How much do polished concrete floors cost?
$3 – $5 cost per square foot (basic design)
$5 – $15 cost per square foot (high-end elaborate design)
Polished Concrete Floors Cost
Polished concrete floors cost $3 to $5 per square foot for a basic design or $5 to $15 per square foot for multiple colors, patterns, scoring, and sealing. Residential polished concrete flooring costs $600 to $3,200 for a patio, $1,000 to $4,500 for a driveway or garage, and $2,000 to $8,000 for a basement.
|Level||Cost Per Square Foot||Description|
|Basic||$3 – $5||Minor prep work, one layer of stain, grinding and polished to moderate shine|
|Mid-range||$5 – $8||Minor repairs, in-depth grinding, two colors of stain, scoring, sealing, and a higher sheen.|
|High-end||$8 – $15||Surface repairs, custom designs, patterns, stencil work, staining, scoring (saw cuts), faux finishes, multiple colors, sealing, and polishing.|
Residential polished concrete flooring cost by project
Polished concrete is used inside and outside the home due to its affordability, durability, and resiliency. It's an excellent option for kitchens, bathrooms, basements, patios, driveways, and garages.
|Bathroom||$200 – $600|
|Kitchen||$500 – $1,800|
|Patio||$600 – $3,200|
|Garage||$800 – $4,500|
|Driveway||$1,000 – $5,000|
|Basement||$2,000 – $8,000|
Benefits of polished concrete include:
Lifecycle cost up to 60% lower than other floor types
Does not harbor allergy dust, mold, mildew, dust mites, or other allergens
Durable, low maintenance, versatile, and increases a home’s resale value
Wide variety of colors, patterns, and design options
Cost To Polish Existing Concrete Floors
The average cost to polish existing concrete floors is $3 to $15 per square foot, depending on the job size, prep work, and complexity. Concrete surface repairs and design, stamping, staining, and sealing work can add $1 to $10+ per square foot to the overall cost.
|Task||Cost Per Square Foot||Description|
|Remove Existing Flooring||$0.50 – $3.00||(Optional) Includes removal and disposal|
|Light Surface Prep||Included||Removing glue, dirt, grease, coatings, or blemishes|
|Concrete Repairs||$1.00 – $3.00||(Optional) Fill in cracks, remove remaining epoxy/glue|
|Screed / Overlay||$2.00 – $5.00||(Optional) Resurfacing creates a level, smooth, and protective surface|
|Underlay||$2.00 – $5.00||(Optional) Cement board underlay for an on-grade or above-grade floor|
|Grinding||$1.00 – $4.00||Sands and prepares the concrete over a single pass|
|Polishing||$2.00 – $6.00||Hones the surface to a shine over multiple passes|
|Designs, Scoring, Staining||$2.00 – $25.00||(Optional) Color(s), saw cuts, patterns, stencil work|
|Sealing||$2.00 – $4.00||(Optional but recommended) Protects against stains, acid, and chemicals, offers skid and water-resistance.|
Size & Area of Floor
Small, tight areas may require polishing by hand, which costs more per square foot. More square footage allows for bigger machinery to work faster and is easier to polish with consistent results. Other labor-intensive factors that can increase the cost are:
Close, narrow walls
Doorway openings and room-access challenges
Condition of the Existing Concrete Floor
Light surface preparation, such as removing glue, dirt, grease, coatings, or blemishes, is typically included in the estimate. Extensive concrete surface repairs like fixing holes, cracks, or gouges cost $1 to $3 per square foot.
If the floor is in very poor condition, too wavy, needs extensive patching, is extremely porous, or is actively heaving, it may not be a good candidate for polishing and may need to be removed and re-poured.
Removing Existing Flooring
Removing existing flooring costs $0.50 to $3.00 per square foot for labor and disposal. Old flooring removal costs depend on the type of existing flooring and the effort required to remove it.
|Material||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Carpet Removal Costs||$0.11 – $0.56|
|Hardwood or Engineered Wood Removal||$1.50 – $4.50|
|Stone, Ceramic, or Porcelain Tile Removal||$1.50 – $4.00|
|Vinyl or Linoleum Removal||$0.50 – $1.00|
Cost to Grind Concrete Floor
The cost to grind a concrete floor is $1 to $4 per square foot. Grinding or sanding concrete removes adhesives and curing agents, opens up the pores, removes the smooth look, and flattens the surface. Then, polishing hones the surface to a shine for $2 to $6 per square foot.
