Types Of Concrete Finishes

Concrete finish refers to the final surface treatment applied to a concrete surface after it has been poured and set. This process helps to enhance the appearance and durability of the concrete and can include techniques such as smoothing, texturing, and coloring.

Common types of concrete finishes include broom finish, exposed aggregate finish, and smooth-troweled finish. The specific finish chosen depends on the intended use of the concrete, the design aesthetic desired, and the budget. This outside aspect can be altered using a variety of materials and techniques, as shown below.

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10 Types of Concrete Finishes

The following are different types of concrete finishes,

1. Floating or Troweling

Floating Concrete Finish

Concrete finishers use trowels to smooth and fine-level the surface of the concrete after it has been tooled with a screed. This can be done using either manual or mechanical methods.

Power trowels are available and are commonly employed on large commercial and industrial projects when manual trowels are impractical. The blades of power trowels resemble big fans, and they sit directly against the concrete.

Both walk-behind and riding variants of these power trowels are available. The below image shows the worker troweling the concrete with a trowel.

2. Broom Concrete Slab Finishes

Broom Concrete Slab Finishes
Broom Concrete Slab Finishes

A broom finish can be used to make concrete surfaces more slip-resistant. This is done after the concrete has been placed, leveled, and troweled.

A broom is dragged across the surface of the concrete after it has been smoothed to generate microscopic ridges that give traction control, especially when the concrete is wet. When liquids are present on concrete surfaces without a broom finish, they become slippery and unsafe.

3. Exposed Aggregate Finish

Exposed Aggregate Finish
Exposed Aggregate Finish

Washing the top layer of concrete away exposes the edges of the natural stone aggregates placed into the concrete, creating an exposed finish that was once popular on historic city sidewalks. This results in a visually appealing and slip-resistant coating.

Other materials may be added to the mix in addition to the standard concrete materials (cement, sand, gravel, and water) to give exposed concrete finishing a unique appearance. Rose quartz, limestone, dark grey or black basalt, red or blue granite, tinted glass, and even seashells are examples.

The trick with any of these chemicals is to stay away from iron-containing items, as they can discolor concrete. It’s also crucial to apply a high-quality seal after the concrete has cured to protect the surface. The image shown below is the concrete surface after the exposed aggregate finish.

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4. Salt Finish

Salt Finish Concrete
Salt Finish

A salt finish is a sort of finish that is mostly used on pool decks. