11 Different Types of Concrete Finishes

Different Types of Concrete Finishes
Photo by Joel Filipe

If you’re looking to spruce up your concrete surface, there are many ways to finish it and make it look fresh. There are several reasons why people choose to spend their concrete, including both aesthetics and functionality. 

We’ll help you learn more about the various types of concrete finishes and decide which one will be right for your project. Here are the most common different types of concrete finishes

What Is Concrete Finishing?

Concrete finishing is adding a smooth, consistent surface to concrete. Many different types of concrete finishes can be achieved. This ranges from soft and glossy to textured and rustic.

The type of finish you choose will depend on the look you’re going for and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to do. Here’s a quick guide to the different types of concrete finishes that are popular.

Different Types of Concrete Finishes

Floating or Troweling

You can achieve different looks for your concrete by floating or troweling the surface. Troweling gives concrete a smooth, hard finish while floating leaves it with a more natural look. 

However, this is not the only difference between these two methods. Floated concrete requires you to wait until it’s dry before adding sealant or top coatings on top of it, as they will cause patches and streaks in the finished product. Troweled surfaces are ready to be sealed and painted immediately after they have been poured.

Concrete Powder Coating

This is among the different types of concrete finishes that are new for concrete. This Finish is created by spraying a dry powder onto the concrete and curing it with heat.

Powder coating is available in many colors, which can be combined to create exciting patterns and designs.

This Finish is also very durable and easy to maintain. Powder coating offers excellent protection against salt, acid rain, and other harsh elements that will wear away at the surface of your garage floor.

Concrete Staining

Staining concrete is a great way to give your space a unique look. There are two types of stains you can use: acid-based and water-based. Acid-based colors react with the concrete to create a one-of-a-kind, mottled look. 

Water-based stains are applied like paint and come in a variety of colors. They do not react with the concrete as much as acid-based stains, so cleaning them up is easier if they spill or get on clothes. This may be a better option for you if you have pets or children.

Reclaimed Wood Floors

Reclaimed woods are different Types of Concrete Finishes that come in various colors and textures so that you can find the perfect look for your home. Here is how to get it done.

Prep your floor. Once you’ve chosen your wood, it’s time to prep your foot by sanding and sealing it. This will help protect your investment and ensure a long-lasting finish.

Apply a base coat. A base coat of paint or stain will help bring out the beauty of the wood and prepare it for the topcoat. Finally, add a topcoat.

Patina Concrete

Achieving a patina finish on concrete is all about timing. The surface must be hard enough to hold an impression but soft enough to take a beating.

This type of finish is created using a stiff-bristled brush to work the material into all the nooks and crannies. 

The key is to be patient and let the concrete do most of the work. Wait until the surface is dry before moving onto another area. Remember that this type of Finish takes time – so don’t expect a result immediately!

To achieve a truly natural look, sandblast or acid etches your concrete before staining it with oxidizing agents. Agents such as ferric chloride or ammonium chloride create different colors and textures on the surface.

Polished Surface Concrete Finishes

A polished surface concrete finish is achieved by grinding the concrete with progressively finer abrasives until it reaches a desired level of shine.

This is among the Different Types of Concrete Finishes typically used on interior floors because it provides a low-maintenance surface that doesn’t show dirt and other debris.

Plus, it’s easy to clean and can resist staining. On the downside, this type of surface cannot be repaired easily if scratched or cracked.

Swirl Concrete Finishes

A swirl concrete finish is created by using a trowel to create a marbled look on the surface of your concrete. This type of Finish is best suited for indoor spaces because it can be slippery when wet.

To get this look, start with a base coat of light-colored paint. Once the paint is dry, use dark-colored paint to create swirls on top. 

You can add glitter or other accents to give your concrete a unique look. Dry brush finishes are another way to make concrete less slippery and provide an organic appearance.

Among the different types of concrete finishes, this is best used indoors because they will show dirt quicker and are not as durable outdoors. 

Start with a base coat of light-colored paint, and once it dries, use a stiff-bristled brush to apply strokes in different directions over the entire surface, but only in one order on any given stroke.

Apply enough pressure to lift some of the previous layers and ensure enough overlap between strokes so that you do not see any white through your bristles. The application should have no pattern; mix things up!

