Polished Concrete

The term conjures varying aspects in people’s minds. Texture , exposure , colour and lustre can be important prerequisites in the floor design. Sometimes simplicity is preferred to complex floor appearances. Following, are some of the more common terms regarding ‘polished concrete’.


Generally readymixed concrete has a light grey colour resulting from different brands of grey cement and flyash content in standard mixes. Sometimes ‘off-white’ cement is available from readymixed concrete suppliers depending upon demand, location and storage capacity - this produces a lighter grey appearance. Colour pigments or oxides can be added to basic readymixed concrete to produce a wide variety of coloured concrete.

a) Initial - Steel trowel or machine trowel finish is a smooth, hard surface finish.

Coving trowel finish has more texture than a steel trowel finish and is generally used in external areas.  
Burnished - a steel or machine trowel finish with multiple additional surface passes that tends to darken or ‘burn’ the surface.  

b) Additional -

An Exposed finish is where a diamond grinder is used to expose the coarse aggregates within the concrete matrix. The aggregates can be varied in size and colour depending upon their availability.  
A ‘honed’ finish means much the same as an exposed finish. The level of aggregate exposure can vary as well.  
A light grind usually refers to a sanding of the finished concrete surface to expose only the fine aggregates or sands within the concrete mix; it is also referred to as a ‘salt and pepper’ finish.  
A ‘partial’ or ‘random’ grind is where varying depths of grinding produces exposure of coarse and fine aggregates in a random pattern throughout the floor surface.  
Smooth and coarse exposed finishes can be achieved by using multiple diamond grinding discs of varying grit sizes. The coarser diamond grit produces a more textured or rougher feel. Further grindingwith less coarse diamond grit reduces the texture of the exposed concrete to a smoother feel


These are solvent or water based chemical compounds that are used to protect the polished concrete floor from staining by penetrating the pores of the concrete and hardening.

Penetrating Sealers

Semi penetrating
Top coat sealers

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