DRY FLOODPROOFING: POLISHED CONCRETE FLOOR
INSIDE THE FLOODPLAIN

What Is It?

Cost: $3-$7 per sq ft.
Applications: Can be installed in retrofits or new construction. Existing concrete floors can be polished.
Service Life: 30+ years. Re-polish needed every 7 to 10 years.

Dry floodproofing techniques can be used to make a structure watertight below flood elevation. In the event that barriers and other dry floodproofing techniques fail and water enters the building, installing polished concrete flooring in the basement will help to minimize repair costs. Polished concrete is impermeable and if installed properly, will not need replacement after flooding. While polished concrete upfront costs can be higher than for other types of flooring (particularly vinyl, linoleum, and unpolished concrete), maintenance costs can be lower over time, as polished concrete is more resistant to foot traffic, has a longer service life, and does not require waxing or coating. Daily mopping or scrubbing with non-abrasive materials will remove dust particles which act as an abrasive and grind away the finish.

Benefits

  • Polished concrete is impermeable and if properly maintained, will survive flooding with no damage to structural integrity.
  • Typically lower maintenance costs and longer service life than other types of flooring.

Drawbacks

  • Can be colder, louder, and more expensive than other types of flooring.
  • Improper installation and poor maintenance can result in flooring becoming susceptible to moisture.

Regulatory Impacts and Requirements

A summary of potential regulatory touchpoints follows below.
Polished-Concrete-Flooring

Additional Resources

PROJECT EXAMPLES

SAMPLE OF SUPPLIERS

SOURCES

Photo credit: This picture was released to the public domain, Wikimedia Commons