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Exploring the Cost Factors of Concrete Floors: How Much Should You Budget?

concrete floor

Are you considering installing polished concrete floors in your home or business? One of the most important factors to consider is cost. The cost of polished concrete floors in the UK can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the area to be covered, whether underfloor heating is required, and waste removal costs. Additionally, the cost may also depend on the type of screed used, such as cement screed or anhydrite screed, and whether sanding is required to achieve a smooth surface. It’s also important to note that the cost may vary depending on the condition of the existing slab.

Polished concrete floors, which are known for their durability and low maintenance requirements, remain a popular flooring choice. However, it’s crucial to get a quote from a professional contractor to determine the exact cost. Supply costs for polished concrete floor installation can also affect overall expenses. It’s worth noting that cement screed, underfloor heating, sanding, and natural stone are some factors that may impact the final cost.

So if you’re wondering about flooring cost for cement screed or tiles, and whether concrete floors with underfloor heating are expensive in the UK, read on!

Is Polished Concrete Flooring Worth It? Weighing the Pros and Cons

If you’re considering a durable and low-maintenance flooring option, polished concrete may be worth exploring. However, before deciding, it’s crucial to consider the pros and cons of this type of flooring, as well as alternatives like cement screed, tiles, and underfloor heating. Additionally, it’s important to note that polished concrete is typically applied to an existing slab, so installation may require additional preparation.

The Pros of Polished Concrete Flooring


slabs of concrete tied together Polished concrete, cement screed, and tiles are some of the most durable flooring options available. They can withstand heavy foot traffic, machinery, and even vehicles without showing signs of wear or damage. Additionally, polished concrete and cement screed can be used in conjunction with underfloor heating for added comfort. Slab installation is also possible for large areas.

Low Maintenance

Once installed, polished concrete or cement screed floor covering requires minimal maintenance. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping are enough to keep the new floor clean and shiny. Tiles can’t beat the durability of polished concrete or cement screed floor covering.


Polished concrete can be a great option for a new floor covering in your house. The slab can be customised to suit your style preferences with various colours, patterns, textures, and finishes to create a unique look that complements your home or business.


Concrete is an environmentally friendly material because it doesn’t require any trees or other natural resources to produce. Polished concrete floors don’t need harsh chemicals for cleaning or maintenance. If you’re planning to build a house, consider using a concrete slab for the foundation – it’s a great job that will last for years. Image credit: Pexels.

The Cons of Polished Concrete Flooring


While durability is a significant advantage of polished concrete floors for house flooring jobs, their hardness can also be a disadvantage. They may not be suitable for people who prefer softer surfaces underfoot or those with joint problems. The price of the slab may vary depending on the size of the job.


Concrete slab has low thermal conductivity which means that it doesn’t retain heat well. As a result, polished concrete floors can feel cold underfoot during winter months unless they are coupled with radiant heating systems. The job of installing radiant heating systems can increase the price per sqm for polished concrete floors.


Polishing concrete floors is not cheap as it requires specialised equipment and expertise to achieve the desired results. If additional treatments or coatings are needed such as staining or sealing, the price will add up to the cost.

Comparing Prices and Quality of Polished Concrete Flooring Products

If you’re looking for a cost-effective flooring option, polished concrete floors are worth considering. They offer a sleek and modern look that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of any space. However, before you decide to install polished concrete flooring in your home or business, it’s important to understand the pricing differences between different types of concrete products. The price per sqm can vary depending on the type of concrete used.

Polished Concrete Floors are a Cost-Effective Option Compared to Other Flooring Materials

One of the main advantages of polished concrete floors is their cost-effectiveness. When compared to other flooring materials like hardwood or tile, polished concrete floors are significantly cheaper in price per square metre. They require less maintenance over time than other types of flooring materials, which can save you money in the long run.

The Price of Concrete Tiles Varies Depending on Quality and Thickness

British pounds on table When considering concrete tiles as an option for your new floor covering, keep in mind that prices vary depending on the quality and thickness of the tile. Higher-end tiles will typically be more expensive but may also come with additional benefits such as increased durability or resistance to stains. Additionally, the cost per sqm can be affected by the level of polish you choose for your tiles.

