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Rock Salt Finish

Learn how a rock salt finish—a simple, low-cost technique—can be used to add textural interest to plain concrete

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Author Anne Balogh, Columnist and Senior Editor of Concrete Network Magazine

Exposing concrete to salt isn't always a bad thing, especially in the case of a rock salt finish—a traditional and easy method for adding subtle texture and skid resistance to plain or colored concrete. Considered a step above smooth or broom-finished concrete, a salt finish leaves a speckled pattern of shallow indentations on the concrete surface, similar to the appearance of slightly pitted, weathered rock. With the growing popularity of stamped concrete, however, the use of this finish has been waning, and many homeowners aren't even aware of it as an option.

Examples of Projects with Rock Salt Finishes

Retail Center: The Domain in Austin, TX

Triple-Tiered Pool Deck in the Texas Hill Country

That's unfortunate because a salt finish still has a lot going for it and is far too attractive to be considered obsolete. While the pattern isn't elaborate, it has a distinctive look not achievable with any other method. Even better, the finish requires few additional tools and materials to produce, keeping the cost affordable for those who want decorative concrete on a budget.