The grinding and polishing process uses the same equipment, just with different pads. The amount of grinding and polishing determines the sheen and gloss of the concrete floor.
Grinding is typically a single pass, and polishing may take four passes.
A high-gloss finish takes longer and costs more.
|Level||Look||Grit Level||Reflective Clarity||# of Abrasive Passes|
|1) Flat (Ground)||Matte Finish||< 100||0-9||4|
|2) Satin (Honed)||Low Reflectivity||100 – 400||10-39||5|
|3) Semi-Polished||High Reflectivity||800+||40-69||6|
|4) Highly-Polished||Max Reflectivity||3000||70-100||7|
*Levels of polish measured in Distinctiveness of Image (DOI). Polishing to a high gloss does not make the floor more slippery.
Polished Screed Floor Cost
Polished screed flooring costs $2 to $5 per square foot, depending on the condition of the concrete. Screed is a thin concrete overlay poured over the slab to create a level, smooth, insulating, durable, and protective surface necessary for grinding and polishing.
Screed is made of the same mixture of concrete, but with a finer aggregate that creates a smoother texture.
Stained, Stenciled, Stamped & Scored Concrete Floors Cost
Staining concrete floors costs $5 to $15 per square foot on average, depending on the job size, prep work, number of colors, and complexity.
A simple stain costs $2 to $4 per square foot.
Multiple colors or layering, saw cuts, and custom patterns cost $10 to $25 per square foot.
|Level||Cost Per Square Foot||Includes|
|Basic||$2 – $4||
|Intermediate||$4 – $10||
|Upgraded||$8 – $12||
|High-End||$12 – $25||
Any color of concrete floor is obtainable with dyed, stained, or colored ready-mix or colored overlay concrete options.
Color or design elements can be added before the concrete pour or after the concrete has hardened.
Stamped concrete costs $5 to $12 per square foot and is performed when the concrete is poured. Scored concrete to create tile, natural stone, or patterned shapes costs $1 to $2 per square foot.
|Option||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Stencil Work||$1 – $10|
|Acid Etching||$2 – $7|
|Stamping||$5 – $12|
|Scoring||$1 – $2|
Sealing Polished Concrete Floors
Sealing concrete floors costs $2 to $4 per square foot for labor and materials. The sealant materials alone cost $0.20 to $1.30 per square foot. Polished concrete does not require sealing, but it protects against stains, acid, and chemicals, offers skid resistance, and more water resistance.
Above Grade Concrete Floor
Installing an above-grade concrete floor over an existing subfloor requires a cement-board underlayment or structural reinforcement. Installing a cement underlayment adds $2 to $5 per square foot to the total cost of the polished concrete floors.
For a residential second story or higher (elevated slab), an engineer or architect must assess the foundation, bearing walls, and support beams to ensure they can support the weight of the above-grade floor. Hiring a structural engineer costs $100 to $220 per hour.
For smaller spaces like a bathroom, the home’s structure is sufficient to support the weight of the floor with only a cement-board underlayment.
Tips for Color, Durability, and Cost Savings
Adding polypropylene fibers to the concrete mix helps prevent cracking.
Increasing the fly ash content in the concrete mix increases the durability and adds a marble-type finish to the floor.
Aggregates sourced from quarries, oceans, rivers, or recyclables achieve an interesting and organic pattern or design when exposed in polished concrete.
Colors & Stains
Adding pigment to the concrete mix (structural color) offers more color consistency than stained concrete, although adding color after it's poured can produce dramatic effects. Adding metal oxides achieves a more subtle structural color.
Water-based stains offer predictable color and a wide shade variety, while traditional acid etching stain does not.
Concrete dyes offer many saturated bright colors and dry faster than staining, but they need a UV-stable sealer to keep from fading. Tinted concrete sealers are another cost-effective way to add subtle shades of color, but the color wears off as the sealant does.
Concrete floors can have inlay tiles or divider strips added, be stamped to mimic stone or paved brick, and be stenciled.
Adding saw cuts or etching to colored concrete mimics a tile floor.