Concrete Polishing Can Enhance Durability and Longevity

Concrete polishing is an essential step in creating a high-quality polished concrete surface. This process involves using specialised equipment to grind down the surface layer of the concrete until it becomes smooth and shiny. Polishing not only enhances the appearance of your floor but also improves its durability by making it more resistant to wear and tear.

Consider Overall Cost Including Installation and Maintenance

When comparing prices and quality between different types of polished concrete flooring products, it’s important to consider not just the cost per square foot but also factors such as installation costs and ongoing maintenance expenses. While some types of polished concrete may be cheaper initially, they may require more frequent maintenance which could end up costing you more money over time. It’s essential to calculate the cost per sqm to have a better understanding of the expenses involved in installing and maintaining polished concrete flooring.

Understanding the Different Types of Polished Concrete Floors

Polished concrete floors have become a popular flooring option in recent years due to their durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. The polishing process involves grinding the surface with progressively finer diamond abrasives until it becomes smooth and shiny. There are different types of polished concrete floors available, each with its own unique characteristics and advantages.

Cream Polished Concrete Floors

Cream polished concrete floors are the most common type of polished concrete floor. They feature a smooth surface that is free from any visible aggregate or stones. This type of polished concrete floor is achieved by grinding down the surface layer of the concrete until it becomes smooth and uniform in colour. Cream polished concrete floors offer a sleek and modern look that is perfect for commercial spaces such as retail stores, restaurants, and offices.

Salt and Pepper Polished Concrete Floors

Salt and pepper polished concrete floors are another popular option for those looking for a more textured finish. These floors feature small aggregate particles that are visible on the surface, giving them a speckled appearance similar to salt and pepper. Salt and pepper polished concrete floors are achieved by grinding down the surface layer of the concrete just enough to expose some of the aggregate while still maintaining a smooth finish overall. This type of polished floor is ideal for high traffic areas such as warehouses or industrial spaces where slip resistance is important.

Exposed Aggregate Polished Concrete Floors

silver and golden coins and falling coins on wooden wallExposed aggregate polished concrete floors provide an even more textured finish than salt and pepper finishes. These floors feature large pieces of aggregate that are visible on the surface, giving them a rougher texture than other types of polished concrete flooring options. Exposed aggregate finishes can be achieved by either removing part or all of the top layer of cement paste from freshly poured or existing slabs using chemical retarders or abrasive blasting methods respectively.

The choice between these three types depends on factors like desired level shine, amount of visible aggregates on the surface, and the intended use of the space. Other factors to consider when choosing a polished concrete floor include budget, maintenance requirements, and overall design aesthetic.

Polished concrete floors can be used in a variety of settings, including residential, commercial, and industrial spaces. They offer numerous benefits over other flooring options such as hardwood or carpeting. Polished concrete floors are:

  • Durable: Polished concrete floors can withstand heavy foot traffic and are resistant to scratches and stains.
  • Low Maintenance: Unlike other flooring options that require regular cleaning and upkeep, polished concrete floors only need occasional sweeping or mopping.
  • Eco-Friendly: Polished concrete floors do not require any additional materials for installation since they are made from existing slabs of concrete.

Cost-effective: Compared to other flooring options like hardwood or tile, polished concrete floors are relatively inexpensive.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Polished Concrete Flooring: FAQs and Cost Breakdowns

If you’re considering polished concrete flooring for your home or business, one of the first questions you might have is how much it will cost. The answer to that question depends on several factors, including the size of the area, the condition of the existing floor, and the level of customisation required.

Factors Affecting the Cost

Size of Area

The size of the area to be covered with polished concrete flooring is one of the most significant factors affecting cost. Larger areas require more materials and labour, which can drive up costs. Smaller areas may require more detailed work that can also increase costs.

Condition of Existing Floor

The condition of your existing concrete surface, concrete slab, poured concrete, or concrete tiles will also affect the cost. If your floor is in good condition and only requires minor repairs or cleaning before polishing, this will be less expensive than if it needs extensive repairs or levelling.

