Diamond Rental: Expanding niches

Diamond Rental adds concrete polishing

Over the past few years, new types of equipment and customer interest have helped turn concrete finishing into an art form. No longer considered a novelty project for a garage or maybe a basement, polished concrete has moved into the realm of the accepted, and sometimes preferred, option for floors in retail stores, warehouse outlets and even restaurants.

The trend has created opportunities for contractors as well as equipment rental stores that can provide the necessary tools and training to allow their customers to offer a new service. Concrete polishing is a specialty and not necessarily for every rental company, but for some, it has become a profitable niche.

For example, Diamond Rental, Salt Lake City, has expanded its inventory related to concrete polishing as part of the company’s continuing effort to set itself apart from the competition.

Mark Clawson, Diamond Rental’s president, says the company always is looking for profitable niches and he thinks the decision to offer concrete polishing equipment has done just that.

“It’s been a success so far in terms of becoming another solid and profitable niche service we can offer our customers. We’re following the market where it goes. It’s specialized and not common for our larger competitors to offer, so it fits in what we’re doing to provide niche services and focus on customer service,” Clawson says.

To expand in this area, Diamond Rentals is one of several rental companies that have partnered with Concrete Polishing HQ, Las Cruces, N.M., which serves as the main distributor in the western United States for Superabrasive, Hochton, Ga. Niagara Machine, Erie, Pa., is Superabrasive’s main distributor for the eastern United States.

Concrete Polishing HQ specifically sells the Lavina concrete polishing and floor preparation equipment from Superabrasive to a dealership network typically made up of equipment rental stores in the central and western United States.

As a result, Clawson says the Diamond Rental sales force can now offer something most of his competitors don’t. “We’re able to market to those who want to polish and prepare surfaces, remove mastic and paint. We already were renting some stuff along those lines, but this is an extension of what we’re doing with a better product,” Clawson says.

“These are powerful machines with angled metal and diamonds that rip up paint, mastic and glue. Whatever it is, these machines will remove it, prepare the surface and polish it. Some of the machines work off of electricity while some use propane. You can work with the distributor so that you have what works for your market,” Clawson says.

Diamond Rental has 12 locations in Utah, but the company initially carried the concrete polishing equipment in a central store and invited potential users to an open house at the store to introduce the product.

In addition to the expanded line of machines, Diamond Rental also is offering a new service to its customers, in conjunction with the manufacturer, that includes training and certification classes. Some retailers, restaurants and others with large floor projects — such as polishing a 50,000-sq.-ft. showroom floor — require contractors to be certified with the equipment to get the job, Clawson says.

“People are becoming more aware of this as an alternative for floors. Almost everyone is seeing polished concrete now in places like Wal-Mart, Costco or Sam’s Club as well as restaurants and renovated loft spaces,” Clawson says.

“Contactors weren’t that aware of this opportunity and it is growing in popularity, so we’ve been able to add this as a niche to augment what we can offer contractors. It’s allowed us to diversify. When our customers might have questions about this, we can be the guy with the answers,” he says.