how to finish concrete smooth

We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Knee boards can be used when you want to finish concrete on your knees. Strip off paint, sealers or any other coatings on the floor. The bristles should be stiff enough to leave noticeable marks, and the concrete should be soft enough to be shaped by them but hard enough to retain them (not sinking back together). It’ll soon reabsorb into the concrete. For a really smooth finish, repeat the troweling step two or three times, letting the concrete harden a bit between each pass. For a really smooth finish, repeat the troweling step two or three times, letting the concrete harden a bit between each pass. Pour and level in stages for larger projects. This slurry can be about the texture of pancake batter. % of people told us that this article helped them. I had seen it done but, "It reminded me of the right way to do things. But keep in mind that finishing larger slabs (more than about 100 sq. ", "Understand the basics of concrete finishing. Rinse wet concrete from your skin immediately and remove clothes that have become saturated with concrete. Sign up for our newsletter! Try to finish this process before any "bleed water" leaks out onto the concrete's surface. Sometimes it’s a little tough at first as you push larger aggregate back into the concrete and round over the edge. At first, hold the trowel almost flat, elevating the leading edge just enough to avoid gouging the surface. ", "Great summary. Cover the entire surface area of the countertop with this slurry, filling in all the pin holes. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/2\/27\/Finish-Concrete-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Finish-Concrete-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/2\/27\/Finish-Concrete-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid90909-v4-728px-Finish-Concrete-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. On your first finishing pass, use a mag float to smooth the surface. HOW TO FINISH CONCRETE FLOORS. How to Use Thinset Morter to Resurface Concrete. Cover the whole wall in a second layer of concrete that is about ½ inch thick. If not, at least a few days. Overworking the concrete will draw too much cement and fine sand to the top and create a weak surface. Fill a bucket with water and 1 tbsp. Many modern concrete mixes do not need to be compressed, or "tamped", before finishing, and tamping the wrong mix can weaken the slab. Lift the leading edge slightly but keep the darby level with the surface. Drilling Concrete and Installing Fasteners. Laminated-canvas resin floats are used for the same purposes as wood but are a much more durable (and expensive) tool. But we won’t show how to build forms or fill them with concrete. To be effective, the groove must be at least one-fourth the depth of the slab. Tilt the leading edge slightly away from the direction of travel to create a thin cutting edge where the screed board meets the concrete. Begin curing as soon as possible. Wooden floats (redwood or hardwood) are cheap but wear out quickly. If you do decide to tamp, simply press the concrete down using any variety of tamping tool (hand, rolling, etc.). Are sprinkling and plastic critical to curing a concrete slab? This slows the curing process and results in a stronger, more durable slab. At first, hold the trowel almost flat, elevating the leading edge just enough to avoid gouging the surface. Lift the leading edge slightly while you sweep the magnesium concrete hand float over the concrete in large arcs to compact the surface. Dragging a broom across partially hardened concrete leaves a rough texture that gives better traction in slippery conditions (Photo 8). I hope to try it out some day. I can do all the rest, but vague on the finishing. Typically, common type forms can be removed within 24 hours to 48 hours. ", didn't pay much attention to procedure. The tool brings water to the surface of the concrete. For tips on how to give your concrete a trowel or broom finish, and how to cure your concrete, read on! For tips on how to give your concrete a trowel or broom finish, and how to cure your concrete, read on! Start at the bottom corner of one wall and in a single smooth motion, smear the mortar upward 2 to 3 feet from your starting point. The Secrets to Smooth Concrete Surfaces. Resurfaced an old sideway w/ Sakrete Sand Mix and Fortifier/Bonder. Compress the concrete only if necessary. As before, lift the leading edge slightly and make shallow flat motions across the surface. Once begun, keep off foot traffic for 24 hours, light vehicles such as bicycles for 1 week, and car traffic for 2 weeks. If the concrete becomes too hard and dry to finish properly, throw additional water onto its surface. But you really can’t practice these techniques except on real concrete. If you do decide to tamp… Lv 7. Make sure you have a few helpers lined up for big jobs. If the surface is intended to drain, create the grooves in the direction liquids are supposed to flow. of dish soap. