What you can achieve with concrete these days is quite amazing. A lot of people underestimate the variations available with using concrete. Gone are the days of just plain old concrete, although they still have their purpose.

Concrete is well known for the toughness it provides, just look around at all the bridges and other structural building that is made from concrete, but there’s another side of the concrete, and that’s the variety of finishes you can create with it.  

With these finishes, you can now add your own touch to the concrete. In today’s world, there’s no other material that has the function and aesthetic look that concrete can give. So we thought it’s only fair to give it some love. This is what we are good at so  

Its malleability means you can add your own touch to the concrete – give it a special finish that raises it above a slab of water, aggregate and cement. There is no other material packs the functional and aesthetic punch that concrete does, so we thought it was time to give concrete its due by creating this so-called ultimate guide to concrete finishes. Let’s begin.

Smooth Surface

We’ll start off with the basic of all concrete finishes. I’m sure we’re all familiar with this finish. The smooth concrete finish, And I’ll tell you, it’s not as easy as you may think to achieve the smooth finish. It actually takes a little more skill than you may think to achieve a smooth finish to your concrete slab.

To get an idea of what’s needed. The screed levels out the surface. The screed is usually made from either a long piece of metal of wood. It’s dragged and pulled along the top of the concrete. Then you get the trowel to finish off smoothing the concrete and to get rid of any smaller lumps you may have in the concrete that the bigger tool missed.



Edging is a great way to enhance the look of the concrete, by giving it a neat look and finish. It’s also a way to strengthen the concrete. It’s done in a way that creates joints in the concrete. This strengthens the concrete as well as making is less prone to cracking.


Broom Finish

This is a finish you’ll not always see. It’s not something you usually get done at home, It’s a way to create a non-slip finish. Often used in public places to create non-slip areas. All you need to do is run a broom over the top of the wet concrete creating textures lines and bumps throughout the concrete.


Exposed Aggregate

On the other hand, this is a popular finish and a non-slip finish you will find around a lot of homes. It’s a way to add a non-slip texture to the concrete that will also give it an attractive finish. This finish works well on driveways, especially around the pool, patios and paths.

This is achieved by washing the top layer of the concrete away, this exposes the aggregate to give it the finish it does. You can choose a number of rocks that can be added to the concrete to give it a unique finish. Quartz, granite, basalt and if your interested seashells can also be added.  


Salt Finish

Not your most common finish. This is a finish you’ll see around swimming pools. And it’s surprisingly very easy to create. It involves sea salt, that’s it. Sounds odd I know. All you need to do is sprinkle rock salt onto the top of the concrete and then wash it away. The salt creates little holes within the concrete. A way to add a cost-effective non-slip texture to the surface.



Another look gaining popularity. The stamped finish gives you the look of natural building materials such as slate, bluestone, tile and brick finishes. All that is done is a panel is fitted over the concrete with the desired design then the concrete is stamped with the pattern while it’s still wet.

This method is another option you can consider over needing to use the above materials often without the higher costs involved that you would get if you were to use the other materials above. Again this gives you options.



Another finish similar to stamping. The difference is instead of using a stamp we use a stencil. It’s rolled out over the concrete while wet then we use a roller to apply the pattern to the concrete.

This type of finish also gives you the ability to create multiple looks. Again without the need to pay for the material I mentioned above. The added benefit is you get the durability or concrete. There’s no need to worry about replacing cracked tiles or other similar materials for a number of years


Coloured Concrete

Pretty self-explanatory. We add colour to the concrete to give it a stylish look and finish

There are two ways we add the colour

  • Pigments: This is the process of adding pigmentation to your concrete mix before it is poured. Pigmentation is typically limited to earthy colours (red, brown, green and grey) and you have to ensure the concrete is well sealed in order to maintain the vibrancy of the pigmentation.
  • Painted Concrete: This is done in the same way that you would paint a wall. Once the concrete has cured then painted, it will last for as long as you keep the concrete sealed. There’s a number of variety of colours to choose from and you can team it with stamping or stencilling for an utterly unique look.

Polished Concrete

Polished concrete is an excellent option for the indoors. When done well-polished concrete gives off an incredible finish. It’s easy to maintain and offers great value. It’s also a natural non-slip surface.

The concrete is finished but polishing it using a floor grinder. It’s fitted with a diamond abrasive. With this tool, you have complete control over how polished you want your floor to be. This finish is getting very popular nowadays as it’s less fuss and easy to maintain.

Well, there you have it. Our guide to concrete finishes. There’s always new finished appearing all the time as we find new ways to use this versatile material.

If you’re looking for professional concreting Canberra team. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to assist with your new concreting project.