What is Polished Concrete

What is Polished Concrete

Using stunning aggregates, quartz and colours to create a sense of industrial sophistication in both homes and commercial buildings, polished concrete is a versatile material that is easily customizable in its appearance. Its reflective surface creates an evocative quality under light, which can be suitable for a variety of programs.

From the least expensive “grind and seal” method to honed concrete which uses a penetrating sealer to create a reflective surface, polished concrete can be created in a variety of ways. As it is long-lasting and more durable under heavy foot traffic, mechanically polished concrete is the type usually used in commercial projects. It is created by applying a chemical hardener that densifies the porous concrete, and then grinding it to the desired gloss and smoothness.

The concrete can be ground to 800, 1500 or 3000 grit level using a series of progressively fine tools (similar to the process of sanding wood). Another consideration is the concrete’s “exposure level”- that is, the amount if the original surface which is ground away and thus how much of the aggregate material is exposed.


Their uniqueness is one of the finest attributes of a polished concrete finish. No two polished concrete floors will ever be the same. Concrete is a natural product made up of sand, stone (aggregate) and cement and every concrete mix is different.

Polished concrete is very different from your basic raw concrete. Polishing concrete involves taking off the top layers to reveal the sand and/or aggregate underneath. It can transform an unimpressive industrial floor to give a stunning, contemporary look but this is a very time-consuming and skilled process.

There are four basic polished concrete finishes:

1. Bronze

The bronze finish is the best fit for you if you want a very industrial looking floor, showing all the variations in colour and texture. It is achieved by simply grinding off the surface paste of your concrete floor, exposing no aggregate, just a sandy and often uneven finish. It will still be more susceptible to staining even if it is still smooth to touch and hardeners are applied. The bronze concrete floor can be brought up to a matte or high gloss finish and is more suited, in our opinion, to an industrial or commercial setting.

2. Silver

You may wish to reveal the variations in your sand, gravel and aggregate underneath your sandy layer. This is achieved by an initial deep grind into the concrete, using large metallic disks. The first grind is the deepest, and it is at this stage you can decide how much sand, gravel and aggregate you want to expose. The silver finish gives you the characteristics of a well-ground floor with a matte finish. After the first grind, progressively smaller diamond disks are used to remove the scratches made by the previous grind… and so on. The silver finish is left with a matte or satin look.

3. Gold

You should consider the gold finish if you like the smooth stone free-polished concrete look. The gold finish gives you a highly reflective surface.

If you don’t want to expose the aggregate, the first deep grind is avoided when grinding. This method involves grinding away the concrete skin and exposing the underlying, stronger concrete, in the form of fine material. Normally, 1 mm of the surface is ground away. Before the grinding can commence, it is imperative for this finish that your concrete has been power floated and is completely smooth. There is no room for error or variations in levels as you are only taking 1 mm off your surface.

4. Platinum

The platinum finish is generally considered to be the ‘Rolls Royce’ of polished concrete floors. The platinum concept gives the floor the best characteristics and is the one recommended in most situations. It needs to bring the floor up to 3000 grit as it involves more grinding steps than the other options. The result is an unbeatably durable floor, with a highly reflective finish. The more you polish the more pores you close

polished concrete floors


The most common places polished concrete is used include:

  • Large warehouses and warehouse outlets
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Office buildings
  • Auto showrooms
  • Private residences


AFFORDABLE. Despite having a high-end appearance, it is still more affordable than any other flooring options. The whole lifecycle cost is lower than any popular types of flooring. It is particularly affordable if you already have a concrete slab you can get professionally.

DURABLE. Durability is second to none for manufacturing and warehousing facilities. It is very solid and can stand up to heavy foot traffic.

LOW-MAINTENANCE. They are very easy to maintain and they don’t require you to periodically strip the surface and apply wax or other coatings like many other flooring types do. Moreover, they are even very easy to clean since don’t hold onto dirt or dust like other floors do and only require occasional mopping.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.  They are an eco-friendly option as it does not involve the use of hazardous chemical coatings, cleaners and adhesive in their installation or upkeep. Floors are also energy efficient, which further add to their reputation as a “green” flooring choice.

These are only the few benefits of polished concrete floors and with many benefits it is not hard to see why it is gaining popularity especially in Sydney. Polished concrete floors in Sydney is becoming the most wanted option for flooring. Polished concrete contractors in Sydney are getting more and more jobs.

Here at Polished Concrete Sydney, we do not only provide concrete floor grinding and polishing in Sydney but we are also polished concrete floor suppliers. We have been in the business for years and have come a long way in terms of providing top-quality service to our clients.