How Much Do Polished Concrete Floors Cost?
$6 – $17 per square foot
The average polished concrete floor cost is around $6-$8 per square foot if the concrete floor is already in place. If the floor is poured, finished, and polished, polished concrete floors cost an average of $12-$17 per square foot to install. With all options considered, the range is even wider.
Polished concrete flooring creates a clean contemporary look while offering enough versatility to create a unique design statement. Polished concrete floors are attractive, durable, very low maintenance, free of allergens, and are a perfect choice for kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and garages. When properly sealed, they are impervious to moisture and resist stain problems. Yes, we know why you like them, but how much does it cost to polish concrete? We’re glad you asked…
A 200-square-foot polished concrete floor, for instance in a bathroom or kitchen, can be installed for as low as $1,200. A complex, polished concrete floor that is acid stained and/or tinted in the same rooms could run as high as $8,000.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SQUARE FOOT COST OF A POLISHED CONCRETE FLOOR?
Concrete floor polishing costs in a residential setting will typically land somewhere between $4 and $20 per square foot and includes pouring the concrete and then polishing. At this price, a 500 square foot area will cost between $2,000 and $10,000 and a 1,000 square foot area of polished concrete floor will cost $4,000 to $20,000. Installing a polished concrete floor in a commercial space is typically more costly still, because a higher strength concrete mix and thicker sealant layer are used.
This wide price range for polished concrete is because there are so many design and treatment options available. You can choose from a single color or stain or multiple colors. Do you want a high or low gloss? You can if you wish create patterns with scoring, or embed objects like glass, stone or metal into the concrete before polishing. We will get into some of these cost factors later in this report.
POLISHED CONCRETE FLOOR AVERAGE COSTS BY ROOM
Following is the average cost range to polish a concrete basement floor, as well as floors in other areas of the home:
Basement: $4000 – $15000
Bathroom: $200 – $1000
Kitchen: $700 – $7000
Garage: $1000 – $9000
The quotes you get from contractors will depend on the concrete mix, thickness, design and treatments. If you’re looking for no obligation estimates from qualified local contractors we can help. When you’ve finished this report circle back and CLICK HERE for up to four free quotes from local trusted professionals.
POLISHED CONCRETE COST RANGE BY DESIGN
Here are details on what you get for your money when installing polished concrete floors in our home.
Basic Design: $4-$7 per square foot
A basic concrete overlay with a single color or stain and a smooth, lightly polished finish with minimal surface preparation before the concrete is poured.
Mid-range Design: $8-14 per square foot
At the mid-range price point you’ll have many options including multiple colors, patterns, saw cuts or scoring, stamped or textured flooring, or a highly polished surface with standard surface preparation.
High-end Design: $15-$20, or more, per square foot
Your options are nearly unlimited in this price range and offer multiple colors, stained looks and textures, faux finishes, embedded objects like glass and divider strips, stenciling, airbrushing, and graphics, or terrazzo epoxy finishes. Extensive surface treatments come at a higher cost that pushes price toward the upper end per square foot.
COST FACTORS FOR INSTALLING POLISHED CONCRETE FLOORS
There are a variety of factors that will affect the cost of a polished concrete floor.
The size, shape, and complexity of the floor design will affect the cost. A large area will be more expensive than a small space in terms of the total cost, of course. And curves, angles, doorways, stairs, and obstacles that must be worked around will take more time and increase the cost by as much as $3 per square foot.
Colors and Finishes
Applying multiple colors or stains and special finishes will be more expensive. Finishes such as epoxies and coatings will increase the cost for both labor and materials by $1.00 to $3.00 per sq foot.
Level of Gloss or Shine
Creating a polished concrete floor with a high level of shine or gloss is a big cost factor. The more shine, the more stages of grinding and polishing necessary, and the more labor required, therefore increasing the cost.
A 400 grit sanding will produce a lightly polished matte finish. Grit of 800 or higher is needed to create a high-polish finish.
An intricately designed floor with saw cuts or scoring, dividers, or embedded objects like glass or tile will significantly raise the cost.
Existing concrete, such as in a basement, that is cracked, has holes, or is discolored will need to be repaired. Often an overlay of fresh concrete must be installed prior to polishing. Extensive surface preparation can add an additional $2 to $4 per square foot.
Removing the old floor will be an additional cost.
Concrete Overlay or Screed
In most cases, your concrete floor will need an overlay or screed, which is a thin layer of cement and very small aggregate, poured over the existing concrete to create the smooth surface that’s necessary for grinding and polishing the flooring. Adding an overlay will increase the cost by $2 – $5 per square foot.
