Brushed concrete has a few advantages over polished or stamped concrete, especially where outdoor applications are concerned. While polished or stamped concrete are often considered to be more aesthetically pleasing, brushed -- or broomed -- concrete can match its appeal when properly executed.
One advantage that brushed concrete has over polished concrete is its rough texture. Especially in areas that are frequently traveled when wet, such as around pools and spas, and even patios and walkways, the texture of the surface allows for traction and minimizes injuries from slips and falls.
Brushed concrete is less expensive than stamped concrete. When concrete is stamped, it must be sealed every few years to protect and maintain the integrity of the surface. This can add up not only in the expense of your time as it must be painted on with a roller, but the sealer can run you a couple of hundred dollars per application. Brushed concrete does not require this maintenance.
The beauty of a brushed concrete surface lies in its individuality. Many patterns can be brushed into the surface, and even the brushes used change the patterns significantly. When done by a professional, the outcome has the potential to be stunning. The versatility of patterns available is another advantage to choosing brushed concrete.
There are times when, in spite of its advantages, brushed concrete is not appropriate. The most notable of these is in warehouse application where machinery like forklifts are used. The brushed surface does not hold up as well to this heavy traffic and causes wear on the tracks or tires of the machinery. Polished concrete is usually a much more durable and cost-effective choice in such an environment.