A Guide to Commercial Concrete Finishing

When it comes to commercial concrete companies Milford, customers look for a company that focuses on and has expertise in just that one area. They want a company others have used and have confidence in the firm’s abilities.

Concrete finishing is a task that requires a meticulous touch.

Concrete Flatwork

What’s Involved in Concrete Finishing?

Concrete finishers are skilled, trained tradespeople. They work with concrete placing, finishing, protecting the surface and repairing projects.

Concrete finishing also means taking responsibility for creating and setting up concrete forms. These must allow for the exact depth and pitch for the project.

Concrete finishers receive concrete from a concrete wagon chute, a concrete pump, a concrete skip or a wheelbarrow. They place it inside the forms. Next, they spread the concrete with the assistance of shovels, rakes, or a straight edge. Sometimes they use all three. The move their tools back and forth across the top of the concrete in the forms. This is to “screed” the concrete or level it.

After leveling the freshly-placed concrete, finishers smooth the surface. They use special tools to do this. These might be hand trowels, long-handed “bull floats” or even powered floats.

When the concrete is leveled and floated, the concrete finishers then use an edger which they press between the forms and the concrete. Edging tools create rounded or beveled edges. This process is called chamfering. It is done to prevent the edges from chipping.

Concrete Flatwork

Concrete Finishing Techniques

Basic concrete finishes include smooth and screed surfaces. Manual and mechanical or power trowels create smooth and fine-level surfaces.

If you want a surface that is less slippery, after placement, leveling, and troweling of concrete is completed, a broom is dragged across the surface. This creates small ridges so that the concrete when wet is not so slippery.

Broom finish is not the only way to create texture on the surface of the concrete.

Another technique is to wash the top layer of the concrete away. This leaves exposed edges of the natural stone aggregate. It is an attractive and slip-resistant finish.

Other materials might also be embedded into the concrete. Examples include rose quartz, limestone, basalt, granite, colored glass or seashells. Creative finishers might use combinations or other solids.

Concrete Finishes

After the concrete is set, getting a high-quality seal to protect the surface is important.

A salt finish is often employed on swimming pool decks. To do this, finishers apply rock salt to the wet concrete. Next, they wash it off. It leaves small pores on the finished surface.

Another finish is created by stamping the concrete. This creates a texture. Inlaid designs are placed on the still-wet concrete. These designs might be brick, stone, or decorative patterns. Some designs mimic building materials. When the concrete is dry, these stamps are removed.

Concrete Coloring

Concrete might also be colored or stained. In concrete coloring, color is added to complement the architecture around the concrete.

Staining is similarly done by mixing pigment into the concrete before it dries or adding it after concrete is cured.

Using pigments is simple. The concrete finisher adds pigment to the concrete mix before it is poured. These pigments come in liquid form in disposable ready-to-pour bags. These are added along with the rest of the concrete ingredients.

Pigment colors range from browns to greens, grays, blues.

Staining products also change the concrete look. These are subdued, subtle shades.

If you want more variety, you can use acrylic staining materials.

You can stain concrete no matter how new or old it is with these water-based acrylic stains. Follow up the staining with a seal to protect the color and the surface of the concrete.

To keep concrete looking fresh and to protect it, using a commercial concrete cleaner is always a good regular practice.