Stained and polished concrete in a residential office. By Liquid Stone in Warminster, PA

For many homeowners and designers, the chief advantage of concrete floors is the tremendous design versatility they offer. Concrete floors can be:

  • Colored or stained to match any hue
  • Finished to resemble tile, slate, or marble
  • Enhanced with decorative stenciled borders, medallions, or custom graphics

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No other flooring material gives you this unlimited array of design options and opportunities to create custom one-of-a-kind looks. Contact concrete floor finishers near you to help decide what finish is best for your floor and get quotes.


Many floor finishes—including staining, dyeing, polishing and decorative coatings—can be applied to existing concrete as well as new concrete. This gives you the ability to expose concrete floor slabs hidden by other floor coverings, such as carpet or vinyl tile, or add a finish to a concrete basement floor.

Hyde Concrete in Pasadena, MD

1. Staining

Acid- or water-based stains impart rich color to concrete surfaces. Stains are semi-transparent and enhance, rather than disguise the surface. Acid-based stains are generally limited to earth-tones, while water-based stains have a broader color palette.

AFS Creative Finishes in Rancho Cordova, CA

2. Dyes and other topical colors

Dyes offer more vibrant colors, like yellow, purple, or blue and can be mixed and blended for color matching or custom blends. Dyes are available in water- and solvent-based formulas.

JL Designs near Simi Valley, CA

3. Stenciling

Using stencils allows you to add attractive, yet economical, color and texture to indoor concrete surfaces. With hundreds of patterns available, and the ability to create custom stencils, the possibilities are endless.

Rockerz, Inc in Warrendale, PA

4. Polishing

The ultimate no-wax floor, polished concrete offers great value and is a superior, low-maintenance flooring option. Concrete polishing results in a floor with a smooth, high-luster finish that resembles polished stone, yet never requires waxing.

Westcoat in San Diego, CA

5. Metallic Coatings

Add shimmer and shine to your concrete floor with a metallic coating. Available in multiple colors, metallic coatings create a contemporary, upscale look for interior floors. Metallic epoxies contain real metallic powders or special reflective pigments to give concrete floors the look of copper, silver, aged bronze, nickel, and other shimmery patinas. They are especially popular in settings where a modern, upscale look is desired.

Specialty Design Coatings in Laguna Nigel, CA

6. Garage Floor Coatings

Epoxy-based products are an affordable and attractive way to enhance plain garage floors. They not only help protect the floor from grease, oil stains, and tire marks, but also impart color and texture. These heavy-duty epoxy-based systems are available in many color choices and can be enhanced by decorative quartz or color chips.


For existing surfaces, most projects will consist of three phases:

  1. Prep work and cleaning: How this is done will vary depending on the finish to be applied. For instance, you can’t clean the surface with muriatic acid if you’re planning on using an acid-based stain, and cracks or holes may need to be repaired for some finishes, but can be left as is for others. Additionally, if your concrete surface is uneven, it's essential to have it leveled before applying a decorative finish to ensure a smooth and flat floor (see How to Level a Concrete Floor). For new concrete, prep work is minimized.
  2. Staining, polishing, or application of a coating: Obviously, the process will vary based on the chosen finish. Some require the use of equipment, such as polishing, others are simply products applied to the surface, such as stains, dyes, or coatings.
  3. Sealing or other protective treatment: Similar to prep and cleaning, which sealer you use—or if one is even needed—will be determined by the finish that was applied. Polished floors may not require a sealer, but stained or colored floors should be protected.

Concrete overlay handpainted to resemble carrera marble. By SoClean Blasting Services Inc in Ronkonkoma, NY


Prices for the different concrete floor options vary greatly, starting as low as $2 to $6 per square foot for basic stain, dye, or polishing. High-end finishes with multiple colors, designs, stencils or other enhancements can run $15 to $30 per square foot, or more depending on the materials.

Get more information about what you can expect to pay for finished concrete flooring:


In addition to their decorative merits, all cement floor finishes are easy to maintain when applied to properly prepared floor surfaces. They can endure heavy foot traffic, they are stain and moisture resistant, and they won’t harbor mold, mildew, allergens, or dust mites. Learn more about cleaning concrete floors.


While some of the processes may look simple, your best bet is to hire a pro. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Stains applied to concrete are permanent, which means mistakes are permanent too. (See more about DIY staining)
  • There are significant differences in the prep and cleaning if you’re applying acid-based vs. water-based stains that can result in the stain not being absorbed by the concrete.
  • Polishing requires the use of heavy equipment that needs to be rented and skill to achieve good results.
  • Sealers also need to be matched to the type of finish applied, not all sealers are compatible with all finishes.

Unique Concrete Floors
Time: 01:15
Why does nearly everyone love the look of concrete floors?


In addition to the more traditional decorative finishes for concrete floors, advances in materials and finishing techniques have resulted in new cutting-edge looks.

Here are some of our favorite concrete floor design ideas:

Water-Inspired Concrete Floors

Eight Ways to Design with Concrete Borders

Concrete Tile: Benefits of using concrete versus ceramic or porcelain precast tile materials

Find an Interior Concrete Floor Contractor

Modern Concrete Floors
Ideas for modern floor finishes for homes and businesses.

Floor Ideas by Color
Inspiration for brown, gray, white and red floors.

Create Graphics on Floors
Five methods for dramatic effects on floors.

How to Make Concrete Look Like Marble Floors
How to Give Your Floors a Smooth Concrete Finish

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