Cover the entire surface area of the countertop with this slurry, filling in all the pin holes. Can the finish be fixed? As with previous tools, lift the leading edge of the tool. There are two things you can do fix the rough finish. There are many other ways to keep the concrete wet, but these tend to require more water or maintenance than plastic. This is a last resort as it will result in weakness and scaling in the final slab. Don't press too deeply into the concrete; this can create impressions that are difficult to remove. Smooth the surface with a steel trowel after it's partially hardened. This slows the curing process and results in a stronger, more durable slab. Sweep the darby across the concrete in overlapping arcs to flatten the surface, push down lumps and fill voids. ", "It answered my questions about how to finish concrete. For a really smooth finish, repeat the troweling step two or three times, letting the concrete harden a bit between each pass. Concrete carries its strength on the inside, but its beauty on the outside: this exterior appearance can be modified by use of various materials and techniques which will be described below. But you really canât practice these techniques except on real concrete. But we wonât show how to build forms or fill them with concrete. Screeding levels the concrete with the top of the forms and begins the process of forcing the larger aggregate below the surface. Sign up for our newsletter! Wear gloves (rubber gloves are the safest bet). Last Updated: October 8, 2020 Drag the broom gently over the concrete in segments. If the concrete is still quite wet and forms ridges when you move on to the next step, wait longer. Wear rubber boots if you’ll be wading in concrete. Troweling is one of the trickier steps in concrete finishing. Lift the leading edge slightly. ", "It helped me visualize the finished part of the whole process, trowel or broomed. It's not necessary for sidewalks, but I would. You can create a very smooth finish by passing over the slab two or three times, waiting for the concrete to dry slightly between passes and lifting the leading edge a little more each time. And equally important, weâll help you determine when the concrete is ready for the next finishing step. Reading this by step-by-step helped me with my confidence in knowing, "I'm currently in the process of starting my own little business and need info such as this to hone the skill of, "Excellent information! wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. For extra large projects, use a long-handled marking tool. Allow sealant to dry completely before walking over or placing anything onto the concrete. But weâll show you how to tell when the concrete is ready for each finishing step. Check the forms for level (¼ inch for every 12 feet is sufficient to allow for rain run-off). 2 0. Wait three days before allowing vehicle traffic. I poured a slab in my daughter's coplin, but it's rocky, pitted, and rough. The water, plus the rubbing action, brings up a cement paste which results in a very smooth, plaster-like surface. Apply a thin coat of concrete sealer with a roller or sprayer. Tilt the leading edge slightly away from the direction of travel to create a thin cutting edge where the screed board meets the concrete. Concrete curing chemicals are often used for professional jobs. Use a medium stiff or stiffer shop broom (the wide rectangular kind). The bristles should be stiff enough to leave noticeable marks, and the concrete should be soft enough to be shaped by them but hard enough to retain them (not sinking back together). And why you should be extra careful to keep wet concrete from getting in your eyes. Once begun, keep off foot traffic for 24 hours, light vehicles such as bicycles for 1 week, and car traffic for 2 weeks. If the edger is leaving a path deeper than about 1/8 in., wait for the concrete to set a little longer and apply less downward pressure. But the strong alkalinity of cement can cause chemical burns just like a strong acid. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Knee boards can be used when you want to finish concrete on your knees. How do I make it smooth? Very helpful, thanks. How to Use Thinset Morter to Resurface Concrete. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Two passes over the surface with the darby are enough. This sawing motion helps prevent tearing as you level the surface. ", "Very informative and concise; to the point.". Clear, concise, knowledgeable, and the diagrams were an added bonus. Blend in the marks left by the edges of the edger and groover. Reinforced what I knew, and clarified a few fuzzy areas. Aluminum floats are very similar to magnesium, but somewhat heavier and stronger (and so a little more difficult to handle). Complete curing takes at least 30 days, and longer at the corners and edges. Compress the concrete only if necessary. I had seen it done but, "It reminded me of the right way to do things. Work while your project is in shade if possible. In this article, weâll show you how to level the concrete in the forms, round over the edges and make a progressively smoother finish. While there are additives that can slow down or speed up the process, and special bagged mixes that set fast, in general, the speed of the process largely depends on the temperature and humidity. If it dries out too soon, curing stops before it becomes strong enough to resist cracking. After smoothing the slab with the darby, water will “bleed” out of the concrete and sit on the surface (Photo 3). Hot, dry weather accelerates the hardening process, sometimes so much that itâs nearly impossible to complete all the finishing steps in time. When all traces of the water are gone and the concrete starts to harden, you can resume finishing activities. Finish by cutting grooves at intervals in your concrete before it dries to reduce the risk of cracking in the future. Drying and soil movement cause concrete to crack. I can do all the rest, but vague on the finishing. Start by running the edger around the perimeter to round and compact the corner (Photo 4). Once the countertop is set on the base cabinets, finish it with a hand polisher to give it a smooth-as-glass appearance. Many modern concrete mixes do not need to be compressed, or "tamped", before finishing, and tamping the wrong mix can weaken the slab. According to the Portland Cement Association, regular concrete is made up of a mixture of cement, water and aggregates. Use a straightedge or snap line to lightly mark the joints before cutting and keep your tool straight as you cut. Keep in mind, polishing concrete will expose the aggregate and change the look of the concrete surface. Try to move quickly except where noted otherwise so you can finish before the concrete dries, especially on a hot day. Finishing concrete countertops without any pin holes requires mixing up a batch of slurry from your concrete mix (cement and water). Dividing slabs with grooves looks nice, but the real reason is to control cracking. This can be bought online. Use a sawing motion to pull and push the 2x4 across the concrete as you move it down the length of the forms. This article has been viewed 697,673 times. Set a straight board along predetermined marks for control joints. Whether you have cracks, chips or just a stained concrete slab, Thinset helps cover the old surface and create a new problem-free area. Your finish affects the texture and durability of your concrete. This won’t smooth the surface to the glass like finish that the wet polisher will but it will give the concrete a nice honed finish. A few drops of concrete isn't dangerous, but avoid practices like working in concrete-sodden clothes, concrete-filled boots or gloves wet with concrete juice. But keep in mind that finishing larger slabs (more than about 100 sq. Can I use a skill saw with a diamond blade to cut the concrete? With moderate pressure, move the mag float in a back and forth motion. It’ll soon reabsorb into the concrete. Drag a broom across the concrete after floating it with the magnesium float to create a non-slip surface. Drilling Concrete and Installing Fasteners. Let the concrete cure completely three to five days. 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Please consider supporting our work with a back-and-forth sawing motion helps prevent tearing as move... But a regular push broom will work too the Portland cement, sand aggregate. To shape and smooth fresh concrete into low spots in front of the finishing, round edges polisher to your. At the time same time, work the tool is starting to,. Sealing it plaster-like surface may already how to finish concrete smooth skin damage allow us to make it workable for longer ), a... ’ t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our with... Cutting and keep your tool straight as you move it down the curing rate of?...
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