How Much Does It Cost To Polish Concrete Floors?
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Easy to install and affordable, concrete floors are an excellent option for homeowners who want attractive flooring that requires little maintenance and lasts a lifetime. From the sleek and shiny surface of natural gray concrete to warm earth tones and the bold hues of stains, polished concrete floors complement a variety decors and architectural styles. This cost guide details the cost to polish concrete floors and what it takes to complete the job.
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Table of Contents
- Polished Concrete Floors Cost
- Concrete Floor Polishing Cost Factors
- Why Polish Concrete Floors?
- Polishing Options For Concrete Floors
- Advantages Of Polished Concrete Floors
- Disadvantages Of Polished Concrete Floors
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Find A Pro
Polished Concrete Floors Cost
Professional contractors charge between $2 and $6 per square foot for a basic job with a single layer of sheen. This cost goes up to more than $15 per square foot for projects that require extensive grinding, multiple layers of stain, elaborate designs, artistic patterns or advanced coloring or stenciling. If you need to install the floor in the first place, then use our masonry and concrete cost estimator for pricing this job.
Concrete Floor Polishing Cost Factors
The most important cost factor for polishing concrete floors is the amount of time it takes the pros to complete the task. Factors like the condition of the concrete, floor grade, floor size and desired design greatly affect the cost.
Condition of the Concrete
The condition of the concrete determines how much work the pros have to do to prepare the surface for polishing. They must fill and seal cracks and joints, a process that includes cleaning the crack and removing debris inside it and filling it with a repair material. After completing these repairs, the workers may need to resurface the floor.
Grinding the concrete is an important step in the polishing process, as it creates a smooth surface and sheen. Rough surfaces require more grinding than smoother surfaces, and repeating the process several times increases the cost of the entire project. Working with recently poured concrete with a smooth surface doesn't require as much grinding and reduces the overall cost.
Floor grade refers to the distance of the floor from the ground. Polishing an on-grade floor, like a foundation slab, is a much simpler job than polishing an above-grade floor. Contractors have to add a cement underlayment to subfloors or raised decks, which adds to the cost of materials and labor.
Generally, a large floor costs more to polish than a small floor in the same condition. However, sometimes contractors charge more for smaller floors. This happens when the room is too small for the equipment they use, which forces them to complete the work by hand. They also may have to spend more time working with the floor to achieve a consistent look across the surface, adding to the labor cost.
Designs & Details
The most cost effective polished concrete floors have a single color — usually the color of the existing concrete — without designs. Homeowners who choose to coat or stain the concrete floor to achieve a particular hue or want to add decorative details through imprinting and stenciling pay more for the service.
Why Polish Concrete Floors?
Many people who choose to polish their concrete floors do so because it's a cost-effective way to enjoy durable, hypoallergenic floors in the home or office. It costs less than installing hardwood, laminate and tile. It also doesn't trap dust, dander and other allergens like carpet. Polished concrete floors also last a lifetime and, other than regular mopping, require minimal maintenance without the need to stoop to clean grout.
Polishing Options For Concrete Floors
Although some people enjoy the natural look of polished concrete, there are several polishing options—including stains and designs—that add interesting texture and color to the floors.
- Metallic epoxy contains reflective pigments that give the floor the look of polished stone.
- Acid-etched stains penetrate the surface of the concrete to create translucent earth tones that mimic the marbling of tanned leather, wood or marble.
- Semi-transparent stains are water-based products that coat the surface of the concrete like paint. They work on indoor and outdoor floors but require resealing to protect the color from UV light.
- Acetone dyes provide more color options than acid-etched stains. These dyes work best on indoor floors that don't receive much sunlight.
Advantages Of Polished Concrete Floors
Polished concrete floors offer homeowners several advantages over hardwood, vinyl and carpeted floors. They are durable and economical, able to last a lifetime without being replaced. These floors are also stain resistant and easy to maintain, requiring little more than regular mopping. Concrete floors are hypoallergenic, as they do not trap dust and allergens and resist moisture damage that leads to mold build up. There are plenty of color and design options to fit with any decor, from imprinted concrete patios to stained concrete driveways, and homeowners always have the option of covering them with a different type of floor or using throw rugs to soften the surface.
Disadvantages Of Polished Concrete Floors
Polished concrete floors have few disadvantages. The concrete's strength and durability makes it an economical option over time, but the hard surface may feel uncomfortable to people standing on it for extended periods of time. Concrete does not retain heat well, so the room may need radiant heat and throw rugs to keep feet warm during cold winter months. It also amplifies sounds, and some homeowners choose to install acoustic panels in the room if the existing furniture does not absorb enough sound. Other disadvantages include imprints left behind by the people polishing the concrete and moisture build-up that results from a poorly sealed surface.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
Although most people choose to hire a professional to polish their concrete floors, it is possible to complete the task as a DIY project. Those who want to tackle this project need to rent the necessary equipment and learn as much as possible about the polishing process and how to safely work with the chemicals. This video is a good resource for understanding how to polish concrete floors:
Find A Pro
Polishing old concrete is a great alternative to removing the existing concrete and replacing it with different flooring. You don't have to face this home improvement project alone. Use our free lead generator to connect with local masonry pros who can help you create the home of your dreams.
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Last updated on Jan 27, 2017