Top Five Concrete Finishes to Consider for Your Project
Concrete has many applications in the world today. From foundations for buildings to highways for transportation, concrete has become an essential part of society.
The uses for concrete are nearly endless. Since it is a material you can use to your advantage and efficiently work into your home construction, concrete is a practical choice for your next home improvement project.
With that said, here are five different finishes you may want to consider for your next project.
1. Troweled Finish
When the poured concrete has been flattened with a screed, concrete contractors will use a trowel to create a refined and smooth concrete surface. This can be achieved by hand or using a machine. Hand trowels have a flat blade and handle, which concrete contractors use in a pull and push fashion over the surface of the concrete.
They will repeat this motion until the surface is smooth. As for bigger jobs, especially the industrial and commercial ones, power trowels are used instead. These are like a fan of blades on the surface, which commercial concrete contractors use to make the surface even and smooth.
2. Broom Finish
The broom finish is similar to the trowel finish, except it is a step taken further. The concrete surface is leveled first and then "closed" with this finish by troweling or a similar smoothing method. Afterward, the workers will drag a special broom across the surface.
This motion creates a rougher texture that troweling cannot achieve alone. Not only does this look aesthetically pleasing, but it also provides more traction for areas that could get slippery when wet. Both the trowel and broom finish need sand and rock aggregate to complete the look.
3. Exposed Aggregate Finish
This type of finish shows the aggregates mixed into the concrete. The aggregates, such as stones, granite, colored glass, and seashells, are usually chosen for their appearance, unlike other finishes where they are not usually seen. To accomplish this, concrete contractors pour, level, and trowel concrete.
Then it is treated overnight using a chemical that slows down the hardening of the surface cement. The surface is then washed with water to remove the top layer to expose the aggregate below the surface. This type of finish provides a safe, non-slip surface, and it is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
4. Stamped Concrete Finish
The stamped concrete finish is a popular way to add texture and visual interest. It is made by placing panels with designs onto uncured cement. This transfers the panel's design to the concrete, which gives it a textured look the stamped concrete finish is known for.
Concrete stamps come in different designs, including stone, brick, tile, and other patterns. Many stamping techniques aim to make the concrete look like a different building material. Make sure to hire stamped concrete specialists if you want to make a stamped concrete patio or a stamped concrete walkway.
5. Polished Concrete Finish
You can finish cured concrete with a nicely polished surface for an appealing look, extra protection, and easy cleaning. Hardscape contractors use floor grinders to polish concrete surfaces. These floor grinders have their grinding discs embedded with heavy-duty diamond abrasives.
These discs have varying grades of abrasives, ranging from fine to coarse. Fine abrasives give a smooth, fine surface, whereas coarse abrasives give a rougher texture. During this process, chemical hardeners are sometimes applied to the concrete for water protection. An interior and exterior sealer is used to further protect it from chemicals, oils, and stains.
So, there you have it — concrete finishes. The good thing about concrete is that you can add to it, literally. If you want to cover a current concrete floor with a new finish or add something to it, you can do so. You just need to be careful not to mix the concrete finish with the concrete below the new finish.
Now, are you looking for commercial concrete contractors in Alexandria, VA? Nav Construction is a reputable company for any concrete needs. You can count on us for the highest quality concrete finish and fastest service. Give us a call to get started.