A Complete Guide to Concrete Finishes

By Published On: March 13th, 2023
4 finishes of concrete

A guide to Polished Concrete finishes

Check out our guide to Concrete Finishes and then get in touch with us so we can provide you with our detailed concrete specification sheet. Concrete finishes are an increasingly popular way to give surfaces a unique and stylish look. From textured and polished to stained and decorative, there is no limit to the types of finishes you can get with concrete. In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of concrete finishes available and provide tips on how to find the right one for you.

Exposed Aggregate Finish

An exposed aggregate finish provides a unique look with small stones and pebbles embedded in the concrete. The stones or pebbles provide a decorative element to the concrete and come in many colors, textures, and sizes. As the name suggests, this finish exposes the coarse aggregates located beneath the surface of the concrete to create an interesting aesthetic. The colour of the concrete and variation of aggregates will depend on the location of the quarry that the concrete comes from.

What are the different finishes that can be achieved with polished concrete?

Bronze Finish

This involves polishing, not grinding away, the top layer of the surface paste. Typical of the industrial setting, this finish reveals all the variations in colour and texture. No aggregate is exposed, just a sandy and often uneven finish. Because the imperfections aren’t being ground out, it is crucial the concrete placement is smooth and has an even surface. It is still smooth to touch and hardeners are applied, however it will be more susceptible to staining. The bronze polished concrete floor can be brought up to a matt or high gloss.

Silver Finish

First step is a deep grind which reveals the variations in sand, gravel and aggregate underneath the sandy layer. Giving a Terrazzo like look. Hardener is then applied. After the first grind, progressively smaller diamond disks are used to remove the scratches made by the previous grind. Floor is treated with an impregnating seal after the final grind. The silver finish is left with a matte or satin look.

Gold Finish

For a Gold finish, the initial grinding and polishing step is finer. Because the grind is not as deep into the concrete, less aggregate is exposed. This gives a smooth, salt and pepper polished concrete look with a highly reflective surface. Typically, 1 mm of the surface is ground away, so there is no room for error or variations in levels. This finish can only be achieved if the concrete has been power floated and is completely smooth before the grinding commences.

Platinum Finish

The platinum finish gives the floor the best characteristics and is often opted for in a domestic situation. It involves more grinding steps than the other options, bringing the floor up to a 3,000 grit. The result is an unbeatably durable floor, with a highly reflective finish. Between 2 mm and 3 mm are ground off from the surface. The polishing process closes the pores in the concrete, facilitating its resistance to staining. The more it is polished, the more pores are closed. Platinum finish is generally considered to be the ‘Rolls Royce’ of polished concrete floors.

Example of a Bronze finished concrete floor
Example of a Gold finished concrete floor
Example of a Silver finished concrete floor
Example of a Platinum finished concrete floor
Concrete polishing in office building to Platinum finish
Pmac grinding large warehouse concrete floor

Low-maintenance and durable

Another advantage to consider when polishing concrete floors is the durability and ease of maintenance. When you polish concrete it becomes stronger and denser, thus rendering it ideal for warehouses, large commercial units or a busy family home. It will not chip, flake or dent and is highly resistant to stains. Wet mopping followed by buffing with a dry white cloth is all that is required to retain the high lustre effect of your polished concrete floor.

Also, polished concrete flooring typically offers a life cycle cost up to 60% less than other traditional floor coverings.

Great for underfloor heating

And finally, concrete is a great conductor of heat, which is why it is ideal for underfloor heating. It can take a little time to heat up, but once heated it retains the heat very well – considerably reducing your heating costs and giving you lovely warm floors to the touch!

Heritage Contractors

Our legacy is quality projects we can be proud of. We value the inputs of our customers, our team and our supply chain in reaching positive outcomes. Health and safety to our people and the public is a priority for us and without compromise.

If you would like to know more about getting polished concrete for your home or business, please get in touch with us through the enquiry form on our contact page at –  https://pmac.ie/contact-pmac/ and we can provide you with our 9 page concrete polishing specification brochure.

PMAC is a registered Heritage Contractor and a link for the site can be found below.