Cost Of Polished Concrete




Polished concrete is popular and desirable for businesses and homeowners, and there are many reasons why the cost of polished concrete flooring is less than other alternatives. For example, when you compare polished concrete to hardwood and vinyl composite tile (VCT) flooring, you have less cost for materials, installation, and maintenance. Crucially, there is less environmental impact with polished concrete versus hardwood flooring and VCT.

Material Cost

Concrete, the primary material for polished concrete flooring, is generally less expensive than hardwood and vinyl tile. Polished concrete is created by grinding and polishing the existing concrete surface, which usually already exists in a property. Hardwood flooring is typically made from more expensive, high-quality wood species that must be ordered. VCT flooring also requires the purchase of vinyl composite tiles, adhesive, and other installation materials. By choosing concrete polishing, you work with what you already have and greatly minimize material costs.

Installation Cost

Polished concrete flooring usually already exists at a customer’s property, and it is less labor-intensive than hardwood and tile flooring installations. Installing a hardwood floor may require additional subfloor preparation, moisture barriers, and other specialized tools, while installing a VCT floor can require complex cuts and intricate patterns with adhesive. Grinding and polishing an existing concrete surface will take less time and save you on installation costs.

Maintenance Cost

Polished concrete flooring is known for its durability, low maintenance, and safety when it includes slip-resistant additives. It doesn’t require regular sanding, staining, or refinishing, which are everyday maintenance tasks for hardwood flooring. Vinyl tile flooring may require more frequent maintenance, such as cleaning, waxing, and periodic replacement of damaged tiles, which can add to the overall cost over time. While seamless, polished concrete is highly hygienic, hardwood and VCT can accumulate bacteria and mold in floor seams and edges. Finally, in the case of spills or flooding, liquid, and moisture can leak into hardwood and tile seams, while polished concrete offers no area to accept it. Therefore, your maintenance cost for polished concrete will be much lower long-term than hardwood and tile.

Environmental Cost

Sustainability and value engineering make polishing concrete more appealing, as it meets LEED requirements and remains a low-cost, long-lasting flooring option. Many installers use energy-efficient grinding and polishing equipment, and polishing concrete does not emit harmful VOCs. There is no “polished concrete smell.” It is also breathable, which eliminates concerns about MVER. Finally, there is little waste and water use from installation, and with regular maintenance, property owners can eliminate harsh cleaning solvents.

When installing hardwood floors, it is essential to look for hardwood certified by reputable organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which ensures that the wood is harvested sustainably and responsibly. Often, FSC-certified wood is not used in hardwood flooring due to cost. Also, some hardwood flooring may be treated with chemicals for preservation, pest control, or staining. These chemicals can contribute to environmental pollution and impact indoor air quality. Finally, waste generation, including wood scraps, bark, and sawdust, which must be disposed of or processed, often contributes to environmental pollution.

VCT flooring is made from vinyl, a synthetic material derived from fossil fuels. The extraction and processing of these raw materials can have negative environmental impacts, including habitat destruction, air and water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, manufacturing and installation generate waste materials such as trimmings and scraps, which can contribute to landfill waste. Finally, VCT flooring often contains additives, such as plasticizers, stabilizers, and colorants, which may contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals can leach out of the flooring and contribute to indoor air pollution, affecting indoor air quality and posing health risks.

Low Cost And Long-Lasting Polished Concrete

Polished concrete is a low-cost, durable, and low-maintenance flooring option for various industrial, commercial, and residential applications. Compare polished concrete’s material, installation, maintenance, and environmental costs to hardwood and VCT flooring. You will also see why GCs, architects, and homeowners prefer polished concrete as a floor solution.

Guide To Polished Concrete Floors




Polished Concrete Flooring Process

Heavy-duty polishing machines equipped with diamond-impregnated disks create polished concrete floors through a multistep process. Polishing machines gradually grind down concrete surfaces with increasingly minor cuts to the desired shine and smoothness. ArmourFlo expert floor installers offer options to choose the desired level of sheen – from satin to high-gloss — that meets your maintenance and aesthetic requirements. You have limitless possibilities with a polished concrete floor due to the combination of color varieties, patterns, and styles. 

Before polishing a floor, ArmourFlo specialists will remove old floor coatings, properly seal cracks and joints, and repair any damage to the existing floor. ArmourFlo specialists can install a new concrete floor if specified. Then, we treat the floor with a chemical densifier. Our concrete floor densifier fills any gaps or natural holes in the material. The densifier chemically reacts with the surface, simultaneously penetrating any open areas while hardening the surface. Once the chemical densifier has been applied and dry, ArmourFlo installers begin the polishing and vacuuming process, similar to sanding wood. One starts with a lower grit and progresses to a higher grit for smoothness. In the end, applying a polish guard can increase the stain and chemical resistance to nearly 100%.

