Every inside corner of your slab and every corner that touches a building or step should have a control joint extending from it, as these are common cracking locations. Do I use any metal reinforcement when finishing 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. Try to move quickly except where noted otherwise so you can finish before the concrete dries, especially on a hot day. % of people told us that this article helped them. Very helpful, thanks. According to the Portland Cement Association, regular concrete is made up of a mixture of cement, water and aggregates. Lay the concrete … The darby should be large enough to reach a little more than halfway across the slab. Aluminum floats are very similar to magnesium, but somewhat heavier and stronger (and so a little more difficult to handle). Salt Finish. Drag the broom gently over the concrete in segments. Clear, concise, knowledgeable, and the diagrams were an added bonus. While this seems like an evident and completely self-explanatory truth, many people simply do not have the right knowledge to make sure that this becomes an actuality. This is temporary. Sign up for our newsletter! Steel trowels can also be used, but inexpert timing could cause the steel to trap water inside the concrete and damage it. They're much cheaper than diamond blades. This article received 21 testimonials and 93% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Another option for smoothing a rough concrete surface is to apply a skim coat. Concrete is often ground down to obtain a glass-like smooth finish. If you do decide to tamp, simply press the concrete down using any variety of tamping tool (hand, rolling, etc.). Check the forms for level (¼ inch for every 12 feet is sufficient to allow for rain run-off). Why the Finish Matters. An edging tool gives the concrete a round edge. Apply thinly to avoid puddles. Screeding levels the concrete with the top of the forms and begins the process of forcing the larger aggregate below the surface. When working with concrete it is imperative to always have a smooth and consistent surface at the completion of any job. However, it’s critical to wait until it disappears. Set a straight board along predetermined marks for control joints. We recommend our users to update the browser. Use a straightedge or snap line to lightly mark the joints before cutting and keep your tool straight as you cut. When you get the hang of it, you can move up to a larger slab. Working the concrete before the surface “bleed” water disappears will weaken the surface of the slab when it dries. One method is to place steel rebar pins in as height guides down the center every 10'. Allow the concrete to cure until any water on the surface dissipates. If needed, wait a couple hours (or as the label instructs you), then apply a second layer perpendicular to the first. Wait until this “bleed” water and sheen disappear entirely before edging, jointing or floating the concrete. Use any 2x4 that overlaps the forms by at least 6 in., but make sure it’s straight (Photo 1). Two passes over the surface with the darby are enough. Apply a thin coat of concrete sealer with a roller or sprayer. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Pour and level in stages for larger projects. Dip a sponge into the mixture, wring most of the … When all traces of the water are gone and the concrete starts to harden, you can resume finishing activities. ", that I know the right way to do it, thank you very much. Each step in the process requires a different tool. Four of the squares came out great with a smooth finish using a steel trowel, the cream came to the top easy, then I brushed w/ a broom after a few hours. Complete DIY projects like a pro! After that, start at the edge again and pour the 10' wide section using the freshly poured center strip as one of your guides. Approved. Messyyes, They did a bad concrete job. Pour the concrete mix over the area you want to work on. The tool brings water to the surface of the concrete. Wear rubber boots if you’ll be wading in concrete. 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. Drilling Concrete and Installing Fasteners. I am planning on doing a sidewalk repair and this, "I want to pour an 8X10 pad someday. ", "It answered my questions about how to finish concrete. Shove concrete into low spots in front of the screed board. If it needs to be rolled on, fill a paint pan and use a paint roller to apply a thin coat over the surface. Complete curing takes at least 30 days, and longer at the corners and edges. 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. Fill the damaged areas with epoxy resin to the surface level of the surrounding concrete floor. You got a contractor who doesn't know how to pour or finish concrete. The water, plus the rubbing action, brings up a cement paste which results in a very smooth, plaster-like surface. Begin curing as soon as possible. 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. Lift the leading edge slightly but keep the darby level with the surface. Whether you have cracks, chips or just a stained concrete slab, Thinset helps cover the old surface and create a new problem-free area. The most basic type of concrete finish is a smooth surface created through the use of screeds and trowels. Some bull floats will have a handle that will lift the tool for you when you turn it. Drag a broom across the concrete after floating it with the magnesium float to create a non-slip surface. deep impression. Finish by cutting grooves at intervals in your concrete before it dries to reduce the risk of cracking in the future. Use long strokes, working the aggregate back until you have smooth, round edges. As with previous tools, lift the leading edge of the tool. It's not necessary for sidewalks, but I would. A float compacts the concrete surface, giving it a smooth look. Putting a smooth, durable finish on concrete is a skill you can only master with the proper set of tools and practice. There are various tools used for grinding concrete. Overlap the previous segment to ensure full coverage. Would be helpful to include more on the wait time between stages. ", "Wealth of information. Only use on horizontal surfaces and with proper safety equipment to avoid inhalation. A few methods can be used for a basic screed job using a 2x4. 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