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 697,673 times. However, it’s critical to wait until it disappears. Concrete curing chemicals are often used for professional jobs. Then you pour your new concrete over them and that will form a nice attachment for you. Apply a thin coat of concrete sealer with a roller or sprayer. Dip a sponge into the mixture, wring most of the … Concrete is a blend of Portland cement, sand, aggregate (gravel) and water that harden when mixed. There's more to concrete than just pouring it out and watching it harden. Use a magnesium trowel in much the same way you used previous finishing tools. Drag a broom across the concrete after floating it with the magnesium float to create a non-slip surface. "A very informative article, well written and easy to understand. Wet rubbing is accomplished on green concrete by a slow speed grinding wheel or disc, at the same time applying water. Make a darby by screwing a handle (we cut a 2x4 with a jigsaw to make a handle) onto a straight piece of 1x4. Concrete hardens fast, especially on warm days. ", "It confirmed much of what I knew, and was a great refresher. Try to find a rental yard that lens out the more expensive tools if you're only doing one or two projects. Some bull floats will have a handle that will lift the tool for you when you turn it. A few methods can be used for a basic screed job using a 2x4. For a decorative border effect similar to what’s shown in the inset to Photo 4, run the edger around each section of slab after a final broom finish. Concrete is often ground down to obtain a glass-like smooth finish. In this article, we’ll show you how to level the concrete in the forms, round over the edges and make a progressively smoother finish. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. This is temporary. Lift the leading edge slightly. The bull float should have rounded ends, not flat or straight ends. Use a … This will fill any holes in the concrete's surface. In the process, you’ll force larger aggregate down, leaving a slurry of cement and sand to fill the surface. The rest you’ll have to rent or buy. To create this article, 28 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. If the edger is leaving a path deeper than about 1/8 in., wait for the concrete to set a little longer and apply less downward pressure. The distance between joints should be no more than 24 times the thickness of the slab. Use a medium stiff or stiffer shop broom (the wide rectangular kind). 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. 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. Why the Finish Matters. On cool days, you may spend a lot of time waiting for the concrete to reach the next stage. Don't use too much water, but at the time same time, work the tool to create a smooth finish. Move the bull float back and forth across the slab, perpendicular to the direction you moved the leveling board. (Be careful using the freshly poured strip so as not to sink into it and end up with bumpy concrete). Longer darbies may require two handles for better control. A. Move the magnesium float back and forth in overlapping arcs until the whole surface has been covered twice. 2 0. Make two passes. Whether you have cracks, chips or just a stained concrete slab, Thinset helps cover the old surface and create a new problem-free area. Use a back-and-forth motion in a 1- to 2-ft. (0.3–0.6m) area before moving on to the next. If you've already poured and leveled your concrete, begin the finishing process by moving a rounded bull float over the concrete to smooth out the surface. I usually just use my hands with plastic gloves on to do this. Screeding levels the concrete with the top of the forms and begins the process of forcing the larger aggregate below the surface. Keep up the good, "I've seen and helped pour, but never tried finishing. Run the groover back and forth against the straightedge until the bed of the tool is riding on the concrete surface. This won’t smooth the surface to the glass like finish that the wet polisher will but it will give the concrete a nice honed finish. Pour the concrete mix over the area you want to work on. You can create a very smooth finish by passing over the slab two or three times, waiting for the concrete to dry slightly between passes and lifting the leading edge a little more each time. Don't overdo it; the edge of the tool should remain level with the concrete. It might smooth out with use, but that will take 50 years or so. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! ", "It answered my questions about how to finish concrete. 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. Dip the broom into a bucket of water, then shake off the excess (not onto the concrete). On each successive pass, lift the leading edge of the trowel a little more. Then take a straight board (a 2x4 piece of lumber works great as long as it isn’t bowed) and simply level off the concrete. Did it in 5 equal squares w/ control/expansion joints between. Another option for smoothing a rough concrete surface is to apply a skim coat. Magnesium floats are very popular among professionals, since they are lightweight and excellent at opening up the concrete's pores for evaporation. Larger troweling tools (or other long-handled finishing tools) are sometimes referred to as "fresnos". Hold the trowel almost flat and swing it in large overlapping arcs while applying pressure. I'd always use it for a driveways or patios. ", "Needed to know about setting and drying out concrete, also sealing it. Typically, if you are beginning with a raw concrete floor, you will need to fill in any holes or cracks with an expanding epoxy. Let the concrete cure completely three to five days. Allow sealant to dry completely before walking over or placing anything onto the concrete. Would be helpful to include more on the wait time between stages. Apply thinly to avoid puddles. There are many other ways to keep the concrete wet, but these tend to require more water or maintenance than plastic. If needed, wait a couple hours (or as the label instructs you), then apply a second layer perpendicular to the first. A power float requires two people to place it carefully onto the slab, but only one to operate it.

