What Tools Do I Need When Finishing Concrete?
Regardless of what concrete you are laying, or whether you are an experienced concrete contractor or a novice, it’s essential that you approach the task at hand with the right tools. To honour this fact, this month, EKA concrete will be detailing just what tools you’ll need for perfect finishing, and how those tools operate.
Spreading the concrete has a very important knock-on effect to the finishing process, simply because the concrete must be placed as close as possible to the desired grade to facilitate screeding and floating. With this in mind, it’s important to get the right shovel to spread the concrete. We recommend square-ended shovels for spreading, simply because the flat edge can be used to even the concrete during the process.
If you want to start the finishing process off properly, then you will first need to screed the concrete. Screeding simply removes any excess concrete from the operated area and levels it to the proper grade. This is arguably the most important stage in the finishing process if a true even surface is to be achieved, and takes place immediately after the concrete has been spread.
A screed board could simply be a 2×4 piece of wood, however, an aluminium or magnesium straightedge would be the best bet for a professional finish.
Floating should take place immediately after screeding, and should be done with the utmost care. The aim of floating is simply to level the concrete more rigorously than screeding, using tools that lend themselves to more delicate work. This is done by leveling ridges, filling voids and smoothing the surface as much as possible in preparation for trowelling. On top of this, some of the rougher aggregate left on the top of the concrete by screeding should be embedded under the surface.
A float is simply a flat sheet of wood, aluminium or magnesium with a handle along its length. However, bull floats are much larger tools with a wider surface and a longer handle, used primarily for bigger projects.
Although a float can achieve a smooth finish, a steel trowel is required to truly perfect it. Much like a float, a trowel is a flat sheet of metal with an ergonomic handle for easy use. Alongside attaining a perfectly smooth finish, a trowel brings water to the surface of the concrete to keep it damp.
Once trowelling is complete an edging tool is required, the function of which is to break the concrete edge away from the form boards as the concrete is beginning to stiffen. It is an L-shaped metal sheet with a handle not too dissimilar to a float or trowel.
EKA Concrete have over 20 years of experience supplying high quality concrete to a wide variety of clients throughout South East England. Our reliable and experienced team are on hand to offer helpful project-specific advice, using their expertise to ensure a successful build, no matter what construction work you are undertaking. With our fleet of trucks and concrete pumps, we will deliver concrete to your site – no matter where it is. For more information on any of our services, contact our friendly team today.