When it comes to finishing concrete, the tools used are equally important as the concrete being poured. The wrong concrete finishing tools for your project can cause several problems, such as efflorescence, blistering, delamination, spalling, and scaling. The right concrete finishing tools, on the other hand, can help you give a smooth finish to concrete surfaces.
Here are some popular concrete finishing tools.
This simple handheld concrete finishing tool is usually used for smaller projects, particularly plastering works. Typically made from wood, plastic, or steel, it is available in various sizes. Trowel blades help achieve a smooth and polished concrete surface while minimizing the possibility of burnish marks.
Mechanical Tube Finisher
A mechanical tube finisher comprises one or more rotating strike-off/finish tubes. The length of these tubes should be at least 2 feet longer than the desired width of the concrete surface to be finished. Mechanical tube finishers are frequently employed in pavement finishing projects.
This lightweight concrete finishing equipment is used to refine concrete surfaces. It features a potent motor that drives a set of trowels rotating at high speeds to achieve a polished and even finish. There are two main types of power trowels:
- Ride-on power trowels
- Walk-behind power trowels
- Ride-on Power Trowels: In this variant, the operator sits on the machine and takes control of the machinery to ensure a smooth concrete finish.
- Walk-behind Power Trowels: The operator walks behind the machine while utilizing it to finish the concrete.
Vibratory Screed Finisher
A vibratory screed finisher has a truss frame with a minimum base width of one foot. The tool comes equipped with mechanical-driven eccentric weights or auxiliary-driven pneumatic vibrators, which enable the application of vibratory action to concrete. It finds widespread use in pavement finishing projects.
Long Handle Float
Long handle floats are typically 7 inches wide. They are available in various lengths, extending up to 5 feet. A long handle float is equipped with a long handle, making it suitable for concrete finishing. Crafted from high-quality tempered flexible steel, the blade features rounded ends to prevent any marking or gouging while creating a flawlessly smooth surface.
The “cove finish,” also referred to as the “mag swirl finish,” has gained popularity, particularly for driveways and outdoor spaces that require more traction than normal. A cove finish is usually used as an alternative to a broom finish. Concrete surfaces featuring this finish are usually more resistant to wear and tear than surfaces with a broom finish. Cove trowels are used to provide a cove finish to the concrete. A cove trowel features fine edges on two sides and saw-shaped edges on the other two sides. By utilizing the teeth on this trowel, one can create various decorative patterns during the finishing process.
Concrete brooms are one of the most widely used concrete finishing tools in Vallejo. Concrete contractors use them to create a textured concrete surface. Concrete brooms help ensure a non-slip finish, so concrete surfaces remain comfortable to walk on even with bare feet.
Broom your concrete while it is still in its soft state. Allow bleed water to evaporate before starting the process. Typically, this occurs right after smoothing and crack prevention procedures.
To achieve the desired result, begin by placing the broom on the farthest end of the concrete slab and smoothly pulling it straight back in a continuous motion without stopping or twisting. Repeat this process until the entire slab is evenly broomed. Avoid trying to correct any mistakes with the broom. Instead, go over the affected area once more with a hand float and try to broom the concrete once again.
A steel broom can be used to create rough and decorative concrete surfaces. A skilled concrete contractor with a steady hand can apply the broom texture in various directions to create unique patterns and finishes.
Concrete stamps can be used to add decorative designs to concrete surfaces. They come in a wide range of patterns, including brick, slate, natural stone, circle, leaf, and faux wood grain.
Stamping should be carried out while the concrete is still in its soft state, typically when your palm leaves an indent no larger than 1/4″.
Start by selecting a corner and placing a stamp onto the concrete surface. Gently pat it down using a hand tamper to ensure complete transfer of the pattern. Next, lay another stamp sheet adjacent to the first one, ensuring there are no gaps between them. Repeat this process for the entire concrete slab.
Tining is a method used to create consistent transverse grooves in plastic concrete. It is utilized when an additional layer of concrete is applied on the surface to improve jointing. Tining can be done using either a hand tining tool or a mechanical tining machine.
The tining device incorporates a texturizing comb equipped with steel tines, arranged according to specifications. These grooves are strategically placed in the pavement to enhance skid resistance and prevent hydroplaning.
A hand tool featuring steel tines can be utilized to create grooves that must meet the same requirements as those created by a mechanical tining device. This hand tool can be used on ramps, connections, and other miscellaneous sections where using the mechanical tining device may not be feasible.
Edgers can be utilized to create a neat, rounded edge along the perimeter of concrete slabs, effectively enhancing their resistance to chipping and spalling once the forms are removed. While you can skip edging most floors, do not forget to edge your patio, curbs, sidewalk, and driveway, as edging results in a tighter and cleaner-looking edge that offers improved resistance against chipping.