blog-banner

Are you looking for a contractor?

Submit our quick form and get quotes now!

Table of Contents

Flooring

4 min read

Everything to Know About a Concrete Floor Finish

Flooring

4 min read

Everything to Know About a Concrete Floor Finish

FlooringEverything to Know About a Concrete Floor Finish

Are you planning on giving your concrete floor a finishing touch to add a little extra flair to your home? There are various finishing techniques that are well worth checking out. 

Types of Concrete Floor Finishes

Finition d'un plancher en béton

Source: Canva

There are two main methods used for concrete floor finishes, which are complemented by different staining techniques. These include the following:

Smooth finish concrete

The best way to achieve this concrete finish is to start the smoothing process at the same time as the concrete is being laid, so prior to curing. The tools used to do this successfully are a levelling tool, concrete float, finishing trowel, and broom.

After smoothing out the concrete surface, cement masons will then cut the expansion joints to allow the slab to move horizontally, thereby preventing cracks. Next, the sealant (most likely epoxy) will be applied, ensuring that the house is properly ventilated over the ensuing days.

A smooth concrete floor isn't as hard-wearing as a polished finish, yet it has many advantages, such as being eco-friendly, durable, inexpensive, and aesthetically pleasing. It can also be used as a thermal mass and doesn't require any additional coating.

Polished concrete

This second technique shouldn't be undertaken before day 28 post-concrete pour. That’s about the time it takes for the slab to reach 90% of its mechanical strength.

This technique consists of grinding the slab with a workbench diamond saw blade to remove layers of concrete (over several rounds) in order to get a perfectly smooth surface. The final step consists of applying a sealant to protect the surface.

Between the benefits of this kind of finish and the visual, ecological, and economical aspects, polished concrete floors are durable and don't require much maintenance. Like smooth concrete floors, they too can be used as a thermal mass and don't require any additional flooring installed. Also, polished floors create a semblance of natural light in your home.

Types of Coloured Concrete 

concrete floor finish

Source: Canva

Polished Concrete: Clear Epoxy Concrete

This finish, which is both aesthetic and practical, will give your floor the best possible protection while adding a touch of elegance to the room in question. Moreover, polished concrete is very easy to lay and will work wonders in your garage or basement. 

Metallic Epoxy

For a long-lasting and durable floor with a three-dimensional gloss, we strongly recommend metallic epoxy flooring. By using this type of finish, you'll benefit from a unique design (various visual styles and incredible colours) and exceptional stain, water, and wear resistance. Moreover, epoxy flooring combined with a metallic finish is extremely easy to maintain and can be installed in no time.

How much does a concrete floor finish cost?

concrete floor finish

Source: Canva

In terms of costs and different finishes, smooth concrete is significantly less expensive than polished concrete, which runs about $9 per square foot, not accounting for the cost of the concrete itself. Stamped concrete, an alternative to smooth concrete, is even more expensive at $13 per square foot.

Should you choose an epoxy floor, expect to pay between $3 and $8 per square foot, depending on the surface itself, its condition, and the duration of the work.

Requirements

A concrete slab finish is subject to various conditions that affect the concrete itself. Namely, the concrete must be:

  • Hard granular aggregate;

  • Not hold more than 4¾ gallons of water for each bag of cement;

  • Form a plastic mixture, which should be poured without interruption and without any water pooling on the surface;

  • Well compacted through vibration, or by tamping and spading.

The slab may require additional changes to reinforce it with stronger materials. This process can be carried out as the concrete is poured, in a single layer, or by laying the material as a separate layer after the slab has cured.

Here are the ground rules for each method:

  • A single-layer finish must be laid during construction. Therefore, one must monitor the conditions during which it’ll be done. 

  • A separate finish means that the building needs to be sealed and heated.

  • The concrete must be consistent so that bleed water doesn't seep through the finish.

  • The slab must be wet, but not heavily flooded, before installing the separate finish.

  • The slab's surface must be thoroughly cleaned with a metal bristle broom before the separate finish is laid. Also, a thin liquid bed of mortar should be applied.

Curious about the cost of flooring materials? Check out our Flooring Renovation Guide to find out more. 

Thermosetting Resins

Source: Canva

There are a number of different options to showcase your concrete floor, including two-component thermosetting resins, like epoxy or a polyaspartic coating.

For example, these products are solvent-free, odourless, and an excellent alternative for your kitchen flooring. However, it's best to hire a professional to lay the flooring, as it can be a bit tricky for a first-timer.

The following section outlines the steps to applying an epoxy coating:

  • Polish the floor with a benchwork diamond saw blade; this will improve the flooring’s adhesion.

  • Use a primer that can be dyed with metallic pigments, for example, for unique visual effects.

  • Apply the preferred amount of epoxy coat(s). Clear epoxy is the best option.

Naturally, concrete floors are suitable for basements too, especially if you have a fairly new property. In such cases, it’s perfectly possible to finish the floor directly on top of the concrete, provided that the slab is well protected. This way, you'll have more space by sparing additional layers of concrete.

However, this technique shouldn't be considered in older homes in which mould or moisture build-up is a common occurrence. First, you need to establish the level of humidity prior to proceeding with this type of project.

Are you about to tackle a floor renovation project? Don’t forget to check out our article Floor Renovation Project: Checklist of the Steps to Follow

Cover photo source: Pexels

Get 3 renovation quotes for your flooring project

RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your flooring project. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!


Last modified 2023-11-07


Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Looking for something else?


Table of contents


Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Are you a contractor?

Join our network and receive real leads!

Download the price guide for renovations

We’ll be emailing you the latest market price guide for renovations.



Related articles

The latest industry news, interviews, technologies, and resources.

5 min read

Cynthia Pigeon • 07 Nov 2023

The Cost of Asbestos Removal or Abatement in Canada

Have you ever wondered if there's asbestos in your home? Asbestos is a mineral fibre found and used worldwide from the late 1800s to the early 1990s. It was commonly used in building materials and insulation, since it doesn't catch fire easily, thereby making it the perfect fire prevention material.

5 min read

RenoQuotes.com • 07 Nov 2023

The Different Types of Skylights

Skylights bring natural light and beautiful views into the home, sitting high up on your ceilings and helping to brighten darker sections of rooms, or adding ventilation in smaller spaces. A skylight is simply a glazed window that is generally installed in the roof, and it can be domed or flat, as well as fixed or vented.

4 min read

Léa Plourde-Archer • 07 Nov 2023

How to Paint a Living Room : Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

Most people spend a lot of time in their living rooms. This part of the house is often used for family time, for leisure or relaxation. In certain cases, it also doubles as a dining room. Therefore, it needs to be a place where everyone feels happy and comfortable. If such is not the case, it might be time for you to repaint your living room. 

4 min read

N/A • 07 Nov 2023

8 renovation projects to beautify your cottage | Renovation Quotes

If you own a cottage and go there several times per year or per season, you may be considering taking on some renovations. Even if it was recently built, it’s never unnecessary or too late to add value to your property. 

5 min read

Léa Plourde-Archer • 07 Nov 2023

How to Renovate a Small Bathroom

In an ideal world, each home would be equipped with at least one big and bright bathroom. However, such is not the case in most dwellings. Some homes only have the ability to contain a small bathroom, and in these instances, it’s important to work with what you’ve got. Of course, this doesn’t mean that renovating your small bathroom won’t lead to spectacular results. In fact, a small bathroom renovation can have a huge impact on comfort and design.


Looking for a contractor?

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes now!