Acid Etching Concrete Finishes

A concrete etching acid creates a matte finish on smooth surfaces. It’s perfect for those who want a low-maintenance option that still looks great. The downside is that it can be slippery when wet. 

Blended Finish

Blended Finish For some people, nothing beats an old-fashioned texture from hand tools like hammers and chisels! There are two types: natural, which leaves textures caused by hammer marks, and etched, which creates a grooved surface with chisel marks left behind.

Salt Finish

A salt finish is achieved by adding salt to the wet concrete before dries. As the salt dissolves, it creates a pitted surface.

This is one of the Different Types of Concrete Finishes that are best for driveways, sidewalks, and other high-traffic areas where a non-slip surface is desired.

A salt finish is also easy to maintain – sweep or hose off any dirt or debris. It can be applied to a new driveway and over an existing one that has been sealed with a topcoat. With proper maintenance, this type of surface will last up to 15 years before needing another coating.

Broom Concrete Finishes

A broom concrete finish is achieved by using a broom to texturize the surface of wet concrete. This type of Finish is commonly used on sidewalks and driveways. The broom finish provides a non-slip surface and can be customized with different colors. 

When applying a broom finish, one should use an old push broom that is usually made of metal or nylon. It’s best to use paintbrushes or roller brushes for other finishes.


There are Different Types of Concrete Finishes. Each with its unique look and feel. You can use an acid stain, which reacts with the concrete to create a mottled, natural-looking finish. 

For a more polished look, try a concrete sealer. And for something different, consider stamped concrete. No matter what finish you choose, work with a professional to get the best results.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Concretes Have a Smooth Finish?

A smooth concrete finish is achieved using a trowel to spread and level the wet concrete evenly. This type of Finish is typically used for sidewalks, driveways, and patios.

What Are the Three Types of Concrete Coloring Methods?

One way to add color to concrete is by using integral pigments, which are added to the wet concrete mix and distributed evenly throughout the batch. Another method is dry-shake color hardeners, which are applied to the surface of freshly placed concrete and troweled in. Finally, stains create a variegated, natural look on new and old concrete surfaces.

What Is the Most Durable Concrete Finish?

A smooth finish is the most durable concrete Finish. It’s also the easiest to clean, which is why it’s often used in high-traffic areas. A textured finish is more slip-resistant, making it a good choice for pool decks and other outdoor areas. A brushed finish has a subtle texture that can add interest to a space without being too busy.

What Do You Mean by Finish of Concrete?

The Finish of concrete refers to the surface’s smoothness and/or texture. A good finish will make your concrete look great and last longer. There are many different types of finishes to choose from, so we’ve put together a guide to help you pick the right one for your project.

What Is a Swirl Concrete Finishes?

A swirl concrete finish is achieved by using a trowel to create a spiral pattern in the wet concrete. The spiral’s size and depth will determine the Finish’s overall look. Use a smaller trowel or create shallower spirals for a more subtle look. For a bolder look, use a larger trowel or create deeper spirals. You can also vary the direction of the waves for a stimulating effect.

What Is the Colouration of Concrete?

A coloration of concrete is a layer of concrete dyed a specific color. This can be done during the manufacturing process, or it can be added afterward. There are many benefits to adding coloration to concrete, including the ability to match the concrete to your home or business’s exterior or to create a unique look that will make your property stand out. There are also some drawbacks, such as the potential for the color to fade over time or bleed into other areas if not applied correctly. If you’re considering adding coloration to your concrete, be sure to do your research and talk to a professional before making any decisions.

Is Trowel Finish Concrete Slippery?

A trowel finish is created by using a trowel to smooth out the surface of wet concrete. It’s a common choice for both indoor and outdoor projects because it’s slip-resistant and can be easily customized with color or stamps. Plus, it’s low-maintenance and durable. However, trowel finish concrete can be slippery when wet, so be sure to choose a non-slip variety for your project.

What Is a California Finish on Concrete?

A California finish on concrete is a smooth, broom-finished surface. This type of finish is achieved using a steel trowel to create a consistent, level surface. The trowel is then drawn across the surface of the wet concrete in long, sweeping strokes. This type of Finish is commonly used on driveways, patios, and sidewalks. A variant called the slurry or high sheen finish is often desired for its reflective qualities. Slurry finishes are created with water mixed with Portland cement, resulting in a glossy coating on top of the glue that can be polished to a high sheen.

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