Concrete finishing requires a lot of patience combined with dexterity. No matter how simple a project can be, the proper tools and equipment can elevate your work. From power screeds and trowels to brooms and sprayers, there are many tools you can use to get your desired concrete finish.
Here are 10 types of concrete finishing tools to help you on your next project.
While concrete is being poured, a screed is used to smooth concrete and pull the excess off the back of the form. Depending on the size of your pour you can use a wooden screed board or a power screed. Utilizing vibratory screeds will achieve the best results, while saving you time and back fatigue. You may choose to use a wooden screed board if your slab is too narrow for a power screed. If using a wooden board, after pulling the excess concrete back, go over the concrete slab one more time while sliding the 2x4 screed board back and forth (left and right) as you pull.
Concrete Finishing Brooms
A broom is used where to increase friction and decrease slippage. It’s a traditional concrete finishing technique and can be executed in different ways. By changing directions you can obtain a distinctive look from artistic patterns to rough and decorative finishes, a steel broom is used.
Bull floats are wide-bladed tools fixed on long handles and are used to level ridges, fill voids, and smooth surfaces for trowelling. Floating should be done before moisture appears on the surface. It is supposed to be immediately carried out after screeding.
Magnesium floats are small-sized floats. It has a smaller handle and is used to work on smaller areas and edges.
Green Concrete Saws
Green concrete saws or early entry saws are a tool used to created concrete joints to prevent random cracking. A saw could be useful when a problem shows up and the dried slab needs to be cut. A good rule of thumb for how far apart to space your joints is no more than 2-3 times the slab’s thickness.
Concrete edgers are supposed to be used when the concrete has begun to lose moisture and has started stiffening. It has an “L” shaped edge which helps in separating the concrete from the board. It also provides precise edges and gives the concrete a professional look. One can use a slant edger to get slant edges instead of sharp ones.
A power trowel is used for larger slabs, whereas a traditional trowel is used for smaller ones. They are used to apply a smooth finish to concrete slabs. The pitch of their blades can be adjusted and with the right combination of speed and blade pitch, contractors can achieve a matte, light gloss, or gleaming concrete finish! Depending on the size of a concrete pour, a concrete crew may use one to five trowels simultaneously. Power trowels are further divided into two types.
1) Ride-On Power Trowel
A dedicated seat is provided for the operator to sit on the equipment and operate it.
2) Walk-Behind Power Trowel
As the name suggests, the operator walks behind the power trowel, pulling it and giving the concrete surface a smooth finish.
As the name suggests, concrete mixers mix up cement, sand or gravel, and water to form concrete. Concrete mixers are typically used for smaller jobs and patchwork.
Concrete sprayers can be used to spray a variety of chemicals and solutions on concrete, such as sealants, top cast, forming oils, curing agents, and more.
A plate compactor is simply used to compress different types of soil and gravel. It helps to prepare the base for a sturdy foundation for the concrete pour.
There are many tools that are involved in pouring concrete. You may find that investing in professional equipment such as power screeds, trowels, and more can save you time, money, and energy - while providing your concrete pour a superior finish.