As with all the other finishing steps, the key to a successful broom finish is to wait until the concrete surface is just right. Whether you have cracks, chips or just a stained concrete slab, Thinset helps cover the old surface and create a new problem-free area. Wet rubbing is accomplished on green concrete by a slow speed grinding wheel or disc, at the same time applying water. If the surface is intended to drain, create the grooves in the direction liquids are supposed to flow. Larger troweling tools (or other long-handled finishing tools) are sometimes referred to as "fresnos". Concrete curing chemicals are often used for professional jobs. Lift the leading edge slightly while you sweep the magnesium concrete hand float over the concrete in large arcs to compact the surface. Next divide the slab into equal parts with a straightedge and groover (Photo 5). How you choose to finish your concrete is entirely up to you, but it will largely depend on the location of the slab and what your intended use for it is (source).Exterior concrete usually requires some texture to make it slip-resistant, while interior concrete needs to be durable but also flat and smooth. The Hope Builder Students Learn how to Finish Concrete today! Smooth the surface with a steel trowel after it's partially hardened. Approved. Finishing a raw concrete floor generally means grinding it down to a smooth, level surface, and then polishing it with a series of increasingly fine abrasives until it achieves a lustrous sheen. Clean the slab well before applying sealant. Concrete hardens fast, especially on warm days. Floating removes the marks left by edging and brings the surface one step closer to a final finish. Push or pull the screed board across the forms with a back-and-forth sawing motion. This sawing motion helps prevent tearing as you level the surface. Apply a thin coat of concrete sealer with a roller or sprayer. Typically, if you are beginning with a raw concrete floor, you will need to fill in any holes or cracks with an expanding epoxy. The basic steps for finishing concrete are: After pouring the concrete let the concrete firm up enough so you can only press your fingers into the surface about 1/4 of an inch. Fill the damaged areas with epoxy resin to the surface level of the surrounding concrete floor. You’ll be surprised that with enough scrubbing you’ll be able to bring a slurry to the surface of even a fairly hard slab. You can also substitute a fiber blend, or even use both. How to Pour a Concrete Slab Successfully: 31 Tips. One is, you could grind or polish the surface which would remove the rough broom finish and smooth the surface of the concrete. To create this article, 28 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Another option for smoothing a rough concrete surface is to apply a skim coat. Run the groover back and forth against the straightedge until the bed of the tool is riding on the concrete surface. Compress the concrete only if necessary. If you mean the initial set (you want to make it workable for longer), add a retarder into the mix. Magnesium floats are very popular among professionals, since they are lightweight and excellent at opening up the concrete's pores for evaporation. Your finish affects the texture and durability of your concrete. It gains most of its strength in about 7 days, and will be fully cured in about a month. Overworking the concrete will draw too much cement and fine sand to the top and create a weak surface. Slightly lift the leading edge to create a smaller cutting edge of contact, lifting the tool toward you when pushing and away from you while pulling. ", "Enlightened me on the basics of concrete pouring. With moderate pressure, move the mag float in a back and forth motion. Move the bull float back and forth across the slab, perpendicular to the direction you moved the leveling board. Keep it moist for a week or longer if you can. A few methods can be used for a basic screed job using a 2x4. Working the concrete before the surface “bleed” water disappears will weaken the surface of the slab when it dries. Step 1: Pouring the Concrete After thoroughly mixing the concrete pour it into the forms slightly overfilling them. Make two passes. For small projects, you can use a magnesium float instead. Screeding levels the concrete with the top of the forms and begins the process of forcing the larger aggregate below the surface. It might be hard to believe that concrete can be dangerous. ", http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/concrete_tools/tampers.htm, https://www.altaviewconcrete.com/products-services/perfect-pour/, http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/concrete_tools/overview.htm, http://www.familyhandyman.com/masonry/pouring-concrete/how-to-finish-concrete/view-all, http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/slabs/controljoints.htm, http://www.concretenetwork.com/fix-color-hardeners/, http://www.finehomebuilding.com/tool-guide/departments/what-is-the-difference/concrete-hand-floats.aspx, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XKUtijyEsE, http://www.concretenetwork.com/slip-resistant-coatings/broom-finish.html, http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/maintaining/sealingplain.htm, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. When you’re done finishing the concrete, cover it with plastic or keep it moist by sprinkling it several times a day for about a week. On each successive pass, lift the leading edge of the trowel a little more. It's not necessary for sidewalks, but I would. After smoothing the slab with the darby, water will “bleed” out of the concrete and sit on the surface (Photo 3). Use a sawing motion to pull and push the 2x4 across the concrete as you move it down the length of the forms. ", "Great summary. Don't overdo it; the edge of the tool should remain level with the concrete. You got a contractor who doesn't know how to pour or finish concrete. Mike Haduck shows a job where he smooth finish concrete, All my videos are my ways and ideas, I always suggest anyone doing work consult professional help. Polished concrete floors are similar to a basic concrete slab that you might find in a basement or garage, but they have a different finish. Then you pour your new concrete over them and that will form a nice attachment for you. When you get the hang of it, you can move up to a larger slab. How to Make Concrete Smooth and Shiny – Techniques to Make them Shine For the techniques to be pulled off, you will need a few tools to work with. Allow the concrete to cure until any water on the surface dissipates. Each step in the process requires a different tool. And equally important, weâll help you determine when the concrete is ready for the next finishing step. This will fill any holes in the concrete's surface. When all traces of the water are gone and the concrete starts to harden, you can resume finishing activities. Knee boards prevent the wet concrete from getting knee impressions and keeps the concrete flat and smooth. Those are a mope, a concrete polishing substance, an epoxy concrete filler, a concrete smoother, a pressure washer, a mild soap, and a water solution, an elbow grease, baking soda, and a damp cloth. Sweep the darby across the concrete in overlapping arcs to flatten the surface, push down lumps and fill voids. Some of the aggregate would be exposed giving you a nice smooth … References It is a basic, sturdy material that has many different applications. Thatâs why we canât give you exact waiting times. As the concrete sets, excess "bleed water" will rise to the surface. Use a straightedge or snap line to lightly mark the joints before cutting and keep your tool straight as you cut. The concrete is ready when pressing hard only leaves a 1/4-in. Are sprinkling and plastic critical to curing a concrete slab? You may have to bear down on the float if the concrete is starting to harden. Use a … Wait until this “bleed” water and sheen disappear entirely before edging, jointing or floating the concrete. Keep up the good, "I've seen and helped pour, but never tried finishing. Typically, this takes about 20 to … An edging tool gives the concrete a round edge. Complete DIY projects like a pro! Work the edging tool back and forth, using the edge of the form as a guide. Don't use too much water, but at the time same time, work the tool to create a smooth finish. The Secrets to Smooth Concrete Surfaces.