Level of Customisation Required

The level of customization required for your polished concrete flooring project will also impact overall costs. For example, if you want a specific colour or design added to your floor, this will require additional materials and labour.

Material Costs

Material costs are another important factor to consider when determining overall costs for polished concrete flooring. 

These typically include:

Concrete Mix

The type and quality of concrete mix used for your floor covering project will affect material costs. Higher-quality mixes may be more expensive but can lead to better polish results.


Sealant is necessary to protect your polished concrete flooring from damage over time. The type and quality of sealant used can impact material costs.

Decorative Elements

If you want decorative elements added to your polished concrete flooring project, such as patterns or designs, these will add additional material costs.

Overall Cost Breakdown

On average, polished concrete flooring in the UK can cost between £80 and £120 per square metre. However, this is just an average cost and can vary widely depending on the complexity of the project and the level of expertise required to complete it.

Preparation Costs

Before your polished concrete flooring can be installed, there may be preparation costs involved. These can include removing existing flooring, levelling the subfloor, or repairing any damage.

Customization Costs

If you want a customised polished concrete floor with specific designs or colours, this will add additional costs to your project.

Labour Costs

Labour costs are another significant portion of overall costs for polished concrete flooring. The level of expertise required for your project will impact labour costs, as well as the size and complexity of the area being covered.

When considering polished concrete flooring for your home or business, it’s essential to understand all factors that affect cost. While it may seem expensive upfront, polished concrete flooring is durable and long-lasting, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run. By understanding material costs and other factors affecting overall cost breakdowns, you can make an informed decision about whether polished concrete flooring is right for you.

Choosing a Poured Concrete Floor: Factors Affecting the Cost of Pouring and Polishing

concrete being laid out If you’re considering installing a concrete floor in your home or business, one of the first questions you might have is how much it will cost. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of the project, whether or not you choose to polish the floor, and what type of concrete you use.

Size and Complexity

The most significant factor that affects the cost of a poured concrete floor is the size and complexity of the project. Generally speaking, larger floors will cost more than smaller ones because they require more materials and labour. If your floor has an irregular shape or requires intricate designs or patterns, this will also add to the overall cost.

For example, if you want to install a 1,000 square foot concrete slab in a simple rectangular shape with no special design features and floor covering, you can expect to pay around £4-£8 per square foot. However, if your project involves curves or angles or requires decorative elements like staining or engraving for the floor covering, this could increase the price to £15-£30 per square foot. Remember that these are rough estimates and it’s important to get in touch with a supplier to find out exact costs. 


Polishing a concrete floor can add to its cost but also adds durability and longevity. The polishing process involves using progressively finer grits of diamond abrasives until achieving a glossy finish.

The additional costs for laying polished concrete floors include:

  • Grinding – This process is necessary for poured concrete surfaces, including concrete slabs and concrete tiles, before polishing can begin as it removes any blemishes from surface pores. It is also important to consider polished concrete floors cost when planning your project.
  • Staining – This adds colour variation within polished surfaces.
  • Sealing – This protects against stains caused by spills.
  • Waxing – This helps maintain shine over time.

Polished concrete floors are more expensive than non-polished concrete surfaces due to their high-quality finish that lasts longer without requiring frequent maintenance. This is because concrete polishing enhances the natural beauty of the poured concrete slab, making it more durable and resistant to wear and tear.

Cement Screed

Cement screed is an alternative option for those who are budget-conscious. Cement screed is a thin layer of cement that can be poured over an existing concrete floor to create a new surface.

While this option may not be as durable as a poured concrete floor, it is still a cost-effective solution for those who want the look of concrete without the expense. The cost of cement screed ranges from £10-£15 per square foot.

Choosing a Reputable Contractor

Choosing a reputable contractor is crucial to ensuring that your project stays within budget and is completed to a high standard. Look for contractors with experience in pouring and polishing concrete floors, and ask for references or examples of their work.

