What’s a rock salt concrete finish?

A rock salt concrete finish is a popular decorative technique used to create a unique texture and appearance on the surface. It involves the application of rock salt crystals onto freshly poured concrete, which creates indentations and texture when the salt dissolves during the curing process. The result is a surface with a rough, exposed aggregate finish that resembles the texture of natural rock.

The rock salt concrete finish process

Pouring the concrete

The process begins by pouring the concrete slab per the project requirements.

Surface prepping

Before the concrete begins to set, it needs to be properly prepared for the rock salt application. This typically involves smoothing the surface with a bull float or trowel to remove any excess water and achieve a consistent finish.

Applying the rock salt

Once the concrete has reached the right stage of setting, which is typically when it's firm enough to support the weight, rock salt crystals are scattered evenly across the surface. The size of the rock salt crystals can vary depending on the desired texture and scale of the finish.

Troweling and pressing

After applying the rock salt, a hand trowel or float is used to press the salt crystals into the surface, embedding them partially in the concrete. This step ensures that the salt remains in place during the curing process.

Curing and dissolving

The concrete is left to cure and harden for a specified period, allowing the salt to dissolve and create voids or indentations in the surface. The curing time can vary depending on factors such as temperature and humidity.

Salt removal and cleaning

Once the concrete has cured, the excess salt is removed by pressure washing or scrubbing the surface. This process exposes the aggregate and reveals the desired textured finish.

Benefits of a rock salt concrete finish

Aesthetic appeal 

The rock salt finish adds visual interest and texture to concrete floors, giving them a distinctive appearance with the looks of natural rock or stone. It can be particularly appealing in outdoor spaces, pool decks, walkways and other areas where a unique and textured finish is desired.

Slip resistance

The exposed aggregate texture created by the rock salt finish offers improved slip resistance, making it a practical choice for areas that may be prone to wet or slippery conditions.


Concrete with a rock salt finish is durable and long-lasting, capable of withstanding heavy foot traffic, weather exposure and other forms of wear and tear.

Low maintenance

Similar to standard concrete surfaces, a rock salt finish requires minimal maintenance. Regular sweeping and mopping, and occasional resealing, can help preserve its appearance and longevity.

Contact us for your concrete floor needs

It's important to note that the rock salt finish should be performed by experienced concrete professionals who have a good understanding of the process to ensure proper application and achieve the desired result. If you’re interested in achieving this finish, contact us today to discuss your project!