Grind and Seal vs. Polished Concrete – Which Flooring Option is Right for Your Project?

The concrete flooring trend continues to grow with a new option called grind and seal. To the untrained eye, this system may look like a polished floor but it has unique performance benefits.

Polishing a concrete slab involves the mechanical process of grinding the surface with industrial diamonds on engineered floor grinders. This produces a high sheen level of 1-4 from matte to high gloss.


Grind and Seal is a great option for those seeking the aesthetic of polished concrete but with budget and time constraints. This process involves grinding the existing floor then sealing it with a topical sealer such as polyurethane or epoxy. This gives the concrete a matte, satin, or gloss finish.

The high-performance sealer used on grind and sealed floors protects the concrete from abrasion, chemical spills, and moisture. This provides abrasion and stain resistance, ultimately extending the life of the concrete floor and reducing maintenance requirements.

Unlike polished concrete, the surface of grind and sealed concrete is not as smooth, so it may show more scratches over time. However, these scratches can be easily buffed out to restore the floor’s appearance.

One of the most common mistakes people make is believing that because a floor is sealed it will be as durable as a polished concrete floor. While it is true that a well-maintained concrete floor has excellent durability, it is also true that a non-polished floor can be very durable as well.

With a properly maintained concrete floor, both options can withstand heavy traffic and wear and tear. However, to make an informed decision tailored to your needs, it’s crucial to discuss your plans with a contractor.

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A concrete grind and seal is a process where the concrete floor is ground down to expose as much or as little stone as desired (some like to see very little, it is a personal preference). After the grinding, the surface of the concrete is then coated with a topical concrete coating. This is commonly an epoxy or polyurethane.

The coating is typically colored, which allows for a wide variety of color options and gives the flooring a more finished look than plain polished concrete. It also adds abrasion, chemical and stain resistance to the flooring. It also eliminates dusting, and it is a moisture resistant system.

Grind and seal is a great choice for floors in areas where durability, cost, and ease of maintenance are critical. This includes warehouses, manufacturing facilities, retail spaces, restaurants, airports, and many other high traffic areas.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a grind and seal vs polished concrete floor because they can appear almost identical. However, upon closer inspection it is clear that they are two different processes. Polished concrete gets its finish from mechanically grinding the surface using finer and finer grits of diamond abrasives to achieve the level of shine required. In contrast, grind and seal derives its finish from a topical sealer. This makes it a more consistent option if you are looking to have matching concrete floors in multiple spaces. For professional concrete flooring solutions.


Polished concrete is an increasingly popular flooring option for commercial projects, especially those seeking a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic. It is achieved through the mechanical action of engineered floor grinders using industrial diamonds to progressively refine the concrete surface. The resulting finish can range from a dull matte to a high sheen that is highly reflective and visually appealing.

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However, polished floors require a significant upfront investment and will need to be re-polished every 2-5 years. They also do not provide a soft and cushioned feel underfoot, which can be uncomfortable for those that spend a lot of time on their feet. Additionally, because polished concrete surfaces do not have a coating, they can be more sensitive to moisture intrusion than sealed concrete floors.

Grind and Seal is a more cost-effective alternative to polished concrete that involves grinding the existing concrete surface and applying a protective topical sealer. It allows clients to see some or all of the aggregate on their floor and is ideal for older or damaged concrete.

With the correct sealer, a grind and seal floor can be stain-resistant and have great durability against abrasions and penetration of liquids. However, a quality sealer is important because low-grade products can deteriorate or yellow over time, leaving unsightly marks and spots on the concrete.


Grind and seal is a less costly option than polished concrete because it requires fewer grinding steps. This makes it a good choice for spaces that will require a fast and cost-effective flooring solution, such as a residential garage.

Both options can be stained in a variety of colors to enhance the look of the floor. However, a grind and seal floor will not have the same shine as a polished concrete floor.

If a space will have a lot of foot traffic, then a polished concrete floor is a great option because it has a high-end appearance that will hold up well to frequent use. Polished concrete is also water-resistant and resistant to chemical, oil, and slip-and-fall accidents.

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A grind and seal floor is water-resistant because it has a coat of a high-performance sealant that blocks the pores in the concrete. Over time, this sealant may degrade and start to allow water in, but it is easy to replace the coating when necessary. The key is to find a contractor like Statewide Epoxy ( that uses a premium quality sealant and will perform regular maintenance on the surface to ensure it stays watertight. In addition, a grind and seal floor is not as slippery as a polished concrete floor, which will help reduce the number of people who visit the emergency room each year after a slip-and-fall accident.

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