Concrete has been a staple in the building industry for decades, but it’s also become a popular choice for flooring. From hard concrete patios with a splash of color to finished basement floors, there are a lot of ways you can spruce up concrete flooring around your home. Polishing is the easiest option, however, and the solution we’re going to touch on today in our polished concrete floor cost guide.
Are You Polishing Old Concrete or Starting from Scratch?
Most consumers looking to polish a slab of concrete have a pre-existing floor to work with, but in some cases, you may need to start with a fresh slab. While we won’t go into detail on how to pour concrete flooring yourself, there are dozens of professionals in your area that can handle the job. On average, you can expect to pay around $5 to $8 per square foot depending on where you reside and how large the pour is.
What’s the condition of your concrete floor?
If you want to polish pre-existing concrete flooring in your home, there’s one thing you need to do before considering the cost. Walk around your concrete floor and inspect it closely. Cracks are typically the biggest issue with an older concrete slab, but we’ve seen plenty of floors with chipping or spalling as well. Thankfully, most of these issues are relatively easy to fix with products you can buy off the shelf from your local hardware store.
Additional Cost for Concrete Repairs
Spalling with concrete is a common occurrence, and it happens when moisture takes hold in your concrete floor. When this happens, you can see the surface of your flooring begin to flake or peel. Floors that are pitted are not attractive, and it’s an issue you’ll definitely want to fix before having your concrete floors polished.
For most small cracks and chips, patching compounds may do the trick, but you will have to bring in a professional for any serious issues like chasing. The average cost to fix minor issues with concrete flooring yourself can range from $20 to several hundred dollars, as it all comes down how serious the issue is. Professional concrete repair is more expensive and can range from $6 to $9 per square foot.
Polished Concrete Floor Cost
Anything you can do to make the job easier for the concrete polishers can potentially reduce the overall cost. Removing stains is something most homeowners can do themselves, but it may be cheaper and easier to let professionals handle repairs. While all contractors will charge a square foot rate for polishing your flooring, several factors go into the final price.
Want to change those drab grey concrete floor and give it some life? Well, adding some color will do the trick, and it’s as simple as using stain or dye. Unfortunately, the easiest when it takes place during the initial pour and not applied after decades of weathering and abuse. Adding color to old or worn concrete isn’t quite as simple. The lime content in concrete flooring can be diminished over time by chemicals and age itself which can some forms of stains harder to take.
Depending on the location of the slab you want polished, scoring your concrete flooring could be an interesting way to break up the space. It’s also something that can be done to concrete flooring of any age. While you can do it yourself with a chalk line and diamond-tipped masonry blade that’s built to deal with concrete, it’s another area better left to professionals unless you are very comfortable using a circular saw in new positions.
Polishing concrete is done through a multi-step grinding process, and the overall price is directly affected by how many layers need to be removed. Floors that are in good shape with little to no damage may just need a few thorough passes while pitted and marred floors will require more work and more time overall.
Traditionally, at least three to four steps were involved in the concrete grinding process. The process behind Diamond-polished concrete floors can involve between six and twelve steps, however, but can be considerably more expensive.
Regardless of whether you want a retrofit concrete floor polished or you’re dealing with new construction, the price of polished concrete flooring all comes down to square footage. That’s the size of the concrete floor you need polished, which is calculated when you multiply the area’s length by its width.
In our research, the price to polish concrete flooring starts at around $3 per square foot if it’s only a light polishing with no repairs needed. When you start to factor in patterns, colors, and repairs, the cost typically ends up at around $5 to $13 per square foot.