Top Pros and Cons of Polished Concrete You Need to Know [Official Consumer Guide]

Attractive to the eye. Easy to maintain. Highly durable in all settings. Natural antimicrobial properties.

These are just some of the reasons that polished concrete is growing as a popular option for homes, businesses and industrial settings across Perth. Throw in a durable surface that provides an economic advantage over the years and we’re not surprised if you’ve added ‘polished concrete’ to your shortlist of potential flooring finishes.

But are there any downsides to this popular finish? 

At Kwikcut, we have more than a decade of experience supporting our Perth customers with their construction and demolition-related needs. Whether you trust us on your next project or choose another company, we always recommend educating yourself on the products you’ll be using.

So read on for the complete list of polished concrete pros and cons.

What is polished concrete?

Polished concrete is concrete that has been hardened with a chemical densifier and ground with concrete grinding tools (typically diamond-based). Adding a striking aesthetic advantage over plain concrete, polished concrete is popular in both residential and commercial settings for its appearance, low-maintenance finish and affordability.

In most cases, concrete is not considered polished before 400 grit and is typically finished to an 800, 1,500 or 3,000 grit level. As a popular alternative to carpet, vinyl and natural timber, polished concrete is extremely long lasting without sacrificing the visual benefits that Perth homeowners and business owners are looking for.

Existing concrete in practically any condition can be polished (and concrete grinding can be used to prepare more difficult surfaces for polishing) which offers flexibility whether you want to elevate your garage, make your business stand out, or transform your commercial setting.

But enough theory. 

Let’s dive deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of this popular concrete finish.

Pros of polished concrete floors

Modern technology has made it easy to transform a dull and drab concrete slab into a gorgeous polished surface that’s durable, stain-resistant and aesthetically appealing.

But don’t take our word for it, here are a few of the top factors that make polished concrete a highly appealing choice.

#1 – Highly durable and long lasting so you spend less on repairs

The durability of concrete is virtually unmatched. What you spend on installation costs is practically the extent of your spending. Lasting for decades without the need to be replaced, you save BIG. For plenty of Perth home and business owners, the chance to keep more money in their pocket is hard to resist.

Wondering how long your floors will last? Get the TRUE lifespan of polished concrete here

#2 – Low maintenance so you can spend your free time anyway you want

There are plenty of home improvement projects that look great on Google or in your local Bunnings catalogue, but require a mountain of hard yakka and sweat equity to maintain. Polished concrete is not one of these projects. A quick weekly sweep or mop is all you’ll need which eliminates the need for waxes or additional coatings. That means less time working and more time enjoying your free time.

#3 – Strong against traffic so you can rest easy at home or work

The floors you walk on take a beating from hundreds (or thousands) of steps every single day. But polished concrete doesn’t care about that. A highly durable flooring option, polished concrete provides protection against feet and vehicles, alike. As long as they are sealed correctly, a polished finish will be protected against cracks and damage from pretty much anything you throw at it (though we don’t recommend throwing things at it).

Cons of polished concrete floors

#1 – Cold surface that may not suit all residential settings

If you’ve ever stepped foot on bare concrete first thing in the morning, you already know that concrete isn’t the warmest material underfoot. If you’re adding concrete as part of a new home build, you may be able to install underfloor heating. However, for most Perth homeowners, you’ll need to consider the use of your space.

To maximise thermal mass benefits, polished concrete is best placed to maximise sun exposure as the natural properties of concrete do not retain heat well. However, if you’re planning for an outdoor space, garage or other setting, this drawback shouldn’t worry you.

#2 – Audible surface that won’t easily absorb sound

Much like ceramic floor tiles or natural stone flooring, polished concrete is not sound absorbent, meaning it will make noise when you’re moving around. You can counter this at home with rugs, carpets and so on, but if you’re not worried about the sound you, your family, or your employees are making, then this is another drawback that shouldn’t bother you.

#3 – Risk of cracks when improperly installed

Polished concrete offers a lasting barrier against, well… everything. However, mistakes during installation can cause significant structural problems down the line. When not installed correctly, cracks may appear. More than an eyesore, these allow for the entry of moisture that can create mildew, encourage bacteria, and worsen cracks.

Although this nightmare scenario is something you’ll want to avoid at all costs, you can remove the risk by finding a local Perth concrete cutting, grinding and polishing team you can trust.

At Kwikcut, we understand the trust that goes into choosing a concreting contractor, so check out our 5-star testimonials and completed project gallery to learn a little more about our approach to concrete.

Let’s recap what we’ve learned in 30 seconds…

Ok, *deep breath*.

That was a lot of information. 

But, now you have all the facts and figures to make an informed decision for your next home or business upgrade. Without question, polished concrete takes longer to install than a laminate or timber flooring space of the same size. However, once installed the advantages quickly multiply.

Polished concrete can be expected to last for decades, so you won’t need to plan for ongoing upgrades and replacements. Although the initial cost of polishing concrete may seem like a disadvantage, the long lifespan of a polished concrete surface delivers exceptional value for money over time.

As an added benefit, you won’t spend your weekends trying to keep your polished concrete clean as a quick sweep or mop can have your surface looking spectacular without the upkeep that goes into timber floors or other flooring alternatives.

ProsCons
✓ Cost effective in the long term

✓ Longer lasting with normal wear 

✓ Low maintenance and easy to clean

✓ Great for increasing resale value 

✓ Provide a sleek and modern look 

✓ “Green” and sustainable (requires no coatings that could be negative to the environment) 

✓ Attractive as it wears 

✗ Not suitable for areas with heavy foot traffic 

✗ Not suitable for areas with chemical spills 

✗ May be slippery 

 

Got your mind on epoxy too? Get the full Polished Concrete vs. Epoxy comparison here

 

Need a little help from Perth’s polished concrete experts?

Concrete might be one of the most commonly used materials throughout Perth homes and businesses, but long gone are the days when it was grey and dull.

Polishing your concrete transforms coarse and raw-looking concrete into a smooth, elegant and shiny surface that’s brimming with performance advantages and potential. From a durable floor that can handle the worst a family or business can throw at it with decades of performance, it’s no wonder polished concrete is growing in popularity.

At Kwikcut, our entire team adheres to the high-quality implementation of all concrete products. With fully qualified and licensed concreting experts, we’re excited to help you get the most value from your concrete – whatever solution you’re looking for. 

For help with your next concrete project, get in touch on (08) 9408 6096 or request a fast and free quote online today!