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  • Anthony Zamora

How much does it cost to polish concrete floors?



Short answer:

  • Between $7-$10/sqft for roughly 500sqft of concrete polishing on average in 2023. (*From a proper installer, like us at C*Rock Finishing)


If you're wondering how much it costs to polish concrete floors, at C*Rock Finishing we've got the answers. But first, let's talk about what "polishing concrete floors" actually means. When most people think of concrete, they think of the grayish-beige color that's characteristic of this building material. While some contractors and homeowners choose to leave their concrete in its natural state, which we don't recommend, maybe we're biased, but it needs to be sealed, especially for flooring use. Concrete is like a rock sponge, so if you don't seal it and maintain it, it's going to stain and decay with the wrong type of use. Back to the question at hand though, the short answer, I don't know exactly because all projects are unique, the long answer, well here you go...


Before we get started though, lets set the parameters of the project, and think of it in these terms, all of which can add to cost: no hard timelines (meaning it doesn't need to be done in the next day, which sometimes isn't even possible, or, doesn't need to be night work, etc...), no logistical challenges (such as no easy walkway for large heavy machines, or a room with tons of corners, or 1500sqft but it's all in 200sqft smaller rooms, all details that at time and cost), no added design or use aspects (such as staining or specific sealants for specific types of uses, like oil resistant sealants or something similar), and then there's location (which seems like it might be a logistical issue, but this is the actual location of the project being so remote that the crews doing the project need to stay in the area to keep it logistically practical... This is very common for these types of finishes as experience tradesmen and companies that do this kind of work are few and far between so projects often require crews to stay close by when they're too far from home-base), and lastly, the condition of the concrete itself (such as if it's too weak, it may need a polishable over, or if it's too strong which requires much longer amounts of time to grind and polish.)


For this explanation though, we'll use the example of 500sqft in an easy to access space, with no timeline, no logistical issues, or other-wise necessary challenges to overcome.


Labor

Labor costs will vary depending on the size of your job and the contractor's experience. At C*Rock Finishing we're experienced professionals, and quality tradesman don't come cheap, but we're reasonable of course. That being said, labor, depending on the gig, for 500sqft you'd want at least 2-3 folks on site for roughly 2 days working, maybe 12hrs-16hrs on site. This day and age, January 2023, in California or the Western United States, tradesman usually value their time at roughly $250-$350/day, so, two tradesman for two days would be roughly $1,000 before taxes, which is roughly 25% per employee, so roughly $1,250, So roughly $2.50/sqft in labor alone for the 500sqft example.


  • $2.50/sqft for labor on 500sqft of concrete polishing.


Equipment & Tooling

At C*Rock Finishing we have all the best tooling to accomplish the projects timely and efficiently. You'll also need to purchase or rent the equipment necessary for polishing concrete. The cost of this equipment depends on the size of your project and what type of machine you use. But for the 500sqft example we'd use one 25-30grinder/polisher, which cost roughly $15k, one concrete vacuum with HEPA filtration and roughly 2,500-5,000cfm for that grinder polisher, which cost roughly $5k, so roughly $20k in larger machines on site. Then a smaller set up for 1-2 hand tools and vacuums, roughly $5k. Then about $20k in diamonds and polishing pads as need for the different machines and hand tools. After that, you need transportation for everything so about $30k minimum for a proper truck and trailer, or box truck. All together, roughly $75k in equipment and tooling is on site for any concrete polishing project. Which of course is factored into many jobs over time, most always. Usually a good company, a smart one anyways, will account for roughly 30% of projects on materials and tooling, which is also where labor should be for each project, thus, you can expect to pay about $2.50/sqft on the cost of equipment and tooling of 500sqft of concrete polishing.


  • $2.50/sqft for Equipment and Tooling on 500sqft of concrete polishing


Materials

This is usually the least expensive, and for site under 5000sqft the cost of materials is usually spread across different clients. For roughly 500sqft an installer, like us at C*Rock Finishing, will use roughly $50 at most in the desnsifier and penetrating sealant, and maybe up to $150 in patching materials (on average), so let's say $200 total, for roughly 5% of a projects cost, or about $0.40/sqft. Add-on like masking materials and other things may contribute to a higher total cost of material though of course.


  • $0.40sqft of Materials cost for 500sqft of concrete polishing.

Contractor Pay

We at C*Rock Finishing we totally understand that people want the projects done just for the love of doing them, I'd like that too for some stuff, but "we gotta get paid" as they say. So we charge a roughly 30-40% profit margin on our services, or roughly $1,000-$1,500, per project, as per industry standard. So for roughly 500sqft, we'd be at roughly $2.50/sqft for roughly 500sqft of concrete polishing. Coming out to an, on average charge, of roughly $3,500 for 500sqft of concrete polishing. Remember this is Western US 2023 pricing, things change, sometimes dramatically, where you are and as time goes on.

  • $2-$2.50/sqft of Contractor Cost for 500sqft of concrete polishing.

  • Between $7-$10/sqft for roughly 500sqft of concrete polishing on average in 2023. (*From a proper installer, like us at C*Rock Finishing)

DIY

The amount you'll spend on polishing concrete floors depends on many factors as discussed, but if you decide to do it yourself, you can expect, for this 500sqft example, to spend probably around $1,200 or so and about 20-30hrs of your time doing it as a project for yourself. This is the average we've heard from clients who have brought us in after their go at it. Usually things take much longer not just because of experience but also because machines and tooling for rentals are usually smaller, less powerful, and less reliable. Always fun experience to do something solo though and accomplish stuff, if that's the case and you want to save money, happy to answer any questions you may have if you'd like to email us we'll try and answer as best as possible. email us at customerservice@crockfinish.com.


It depends.

So how much does it cost to polish concrete floors? It depends. As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of factors that will affect the price you pay. In general, it's safe to say that polishing concrete floors is a relatively inexpensive project for homeowners and businesses alike. But depending on your needs, you may be able to find even cheaper or more expensive options than our estimate in this article.


So what do we recommend? Depending on your budget and needs, we recommend learning about what's going to best meet your needs, as in maybe you don't necessarily need concrete polishing and concrete sealing will meet you needs, which is most always more economical.


Conclusion

We hope this article has given you a better idea of the costs involved in polishing concrete floors. While it is certainly can be an expensive process depending on a collection of factors for a project, at C*Rock Finishing we're here to help! Whether it's 500sqft or 50,000sqft, we're here to help! Pricing or otherwise.

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