How Do I Get Polished Concrete?

How Do I Get Polished Concrete? Polished concrete is hugely popular at the moment. Simply put, polished concrete looks amazing, suitable for a wide range of applications, over underfloor heating and completely unique to your installation. Incredibly hard wearing and needs the lowest maintenance of any premium floor surface.

You would think getting concrete flooring would be straight forward, pick a look you like and go to any polishing company and place your order. It should be that simple, but it isn’t yet. The UK market needs to grow and produce decent education for clients, architects and dare I say it; the majority of the polishing industry that are dipping a toe into the water. At the moment there are a handful of decent professional concrete polishing companies which specialise in our art/craft. The rest are part timers who are desperate to enter the market with hired equipment and very basic knowledge from free courses.

But how do you get polished concrete?

Well that basically depends which scenario you fit into, you are either pouring a new floor as part of extension or new build home, you are looking to cover an existing floor to get the polished concrete look or you have an old concrete floor you would like to spruce up.

Scenario 1: You are pouring a new slab for a new build or extension.

How do I get polished concrete
Have a new concrete floor slab laid

Choice A:
Have a concrete slab professionally laid over your insulation and underfloor heating pipes to a thickness of 100mm. Ensure the floor is well laid, flat and smooth with all tool marks, gouges, tamp marks or ripples removed. We can provide a concrete specification to work to.

This is how polished concrete is normally done, but getting decent concrete layers and a suitable mix is tough to find (we do not lay ready-mix concrete slabs).

Choice B:

Have a concrete overlay applied to an existing concrete floor
A CARRcrete concrete overlay gives you more control over design

Have a pourable self levelling screed applied over the insulation and underfloor heating to a thickness of 55-75mm, creating a smooth and flat surface over which a concrete overlay can be applied to provide the wearing layer to the floor. Overlay products are manufactured with ingredients and colour pigments that allow far greater control over the finished look of the concrete. If you have a particular requirement, a certain colour, particular aggregate or cloudy shading then a overlay such as our PROtop and PROtop Loft.

This provides you with the highest quality finish and a more durable surface than standard concrete.

Scenario 2: You are wanting to cover an existing floor.

CARRcrete micro concrete is only 2-3mm in thickness
CARRcrete Micro concrete is only 2-3mm in thickness

You can apply a CARRcrete PROtop Micro Topping Concrete over an existing floor as long as it is sound and stable and not susceptible to damp or movement. So if you have tiled floors laid onto a solid floor, you can remove the tiles and apply the over original floor.

Not suitable floor timber floors

Scenario 3: You have an old concrete floor you would like to spruce up.

How do I get polished concrete? Grind an existing concrete floor down
You can always grind down an existing concrete floor

If you have an existing concrete floor, which you maybe found under tiles or linoleum, this can be ground and polished to an acceptable standard, it adds no extra height to your floor and is the most environmentally friendly solution.

The quality of the finish is dependant on the quality of the concrete.

How Do I Get Polished Concrete?

Comments 55

  • Hi,

    We would like to polish our recently laid 100mm thick concrete floor in our extension. We would also like to carry on an extensive patio so that the floor continues through our corner bifolds.
    Is this possible? Do we need any different mix? Will weather change the colour?

    • Hi Sue,

      The mix would be same, but there would a be a greater need for the slab to be cured correctly otherwise it will become weak and highly porous. There maybe some colour change over time with absorption of various contaminants, but if the slab was regularly cleaned it should reduce that to a bear minimum.

  • We are looking at turning out garage into a games room and wondered about the cost of polishing our existing concrete base. The area is approx 45 square meters. Before we go any further I just wanted to get a rough idea of how much it would cost to polish ours please x

  • How much does it cost?

  • Hi,

    We are extending our kitchen out over the area previously occupied by a small conservatory. There is a quarry tile floor in the existing kitchen and a concrete slab where the conservatory was. Neither are insulated.
    We want to bring the floor up to the level of the adjacent dining room (circa 125mm) and need to insulate and then we are hoping to have polished concrete screed over.
    Is this possible and what thickness would we need for the concrete (and therefore what is left for insulation)?

    Thanks, Matt

  • Can you get a white colour from a polished concrete floor and does it always have the llok of lots of stones I would like a white glossy even finish thanks alison

  • Hi, I am knocking ab interior wall down from my living room into my hallway and kitchen. We currently have laminate, carpet and tiles respectively. Would I need to take up the tiles in the kitchen if I wanted polished concrete throughout? Thanks Beth.

  • Hello

    I’m planning to cast a worktop to use in a patio that will hold a bbq and pizza oven. I.e. it will be used outdoors.

    Will I need a special mix of concrete to get a good finish? Will a densifier be required if used outdoors?

    How thick does it need to be? Will 60mm be thick enough? There will be approx 10 cm overhang from the base that the worktop will sit at.

    What is recommended spacing of rebars and mesh?

    • Hi Martin,

      You do need to use quite a complex mix matrix to produce a good concrete. All of our concrete worktops and tables are cast using our own formula called PROcast which is a mix of specialist cements and graded sands to which you add your choice of stones and water. This product is soon to be available to the general public.

      We would always recommend a densifier, we use a fine blend of nano lithium silicate to increase surface hardness and conversion of any remaining calcium hydroxide.

      60mm is sufficient, rebar would need to be tested to be honest as it depends on the span and loads placed upon them.

