Types of Polished Concrete Finishes

Polished concrete is getting more popular these days. The reason behind this may be because of its lower cost and its appealing appearance. Basically, polished concrete is flooring in its most basic form, highly polished and ground up to be as shiny as granite or marble. The lower cost comes from not needing to add any other kind of flooring such as wood, stone or tiles. The contractor works with the concrete slab that is already used as the base for the flooring. This slab undergoes grinding and polishing that can range from anywhere above 400 grit up to 3000 grit in order to achieve the polish and smoothness that is preferred.


There are several kinds of finishes that can be achieved with polished concrete. Full exposure is one of the more attractive kinds of finishes that can be achieved. The contractor needs to know that the owner has intentions of achieving full exposure of the aggregates or pebbles with the polished concrete. About 3mm to 5mm of the surface will be ground off in order for the pebbles in the mixture to be displayed dominantly. The individual who is in charge of creating the concrete mixture should be made aware of the intentions to make the concrete a full exposure one. The person who mixes the concrete should be a knowledgeable one who knows how to prevent blemishes in the concrete. Blemishes can be screed bar marks, hollow spots and bare edges. This kind of finish is applicable for both new concrete slabs and old ones.

Random exposure of the aggregates is another finish that is very appealing. In this finish, there are “patches” which have more aggregate exposure and some with fewer aggregates or none at all. The appearance of the pebbles can be random, hence the name of this type of finish. The concreter needs to know how to mix the concrete to create such an effect as well as how to pour it evenly.

No exposure is yet another type of polished concrete finish that may be appealing to people. This kind of exposure shows the least amount of pebbles or aggregates and may be considered to be one of the trickiest to achieve. This is because the concrete slab needs to be even in all aspects for it to be successful. An uneven slab will show, along with any other blemishes that are present in a slab that is not properly mixed and poured.