We all know the feeling of walking on bad floors either cracked or slippery.
What is concrete finishing? It simply means applying other coatings, restoring and cleaning on the surface of the concrete to make it look more decorative and appealing to match the architecture or the individual’s desired look.
Concrete is a familiar and commonly used material for both industrial and residential purposes. It bears its weight on the interior but its aesthetics is on the outside. Its external beauty can be modified using different equipment and techniques as pointed out below:
Different Types of Concrete Floor Finishing
The most common and ideal type of finishing that involves a soft-top made by the use of trowels and screeds. As soon as the concrete is put into different forms, the concrete finisher puts the screed into uses to level the surface.
Screeds frequently comprise of a long, straight piece that can either be wood or metal, that is pushed and pulled along the surface with the concrete a couple of times.
- Darby- It is used to smoothen the wet surface.
- Edger- It gives the surface circular and perfect edges.
- Magnesium float- It is used to make a smooth and long-lasting finish.
- Rubber gloves- It can be used effectively by a person with expertise in that field.
- Safety glasses
- Steel trowel
- Groover- It is used to work on joints.
How to Do Concrete Floor Finishes
Trowelling or floating
When you are with the screeding process, concrete finishers make use of the trowels to make the concrete’s surface well-leveled and smooth. It can be achieved mechanically or manually; When doing it manually, a hand trowel is made using a steel blade, and a handle joined to it is used. For this process to be effective, you have to use it by pulling and pushing a number of times till the concrete surface is well leveled
If you choose to do it mechanically, a power trowel is applied which is similar to a big fan with the blades placed directly on the concrete’s surface
It is done to give the finished concrete perfect edges as well as making sure that the trowelling process was done perfectly to curb the issue of cracking.
A particular tool is used to accomplish the edging process but,it requires some practice to understand how it works.
If you want to design the concrete surface in a way that people do not slip off easily, consider Broom finishing as it is the best option in this circumstance.
This process is applied after placement, trowelling and leveling is done later.
After the surface is smooth, then the broom is pulled against the concrete to make ridges that give it that slip-resistant feel. It is mostly applied when the surface is a little wet. A Concrete surface that has not undergone broom finishing is dangerous because one might fall and injure themselves.
Broom finishing is not the only method that can be used to improve the texture on concrete surfaces. Some of these methods include:
This type of finish used on the sidewalks of cities that are old. This texture is designed by cleaning the top coat of the concrete, thus making the edges exposed.It gives it a captivating and attractive finish which is slip-resistant.
Apart from the normal materials that used in concrete i.e sand, water and, gravel, there are other elements that are used to complement the whole mixture, giving it various different finishes with attractive looks. They include:
- Rose quartz
- Dark gray
- Black basalt
- Colored glass
- Red granite
- Blue granite
The only precaution is to keep away from elements containing iron in them that makes the concrete stain easily.
This type of finishing is commonly found in swimming pools.
They are designed with rock salt on top of the concrete that is already wet which is then later washed away.
It is a familiar method used to improve the texture of concrete stamps. Concrete stamps consist of panels full of inlaid designs, that are put on concrete as it cures.
Designs and patterns comprise of stone and brick, among others, to deliver the expected look.
Sometimes the stamped concrete may have features of other construction materials but, it retains its long lastingness and its decorative features.
At times color might be added to the concrete to give it a preference of the owner of the building. This can be done by mixing different pigments.
There are formed by manipulating the color of concrete by using different staining elements. It can be done using acids and water-based[acrylic]
Stains can be applied to any concrete without any limitations based on age.
After staining application of seal should follow to protect the concrete’s surface.
Concrete that is cured, whether well-aged or freshly-placed, can be designed with a polished surface for a decorative and appealing look, for durability, easy maintenance and, a surface that is resistant to slip as compared to one that is not polished.
The process of polishing is achieved with abrasives designed with diamonds made together with grinders.
There are a variety of abrasives which come in a wide range of patterns and designs.
The type you choose to use based on its coarseness and fineness will greatly affect the outcome of the concrete surface after the polishing process.
The concrete is first scrubbed to remove anything that could seal the polish that you are about to apply on the visible cracks on the concrete surface.
It is followed by the process of polishing using grinders to prevent the concrete surface. Chemical hardeners are used together with the concrete.
The finer the abrasive is, the better the outcome will be.
Use fine abrasives until you get the desired surface finish you wanted. The final step involves applying seal products to prevent the concrete surface from getting damaged by chemicals, oils and, moisture.
Steps to follow for concrete refinishing
- Cleaning it- It is the most crucial and paramount step in this procedure. You wouldn’t want to work on a dirty surface because dirt and spots left on the surface will greatly affect the outcome and might end up being visible on the top layer after the whole process.
- Make sure you wear glasses and boots when starting the process.
- Patch the Area you are working on- After you are done mixing up your cement and it is wet enough, spread it across the entire area that you are working on.give it 5-6 hours
- Use the resurfacer- Pour the needed resurfacer on the patch you marked carefully without making any messes .give this step 20 minutes before ahead with the next procedure. Half a bag of powder will require 6b cups at a time.
- Make sure that all your edges are done perfectly.
- Use a trowel- After spreading the resurfacer with the trowel, give it 5 minutes so that it can be slip-resistant then finally sweep a bristle broom that is nylon across the surface.Wait for 6 hours to use it.
- The trowel is used to make sure that the surface is leveled.
- Then finally brush a hardener on top your concrete surface, this compliments it by adding a little color to your surface
Many people find it hard to believe that cement is dangerous.
If an individual uses it without following the proper guidelines, it could lead to health risks. Cement is not acidic but owns strong alkaline features that can lead to burns just as the strong alkaline. By the time it drowns on you that you are burning, the damage will be irreversible.
Avoid direct physical exposure to concrete, always wear protective gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, safety glasses and rubber boots.
If you come into contact with wet cement, wash it properly.