Dental restorations made of zirconia are usually selectively adjusted chairside to eliminate occlusal or internal interferences that can impair the mechanical properties of ceramic framework material. Effects of polishing procedures on zirconia after chipping or simply glazing the monolithic zirconia restorations are not known. This study evaluated the effects of different surface treatment procedures--namely, glazing or grinding, finishing, and polishing regimens--on the flexural strength and fracture toughness of a zirconia core material. Forty zirconia specimens were prepared and divided into two main groups (n = 20) according to the type of surface treatment (glazed or ground, finished, and polished). Each group was further divided into two subgroups (n = 10) according to type of mechanical test (flexural strength and fracture toughness). The roughness measurements were performed before mechanical testing. Qualitative evaluation of representative specimens of each subgroup was performed using SEM. The surface roughness mean (μm; ± standard deviations) recorded for the glazed specimens (0.94 ± 0.2) was significantly lower than that of the finished and polished group (3.01 ± 0.1) (P < 0.05). The glazed zirconia showed significantly higher flexural strength (385.4 ± 45.4 MPa) and fracture toughness (6.07 ± 1 MPa.m½) values than the ground, finished, polished zirconia (302.4 ± 47.6 MPa and 2.14 ± 0.5 MPa.m½) (P = 0.002 and P < 0.001 for flexural strength and fracture toughness, respectively). A smooth topographic pattern after glazing could not be obtained after finishing and polishing. Grinding, finishing, and polishing markedly decreased the flexural strength and fracture toughness of zirconia compared to the glazed groups.