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Can Concrete Floors Be Refinished: 5 Most Common Concrete Refinishing Methods

Posted on August 18, 2023 by Robert Hamm

Concrete floors have been the top industry choice for various applications. It offers unparalleled durability that can withstand heavy impact from high foot traffic or machinery. It is likely that you only need concrete refinishing to repair the surface without spending thousands of dollars. So what is concrete refinishing, and can concrete floors be refinished?

What is Concrete Refinishing?

Concrete refinishing, or concrete polishing, involves altering the color or renewing surfaces on visible concrete floors, commonly found in certain houses and commercial spaces, especially in warmer regions. This thorough solution for concrete floors is commonly used in office buildings, home garages, and various flooring ventures due to its flexibility and budget-friendliness.

Refinishing concrete offers strong floors with a pleasing look, showcasing vibrant, shiny finishes. Polished concrete is easy to care for and eco-friendly. Renewed concrete floors are not tiring or time-intensive. With rising demand, new equipment and techniques enhance concrete polishing yearly for better processes and conditions.

Can Concrete Floors Be Refinished: Types of Concrete Refinishing Methods

Can concrete floors be refinished? Yes, it can be!

While following a similar process, refinished concrete can have different appearances because of the varying levels of aggregate revealed while polishing. This leads to diverse refinishing methods, encompassing decorative approaches and a range of styles for polished concrete floor finishes.

Decorative Polished Concrete

Decorative concrete is sometimes called architectural concrete. This means it's been treated on the top surface to make it look nice, all while still being an important part of the building. Different things like coloring, stamped designs, acid staining, and putting decorative layers on top are all ways to make concrete look better.

There are a few things to consider when you want to make your concrete look nice, like the kind of concrete you're using, what colors to pick, how much water to use, how to mix things, and special ways to finish it, so it looks great. We have dyes and stains to make the concrete look better and also go well with how the surface is supposed to look.

Bronze Polished Concrete

People call bronze polished concrete the "cream" finish. Instead of grinding the top layer's surface paste, it's polished with diamond pads for a creamy shine. This finish keeps the concrete slab's natural color and texture.

Silver Or Full Aggregate Finish

The strongest polished concrete floor comes from a silver or full aggregate finish. By grinding 1mm to 3mm deep, the larger stones in the concrete emerge after deep grinding. Unlike its name, the full aggregate finish requires polishing and offers a matte appearance.

Gold Or Salt And Pepper Polished Concrete

Gold or salt and pepper finish uses the sands and aggregates under the surface paste to create a unique pattern. After exposing the aggregates and sands, the floor gets polished for a high-gloss finish.

Platinum Polished Concrete Finish

The shiny platinum look is a really popular type of polished concrete finish. Similar to the silver finish, the platinum one needs careful grinding to reveal the pattern in the concrete. The floor is polished to a strong platinum shine when this pattern is visible. This lasts a long time and looks amazing as it reflects light from its glossy surface, creating a majestic glow.

What is a Concrete Resurface?

Resurfacing concrete is different from refinishing concrete.

Concrete resurfacing is like refinishing, but instead of grinding the top layer, they put on a new coating. This fixes bigger problems like cracks and holes and lets you alter the floor's color or texture.

When you hire professionals to resurface your concrete, they usually use epoxy. This improves both the quality and appearance of your concrete. Epoxy coatings offer many personalization ways, giving you various choices for materials and designs.

Choose quick-drying poly aspartic resins, strong and durable polyurea, or urethane resin. Additionally, different coating systems help to bring out maximum productivity on your floors. You can put down vinyl flakes in garages or spread silica sand to make it less slippery!

Concrete Resurface or Refinish: Which is One Should You Choose?

If you want to decide the best method for your concrete floor, it's good to talk to a professional contractor. They can check your floor and suggest what's best. Getting your floors to look great again involves finding a trustworthy contractor.

