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Concrete Coating

What types of flooring can and cannot be coated with an industrial concrete coating?

September 9th, 2021 | 10 min. read

What types of flooring can and cannot be coated with an industrial concrete coating?

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You’re looking to have your garage floor, driveway, or back patio upgraded with a new coating. Maybe you’ve noticed some cracks or chipping in the flooring and want to cover it up with a coating.
You’ve seen the popularity of concrete coatings that are colored or made with colored chips. So you decide to do your research and look online for driveway concrete coating companies in your area. 

You schedule a consultation and have someone come to your home to show you the product, only for it to be shut down as soon as the consultant sees your driveway. They tell you they cannot coat the pebbled concrete.

Video: " 5 Types of Floors That Can't Be Coated" down below

Southwest Exteriors is an exterior home remodeling company in San Antonio since 1989. We have offered Penntek Industrial Coatings for concrete coatings over the past several years. 


We see dozens of homeowners every week looking to have their garage, driveway, or back patio coated. Often, our design consultants come across concrete surfaces that cannot be coated over without extra construction. 

We want you to know what types of flooring surfaces cannot be coated before scheduling a consultation. This way, you will save yourself from putting in the time and effort to find a contractor and scheduling a consultation for no reason. 

This article will first outline the types of flooring surfaces that cannot be coated without being completely taken up and new concrete placed. We will also detail types of flooring surfaces that can be coated but will require extra work and money. Finally we’ll talk about the ideal surfaces for concrete coating. 

After reading, you will know if you’re able to apply concrete coating in that problem area of your home and what must be done if it is not. 

Flooring types that cannot be coated

Several types of concrete finishes cannot be coated over. These types of concrete and floorings must be completely removed and new concrete laid before coating. 

This means that you will have to hire a concrete specialist for the job unless the coating contractor you find can replace and repair major concrete projects. If you were to coat over these types of flooring, it could come out uneven and rough. As a result, you wouldn’t really get the type of benefits you’re looking for. 

We will describe the five types of concretes that cannot be coated over. 

1. Pebble aggregate finish 

This is one of the most common types of concrete, aside from plain concrete. It is popular for sidewalks, driveways, and around pools. 

Also known as exposed aggregate, this finish is popular to provide some design and customization with the color of the stones. 

However, this textured concrete is not ideal for a concrete coating. The pebbled concrete will have to be chipped, or jackhammered and removed completely, then new concrete laid on top. Then, a coating can be applied. 

A close up of a driveway with a pebble aggregate finish where the concrete looks like it is made of small little pebbles.

2. Landscaping stones

If your home has a sidewalk or back deck made of landscaping stones or rock, you probably love the natural feel it gives to your home. But, if you’re looking to change it up with a sleek concrete coating, you will have to replace the stones. 

They will need to be ripped up, sometimes jackhammered, to be taken out and replaced with smooth concrete.

A sidewalk made of landscaping stones surrounded by bright colorful flowers and greenery leading up to a black gate.

Photo credit: Maia C. via Flickr. This image was not altered in any way. 

3. Tile

Beautiful for outdoor porches, walkways, or near ponds, tiling is a great way to show off your inner artist. There are many customizations you can do with tiles, like colors, style, and size. 

Because this flooring is not even or smooth, it cannot be coated. Like landscaping stones, these tiles will have to be ripped up, and new concrete will be put in place to have a concrete coating. 

 A sidewalk made of tan colored tiles with a geometric pattern surrounded by green grass and some stepping stones leading away.

4. Brick

Brick flooring is another option that gives your home a rustic and classic feeling. Whether you have your driveway, sidewalk, or outdoor kitchen surrounded by brick, it gives your home a cobblestone colonial feel. 

If you’re looking to update that area with a concrete coating, you may have to remove the brick completely first. Some professional contractors may be able to pour concrete over the brick properly, but it isn't easy. 

If you have brick flooring and want to pour concrete over it, you must find a high-quality contractor that knows what they are doing. Otherwise, you will need a concrete expert to remove the brick and pour new concrete in its place. 

A brick outdoor flooring that is made of red brick and laid in a zig zag pattern.

5. Wood

The last type of flooring that cannot be coated is wood. Wood flooring is most popular for front porches and outdoor decks. 

This type of flooring cannot be coated because it is not concrete. If you want to upgrade your wood deck or porch, you can have a professional provide high-quality painting or staining to refresh the wood. 

