ASK THE EXPERT: What should I charge for polished concrete?

profits vs. costsMany people have asked me this question. So, I'll answer this by showing myself as an example of how NOT to determine what you will charge for polished concrete, and how letting the market decide your price is absolutely the INCORRECT way to approach the pricing question.

When I was young in the contracting business, I thought only about price and not about profit. Profit in my mind was a foregone conclusion when I was bidding a contract that would easily be won for $250,000.

I calculated that the job would only take a few weeks to do. With a few people to pay to complete it and with our STI equipment never breaking down, I thought making money was going to be easy, right? Wrong!

In my experience, I have also seen many others fall into this trap by expecting a "fat check" after completion when actually they ultimately wasted company resources by not making all the money they needed to cover profit as well as business overhead.


Why are the P/M Machines so expensive?

My usual response is "Expensive? Compared to what?"

When I explain the cost differences to those who ask me, I usually focus on the specifications and quality differences between apparently "similar" products. A concrete grinder is just a concrete grinder, right? Wrong!

Some "apples-to-apples" comparisons should be:
  • Horsepower
  • Size
  • Productive Capacity
  • Precision & Quality

The horsepower, size, and productive capacity can all be easily measured and verified; however, precision & quality are a little more difficult to quantify.

While I know it's impossible to prove how long something will last — it IS possible to predict a product's durability.


Should I use diamond pads to maintain my polished concrete floor?

CASH pads closeupYes, but not everyday.

The use of diamond impregnated/sprayed pads is a terrific way to keep your polished concrete looking good; however, the overuse of the pads can lead to a loss of clarity by gradually eroding the surface and leaving an orange-peel finish.

The best guideline to follow is the one set by the manufacturer of the pads.

Our CASH Pads, as an example, are suggested to be used every 60-90 days along with a chemical conditioner to mechanically and chemically maintain the polish. The process is simple enough to learn and adopt and the cost is only around $.02/SF ($.21/M2).

One word of caution – a diamond pad should NEVER be used to maintain a guard covered floor. For the maintenance of the guard, the manufacturer's recommendation should always be followed as a diamond pad will remove the guard.