Kitchen with polished concrete floorKitchen with polished concrete floor

Polished concrete floors: is the investment worth it?

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Concrete polishing
Policrete Team
Policrete Team
August 22, 2019
minute read

Things you should never skimp on: bed sheets, dental work, tattoos and quality flooring. We often get asked if polished concrete is expensive. After all, it sure looks it. Given the sophisticated and premium look that polished concrete can give a space, it’s no surprise that many people think it’s out of reach. 

You might be pleased to learn that, in the long-run, polished concrete is a lot more affordable than it looks. That’s because it always pays to invest in quality. Here’s why the investment is worth it.   

You can choose your finish based on your budget

The first thing to note is that you have options. There are so many ways to achieve the polished concrete look, giving you the ability to tailor your project based on your budget.

For all polished concrete projects, the cost will depend on how much heavy grinding is needed. A light grind will be cheaper than a heavy grind. A light grind with a polish achieves a nice-looking floor and is the most economical option. But if you’ve gone with a coloured or decorative concrete mix, then you’ll want to grind the surface to expose the aggregate. 

Grind and seal concrete floors

One of the simplest methods, grind and seal, achieves a polished concrete look by applying a topical sealer to the surface. Unlike polished concrete, the surface is not mechanically polished with a polishing machine, but you can still get the polished look. This makes it a more affordable option. 

However, while it’s more durable than a lot of other flooring options, grind and seal concrete will require more maintenance than traditionally polished concrete. This is because the sealer used on grind and seal concrete sits on top of the surface, so it may be damaged more easily. The cost of resealing your floors every few years can add up. 

Honed concrete floors

Living room with polished concrete floors

Honed concrete involves a method of grinding down the concrete surface to expose the aggregate and using different levels of diamond grit to achieve a shiny surface. Honed concrete is then sealed with a penetrating sealer to protect the concrete. 

It’s much like the grind and seal method, but the penetrating sealer gives the surface more protection, meaning it can withstand heavy foot traffic without getting damaged. This is also a more affordable option than polished concrete. 

Mechanically polished concrete floors

Polished concrete floors in dining room

Then there’s polished concrete. Not only unbeatable in looks and function, but also our flagship finish. This is the stuff of design dreams and the best possible finish you can choose. 

Mechanically polishing concrete involves grinding, honing and polishing a surface using diamond-bonded abrasives before applying a chemical hardener to densify the concrete. 

Thought concrete was hard enough? Think again. Polishing concrete actually increases the durability of concrete surface, meaning it’s one of the most durable and hard-wearing surfaces on the market, considerably extending the lifespan of your floors. 

You should also consider the different design options available to you when considering your budget for polished concrete floors. Polished concrete floors are customisable based on your individual style or functional requirements. Colours, aggregate exposure, gloss level. The world is your oyster. But each decision will have associated costs. 

Consider the lifetime value of polished concrete floors

Polished concrete floors and light timber details

But here’s the thing when considering polished concrete over other flooring materials: you need to think in terms of value, not cost. That’s why you choose the higher thread count for your bed sheets, and you don’t ask your mate with the tattoo gun to do your next piece. There really is no other surface that compares to polished concrete: looks, longevity, durability. It has it all. 

Polished concrete floors won’t go out of style

Take, for example, how it looks. No other surface will give you the premium look that’s been sought after by interior designers and architects for years. Stained carpets, 70s brown linoleum, tacky tiles. No thanks. 

Polished concrete is an uber-cool and striking option that pairs well with other fashion-forward styling choices. It’s why some of Melbourne’s best restaurants choose polished concrete.  What’s more, installing a stylish polished concrete floor can increase the value of your home or property. 

Go an unusual project or style in mind? Contact our team for help and advice on all of your polished concrete needs. 

Polished concrete floors are long-lasting and low maintenance

Kitchen with polished concrete floors

Then there’s the surface’s durability and longevity, which is really where the value comes into play. Concrete is one of the toughest materials you can use for your floors. It can withstand extremely heavy foot traffic - that’s why supermarkets and factories use it. 

If properly maintained (which doesn't take much - it’s one of the most low maintenance options out there), your polished concrete floors can last for hundreds of years. You’ll never need to replace your floors, and repairs will be minimal, saving you lots in the long-run. 

Timber floorboards, on the other hand, will nearly always be more expensive than polished concrete to install and will cost more to maintain in the long run. Similarly, floor tiles will cost more in time and effort to keep clean. 

Polished concrete floors will save you money on heating and cooling

Room with polished concrete floors and mid century furniture

Polished concrete is a thermal mass material and is often used in passive solar design. It has the ability to absorb and store heat and release it slowly. It’s a sustainable and environmentally friendly option, making buildings more energy efficient and saving you money on your heating and cooling bills. 

Compare that to timber polished floorboards. They’re generally not as well insulated, so factor heating and insulation costs into the mix. 

How to get a stylish polished concrete floor to suit your budget

If you’re looking for a premium, high-quality floor that will stand the test of time and save you money in the long run, polished concrete could be the answer. Not only does it look expensive, but it’s more affordable than many other options and it’ll last longer, meaning you save time and money in repairs and maintenance. 

To get an accurate idea of the cost of your next exciting concrete polishing job, get a quote from Policrete today.

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