  • Phillip

    I’d like to either polish an existing concrete floor or have one put in depending on what is under the carpet in a flat i’ve just bought (a converted factory in east london). however, i’d like to see some examples of poured/finished concrete floors first to choose from. The floor will be set in contrast to an area of floorboards. Do you know of a showroom or other way to see samples of the differing floor qualities and finishes, or is this better advised on during a consultation at the property?

    thanks!

  • Hi, I am going to ask some silly questions now probably but…we have had a new concrete floor laid in what will be our hallway and bathroom, we want to polish it ourselves but I’m not certain we have all the knowledge we need yet. I know we need to put densifiyer on it and then hire a floor grinder. Please could you give me any advice.

    Do we need a sealer and a densifiyer?

    I don’t want to reduce the height of the floor, can this be done?

    Part of the floor is in the shower, will this be waterproof enough?

    Will the colour of the concrete change? At the moment it is quite pale and there are small stones that will be visible which I wasn’t expecting having seen pictures of polished concrete and it was a smooth dark grey.

    Thanks I hope you can help

    • Hi Eva,

      In order to polish a floor correctly you will need a considerable amount of machinery, diamond tooling and chemicals it would be more cost effective to get a professional in.

      But, in answer to your questions.

      You will need a quality sealer and densifier. The floor height will reduce with the grinding/polishing process. The floor would not be recommended in a bathroom without a non-slip coating. Concrete colour varies from region to region, if you have a very light colour it would suggest that your installers have used too much water in the mix, forcing a laitence to form. The dark grey look you may have seen would have been developed by scattering dry shake powder in the surface and then power floated to smooth out.

      We have products that can transform your concrete into the look you are after.

  • I’ve had my concrete floor laid and I was going to have it polished; but after cleaning with hot soapy water, Ive decided I like the look of the patchy and more rustic feel. But what do I do to seal the floor?

  • Hello, At present I’m designing new build levels and have 80mm screed on top of insulation. It sounds like I should forget screed and use this polishing mix to encapsulate UFH pipes. How thick would this need to be? How do you deal with expansion joints in large floors (7m x 12m) when using UFH or are they not necessary?
    Thanks!

  • Can you overlay on givlon screed floors?

  • Hi ,
    Do you wet or dry grind and polish? Just thinking of the mess it might cause my part finished house. I’ve got my heart set on polished concrete.

  • Can screed be polished?

  • What sealer or product do I use to achieve a dust free gloss floor, once laid and dry.

  • Hello. We’ve just moved into a new house. We are extending the kitchen – that will require a new slab. The old kitchen has wood on concrete – but there is about 35 mm of wooden flooring that needs to be removed, so the level will need to be raised. Hopefully the new slab can meet the old. We want the concrete floor to flow all downstairs, but that includes stepping down two feet to a lower level. Can you build polished concrete steps into the concrete floor, or would you have to construct a wooden step down? We’d also like to put concrete in the courtyard garden matching the concrete inside. I’ll send you plans, when I have them. Could you give us an estimate on the basis of seeing the plans (with dimensions).

  • Hi, I wanted to get a polished concrete patio. It is currently concreted but had several cracks and is not levelled. Will it be possible to get equipment into the garden, as there is no side access? Thx

  • How much depth is normally removed during the dry polishing process?

  • How soon after a polished concrete floor is laid can you turn on the under floor heating? Considering having this done during the winter months.

  • Hi I’m looking doing a new build property with underfloor heating. Instead of putting a screed over the pipes and then a top up layer for polishing would I be able to just put the polishing concrete directly on top of heating pipes acting as the screed and floor finish in one ?

  • Hi
    Do you also supply underfloor heating or have a connection with a company that can supply the heating system. Also our new kitchen will have been fitted as the house is a new build . Is this a problem? Thanks
    Claire

  • we’re looking to get an industrial concrete looking floor in our new studio, which is on the top floor, of a grade b, listed sandstone building. Its carpet tiles just now, but I think it may be wooden floor boards underneath. What would the process be if we wanted to install a polished concrete floor, is it possible or can you suggest any other alternatives to achieve this look? thanks =)

  • Hi. I have just had 50 mm screed flo put in on top of underfloor water heating pipes. Can this concrete be polished to get the finished shiny effect? Can you do this for me as a quote ? Regards

    James.

  • Hi. I live in an old factory conversion. The floors are wooden laminate and carpet. I’d like polished concrete . I’m not sure if it’s concrete underneath .lifted the carpet and there is underlay and then some sort of wooden board . Is it likely to be concrete under if it’s an old factory? I’d like to rip that all out and have the concrete floors polished. Thanks

  • Hi there. We are thinking of having a concert floor, mat finish installed around our pool area (Malta) weather is hot in summer and temperatures are usually in the mid 30’s + during July, August and September. Is this type of floor ideal? Would it get too hot to walk on bare footed?
    Thanks in advance.

  • We have underfloor heating which we laid recently. It is poured screed. Can we add polished conrete to that and how much would it be per m?

  • Hello, I have recently bought new build apartment in London. I was thinking of taking up the carpet in the bedroom and polishing the concrete underneath, is this possible and could you do this or is London too far?

  • We have a problem with our concrete floor, we have it installed but it was done in two halves, so has a join and some parts have not been polished. It has a layer of fine topping, coloured oyster white. How do we go about getting it even with no joins and one colour?

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