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The Pros and Cons of Polished Concrete Revealed [Full List]

November 7, 2022

If you’ve been thinking about polished concrete, it’s important you have ALL the facts. Read on for the top pros and cons of this popular concrete finish.

Polished concrete has become a popular choice for residential, industrial, and commercial settings.

But that does make it right for you?

If you’re comparing concrete finishes, you’ll no doubt have seen the beauty and durability of a polished surface. But what will that cost you? And will it be safe for your family or customers?

At Absolutely Flawless Floorz, we have years of experience helping Melbourne home and business owners choose the concrete floors that suit their needs and budget. If you’re ready to discover whether concrete flooring is right for your lifestyle, read on to learn everything you need to know.

What is polished concrete?

It’s tough to break down the pros and cons of something without a solid grasp of what you’re considering. So when it comes to polished concrete, it helps to know how this popular finish is created.

Put simply, this type of concrete is a surface that has been hardened with a chemical densifier and then ground using concrete grinding tools (typically diamond tooling). The resulting concrete surface is custom-made to the desired degree of smoothness – similar to sanding a timber floor.

Where is this concrete suitable?

With definitions out of the way, let’s chat about the ideal setting for polished concrete.

As a durable and low-maintenance flooring option, concrete polishing is experiencing a resurgence as Melbourne home and business owners see the value on offer. In fact, you may have stepped foot on a gorgeous polished surface without realising it!

Still, plenty of Victorians believe that polished concrete is not suitable for their property, so here are a few of the settings where you’ll find it:

  • Residential settings: Living room floors, bathrooms, laundries
  • Outdoor settings: Patio, terrace, alfresco dining areas
  • Commercial spaces: Restaurants, retail, automotive shops
  • Garages: From the home to commercial fit-outs

But enough about where you’ll see it throughout Melbourne, let’s break down the ultimate pros and cons of polished concrete.

4 Advantages of polished concrete

Go back 10 years and the idea of a polished concrete floor in the home would have been *very* rare. Fast forward to 2022 and it can be found in homes, garages, industrial and commercial settings.

At Flawless Floorz, we recommend you thoroughly research any product before you spend your hard-earned money, so here are 4 top advantages.

#1 – Highly durable

Concrete has a reputation for being as strong as, well…concrete. But polished concrete offers a robust and reliable surface that can withstand heavy foot traffic over the span of years. As long as your surface is properly sealed, you can relax knowing this surface has a 20-year lifespan if looked after.

This is great for: Commercial settings with heavy foot traffic who want to keep repair costs down.

#2 – Low maintenance

No one wants to spend their spare time scrubbing the floors, and with a polished concrete surface, you won’t have to! Generally speaking, a brush and mop are enough to remove dirt and dust and keep your floors looking sharp and inviting. In commercial settings, this means less downtime spent cleaning and greater productivity.

This is great for: Busy homes and businesses who don’t want to spend extra time cleaning.

#3 – Cost-effective

If you’ve got an existing concrete slab, then you won’t need to pay for tile, timber, vinyl, or any other floor covering. With a little floor preparation (concrete grinding may be necessary), your surface can be buffed and polished without spending big. Even better, with minimal maintenance costs, you won’t be spending big over time, either.

This is great for: Anyone who wants to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pocket

#4 – Design flexibility

Long gone are the days when concrete was grey, dull, and boring. Polished concrete can be coloured to your liking through the addition of colour throughout the concrete prior to pouring. While lighter hues are more common (as they look more natural), you’re in control of the final shade of your floor.

This is great for: Retail stores looking to apply branding choices store-wide

Looking for a little design inspo? Check out our completed project gallery here

3 Disadvantages of concrete polishing

All flooring options come with their own limitations. These may not apply to you, but it’s helpful to know what challenges a polished concrete floor may bring to your home or business.

While the list of benefits is (considerably) longer, here are 3 reasons that polished concrete may not be right for you.

#1 – Cold surface

Polished concrete does not hold warmth so if your home is lacking in sunlight, you may find polished floors make the winters that little bit chillier. As Melbourne experiences cool winter temperatures, you may need to decorate your home with rugs and carpets to stay warm. However, if you’re planning to install this type of concrete in the garage or a commercial setting, this won’t be a major concern for you.

This is NOT great for: Households who enjoy walking around on bare feet.

#2 – Hard surface

This is both a pro and a con. While concrete is a durable surface that can handle constant foot traffic and wear-and-tear, that same hard surface can be uncomfortable for people standing on it. This might be employees in a retail setting, or restaurant workers. Again, if your primary concern is cost, versatility, design, or longevity, then you won’t need to worry too much about this.

This is NOT great for: Retail businesses that have employees walking directly on concrete for long periods.

#3 – May develop cracks

Concrete that hasn’t been laid or installed properly may develop cracks over time. As floors expand and move due to moisture and temperature, you’ll need to keep an eye out for small cracks (which can become BIG problems). It’s a myth that this type of concrete cracks more than any other decorative finish. In reality, the gorgeous finish of a polished floor can just highlight cracks and damage more because they are so easy to spot.

This is NOT great for: Anyone looking to hire a cheap Melbourne concreting team that cuts corners

Quick Recap: Polished concrete Pros and Cons

✔ Durable
✔ Low maintenance
✔ Water-resistant when sealed
✔ Versatile designs and colours
✔ Cost-effective
✔ Anti-microbial
✔ Slip-resistant
✔ Aesthetically striking
✘ Cold surface
✘ Hard underfoot
✘ Not sound-absorbing
✘ Cracks may develop over time
✘ Heavy (suitable for ground floors)
✘Longer to install than timber or laminate

Still stuck on the fence? Here’s what to do next…

Choosing a concrete finish is a major choice whether you’re renovating your business, building a new garage, or looking to transform your home from the ground up.

That’s why we offer obligation-free consultations to help our Melbourne customers find the right concrete surface for them. Homeowners, business owners, retail stores, hospitals, schools – all of these people and settings are turning to decorative concrete for durability and strength without sacrificing style.

If you’d like to learn more about our concrete offerings, check out the premium resources below (they’re 100% free!!!):

You can also reach out and speak to a member of the team directly on 0450 550 649 or request a quote online.

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