Polished Concrete Design Ideas

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The smooth, reflective surface of polished concrete invites a stunning array of options for coloring, scoring, and creating radial lines, grids, bands, borders and other designs. Stains and dyes are the most popular application for enhancing already existing polished concrete. Check out the design ideas below as well as the project profiles from around the country to get ideas for your own polished concrete floor.

Stained Polished Concrete

Concrete Polishing & Artistic Staining of AK. Concrete stains are one of the ways to add color to existing concrete floors. In the image above, the floors in a supermarket in Sitka, Alaska were rehabilitated by polishing and staining. The reflective polish and color provide a remarkable new look to the state’s largest and oldest existing retailer.

Learn more about staining concrete.

Dyed Polished Concrete

Dimensions Concrete Design in Rockmart, GA. Concrete dyes offer more vibrancy of color (which can be more intense than chemical stains). Dyes are often used in conjunction with polished concrete because they are easy to use and the application process is quick.

Learn more about dyed concrete.

Plain Gray Polished Concrete

Surfacing Solutions in Temecula, CA. In some instances, a plain uncolored polished concrete floor is preferred. In the image above, a vintage car collector preferred simply polished concrete that would shine and show the beauty of his cars. When polished, the natural gray color of concrete is often chosen for its simplistic and somewhat industrial feel.

Learn more about plain gray polished concrete.

Scored and Patterned Polished Concrete

Colour in Placerville, CA. Engraving, scoring, cutting, stenciling are just a few of the ways that polished concrete can be customized in addition to coloring. For the project above, multiple colors and various application techniques create a stunning and intricate pattern on a polished floor.

Learn more about engraving concrete and scoring concrete.

Polished Concrete Overlays

Extreme Measures Construction in Beaumont, CA. To meet the demand for an aesthetically pleasing solution for polishing imperfect concrete floors, more and more contractors are now installing polished overlays as an economical alternative. The Concrete Network talked with three contractors who specialize in these projects to get their viewpoints about the applications for polished overlays.

Learn more about polished overlays.

Polishing Concrete -- Get Design Options
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  • Colored aggregate can be applied to the concrete mix or seeded into the top layer of the mix. The polishing process will reveal these aggregate.
  • Integrally colored concrete can be used.
  • Glass can be seeded into the mix. The polishing process will reveal the glass pieces.
  • Nails, bolts, computer chips, or any other objects can be seeded into the mix and then polished smooth.
  • Of course, any of these options can be combined together or into a pattern

Polished concrete can also be enhanced through engraving or scoring lines and patterns.

Not Polished, but Still Awesome

Polishing concrete requires a series of polishing steps culminating with the use of 1800-3500 grit diamonds. Each step in the process increases the shine and reflectivity of the concrete. There are other options, which though they stop short of 1800-3500 grit diamonds, are still beautiful.

Decorative Ideas for Polished Concrete Floors
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See what decorative looks can be achieved with polished concrete and get ideas for incorporating saw cuts, exotic aggregates, custom colors and more.

Two steps of grinding to expose the aggregate, then applying a topical sealer, might be called the exposed aggregate, sealed look. While still taking on a polished look, the polish is a result of a topical coating (still beautiful, but requiring more maintenance).

Demmert and Associates in Los Angeles produces a finish they call a honed finish where they stop at 220 grit diamonds. This honed finish has some surface shine, but is still smooth and easy to clean.

Demmert and Associates also lets customers review the floor at the 400-800-and 1800-grit diamond level of shine if the customer is unsure if they want a fully polished look (though most clients do want the floor fully polished). Learn more about the levels of polished concrete.

Clearly, there are many levels of floors that stop short of truly being polished concrete, but are beautiful in their own right.

Related Information:

What is polished concrete

Reflective Floors

Artistic Concrete Pictures

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