Polished Concrete Environmental Advantages

Polished concrete floors will improve your house’s air quality and increase your health in general. Indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental dangers experienced by people due to an average of ninety percent of our time spent indoors. Polished concrete helps eliminate allergens, dust, and more. 

Many flooring products can give off harsh chemical odors and dramatically affect people sensitive to chemicals. Some flooring, such as synthetic carpeting, contains VOCs, also known as volatile organic compounds. These dangerous materials often are accompanied by the adhesives or padding used in the carpet installation process. Even if you do not have carpet, some of the adhesives used under linoleum or vinyl sheets can also house volatile organic compounds.  

Polished concrete is a natural green flooring alternative that uses material fundamental to every construction project and that gives off no VOCs, and any chemicals used in the process are VOC compliant. Adding extra flooring material to a project results in more significant expenditures and environmental concerns. Polishing existing concrete reduces the environmental impact and costs associated with flooring. 

Polished concrete also lowers energy costs long-term. Reflective concrete brightens interior spaces, which reduces the need for artificial lighting. The thermal mass of concrete also stays cooler, reducing energy use. In addition, easy maintenance eliminates the need for costly cleaning, repair, or replacement, further decreasing the environmental footprint.

Types of Concrete Floor Polishes

Polishing can expose more or less aggregate in the concrete, enhancing its natural beauty. The term aggregate refers to a “broad category of coarse to medium-grained particulate material used in construction, including sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, recycled concrete, and geosynthetic aggregates.” For example, a Cream Polish affects the topmost layer of the concrete. As a result, it is the smoothest and most reliable concrete polish finish as it readily accepts dyes and stains with higher consistency than other polishes to produce the best coloring. A Salt and Pepper Polish further exposes sand or fine aggregates in the concrete, presenting more variation in the floor’s appearance. Finally, an Aggregate Polish goes further and exposes larger aggregates in the concrete for a more dramatic design effect. 

Staining Polished Concrete

Stained concrete offers a visual impact in any space. So often, businesses and institutions choose to color stain a concrete floor to demarcate an area and have it stand out. Professionally installed stains can produce antiqued or varied effects or resemble the look of earthy elements like tanned leather and natural stone. Stains never peel, fade, or chip once the chemical reaction is complete. Stained concrete is a long-lasting color solution that is also low maintenance, safe, hygienic, cost-saving, and beautiful. 

Polished Concrete that is Scored

Scored polished concrete floors display distinctive designs and patterns made by cutting a series of grooves into the concrete. Scoring concrete is done on a structurally stable slab indoors or outdoors and new or old concrete. 

Scoring options include radial lines, diamonds, stars, borders, rectangles, and other shapes. Once the scoring is complete, the floor can be stained with different colors. Our most common design in scored concrete is a grid pattern, but custom designs like company logos or intricate, hand-scored configurations are growing in popularity. 

Benefits of Polishing Your Concrete Floor

1. Cost savings: Using the slab on grade as the finished floor surface is more cost-effective, maintenance costs are lower

2. More resistant to high foot traffic: Polished concrete surfaces are tightly compacted, eliminating the labor to maintain sheen.

3. Increased slip resistance: Polished concrete, though very shiny, does not create a slippery floor. The coefficient of friction increases compared to ordinary concrete by the mechanical grinding and flattening on the floor.

4. Meet or exceed OSHA standards for floors

5. Less maintenance and longer service life: Polished floors are easy to clean, requiring only occasional damp mopping. They also eliminate the need for messy waxes or coatings and the associated labor, time, and expense to apply them. The glossy surface of polished concrete resists the marks of forklift truck tires and staining from oil and chemical spills.

6. Resistant to moisture transmission issues: Polished concrete allows the floor to breathe and eliminates issues that arise with other flooring materials that seal off the concrete, such as tile, etc.

7. High light reflectivity: Important for office building floors, hotels, restaurants, and other public facilities that want to project a bright, clean, professional image. It also saves energy by reducing artificial lighting requirements

8. A sustainable flooring alternative: Polished concrete does not require hazardous coatings, cleaners, or adhesives and typically contains no VOCs, making it friendly for USBG LEED projects.

9. Reduced tire wear: Natural concrete’s uneven, abrasive texture causes tires to wear. ArmourFlo polished concrete floors make the entire surface smooth without abrasion.

10. Minimal production shutdown: Dry-mechanically polished concrete can be used immediately after the process is complete. It is a clean process without toxic or hazardous chemicals, and floors can often be serviced while a plant is in full production.

11. No dusting: Unpolished concrete experiences particles of dust pushed to the surface through hydrostatic pressure, which can cause high maintenance costs. Polished concrete flooring eliminates maintenance costs. 

Ready for a polished concrete floor in your home, business, or institution?

Give us a call to speak with an ArmourFlo Specialist at (502) 208-4067.