How to Polish Concrete Floor and How to Clean [Steps By Steps]

Polishing concrete is one of the basic tasks while you are finishing your concrete floor. It makes your floor look like a shiny surface.

polish concrete floor

Polishing is a necessary job for concrete floors, which are meant to be used for domestic purposes and are located indoors. Polishing also allows to achieve better looks in the concrete. Even the finished looks can also made to look like a tiled or stoned floor.

In this article we will be discussing the techniques to polish concrete floor, will provide you a cost estimate on the polishing job and lastly guidelines will be provided to clean the floor stains.

Following steps should be followed while polishing the concrete floor:

Steps to Polish concrete floor

Pre polishing steps

  • Remove the paint from this concrete floor. For that you can use 16 grit blade and straight bar combo tool to remove the paint from the floor.
  • There should be a gap of 1/8 inch or 3 mm between the blade and the floor.
  • If you are using the machine with vacuum functionality, connect your vacuum hose to the vacuum pump, which came with your grinder. This will allow for proper air flow into your dust collection system.
  • Then set the speed to about the halfway point always. Start at a low speed and gradually increase the RPM as required.
  • Adjust the handle to a position that is comfortable for you to operate the machine.

Removing existing paint

  • To start the machine, squeeze the lever on the handle towards you and press the start button. You are now ready to begin grinding (Polished Concrete).
  • Continue grinding until all the paint and contamination is removed and you have reached the desired level of aggregate exposure. You would be seeing small aggregate particles now.

Preparing for Polishing stage

  • After that, you can change over to the 30/40 grit blade.
  • In cases, when we have a bare concrete floor with no paint or coatings to remove, using 30/40 blade is our first step.
  • For best results on the metal grinding stages, run the machine in both north-south and east-west directions.
  • Once the floor has been evenly ground move on to the 70/80 grit
  • With this blade, you can do any cosmetic repairs to the concrete.
  • Remove any loose material and vacuum the floor thoroughly.
  • If you have any holes and cracks on the concrete surface, fill them with a high-quality patching compound.
  • You may need more than one application of patching compound in case of deep holes.
  • When the patching compound is dry remove any excess of it with the same 70/80 grit blade.

Applying densifier

  • Work the densifier into the floor and make sure there are no puddles.
  • The floor should stay looking wet for about five minutes.
  • Allow the densifier to dry a minimum of 60 minutes.
  • Instead of applying densifier in liquid form, another way is to apply it through a sprayer pump.
  • Create a slurry paste over the floor.
  • Allow the slurry paste to harden and remove the residue.
  • You should remove all the haze before moving on to the polishing stages.


  • Now you start with the polishing by starting with a 200-grit blade for best results.
  • Thoroughly refine the floor with the polishing resins. You can use your oscillating tool and one of the polishing resins from your machine to detail the corners.
  • Follow the same process of refining the floor with a 400 800 1500 and 3000 grit blades.
  • Vacuum the floor between each blade change stage.
  • Once the appropriate level of Polish has been achieved thoroughly vacuum the floor.
  • After than you can apply micro fibers for extra shine.
  • You can apply microfiber using specially designed applicator by manufactures or a spray pump. Spray pump can ensure a thin coat.
  • Repeat last step two times to give your polish concrete floor a maximum shine.
  • Buff the floor and allow the floor to dry for a minimum of 60 minutes prior to burnishing.

Concrete Polishing Cost Overview

It is expected to cost you around $3 and $12 per square foot in obtaining a polished concrete surface. Of course, it depends on the locations and the complexity of the project. It also depends on the how may levels of grinding you perform as discussed in the previous section.

The cost of polishing may rise depending on the decorative affects you opt for such as staining or scoring. Following are the standard rates for various types of polishing jobs.

Costs to Polish concrete floor

Simple polishing: $3 to $5 per sq. ft.

  • One layer of stain of a single color.
  • Moderately shined.
  • Minimal preparation for the surface done.

Medium level polish: $5 to $8 per sq. ft.

  • Several layers of stain of two colors.
  • Glossy look.
  • Extensive preparation for the surface done.
  • Simple scoring and designing

Advance level polish: $8 to $12 and up per sq. ft.

  • Multiple color of stain with multiple layers
  • Detailed designs, patterns, etc.
  • May also include hand done staining.
  • Extensive preparation for the surface done.

Cleaning The Stains

Removing an oil stain from concrete is a common problem, especially if you own an older car or you have some oil leaking machine installed on your floor. Similarly, your floor can also be stained from paint if you have whitewashed your home recently.

Costs to Polish concrete floor

There are several methods for removing the stains from the concrete:

  • kitty litter
  • Water displacing sprays
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Drylok Etch.

Kitty litter

  • This is a real basic method.
  • All you do is pour the kitty litter onto the stain.
  • Then mash it well with your body weight.
  • Mash it well over the stain and then you sweep it off the stain.

Water displacing sprays

  • Spray the Water displacing spray onto a little circular section of the stain.
  • Scrub it thoroughly with a stiff wire brush.
  • Keep scrubbing it for several minutes.
  • Apply some kitty litter to absorb Water displacing spray and the stain.
  • Wait for 10-15 minutes.

Trisodium phosphate

  • Take some Trisodium phosphate and pour it over the stain.
  • Scrub it thoroughly with a stiff wire brush.
  • Keep scrubbing it for several minutes.
  • Apply some kitty litter to absorb Trisodium phosphate and the stains.
  • Wait for 10-15 minutes.
  • Scrub the kitty litter from the surface.

Dryolk Etch

  • Applying the dryolk etch is the same process as in the previous three cases.
  • Dryolk will give the best results


In this article we discussed various steps of concrete polishing that involved the pre polishing steps, removing existing paints, preparing for the polishing stage, how we apply the densifier, and finally various steps involved in the polishing.

A brief overview of the cost that you may incur while doing polishing is also given. It depend on the locations and the complexity of the project as well as the amount of polishing and details you desire.

Lastly, several tricks to remove oil and paint stains from your concrete floor are also discussed, which are mostly DIY techniques. Of Couse certain precautions like wearing the gloves and the mask should be followed through the polishing process.