Concrete Finishing Techniques

What You'll Need
Push broom
Concrete curing compound

Concrete finishing presents itself in several forms to give a concrete floor a specific look after it has set and cured. If you are a beginner then it is easy to partake in concrete finishing when it is done on a small surface. Concrete floors provide a sense of nobility to a home and can be used to finish basements which can increase the value of the home. A business can use concrete floors to keep the work place clean and tidy.

Step 1 - Leveling the Concrete

Concrete when it is poured is chunky and thick. This does not make for a very good surface. If it were to be left alone to dry in this state it would look like a blob of concrete. The first type of concrete finishing is done prior to adding any texture or accents to it. You first need to push the concrete down and out with the screed. You will then use either a float or a straight edge to push the aggregate down while at the same time forcing the concrete cream to the top. Choose an end to begin at and pull the device toward you and then remove the excess concrete with a spade or other similar tool. You have to do this as soon as the concrete is poured before the water bleeds to the top.

Step 2 - Concrete Finishing Techniques

There are three ways that concrete finishing can be achieved. All of these concrete finishing techniques must be done after the top water has evaporated and the sheen has vanished. You must work quickly before the concrete hardens. If you lack experience, start with something small.

Smooth and Sleek—Smooth concrete as a floor will be slippery when wet. Use the trowel to create a smooth and sleek surface to the concrete by selecting an area and sliding it over the surface toward you. The edge of the trowel can be put to use to remove the spillover.

Non-Slip Textured Surface—Many sidewalks use this concrete finishing technique to create a texture in the concrete so when it gets wet it is not slippery. The concrete still needs to be leveled in order to create a proper textured surface. Use the push broom on the concrete by pulling it toward you. This bristles will leave small indentations to give traction.

Stamping and Patterns—Stamping systems can create flat surfaces but also surfaces that have a design in them. Purchase a system you want and follow the instructions that came with it. Improvising concrete finishing with designs and patterns can end poorly.

Step 3 - Finishing

Once the concrete finishing technique you chose is finished being applied you can then finish it by curing the concrete. If the concrete is outside then flood it with water and cover it with a tarp. Do this once the concrete no longer leaves a mark when touched. Keep the concrete wet for at least two weeks. If the concrete is inside then use a curing compound.