INSTALLING A POLISHED CONCRETE FLOOR ABOVE GRADE
Installing a polished concrete floor in a kitchen or bathroom that is above grade will increase the cost from about $3 to $7 per square. Above grade floors don’t typically have an existing concrete slab subfloor, aka a slab, so a cement underlayment will be needed.
First, the old flooring will have to be removed and an appropriate subfloor will be installed to create a strong and level surface to support the polished concrete floor. Waterproofing, a moisture barrier and metal lathe to hold the concrete may also be needed. These processes will increase the cost by $3 to $7 per square foot.
TIP: If you are installing a large area of polished concrete flooring above grade, you should have your homes support beams and load-bearing walls inspected to determine if they can hold the weight of the concrete or whether they need reinforcement.
COST OF POLISHED CONCRETE FLOOR VS. TILE AND OTHER MATERIALS
In the following chart you can see the cost of polished concrete floors compared to epoxy, tiles, stone, hardwood, carpet, and other flooring materials.
Polished Concrete Floors vs. Other Flooring Costs
Average cost per square foot installed
|Polished Concrete||$4 – $20|
|Ceramic Tile||$8 – $23|
|Porcelain Tile||$12 – $25|
|Stone/Slate||$9 – $40|
|Epoxy||$4 – $10|
|Urethane||$13 – $20|
|Hardwood||$8 – $25|
|Carpet||$4 – $15|
|Luxury VInyl Plank||$4 – $12|
|Sheet Vinyl||$4 – $10|
|Cork||$8 – $15|
|Bamboo||$7 – $20|
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ARE POLISHED CONCRETE FLOORS A DIY PROJECT?
There are online videos and tutorials on installing polished concrete flooring. As you will see when you watch them, many of the tasks involved are difficult and require experience with specialized tools such as metal bonded diamond and resin bonded diamond tooling. Grinding concrete to the correct level is complicated and the process is very time consuming, especially for someone without previous experience.
Renting the tools needed to polish concrete flooring include grinders, a special vacuum, diamond polishing pads and discs, a densifier, and a guard can cost between $500 and $2,000 depending on what you rent and how long you need it. Costs add up, and hiring a contractor is a good value when you want a floor that looks professionally installed.
WHAT IS THE COST TO GRIND CONCRETE FLOORS?
Part of te process of polishing a concrete floor is to grind it smooth. So, to grind (or sand) your concrete floor, for instance in the basement, to remove adhesives, or to simply flatten the surface, you’ll be looking at a cost of somewhere between $1 and $5 per square foot. At this price, the surface of the floor will be clean and flat, a matte finish, but will not have a shine.
The concrete floor can then be sealed. Sealing a concrete floor will cost about $.50 per square foot if you DIY, or about $2- $4 per square foot for a professional contractor. Concrete sealers are available at any home improvement store.
WHAT IS THE COST TO POLISH AN EXISTING CONCRETE FLOOR?
If the existing concrete is in good condition, or after grinding, it may be possible to polish the floor without an overlay. Not adding the overlay of new concrete will save about $2-$5 per square foot.
An overlay, or screed, contains the same cement that is on the existing floor, for instance, the cement slab in the basement or garage, but is made with smaller aggregate, which is necessary for polishing. Since most existing concrete floors were not originally made with a small aggregate, they will need an overlay to polish them to a high gloss.
DO POLISHED CONCRETE FLOORS NEED TO BE SEALED?
Yes, polished concrete flooring should be treated with a stain-blocking sealant every 2 to 5 years depending on the amount of traffic the floor receives.
DO POLISHED CONCRETE FLOORS CRACK?
Polished concrete flooring on the interior of your home is less likely to crack than concrete floors outside, like in the garage or on the patio, because they don’t experience the temperature changes that exterior floors do.
But yes, polished concrete floors can crack. Some homeowners like the cracks and even enhance them with stains. But if you’re not a fan of them, cracks can be hidden with micro-toppings and disguised with a number of decorative treatments.
IS POLISHED CONCRETE FLOORING MORE EXPENSIVE THAN TILE?
No, not really, but it depends on the level of color and design you want in the polished concrete flooring. A basic to mid-range polished concrete floor will cost between $4 and $12 per square foot where a basic to mid-quality ceramic tile will cost between $8 and $15 per square foot with installation included.
About the Author:
Rob joined the Home Flooring Pros team in 2014 and is a freelance writer, specializing in flooring, remodeling and HVAC systems.
“I’m the son of an interior designer and picked up an eye for design as a result. I started hanging wallpaper and painting at 14 and learned enough on the job to be the general contractor on two homes we built for our family and did much of the finish plumbing, electrical, painting, and trim work myself.”