Polished concrete floors were used mainly in malls and commercial buildings but they’ve recently gained popularity in homes across Australia and around the world as an alternative to hardwood floors and carpets because they look good and are easy to maintain.
Polished concrete costs vary depending on many factors, like the type of finish, condition of concrete (if it’s an existing one), size, exposure of aggregate required and type of concrete. But on average, the estimated prices range anywhere from $50 to $100 per square metre.
There are three ways of polishing concrete. First is the grinding method where the concrete is ground and then sealed with a non-penetrating cover. This is the simplest and cheapest way.
The second way that you can polish a concrete floor is by honing; this process is the same as grinding method, except a tinted or clear penetrating seal is used instead of non-penetrating one.
The third is mechanically polished concrete where the concrete is hardened and then densified, this is the most expensive and long lasting of the three.
How Much Does It Cost to Polish Existing Concrete?
Several factors determine the cost of polishing an existing concrete floor as discussed below:
- Removing existing flooring -Removing existing flooring like tiles so as to expose the concrete slab, you can DIY or hire a concreter to do it for you. Price estimate for removing asbestos floor tiles is between $25 and $50 per square metre.
- Light surface work – Light surface work like removing dirt, glue, coatings, grease or blemishes from the concrete floor will also add to the price tag.
- Concrete repairs – An inspection of the concrete floor is done and minor jobs like repairing holes, gouges, cracks (they need to be filled with epoxy and sealed before concrete polishing), this will add to your budget. Also, if the concrete floor is too damaged, is too wavy, too porous or is heaving, heavy repair work has to be done before concrete polishing and this will also add to the pricing.
- Screed/Overlay (optional) – This is optional as it depends on the state your concrete floor is in. It is resurfacing of the concrete floor in order to create a level, smooth and protective surface. If you choose to do it, it will add to the overall cost as well.
- Underlay (optional) – This is also optional, cement board underlay (for on grade or above grade floor), will also add to the overall cost.
Once this is complete, grinding of the concrete can start, you can choose either to grind and seal, hone or do mechanically polished process depending on the exposure level you want.
- Grind and seal method – Single pass grind, sanding and preparing the concrete. A sealer is then applied to protect the surface. Applying a sealer is optional, but it is highly recommended. This will cost $50 per square metre.
- Honed Concrete – Multiple pass grind, honing the surface to a shine, and then applying a tinted or clear penetrating sealer. This will cost an estimated $75 per square metre.
- Mechanically polished concrete: A grinder is used to cut down the concrete and expose the aggregates. Several finishes like colouring, stencil work and applying patterns can be done to achieve a gloss finish and then a seal is applied. It costs $100 per square metre.
So, when coming up with a cost estimate of polishing an existing floor, you have to factor in the cost of removing existing floor, light surface work and repairs. You can also have your concreter do a site visit, inspect the project and have them give you their quotes.
Cost of Polished Concrete Per Square Metre
Polished concrete floors have become popular with many homeowners because they’re beautiful and easy to maintain. Polished concrete floors are commonly used in homes in places like bathrooms, kitchens, patios, driveways, countertops and walls.
Polished concrete cost varies depending on what you choose, let’s look at each type below:
- Grind and seal: Grind and seal method is the simplest and cheapest option. The process includes using a grinder to grind the concrete, followed by sealing it. The price estimate for this is $50 per square metre.
- Honed Concrete method: This method is the same as grind and seal except a tinted or clear penetrating sealer is used instead of non-penetrating one. The price estimate for honed concrete is $75 per square metre.
- Mechanically polished concrete: Thisprocess involves a lot of manual labour and is the most expensive option. A grinder with fine minerals is used to cut down the concrete and expose the aggregates in the slab, it will either have a matt or gloss level finish. The project cost is approximately $100 per square metre.
Other factors that determine polished concrete cost:
- Design: There are many floor design options; many patterns, colours, texture are available for you to choose from, the more complex the design, the more time it will take and the more it will cost.
- Job size: The bigger the surface area, the more time it will take to polish the concrete, and the more it will cost.
- The polishing required: If you want more grinding to be done so as to achieve a better gloss level, then this will also cost more.
- Complexity: Circular, irregularly shaped or sloping area will require much more work than a flat surface area, and this will add to the final cost as well.
Please note that polishing concrete is a delicate work, a lot of detail work is required and therefore it should be done by a licensed concreter. You can request for quotes from several concreters and compare their costs before deciding who to hire. Also, check their reviews as this will help you hire the right person for the job.
Is Polished Concrete Cheaper Than Floorboards?
Yes, polished concrete floor costs less than floorboards and is economical in the long run. It is durable (doesn’t scratch or chip) and can withstand heavy foot traffic.
Price of polished concrete floors ranges from $50 to $100 per square metre on average, while timber flooring will cost anywhere from $50 per square metre to $150 per square metre on average, according to online service directory service.com.
A polished concrete floor is also long lasting if installed well, polished concrete floors can last for up to 10 years without needing any major maintenance and will reduce your maintenance cost.
Can You Polish Existing Concrete?
Yes, you can polish existing concrete floors. However, before polishing, there are some factors to consider first. You have to check the condition of existing concrete floor because this will guide you.
You can grind the concrete floor to any standard if it is in good condition, but if the condition of concrete isn’t that good, depending on the damage, you can grind and cut so as to expose and feature the natural aggregate (sand, gravel & stone). If the concrete is in very poor condition, it has to be repaired first before polishing is done.