The Different Types of Concrete Finishes

Concrete is a versatile and durable material that can be used in various construction projects such as floors, walls, and countertops. However, the finish of concrete is what separates a mediocre project from an exceptional one. Concrete finishes not only add aesthetic value but also provide functional benefits such as improved slip resistance and durability. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of concrete finishes such as troweled, brushed, polished, and stained finishes. We will discuss the practical steps required to achieve these finishes such as preparing the surface and applying the finish. Lastly, we will answer one of the most frequently asked questions about concrete finishes – Is polished concrete the smoothest finish?

Understanding Concrete Finishes

Concrete finishes have a significant impact on the overall aesthetic appeal of a project. They come in different types, each offering unique visual interest and durability. Understanding these finishes is crucial for selecting the best option for your project. They can also greatly affect the traction and durability of the concrete surface. By knowing the various types of concrete finishes available, you can make informed decisions to achieve the desired outcome.

Significance of Concrete Finishes

Concrete finishes play a vital role in enhancing the overall appearance of a project. The chosen finish can impact the smoothness and texture of the concrete surface. Not only do finishes protect against damage from the elements and wear, but they also make cleaning and maintenance much easier. By selecting the right type of finish, you can significantly increase the lifespan of your concrete project. So, consider the various types of concrete finishes, such as stained concrete or trowel finish, to achieve the desired result.

Concrete Foundations

How Concrete Finishes Enhance Projects

Concrete finishes enhance projects by adding aesthetic appeal and transforming ordinary concrete surfaces into decorative finishes. Different types of concrete finishes, such as stamped, polished, broom, and trowel, offer various visual and traction benefits. They can create the look of natural stone, slate, or even seashells, making the project more visually appealing. Additionally, the choice of concrete finish can make commercial spaces, patios, pool decks, and walkways more durable and attractive. By using the right type of concrete finish, projects can achieve both functionality and visual appeal.

Exploring the Types of Concrete Finishes

When it comes to concrete finishes, there are various options to choose from based on the desired look and function. A troweled finish is smooth and even, perfect for floors. A brushed finish provides traction for walkways and pool decks. A polished finish offers a reflective surface for retail stores and commercial spaces. Lastly, a stained finish adds color and enhances the aesthetic appeal of concrete surfaces. Understanding these finishes is crucial in selecting the best option for your project.

Troweled Finish

Troweled finish is a popular way to achieve a smooth and durable surface of the concrete. It is best suited for concrete flooring in commercial spaces, retail stores, and walkways. This type of concrete finishing creates a flat and even surface, free of imperfections and small pits. To achieve a troweled finish, a trowel is used to smooth the top layer of cement paste. Chemical hardeners can also be applied to enhance the durability of troweled finishes. Adding pigments or epoxy can further enhance the aesthetic appeal of troweled concrete floors.

Brushed Finish

Brushed finishes are a popular way to enhance the surface of the concrete, offering both functional and aesthetic benefits. This type of concrete finish is achieved by broom finishing the wet concrete surface. The process creates small, even grooves that improve traction, making it an excellent choice for patios, pool decks, and walkways. Brushed finishes are durable, easy to maintain, and add visual interest to the concrete floor. Different types of broom finishes, such as coarse, medium, or fine, offer varying levels of traction.

Polished Finish

Polished finishes offer a smooth, reflective surface that is ideal for retail stores and commercial spaces. Achieved by using diamond abrasives to grind the concrete surface, this finish enhances the concrete’s visual appeal, giving it a polished, decorative look. It is not only durable and easy to clean but can also be stained or dyed to achieve the desired aesthetic. With polished finishes, different levels of sheen, ranging from matte to high-gloss, can be achieved.

Stained Finish

Applying chemical stains or dyes to the surface of the concrete creates a stained finish that adds a variety of colors, transforming it into a visually stunning masterpiece. This popular way of concrete finishing allows for endless design possibilities as the colors can be customized to mimic the look of natural stone, granite, limestone, or even pebbles. Stained finishes are not only durable and fade-resistant but can also be used both indoors and outdoors.

Practical Steps to Achieve Concrete Finishes

Preparing the surface of the concrete is the first step towards achieving the desired finish. This involves thorough cleaning, repairing any cracks or damages, and ensuring that the surface is leveled properly. Next, you need to apply the appropriate concrete mix and employ the right finishing techniques based on the type of concrete finish you want to achieve. Tools such as screed, stamps, overlays, or stencils can be used to enhance the surface and create different types of finishes. Finally, sealing the finished concrete surface helps increase its durability, protects against stains, and maintains the desired aesthetic.

Preparing the Surface

To achieve the best concrete finish, proper surface preparation is crucial. Firstly, thoroughly clean the surface of the concrete, removing any dirt, debris, or stains. Next, repair any cracks, imperfections, or small pits to ensure a smooth and even surface. Level the surface, making it ready for the concrete finish. Choose a concrete mix suitable for the desired finish, considering factors like durability, traction, and aesthetic appeal. Adequate surface preparation is essential for the success of your concrete finishing project.

Applying the Finish

Different concrete finishes can be achieved using various techniques. A smooth finish is created by troweling or floating wet concrete. For better traction, a broom finish is achieved by dragging a broom across the surface. The exposed aggregate finish reveals the natural texture of stones and aggregates within the concrete. To mimic brick, stone, or tile, a stamped concrete finish can be achieved using rubber stamps. An acid-stained finish creates a unique variegated color effect by chemically reacting with the concrete using an acid solution.

Is Polished Concrete the Smoothest Finish?

Polished concrete is indeed one of the smoothest finishes available. Achieved through grinding and polishing, it gives the surface a high shine. However, there are other types of finishes to consider, such as stamped, stenciled, exposed aggregate, and brushed concrete. The choice depends on the desired aesthetic and functionality of the concrete surface.


Different types of concrete finishes offer unique aesthetic appeal and functional benefits to your projects. Whether you’re aiming for a smooth and polished look or a more textured and rustic finish, understanding the significance of concrete finishes is vital. By enhancing the appearance and durability of your concrete surfaces, you can elevate the overall quality of your construction projects.

To achieve the desired concrete finish, it’s important to follow practical steps like proper surface preparation and careful application of the finish. If you’re unsure about which type of finish suits your project best or need professional guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team. We are here to provide expert advice and ensure that your concrete finishes meet your expectations.

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