Concreate, Inc. delivers concrete polishing and custom staining for both commercial and residential projects primarily in Virginia and Maryland (but also up and down the East Coast). We work hand in hand with with designers, architects, project managers, general contractors, tradesmen, and home owners alike from start to finish. We welcome the opportunity to serve your polished concrete needs in every way possible.

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5 Ways Polished Concrete Floors Can Help Brighten Your Space

5 Ways Polished Concrete Floors Can Help Brighten Your Space

Highly polished concrete floor reflecting light from a skylight.

Key Takeaways:

  • Polished concrete floors are a great way to brighten up your space
  • Thanks to their high light reflectivity, they can help amplify incoming light and reduce the need for artificial lighting
  • This cost-efficient flooring enables you to conserve energy and lower the cost of electricity bills
  • Choose a light-colored concrete finish to maximize reflectivity, install large windows and skylights, and use mirrors to reflect light around the room
  • Use bright colors on your walls and ceiling to make it feel more vibrant

Concrete floors are a versatile, durable, and easy-to-main flooring option, making them a popular choice for both commercial and residential settings. But one of the best things about them is their ability to brighten a space dramatically. 

Light-colored polished concrete floors have a natural gloss and sheen that amplifies incoming light, making rooms feel brighter, more open, and inviting. This reduces the need for artificial lighting, saving you money on your energy bills. 

Well-lit rooms also help improve mood, productivity, and overall well-being. Read on to learn the top 5 ways polished concrete flooring can help brighten your room and create a more inviting, sleek space.

Concrete levels of reflectivity

Concrete has different levels of reflectivity depending on how it’s been polished. The shinier the concrete, the higher the reflectivity and gloss. A high-gloss finish will produce the highest level of reflectivity, while a matte finish will have the lowest. Between these two extremes, there are various levels of sheen that will give you different degrees of reflectivity.

The reflectivity level is measured by how much light the surface color reflects and absorbs. Light Reflectance Value (LRV) is the standard measurement used to determine a color’s reflection. The scale ranges from 0%, which is absolute black and absorbs all light, to 100%, which is perfectly reflective white and reflects all light.

Sheen levels on concrete surfaces depend on the diamond grit used during the polishing process and how many passes are made with the polisher. The more passes made, the higher the sheen. There are four sheen levels commonly used on concrete floors, as classified by the Concrete Polishing Association of America:

  • Level 1 (flat): A matte finish with little reflectivity and low LRV. The polish is hazy with 0–9% clarity.
  • Level 2 (satin): A low-sheen matte finish with more reflectivity and a slightly higher LRV. The polish has a 10%–30% clarity level with a slight overhead reflection.
  • Level 3 (semi-polished): Boasts a medium amount of reflectivity with a semi-gloss sheen. The polish has good clarity, 40%–69%, with reflection from most overhead and side lights visible from a distance of 30–50 feet.
  • Level 4 (highly polished): High-gloss finish with high reflectivity and an LRV of 100%. Its shine is similar to a polished marble; you can see your reflection with 100% clarity, as though you’re standing over a mirror.

The type of concrete flooring you choose will ultimately depend on your needs, budget, and aesthetic preferences. However, go with a high-gloss or semi-gloss finish for the best light reflectivity.

How to brighten a room with concrete flooring

Dull, dark rooms can feel small, cramped, and uninviting. They also inhibit productivity and make it difficult to concentrate. Proper illumination makes a room feel airy, open, and secure and can also enhance the colors of your walls, décor, and furniture. If you want to brighten up your room, here are some tips on how to do so with concrete flooring:

Choose a light-colored concrete floor finish

The color of your concrete will significantly impact how bright your room appears. To make the most of the light-reflective qualities of concrete, go with a light-colored finish. White, cream, and light gray are great choices. You can also experiment with colored epoxy floor coatings to add a pop of color to your space.

If you already have dark concrete floors, don’t despair. You can still brighten your room by polishing the concrete to a high-gloss finish. This will amplify the light reflectivity and make your space feel brighter.

Consider using stencils or decals to add design to your light-colored concrete floors. You can also create interesting effects by scoring the concrete with a saw or grinder before applying a stain or dye.

Install large windows or skylights to allow natural light in

Nothing beats bright, natural light streaming in through windows and skylights. The natural light evokes a feeling of happiness, well-being, and energy. It also makes a room feel more spacious and open.

When light hits the polished concrete floors, it will bounce around the room, making the space feel brighter. If possible, install windows on multiple walls to maximize the natural light coming in. A skylight provides an even more spacious feeling while adding more brightness to the room.

Keep the windows clean and free of obstructions to brighten your room further. Consider adding sheer curtains or blinds to diffract the light and reduce glare when desired.

Use light colors on the walls and ceiling

Light colors have higher reflectivity levels than their darker counterparts. They are visually striking and help make a room more open and inviting. When used on the walls and ceiling, light colors reflect light into the room and your concrete floor, making it feel brighter. Some good colors are white, cream, ivory, yellow, and pale pink.

Place light-colored furniture in the room and limit accent colors

Another effective way to have more light in a room is by using light-colored furniture. Like bright colors, light-colored furniture reflects light instead of absorbing it, resulting in a brighter space. Stick with white, cream, or light wood furniture and limit the number of dark colors in the room to make it feel more open and airy. The lighter-colored furniture will reflect nicely off the highly polished floor, creating depth while adding even more brightness to the room.

Hang mirrors on the walls to reflect more light into the room

Besides making a room appear bigger, mirrors reflect light and help brighten a space. When light hits a mirror, it bounces off and illuminates the room, resulting in a well-illuminated area. Hang mirrors on walls opposite windows to reflect natural light into the room. The reflections from the mirrors and the polished concrete floor will play off each other, creating a dazzling, welcoming space.

Or, for a more creative approach, use different shaped and sized mirrors to create an interesting focal point in the room. Group several small mirrors together to create a dramatic effect, or use a large mirror to make a statement. No matter how you choose to use them, mirrors are an easy and effective way to brighten up any room.

Brighten up your room with Concreate

Concrete floors are an excellent way to brighten up a room. Thanks to their light reflectivity, they can help amplify incoming light and reduce the need for artificial lighting, saving you money on your energy bill. 

At Concreate, we are a leading provider of high-quality concrete floors. We offer a variety of colors, finishes, and textures to choose from so you can find the perfect floor for your space. Our expertly crafted concrete floors are easy to clean and maintain, stain-resistant, and durable, making them an excellent investment. 

Ready to brighten your space with a highly reflective, durable, and attractive concrete floor? Contact us today and let our team help you find the perfect floor.