What are the differences between polished concrete and stained concrete?
Polished and stained concrete are great options for sustainable flooring, but which should you choose? Both are extremely durable, easy to clean and customizable to meet desired looks, but there are a few factors to consider before making a decision.
Many factors play a part in the cost of concrete floors. The size of the area, the floor’s condition and the desired finish can increase the price, making some projects pretty expensive.
Typically, polished concrete will cost $5 to $8 more than stained concrete because of its extensive installation process and the tools used to complete the job. Stained concrete is cheaper because a mixture, or stain, is poured on the concrete’s surface to create its finish, whereas polished concrete uses machines to grind, or polish, the concrete to create its final look. Less time, labor and tools go into stained concrete installations, lowering the price.
Although polished concrete is more expensive, don’t make your decision just yet. Stained concrete has a lower resistance to wear and tear, meaning you’ll have to repair or replace it every few years. Polished concrete can withstand the scuffs and scrapes that stained concrete will show over time. With the proper maintenance, this flooring option lasts longer and may never have to be replaced, making it a better investment in the long run.
Both flooring options are very durable, but you may want to consider where you’re installing your floors before making a decision. Because of polished concrete’s installation process, it’s designed to be highly resistant against heavy foot traffic. This option is perfect for large areas like warehouses, airports and stadiums.
Although stained concrete is still durable, it is more susceptible to scuffs and scratches that can accumulate quickly in heavy foot traffic areas. This cheaper option is great for less active spaces like smaller businesses and offices.
Indoor and outdoor use also plays a role in what type of floor you should install. Although more susceptible to foot traffic, stained concrete has an option for outdoor finishes, making it safe and water-resistant against the weather or for areas around fountains and pools. Polished concrete can get very slippery when wet which can cause safety hazards. It’s best to choose stained concrete for outdoor use and polished concrete for indoor, away from a lot of water exposure.
DURABILITY & LIFESPAN
Although contractors guarantee polished concrete to last 10+ years, with the proper maintenance, these floors can last a lifetime. Stained concrete, however, will need to be repaired or replaced every few years. These floors need to be sealed or waxed once or twice a year to maintain its finish, but the stain will fade over time.
If you want more options to customize your floor, stained concrete is the better choice. With stained concrete, you’re able to choose from many different colors and even customize your own stain for your desired look.
Unfortunately, polished concrete doesn’t have as many options for customization as stained concrete. The level of gloss and shine is in your hands, but colors and finishes are limited.
Both floors are very easy to maintain, but polished concrete will be a little easier and less time-consuming. A broom or dust mop can easily pick up dirt and debris that accumulates daily and its water resistance makes spills a breeze to clean.
Unlike polished concrete, waxing or resealing is needed for stained concrete since the stain is only on the concrete’s surface. Over time, the coating will fade, allowing moisture to damage the floor. Since this type of flooring will need more maintenance than polished concrete, it’s best to consider which floor is a better investment before making a decision.
LET’S COMPARE YOUR FLOORING OPTIONS!
Need help deciding which flooring option is best for your space? Let us help! Contact us for a FREE quote by calling (877) 294-7525.