A reputable contractor will provide you with an accurate estimate of the cost for your concrete slab project based on your specific poured concrete requirements. They will also be transparent about any additional costs associated with the concrete polishing installation process, so you don’t get any surprises later on.

The Grind and Seal vs Diamond Polished Concrete Process: Which One is Better?

There are two popular processes for achieving a polished finish – the grind and seal process and the diamond polished concrete process. Both methods involve using diamond abrasives to refine the surface of the concrete, but they differ in terms of their cost-effectiveness, durability, and suitability for different types of surfaces.

Grind and Seal Process

The grind and seal process involves grinding the surface of the concrete with diamond grits of varying sizes to achieve a smooth finish. Once the grinding is complete, a protective coating is applied to seal the surface. This process is suitable for concrete slabs and offers a cost-effective way to achieve a polished finish.

One advantage of this method is that it can be completed quickly, making it an ideal option for projects that have tight deadlines. Because it requires fewer steps than diamond polishing, it can be less expensive, resulting in lower polished concrete floors cost.

However, one downside to this method is that it may not be as durable as diamond-polished floors. The protective coating used in this process can wear off over time or peel away if exposed to extreme temperatures or chemicals.

Diamond Polished Concrete Process

The diamond polished concrete process involves multiple steps of refinement using progressively finer grits of diamond abrasives until a high-gloss finish is achieved. This method can be used on cement, sanding, mastic asphalt screed, screed surfaces.

One advantage of this method is its durability. Because no protective coating is required after polishing with diamonds up to 3000-grit level (although some use densifiers), these floors are highly resistant to wear and tear from foot traffic or heavy machinery.

Another benefit of this method is its versatility; it can create many different finishes depending on how far you take your refinement stages—matte finish at 200-grit level up until super high gloss at 3000-grit level with a densifier. Additionally, polished concrete floors cost can vary depending on the level of refinement.

However, one downside to this method is that it can be more expensive than the grind and seal process. This is because it requires more steps and time to achieve the desired finish.

Which One is Better?

The answer depends on your specific needs and budget. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to achieve a polished concrete floor quickly, then the grind and seal process may be the best option for you. However, if you’re looking for a durable and long-lasting finish that can withstand heavy foot traffic or machinery, then diamond polishing may be the better choice.

It’s also important to consider the type of surface you want to polish. The grind and seal process is suitable for concrete slabs, while diamond polishing can be used on cement, sanding, mastic asphalt screed, screed surfaces.

When making your decision between these two processes, it’s essential to weigh the costs against their benefits carefully. While diamond polishing may be more expensive upfront, its durability could save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance costs over time.

How to Find and Hire a Professional to Install Polished Concrete Flooring: Ensuring Quality Workmanship and Labour Fees

In conclusion, polished concrete flooring is a great investment for your home or business. It offers durability, low maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. When looking for a professional to install polished concrete flooring, it’s important to consider their experience and qualifications. Comparing prices and quality of products can help you make an informed decision. Understanding the different types of polished concrete floors and factors affecting the cost can also help you budget accordingly.

To ensure that you get the best value for your money, choose a poured concrete floor based on your needs and preferences. The grind and seal vs diamond polished concrete process is dependent on your specific requirements; both have their pros and cons.

Overall, investing in polished concrete flooring is worth it as long as you find a reputable professional who can provide quality workmanship at reasonable labour fees.


The installation time varies depending on factors such as the size of the area, type of subflooring, and complexity of the design. However, most installations take about 5-7 days from start to finish.

Yes, there are many customization options available for polished concrete floors including colour dyes, stains, aggregates such as glass or quartz chips, stencilled designs or logos.

No more than other hard surfaces such as tile or marble. However adding an anti-slip coating can be applied if desired.

Polished Concrete requires minimal maintenance with regular sweeping/vacuuming & damp mopping when necessary using pH neutral cleaner.

With proper care and maintenance, a polished concrete floor can last for decades.

Yes, polished concrete can be used for outdoor areas such as patios or pool decks. However it is important to ensure the proper sealer is applied to protect against weathering.

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