Polished Concrete: How it Works

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Polished concrete is the newest trend in flooring. It has a glossy, mirror-like surface that makes it look like polished marble or granite. With so many benefits and such a lustrous appearance, it's no wonder why this type of concrete flooring is gaining popularity among homeowners these days. This post will take you through what polished concrete is, how it works, the cost of polished concrete installation, and maintenance tips for keeping your new floors looking their best!

What is Polished Concrete?

Polished concrete is the end result of having your existing concrete floors polished by a certified concrete contractor. These floors have a glossy, polished appearance and have a highly polished, reflective surface.

How Polished Concrete Works?

Concrete polishing is done using a concrete floor grinding machine with diamond pads to grind down the existing concrete until it has an even and polished finish. This process usually takes about two days to complete for 400 square feet of polished concrete floors.

- The first day that your contractor works on the polished concrete floors will be spent taking off any grease or oil residue from the old surface. They'll use chemicals like muriatic acid and soda ash solution in order to do this thoroughly without causing damage (soda ash does not harm sealed surfaces). After that, particles leftover after scrubbing are removed using high-pressure water jets.

-The second day will be spent polishing the concrete surface using a floor grinder fitted with a polishing wheel. The polished concrete is then sealed with an impregnating sealant to protect the new surface inside and out.

The Benefits of Polished Concrete Floors

There are many benefits to having polished concrete floors, such as their durability, resistance to chemicals, waterproof, longevity, and ease of maintenance.


Concrete is durable and polished concrete is even more so. It can resist cracking, peeling, chipping, or flaking off when it's polished to an ultra-smooth finish thanks to the ground layer of sealant that helps protect against chemicals such as water, oil stains, acid etching from battery spills, etc.

Resistance to Chemicals

Water and oil stains are no match for polished concrete floors. Therefore, it is a perfect solution to any kitchen or garage that may have these types of spills because it repels water while also repelling the oil stain with its sealant layer. This makes them virtually maintenance-free!

Long-Lasting Appearance

Because polished concrete floors are polished to a high sheen, they will maintain their appearance for years without needing resurfacing.

Ease of Maintenance

The only work that polished concrete floors might need is simply cleaning them with water and a pH-neutral cleaner or with an environmentally friendly product like Bon Ami, which doesn't require any rinsing afterward. Other than this, polished concrete is a virtually-maintenance free flooring option.

The Cost of Polished Concrete

The cost of having your already existing concrete floors polished depends on several factors, including the size, the thickness of your concrete slab (thinner slabs are polished more easily), and whether or not you want an acid wash.
- If you have a thin floor with minimal need for polishing – such as those in offices or retail spaces – the cost per square foot will be around $.95 to $.99 per square foot
- If you have a thicker floor with more need for polishing – such as those in warehouses or industrial spaces - the cost may range from $.85 to $.90 per square foot
- For polished concrete acid wash, which is an additional step that helps keep your polished floors clean, the cost might be up to $.30 per square foot

How to Maintain Polished Concrete

Polished concrete is one of the most manageable flooring systems to maintain! All you need to do is sweep or vacuum the polished concrete surface and mop it weekly with a pH-neutral cleaner.

Sweeping or vacuuming -

Sweeping or vacuuming polished concrete will remove dirt and other debris. First, use a broom to sweep the surface in one direction before proceeding with your choice of vacuum cleaner on any remaining particles.

Mopping -

Polished concrete can be mopped using pH-neutral cleaners like vinegar diluted 50/50 with distilled water or baking soda diluted 50/50 with distilled water. This will remove any dirt and grime that is left behind by the broom, but it won't leave streaks on polished concrete!

Final Thoughts

In summary, polished concrete is a beautifully polished surface on top of the existing concrete. It can be used to change an old, drab-looking floor into a modern polished look or as part of construction for new buildings and homes.