Cost of Polished Concrete Floors vs. Alternatives
The cost to replace flooring varies when comparing polished concrete vs. stained concrete, tile, hardwood, epoxy, carpet, and other flooring materials.
|Material||Cost Per Square Foot||Features|
|Polished Concrete||$3 – $15||
|Stained Concrete||$2 – $10||
|Tile Flooring||$10 – $50||
|Hardwood Flooring||$11 – $25||
|Epoxy Flooring||$4 – $10||
|Carpet||$2 – $8||
|Vinyl Flooring||$2 – $10||
Polished Concrete vs. Stained Concrete cost
|Polished Concrete||Stained Concrete|
|$3 – $12 per square foot||$2 – $10 per square foot|
Cost of Polished Concrete Floors vs. Tiles
The cost of polished concrete floors is $3 to $12 per square foot, while tile installation costs $10 to $50 per square foot. Polished concrete floors are water-resistant and can be stamped to look like most tiles. Natural stone, like slate, offers more skid resistance than polished concrete.
|$3 – $12 per square foot||$10 – $50 per square foot|
Polished Concrete vs. Hardwood Cost
Polished concrete floors cost $3 to $12 per square foot, while hardwood flooring costs $7 to $25 per square foot.
|$3 – $12 per square foot||$7 – $25 per square foot|
Polished Concrete vs. Epoxy Cost
Polished concrete floors cost $3 to $12 per square foot, while epoxy flooring costs $4 to $10 per square foot.
|$3 – $12 per square foot||$4 – $10 per square foot|
Cost of Polished Concrete Floors vs. Carpet
Polished concrete floors cost $3 to $12 per square foot, while carpet installation costs $2 to $5 per square foot.
Polished concrete is more water-resistant, has lower maintenance, is significantly more durable, and has more design options.
Carpet is affordable, comfortable, and warm.
Polished Concrete Floors Pros and Cons
Polished concretes' durability, maintenance, versatility, cost, and sustainability also come with some negatives.
Other Polished Concrete Costs
Polished concrete is also gaining popularity on walls, countertops, and worktop benches.
|Item||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Polished Concrete Walls||$10 – $60|
|Polished Concrete Countertops||$60 – $130|
|Cement Laminate Floors||$2 – $8|
Polished Concrete Walls Cost
Polished precast concrete walls or block panels cost $10 to $60 per square foot, depending on the wall size, shape, and thickness, and whether it's on grade or above. An alternative is adding concrete micro-topping to vertical surfaces (drywall) for $1.50 to $2.00 per square foot.
Plastering walls with a concrete mix and then polishing can be cheaper and have more longevity in cold climates. Adding an acrylic sealer is optional.
Concrete veneers and precast block and wall panels are pre-made and install on top of the substrate floor or walls. Veneer adds structural strength, but it's thinner and lighter than overlay and does not bond as well. Specific sizes, colors, and textures can be customized.
Polished Concrete Countertops Cost
Polished concrete countertops cost $60 to $130 per square foot to install, which is similar when compared to granite countertops cost of $50 to $200 per square foot. Prices depend on the design, colors, gloss polished level, edging, stenciling, stamping, and inlays.
|$60 to $130 per square foot||$50 to $200 per square foot|
|More design options, patterns, shapes, colors||Different grades, thicknesses, and bevels, and colors|
|Stain-resistant when sealed||Not stain-resistant when sealed|
|Can develop hairline cracks||Extremely durable, unlikely to crack|
Polished Concrete Worktops & Benchtops Cost
Polished concrete worktops or benchtops cost $55 to $60 per square foot, about the same as some granite or marble countertops. Polishing prices depend on the size, color, level of shine, shape, edge, and design. Some worktops may require structural support, which increases costs.
Commercial spaces cost less at $2 to $8 per square foot since a larger crew and machinery are onsite for quicker job completion, and there are fewer edges in large open spaces.
Polished Concrete Basement Floor Cost
A polished concrete basement floor costs $3 to $12 per square foot or $2,000 to $8,000 on average.
By polishing the basement floor, the substrate, although dense, remains breathable, and the reduced moisture vapor eliminates mold and mildew growth.
Polishing concrete also adds brightness to a basement if highly honed.
Polished Concrete Patio & Driveway Cost
A polishing a concrete patio or driveway costs $3 to $8 per square foot, depending on the size, complexity, number of colors, and sheen. Outdoor polished concrete requires ongoing maintenance to retain its look and lengthen its lifespan.