A close up of a wood deck with a red staining on it next to a white wall.

Now you know the most common five flooring types that cannot be coated with a concrete coating. It is important to know this before looking for a contractor to know whether it’s worth it to even call someone out. 

Flooring types that can be coated with extra labor and added cost

While there are types of flooring that should simply not be coated, a few types of flooring can, but with added work. 

Even if your concrete type is able to be coated over, it is important to know whether or not extra labor must be done. More labor equals a higher cost, so you want to have a realistic idea of what you are looking to pay for your concrete coating. 

Three main types of concrete coatings can usually be coated but require extra work. 

1. Stamped concrete

Stamped concrete is exactly what it sounds like: concrete stamped to either mimic stone or brick or design a line pattern. There are many different patterns and designs you can choose from with stamped concrete. 

This type of concrete finish takes an excessive amount of time, labor, and money to grind down the pattern and create a smooth surface. While it is possible, it is not an ideal surface to coat. 

 A close up of a sidewalk with stamped concrete detailing that looks like stone. There are small rocks and plants surrounding the sidewalk.

2. Textured cool deck

Textured cool deck, also known as cool crete, is textured concrete that gives a rugged feel. It is very popular around pools and in outdoor areas. 

Textured cool deck concrete can also be ground down to a smooth surface, but it will take an extra amount of labor and cost. 

The corner of a rounded swimming pool with red tile around the pool and a beige colored concrete with texture around the pool.

Photo credit: Pool Deck San Antonio

3. Rock salt finish concrete

Concrete with a rock salt finish have intentional pitting, or holes, in the surface. It is more textured and also popular around pools, back patios, and sidewalks. 

This type of concrete requires extra grinding to smooth away the pitting. This means more labor and higher cost. 

A close up of a sidewalk with a rock salt concrete finish where there are small holes intentionally in the concrete.

4. Concrete with an old coating

If your garage, driveway, or outdoor area has a previous coating on the concrete, it can still be coated with a new coating. However, the old coating will have to be removed or ground off before laying the new coating. 

Again, this will cost a little extra in your total project cost and takes more work for the coating, but it is possible.

If you have any of these types of concrete and want a concrete coating, expect to pay more for your project. 

A close up of an old garage floor coating that has vinyl chips light grey colors and is peeling up around the walls.

Plain concrete is the best type of concrete for a coating

After reviewing types of flooring that cannot be coated and types of concrete that require extra work, what type of concrete can be coated? 

Plain, regular concrete is the best concrete surface for a coating. Even if your concrete has small cracks, chips, stains, or pitting, a quality concrete coating contractor will be able to fix those damages before coating. 

The corner of an empty garage floor with a smooth surface and white walls. There are some stains on the concrete coating.

If your concrete has any major damage, then you might have to have a concrete expert repair the area. 

Overall, if you have plain concrete, stamped concrete, or an old coating on your concrete, it can be easily coated. When looking to get your concrete surface coated, you want to know what is going to affect the cost. You also want to know if any prep work will be required before going straight to a coating contractor. 

It is key to choose the right contractor that you know can prepare and coat the concrete properly and give you the result you want. 

Is your flooring ready to be coated, or does it need extra prep work? 

If you have wanted to have your driveway, pool deck, garage, or sidewalk coated, it’s important to know whether or not you will need extra work done. 

Pebbled, tiled, or stone floorings cannot be coated or repaired by a concrete coating contractor. If you have one of these types of flooring, you must hire a professional concrete company to remove it and relay concrete before looking for a coating contractor. 

If your concrete surface is stamped or has an old coating, then you are looking to pay a little more for the labor that must be done to smooth the surface. 

Here at Southwest Exteriors, we’re a concrete coating contractor only. We do not lay new concrete or remove old concrete, like pebbled concrete, tile, brick, or landscaping stones. We can repair small cracks and chipping in concrete to coat them. If you’re in the San Antonio area, have plain concrete, and are considering concrete coating, we might be a good fit. 

We want you to be educated on the types of flooring that cannot be coated over with a concrete coating so that you do not waste time and effort scheduling an unnecessary consultation. Before making an appointment with a contractor, know what type of flooring you have and ask if they are able to coat it. 

Curious about the concrete coating process? Check out this article about how a concrete surface is coated, the preparation required, and how to care for it