ride-on floor scrapers that have the capability of increasing surface prep efficiency – especially for bigger projects.

Shot Blasters

Many people prefer using shot blasters to strip their surface in preparation for coating or painting as they are often time-saving and cost-effective. By creating a porous surface through the propulsion of steel shot, shot blasters not only strip your concrete surface but they have the potential to enhance your coating adhesions.


For heavy-duty surfaces that are likely to bring you trouble, a scarifier works to fracture coatings with rotating cutters. Note, however, that while they may be more effective at removing heavy epoxies and other coatings, scarifiers don’t smoothen surfaces the way grinders and other machines do.

Creating Smooth Surfaces with Grinders

For a smooth surface that doesn’t create ridges, pores, or grooves, grinders are perfect for preparing a floor for light textures and thin coating. There are a few different types of grinders that you may use, depending on the surface. And, in some cases, you may use every type.

  • Handheld: For small surfaces like counters or hard to reach areas of flooring, handheld grinders have various practical applications and can save the day when you’ve missed a spot!
  • Floor grinder: A floor grinder is definitely a must have for readying a surface for coating and other materials on concrete flooring of all sizes. Thanks to a wide range of options available, you can easily find a floor grinder that fits your needs (Runyon also does rentals!).
  • Edge grinder: Grinding surfaces along walls can be a pain. But edge grinders were made to stand up to the most stubborn of surface edges. Even the most advanced floor grinder can have trouble getting into hard to reach surfaces. If you’re looking to do some serious concrete surface prep work, you may want to think about also investing in one of these.

Power Trowels for a High-Quality Finish and Polishing

For large, commercial flooring prep, when there is a high demand for efficiency and faster work, power trowels prove themselves to be more than a worthy investment. Whether you are putting a perfect finish on the surface or you need to polish a vast space in a short amount of time, these machines are designed to carry you through multiple stages of flooring preparation. Power trowels can come in walk-behind or ride-on models.

Complimenting Your Work with the Right Accessories

It may seem like an exaggeration, but some accessories can truly make or break your project. Here we’ve highlighted a few of the more vital accessories you’ll need when tackling a surface preparation task. 

Diamond Tooling

Projects that require cutting into hard surfaces like concrete are made much easier with diamond tooling pads. Runyon models vary from resin pads to metal bond tools and wet polishing pads, all of which come in a range of grit sizes. 

General Flooring Pads

For buffing and cleaning, remove scuffs and finish floors to perfection with the pad that best fits your machine. Runyon Surface Prep flooring pad options range from 10” to 46” in diameter.

Slurry Accessories and Management

When wet polishing, the slurry build-up can be quite a nuisance. Slurry vacuums will extract and hold slurry build-up under the toughest conditions, and slurry solutions like the SlurrySep Floc capture and encapsulate cement particles for efficient dewatering.

Runyon Surface Prep Equipment – Fit for a Wide Range of Needs  

Whether you’re looking to rent equipment for a one-off job or you’re hoping to invest in heavy-duty machinery for long-term use, our vast catalog of equipment and accessories is sure to match your surface preparation needs. From the cleaning and removal stages to polishing and coating, we have products for every step of the surface preparation process. Looking to learn more? Call or email us today.