Polished Concrete: Pros & Cons

We’re back with more from the informative Lunch & Learn presentation in our Idaho offices. (If you missed the first blog in the series, check it out now!) When it comes to knowing the ins and outs of every detail of a project we work on, EVstudio takes staying on the cutting edge of industry knowledge seriously. This blog goes into the basic pros and cons of choosing polished concrete, giving our clients, industry colleagues, and the curious general public a glimpse into what this material can do, and help make informed choices easier to make.


Slip resistance

Polished concrete meets OSHA, ADA, and ANSI 137.1 compliance for slip assistance up to 800 grit.  Polished concrete up to Level 3 has been used in schools, cafeterias, residential areas, and even places where canes, walkers, and wheelchairs are regularly used.


Polished concrete is highly resistant to wear from common sources of impact including walking and driving. The treatments applied to create polish concrete increase impact resistance of the concrete up to 20%, and increases abrasion resistance up to 400%.  Additionally, the densified surface of polished concrete makes it more impenetrable to fluids, imparting better chemical resistance.

Low start-up cost

This material is relatively cost-effective to install, ranging from 50 cents to $20 per square foot depending on desired class (amount of aggregate) and level (degree of polish and shine). You can expect typical entry level cost of polished concrete to be around $1-$5 per square foot.

Low maintenance cost

This material can easily last up to 10 years with minimal care, and any cleaning, maintenance, and protection will extend its lifespan. Contrast this with carpet that requires replacement every 10 years, and epoxy flooring every 8-10 years. Unlike other flooring like carpeting, VCT, epoxy, or wood, polished concrete maintenance does not require stripping, staining, or resealing. Annual maintenance consists of cleaning with a neutral soap and water mixture, and particle removal with a dustmop.


Polished concrete is often made from existing concrete, reducing the amount of new material needed to produce flooring. For large, high walled buildings such as car dealerships and automotive service bays, polished concrete is reflective enough to reduce lighting needs. Due to the smoothness of the surface, polished concrete does not trap and hide dust or particles, which also reduces the need for air filtration systems.


While concrete is typically associated with a smooth, industrial surface, this material can be polished until it is flawless with a marble-like finish that reflects a lot of light. This mirror finish can elevate any interior.


This material can be customized by adding colored dyes, stains, printing, and surface scoring. Recycled glass can also be added as an aggregate during pouring, and the concrete can be ground down to reveal the colorful glass in the final surface.


Cure time

Concrete itself takes a minimum of 28 days to cure prior to grinding and polishing. This can be a problem for projects with a tighter schedule.

Bad disguise

This material cannot be used to hide or correct flaws in preexisting concrete like cracks, holes, or variation in color. Other solutions would need to be pursued to address these, including replacing the old concrete entirely.


Polished concrete is not acid resistant. Exposure to acids results in stains or etching on the floor. Acids can be introduced to the concrete depending on the final use, but common situations include food-grade acids from spills in grocery stores, restaurants, and cafeterias, or battery leaks from forklifts. Due to the strength of concentrated acids found in batteries, we recommend either applying an epoxy coating to protect the polished concrete, or foregoing concrete and using an epoxy flooring instead for projects where the end-use will run a high risk of acid exposure.


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