Treated Concrete Floors Cost
In addition to polishing, other options to treat floors include griding and sealing, burnishing, and epoxy coating.
|Polished||Grind & Seal||Burnished||Epoxy|
|Max Shine Level||Very high||Very high||High||Extremely high|
|Maintenance||Refurbish every 10 years - can last a lifetime||Reseal every 1-2 years if high traffic – 3-5 years normally||Reseal every 1-2 years if high traffic – 2-3 years normally||Can last 15-20 years, depending on traffic|
|Cost (SF)||$3 – $12||$3 – $7||$3 – $12||$3 – $7|
|Needs Sealing||Optional but recommended||Yes||Yes||No, epoxy is sealant|
|Labor Intensive||Yes, depending on desired finish||Medium||Low||Low|
|Drying Time||None if no sealant used||3-8 days dependent on sealant product used||3-8 days dependent on sealant product used||24 hours normally|
Burnished Concrete Floors
Burnished concrete resembles polished concrete but is not as durable and not considered a high-quality finish. However, burnished floors are easier to install, less expensive, and still shine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Polished Concrete Floors?
Polished concrete, also called bonded abrasive polished concrete or mechanically polished concrete (MPC), is an affordable alternative to other floorings. The concrete will be stained, grinded, polished, and sealed to create a high-gloss look.
Can You Polish Existing Concrete?
Any new or existing structurally solid concrete floor can be polished. However, existing concrete floors require surface preparation and cleaning before polishing. New concrete floors that will be polished perform better with a thicker pour but don't require a special mix.
Does Polished Concrete Need to Be Sealed?
Polished concrete does not need to be sealed, but it may stain and show watermarks easily. Sealing polished concrete provides extra protection, which requires less maintenance over time. Some sealants might also change color with exposure to UV light.
How Long Does Polished Concrete Last?
Polished concrete floors last 20+ years or even a lifetime if maintained properly. Polished concrete floors last longer if refurbished every 15 years, depending on the age, condition, and environment.
Is Polished Concrete Slippery?
Polished concrete floors are no more slippery than any other hard, flat flooring. Mechanically polished concrete is slip-resistant, however, most flooring options are slippery when wet.
Is Polished Concrete Waterproof?
Polished concrete floors are waterproof. During installation, grinding and sealing create a protective surface that does not absorb water.
Does Polished Concrete Scratch Easily?
Polished concrete flooring is extremely strong and does not chip or scratch easily.
DIY Concrete Polishing Cost
DIY polished concrete floors cost $1,000 to $2,400 for materials and rental equipment. Concrete polishing costs depend on the size of the floor and the type of finish.
|Grinder||$450 – $1,280|
|Mini Grinder||$80 – $90|
|Vacuum||$100 – $200|
|Knee Cart||$20 – $70|
|Diamond polishing pads and discs, densifier, guard||$350 – $750|
|Total||$1,000 – $2,400|
You can rent wet or dry floor polishers for dust control.
If your rental polisher does not reach the edges of your room, you should also rent an edger.
How To Install A Polished Concrete Floor
Pour the concrete slab and allow it to cure for 28 days.
Sweep the floor, clear debris, and find areas that need repair.
Test the hardness of the floor to select the correct metal abrasives. Test at least 3 areas to get an accurate average with a MOHS Concrete Hardness Tester.
Grind the floor with an appropriate level abrasive grinding pad. Go slow, making sure you overlap slightly to avoid bare patches.
Fill or repair cracks, holes, or scratches in the floor. The coating must be removed before repairing the floor.
Grind with the next level of grits, going from heavy to light. Monitor how much floor surface is being removed and keep the floor level.
Continue with the metal bonded discs, using finer and finer grit until you get the concrete to the desired level of smoothness.
Apply a liquid concrete densifier to harden the floor and prepare it for the final level of polishing. Ensure that the densifier does not puddle while it dries; else, it will cause stains.
Take final polishing passes, with a proper level of grit, until reaching the desired level of shine.
Apply sealant, if desired.
Hiring a Concrete Polishing Contractor
Specialized concrete floor contractors typically have more expertise and experience than general contractors. Experienced contractors ensure the floor is properly floated, and the aggregate evenly distributed.
When choosing a concrete flooring contractor, be sure to:
Get three to five in-person estimates to compare.
Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.
Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide and Google.
Check to verify their licensing and insurance is valid and up to date.
Hire a company that has been established for at least five years.
Ask for an itemized contract and warranty in writing before the work begins.
Avoid making large payments up front and never pay in full or in cash. Come up with a payment schedule for work completed instead.
Questions to Ask
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
What experience do you have with polished concrete flooring?
Can you provide references with contact information?
Do you know proper polishing techniques?
Will you be using subcontractors?
Do you offer a warranty or guarantee?
Is producing a sample of floor choice included?
What is and is not included in the estimate?
How do you handle damages if they occur during the installation?