How to Trowel Concrete

What You'll Need
Watering Hose

After you have taken the time, as well as endured all of the strain of having to pour the concrete, you will find that you now need to use your trowel in order to smooth out the concrete properly. Of course, the most important thing to remember is that you are on a time crunch now because since you have poured the concrete, you now have a limited amount of time to fix it and set it properly since the concrete is drying out and soon it will be set. In order to properly use the trowel however, you are going to have to understand exactly what a trowel is. 

What Is a Trowel?

From the basic standpoint, a trowel is often used by bricklayers. The tool itself is a flat-bladed tool.  It is comprised of a handle and a metal blade. Bricklayers use trowels for various tasks including:  spreading, shaping and leveling concrete.  However, longer, thinner trowels are also available for by masons in order to smooth out concrete and ensure that things are level and evenly distributed. Below you will find a few quick and easy steps in order to help you trowel concrete.

Step 1 – Pour Your Concrete

Typically you will have a large amount of concrete delivered to your household by a company with a very large truck. This is going to take the most amount of time because you are going to have to haul barrel loads of the concrete to the location to be spread out. While you are going to have to be constantly running back and forth with these loads of concrete, you are also going to have to focus on smoothing out your concrete. This is where your trowel comes into play. 

Step 2 – Spread It Evenly

The first step in the process is to take your trowel and spread out the concrete. It doesn’t have to be an exact spread, but you need to start getting everything spread out so that the concrete doesn’t begin to dry in a large heap. Once you have a large amount of it spread out, you can now go back and work a bit more slowly to even out your concrete. 

Step 3 – Check the Thickness

After you have taken the time to smooth out more of your concrete, you can use the edge of the trowel in order to measure the thickness of the concrete. You want to be sure that the concrete is evenly distributed.  By turning the trowel on its side, you can measure where upon the trowel the concrete reaches. Do this several times to ensure that you have made the concrete as level and as even as possible. 

Step 4 – Use the Ridges

Now that you have your concrete spread out, evenly distributed, and the proper thickness all around the area, you are now going to use the trowel to create a simple design on the concrete surface. Along the edge of the trowel there is a ridge comprised of “teeth.” By angling the trowel about 50 degrees, you can now run the trowel over the surface of the concrete, gently letting it runs along it, this will create the design upon the concrete itself without transferring the concrete elsewhere.