The big Question… How much?
The most common question we’re asked about polished concrete is: How much does a polished concrete floor cost? However, there isn’t one easy answer to this, as many factors will affect the cost of your polished concrete floor – the most important one being whether you are polishing new or existing concrete.
If you already have a concrete floor and it is suitable for polishing, the only cost you will incur is for the grinding and polishing process. Having said that, most new builds or extensions will require the installation of a concrete slab, no matter what type of finished floor is envisaged. In this case, you should offset the cost of a typical concrete pour when calculating the actual cost of the polished concrete.
Remember, it’s the pour and not the polish that is the most crucial stage of the process. If pouring new concrete, we would highly recommend you engage a concrete contractor who is experienced in pouring concrete that’s suitable for polishing. Pretty much any standard concrete you buy from your local supplier can be polished, you can request they use larger or smaller sized aggregate (i.e. 10 mm or 5 mm) at no extra cost. You should also request that polypropylene fibres are used in the mix, as this will help to prevent cracking and shouldn’t add much to the overall concrete cost, if at all.
Engage an experienced contractor to pour your concrete
Your experienced concrete contractor may charge a little more than a regular builder to pour your slab. However, you are paying for their expertise and experience, which will give you a much better outcome. A contractor who knows the slab is being poured with the intention of polishing will not add any water to the mix during the pour (a common practice in the building trade). This makes the pour a lot more difficult and means that it will take more time and strength to float evenly, because they are dealing with a much thicker solution. However, they will ensure your concrete is floated right up to the edges, that the aggregate is evenly distributed and not tamped into place.
Polished concrete floor to a silver finish. Aggregate is exposed but let with a matt finish
Your finished concrete floor must be power floated and expansion joints cut in every 30 m2. A power float is a finishing machine that is run over the concrete after it is poured and will level and flatten the concrete and help achieve a harder surface. For more information about pouring concrete for polishing, see our blog post Can any old concrete be polished?