Refinishing may be the way to go to improve your concrete floor's appearance. It's often a simpler installation, less intensive process. However, resurfacing may be necessary to deal with more significant damage. For businesses and homeowners wanting that iconic epoxy finish, getting a concrete resurface job is your path.

Whether it's resurfacing concrete patios and pool decks or refinishing an older warehouse floor, you have options. Either way, a professional contractor like us at Floor Doctor can help you achieve the results you're looking for.

Why Should You Refinish Your Concrete Floors?

Before you call the demolition team to tear out your old concrete completely, you should consider the benefits of refinishing. Here are four reasons your concrete floors must be refinished rather than replaced.

Cracks Or Other Damage

Regrettably, it's inevitable that your concrete, even if strong, will eventually develop cracks, marks, or other harm. This is how concrete behaves over time. Yet, having cracked or compromised concrete sometimes requires tearing it all out. You can often revitalize your concrete through refinishing, achieving great outcomes!

Floors Need To Be Cleaned

If your concrete floor is in a busy place or you often use a room with concrete flooring, it's good to have a surface that's simple to clean. As deteriorated, aged, and cracked concrete gets older, keeping it clean becomes harder. Just sweeping a shop broom on concrete can gradually erode it. To make cleaning your concrete floor simpler, consider refinishing it! Refinished concrete can also prevent stains and make cleaning up things like motor oil and chemicals easier.

Protection Against Wear And Tear

Resurfacing your concrete floors can protect your flooring from wear and tear and add value to your home. Resurfacing effectively repairs cracked, damaged, or otherwise worn-out concrete, making it look as new as the day it was poured. You can also incorporate your design ideas into the concrete to keep it consistent with the home design, whether modern or more traditional. Non-slip options also make resurfaced concrete a safer option than what you currently have!

How to Prepare a Concrete Floor for Refinishing

Clear The Area

Let's get the most obvious step out of the way first: you can only get started once the floor is cleared of objects. Take this opportunity to do some decluttering!

Clean That Concrete

Once you're faced with nothing more than your floor, the next step is thoroughly cleaning it. You might be shocked at how much dirt, dust, and debris can get caked onto concrete, especially if it's bare, poorly sealed, or worn down. After all, bare concrete is porous, making it easy for small particles to get inside and build up over time.

Concrete refinishing is a complex process that should be left to pros.

The most efficient cleaning method is to power wash the concrete with a degreasing solution. You can also mop and scrub as necessary. Do your best to remove all debris and stains and allow the floor to fully dry before vacuuming any remaining dry particles. If old paint is remaining, you may also need to sand it away and then vacuum the remaining flakes.

Repair All Cracks

Concrete's porous nature makes it highly prone to cracking. This is normal, but you don't want to open cracks before applying polyurea concrete floor coatings. Fill these fractures, holes, and abrasions using the right concrete patch compound. Fully push the material in the apertures via a trowel, allowing everything to dry. Ensure your floor is smooth, even, and level before moving on.


If you plan on refinishing/sealing your floor with polyurea coatings, applying an initial coat of epoxy primer first is a good idea. This first coat will bond to the concrete and help the subsequent coats adhere to the floor better. By priming your floors before painting, you also lower the chances of the concrete absorbing the coating. You want to end up with a strongly-bonded coating that protects above and from within, and priming helps achieve these goals.

Polishing Prep Work

Of course, polyurea coatings aren't always part of the equation for concrete floor refinishing. Concrete polishing is another avenue that's growing in popularity. This process involves grinding the concrete with diamond grinders while applying a concrete densifier to the surface, resulting in a bright, glossy, durable, low-maintenance floor.

We know that concrete refinishing takes a lot of work, especially if you don’t have the necessary equipment, expertise, and enough experience in the field. This is where the professionals like us at Floor Doctor come in. We can refinish your concrete floors and improve the look and security of your property’s floors hassle-free! Please reach out to us today for more details!

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