We recently read an interesting newsletter sent to us by the FUSE Alliance from fellow members Concrete Insite.

Some important points were raised regarding definitions to understand around fresh or new concrete, and in how to finish concrete with concrete polishing. We will discuss these today to help you understand what you need to consider when planning commercial polished concrete flooring.

What is the difference between fresh and new concrete slabs?

The term Fresh Concrete distinguishes the difference between a slab poured recently from a New Concrete slab which could have been poured anytime.

When speaking with the architect or contractor, you can ask them about how polishing the concrete early on (14+ days) in the schedule can save money on the project.

This is because if you are given a “Fresh” concrete floor slab, and no walls have been erected, you can reduce the time spent on edges, maneuvering in and out of spaces, increasing productivity. This also has a positive knock on effect on other trades working on site.  Polishing concrete early can be done as long as the concrete was cured.


Can all concrete be Polished?

Most concrete can be polished and sometimes customers want to see a sample of how a floor will look when polished. A good way to demonstrate this is to create a polished section on the existing concrete at around 10’ x 10’ in size.

As grinders are typically 6′ in length, having a 10 x 10 space allows enough room to maneuver the equipment.

Another benefit of choosing this size area to polish is that it allows enough area to show the variations in aggregate showing through, color, and imperfections in the finished surface. It also allows the customer to see what shine is best suited for the space.

Concrete is a natural product with lots of character so it is important that the customer understands and accepts that and likes the final aesthetic.

With that being said, here are some of the reasons that concrete should not be polished.


  • When the slab is intensely saturated with liquid
  • When the concrete is soft and crumbles
  • When steel fibers are in the concrete
  • When the slab has rebar near the surface



If you would like more information on Garmon & Company, our services, or what expertise we have in your industry, please get in touch with our friendly team.