RESOURCES Choosing the right finish for your polished concrete floors

Home/Concrete Flooring/Choosing the right finish for your polished concrete floors

Have you been considering polished concrete for your floors but want to know what different looks are available? Polished concrete is a low-maintenance, luxurious-looking flooring material perfect for commercial spaces. Whether you choose glossy, shiny, or matte, your floors will have that professional touch that only polished concrete can create. 

What are polished concrete floors?

Polished concrete floors are achieved through grinding and polishing concrete to the desired finish. Special abrasive grinding tools are used to remove layers of concrete, smoothing out any scratches or other indents in the concrete, before finer grinders are used to create a matte, semi-gloss, or high-gloss finish. 

Other options include staining the concrete a certain colour or making the aggregate (small particles of stone and sand) more or less visible. Polished concrete is definitely the deluxe option of all concrete floors, but if you’re looking for something more affordable, you might consider grind and seal. 
Grind and seal concrete can help you achieve a similar look to polished concrete, but there are some key differences. We explore the differences and compare the different applications in this article,  grind and seal vs polished concrete.

Types of polished concrete floor finishes

A range of polished concrete floor finishes is available for you to choose from. The right one for you will match the practical needs and style of your commercial space. Here are the most popular polished concrete floor finish options:

Aggregate exposure levels

Aggregate exposure levels refer to the degree to which you can see the particles within the concrete – such as rocks and sand. 

Nil exposure finish

Of all the polished concrete floor finishes, a nil exposure finish will show no aggregate patterning and will have a matte finish. A nil exposure finish gives your floors an attractive uniform tone and luxurious surface.   

Minimal exposure finish

A minimal exposure finish can be achieved by applying a light grind to the surface of the concrete. It is often called “salt and pepper finish” because it resembles confetti-like stones throughout the flooring. The minimal finish is a good halfway point between nil exposure and full exposure, adding textural interest to your floors. 

Full-exposure finish 

Heavier grinding on the surface of the concrete creates a full-exposure finish, in which all the stones and texture can be seen in the concrete. This full-exposure finish makes for a striking statement floor, perfect for commercial spaces that are bold, design-forward or a little industrial. 

Gloss levels

Gloss levels simply refer to how reflective the floor surface is. Have you considered how glossy you want your floor to be? There are three options; three levels of polished concrete. 

Matte finish

A matte finish will hide any faults in your floor. Also, dirt is not so visible. There is no reflection on a matte finish polished concrete floor.  

Semi-gloss finish

Semi-gloss finishes offer a good amount of sheen but are easier to maintain as they won’t show dirt as much as a high gloss finish. 

High gloss finish

Choose a high gloss finish for a high-end look to your commercial space for that opulent feel. High gloss makes dirt more evident, so it must be cleaned regularly. 

Why are polished concrete floors so popular?

Polished concrete floors are extremely versatile and appropriate for many kinds of commercial spaces, such as warehouses, restaurants, retail showrooms, medical facilities, and office buildings. Some of their advantages are listed below.


As nothing can permeate through sealed polished concrete floors, they are very hygienic as there is nowhere for bacteria to hide or grow. 

Low maintenance

It’s easy to keep your polished concrete floors in great condition through regular cleaning with warm soapy water. Clean up spills quickly for best results. 

Low VOC rating

Breathing in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is not optimal for health and safety, but luckily polished concrete floors have a low VOC rating. 

Stylish appearance

Many polished concrete floor finishes give an opulent and luxurious appearance, providing that clean, open, and reflective surface so characteristic of commercial spaces. 

Quick installation

As often polished concrete floors are created from an existing subfloor rather than installing a new floor, you can save installation time by using this process. 


Concrete floors tend to last long, and certain finishes are highly durable, even under heavy foot traffic. 


Despite their sometimes very shiny appearance, polished concrete floors have a non-slip surface, making them safer for commercial use. 

Free of allergens

Allergens do not collect much on concrete floors compared to other floorings such as carpets. Polished concrete floors are hypoallergenic. 

Choose your polished concrete finish with Floorcon

At Floorcon, we have many options for polished concrete floors. We are happy to discuss them with you and help you choose the right option for your project. We have all the relevant expertise in installing polished concrete. Got questions? Why not get in contact today?

Floorcon news & resources

Learn more about commercial flooring

New to the world of flooring products? Our news and resource page is full of valuable resources on the latest flooring products and installation trends. Dive in and learn something new today.

Project partners

Who we work with

As a commercial flooring company, we’ve collaborated with the building industry’s leading players to deliver outstanding results. Our seamless integration with other teams ensures some of the largest building projects in the state continue to stay on track and on budget.