Homes across Canada feature polished concrete floors. They are valued for modern designs, contemporary aesthetics and for classic interiors.

Despite their rising popularity, you might not know what a polished concrete floor is and how it is created. This article explains polished concrete floors so that you can decide if they are the right choice for you.

What Is Concrete?

Of course, we have all seen concrete because we are almost always surrounded by it. Whether in buildings or roads, concrete plays an integral role in our lives.
Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, aggregate and water. Cement has a hydrophobic nature, meaning it doesn’t like water. When concrete is mixed with water, the cement pushes the water out with such force that the mixture binds together and forms a solid mass that is excellent for building.

How Is Concrete Polished?
Concrete polishing is similar to sanding wood. Diamond grit polishers grind down the top layers of the floor. Your floor may need more grinding if the top layer has been damaged.

After grinding is complete, a densifying agent is applied to the floor. The agent reacts with the concrete and hardens. Then another round of grinding commences creating a smooth finish.

Next, the floor is sealed to protect it from liquids and other stains. The sealer doesn’t add any gloss to the floor. Instead, the shine comes from the smoothing process.
Why Do Concrete Floors Look Different In Different Buildings?
A critical factor in a concrete floor’s appearance is the amount of grinding. More grinding exposes more aggregates, so you see rocks mixed in with the floor. You can also expect different appearances based on the age of the concrete slab.

Little or no grinding results in a more rustic floor. This type of finish is often used in contemporary interiors, new construction and new additions.

There are also different types of finishes, from flat to glossy. A flat finish ended the smoothing process with a lower grit diamond sandpaper. A glossy floor had a high grit, and levels in between can be achieved with different grits.

How Much Does A Polished Concrete Floor Cost?

Polished concrete is one of the most economical types of flooring if you have concrete already in place. The average cost is between $4 and $14 per square foot. The price depends on your area and the complexity of your project.

Grinding is often the costliest part of installing a polished concrete floor. The more grinding required for your space, the higher the costs.

You can also choose from several final finishes. A super smooth finish takes more labour and more materials. Therefore, the smoother you want your floors, the higher the cost.