The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of concrete surface preparation when either steel or carbon fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) are applied for strengthening applications of R/C members. The present study also investigates the anchorage or not of the applied FRP strips on the volume of concrete. For this purpose special concrete specimens were fabricated and were used to attach CFRP or SRP strips with or without anchoring and with or without contact surface treatment. The experimental results indicate that the concrete surface preparation is important and results in an increase of the load bearing capacity when the FRP strip is not anchored. When an anchoring device is employed, the concrete surface preparation is of no significance. With a properly designed anchoring device, a significant increase in the bearing capacity was observed and the failure was that of the fracture of the FRP strips for all such specimens. The highest FRP material exploitation was achieved in the specimen that utilises the patented anchoring device together with two layers of SRP strips. Debonding of the FRP strips, or failure of the anchoring device, results as was to be expected, in relatively unsatisfactory FRP material exploitation.