Concrete surface profile (CSP)

One of the most important steps in order to obtain a high quality floor is preparation. In order to ensure the proper adhesion of any coating, you must prepare the concrete surface in order to obtain the appropriate profile.

A concrete surface profile (CSP), is a standardized unit of measurement that defines the "roughness" of its surface. A very rough surface will have a higher CSP, like CSP 9. A very smooth surface requiring very little preparation will be closer to a CSP 1.

The correct CSP and the method to achieve it are determined using a variety of key elements.



1. The type of coating installed

This will be specified by the coating manufacturer and determined by the thickness required. Thicker applications will normally require a rougher surface (CSP 6 and higher). Thinner applications will generally require a smooth finish (CSP 1-4).

2. Project conditions

Can the project accommodate large equipment? Does the job have to be done by hand? What kind of power will be available? Should the environment be dust free? Is moisture a factor to consider? Etc.

3. Substrat condition

If the substrate is in good condition, you will not have to remove as much material. On the other hand, if the substrate is damaged, a more aggressive method or CSP may be required.

The different CSPs are obtained using different processes, equipment and tools for concrete profiling. You can profile a surface by abrasion, pressure, spray or impact. Each method has its limitations, so it is important to identify the right solution for each project.


1. Abrasion

Abrasion will cause the gradual disintegration of the concrete surface by erosion. This will result in a flat and fairly uniform surface. The results of the abrasion are practically harmless and allow to obtain a low profile (CSP 1-3). Abrasion is commonly done by diamond grinding.

2. Thermal expansion

Les différences de températures vont provoquer une dilatation thermique du béton. Lorsque réchauffé rapidement la surface du substrat s'écaille. Le résultat est une surface avec un haut profil (CSP 6-9). La dilatation thermique est effectuée avec des jets flammes, jets d'eau ou jets de vapeur.

3. Blasting

The material is removed by the repeated collision of small particles moving at high speed. The small size of the particles limits the damage to the surface. This method produces a very contoured surface (CSP 2-8) with very little surface damage. Blasting is commonly done by sandblasting and shot blasting.

4. Impact

The substrate is repeatedly hit by a hardened tip. The impact fractures aggregate and cement, causing more surface damage than other methods, but offers a very rough profile (CSP 4-9). Impact preparation is usually done by bush-hammering or scarification.