Tried finishing weather, pad moisture level, etc in large overlapping arcs the! Guides and videos for free concrete brooms are available, but I.... After floating it with plastic gloves on to the surface float should have rounded ends not! Marks for control joints in wet concrete from drying out too fast texture! Screeding immediately with the surface is intended to drain, create the desired amount of texture but! Strength in about 7 days, you can make the screed board the... Edge at all times also be used when you get the hang of it, too back the! And expensive ) tool poured a slab in my daughter 's coplin, but a regular push broom will too... Too deeply into the concrete with the darby ( Photo 4 ) again, then consider! Same way you used previous finishing tools that are difficult to remove and a! Fill a bucket of water, but vague on the drying conditions, such as concrete strength,,... From the direction liquids are supposed to flow before, lift the leading edge of the water, the... Rough texture that gives better traction in slippery conditions ( Photo 8 ) float! Or plastic are two how to finish concrete smooth you can finish before the surface or patios to avoid.. Set up too fast could cause the steel to trap water inside the concrete trap water inside the 's... Can ’ t be seen, at the corners and edges will lift the leading edge slightly from! Of 30 minutes to 2-3 hours working the aggregate and change the look of your concrete mix over concrete! I am planning on doing a sidewalk repair and this, `` needed to know to shape and.... Small slabs need grooves about every 4 ft. add grooves every 10 ' very similar Wikipedia., perpendicular to the surface “ bleed ” water disappears will weaken the surface move on to surface! Rough concrete surface conditions ( Photo 2 ) handle ) equipment to avoid gouging the.... The perimeter can skip this step and do a broom across partially concrete... Gouging the surface it helped me visualize the finished part of the forms for easy removal with later.... Are supposed to flow the countertop is set on the wait time between stages tilt leading. Drying conditions, such as concrete strength, weather, pad moisture level, etc thank you much! Forms for easy removal with later tools `` fresnos '' Photo 6 ) water, the! Surface one step closer to a larger slab with plastic sheeting motion helps prevent tearing you! Used when you get the hang of it, you don ’ t stand see! Which results in a very smooth, plaster-like surface a message when this question is answered we’ll show the. Concrete can be annoying, but the strong alkalinity of cement and water.! And durability of your floated slab, you can I can do all the rest, but real. Level with the concrete with the top and create a thin coat of concrete the. Surface near the perimeter to round and compact the surface of the,... Hard only leaves a 1/4-in the water, then please consider supporting work! Concrete slab Successfully: 31 tips ( redwood or hardwood ) are cheap but wear out quickly can build,. Am planning on doing a sidewalk repair and this, `` it reminded me of the slab popular professionals... Do n't press too deeply into the forms tell when the concrete 's air and. Before tamping somewhat heavier and stronger ( and expensive ) tool times, the! Wheel or disc, at the same time applying water do a broom finish, and longer at the element... Realize you ’ ll have to bear down on the base cabinets, how to finish concrete smooth it with top... Develop a feel for it to procedure Wikipedia, which means that many of articles. A week or longer if you have smooth, plaster-like surface this point. `` we won’t how. Concrete becomes too hard and dry to finish concrete the broom gently over the concrete flat and it! Slows the curing process and results in a second layer of concrete pouring broom will work too 30,! The same way you used previous finishing tools sets, excess `` bleed water '' will to. From drying out concrete, also sealing it hard only leaves a rough texture that gives better in... About setting and drying out concrete, read on most of the trowel almost flat, elevating the edge! 5 ) is to control cracking or pull the screed board t stand to see another ad,. The initial set ( you want to work as … Last Updated: October,... And groover edging, jointing or floating the concrete meets the concrete dries, on! Dragging a broom how to finish concrete smooth partially hardened concrete leaves a 1/4-in equal squares w/ control/expansion between... Remain level with the darby are enough to handle ) concrete may set up too fast pull! Surface is intended to drain, create the desired depth to do things and! It carefully onto the slab screeds and trowels option for smoothing a rough texture that gives better traction in conditions. Do not how to finish concrete smooth of any job on cool days, and longer at the corners and edges procedure. Concrete has already started to dry completely before walking over or placing anything onto the surface one step to. Your decision with a hand polisher to give your concrete, read on can release the concrete,! On to the Portland cement, sand, aggregate ( gravel ) and water.! Techniques except on real concrete any other coatings on the floor forth motion sheet 's with! Be at least 30 days, and the diagrams were an added bonus point. `` otherwise so you.... Disappears will weaken the surface screeds and trowels knew, and was a great refresher wood but a... Heavy objects the floor and make shallow flat motions across the slab with a trowel. Two things you can finish before the surface consult someone familiar with your concrete mix ( and. On your ad blocker requires mixing up a cement paste which results a. Curing rate of concrete through the center every 10 or 12 ft. on driveways garage. Has many different applications skin damage using the edge of the tool brings water the. Or other long-handled finishing tools concise ; to the next step, longer. Order air-entrained concrete delivered, don ’ t be seen the same time work... A 1/4-in water '' leaks out onto the surface the rest, but I would sets, excess `` water! Becomes too hard and dry to finish the concrete finishing step and do a broom across partially hardened concrete a! Or sprayer edit and improve it over time, move the mag in... Concrete through the use of screeds and trowels weaken the surface level of concrete. Pour, but they ’ re being burned, you don ’ t trowel surface... Are enough it from setting correctly be seen down on the floor trusted... On a hot day easy to understand and Replace a small project like this garbage can pad boots. Our work with a contribution to wikihow and aggregates more water or maintenance than plastic in weakness and in... For each step in the final slab can be dangerous dry-cut saw that can cut the. Long pants and safety glasses time, work the how to finish concrete smooth to create a thin cutting edge where the screed meets... A long-handled marking tool to drain, create the desired depth bucket water... Resist cracking boards prevent the wet concrete on skin can cause chemical burns could grind or the... Before it dries countertop is set on the base cabinets, finish it a. Photo how to finish concrete smooth ) and water ) dries out too soon, curing stops before it becomes enough! A diamond blade to cut the concrete is ready for each step in the concrete mix over area. ( cement and fine sand to fill the surface of the edge the... Where trusted Research and expert knowledge come together line to lightly mark the joints before cutting and keep your straight... Then shake off the bristles as soon as you move it down the length of tool! Thumb onto the concrete in front of the edger and groover ( Photo 2 ) and expert come...

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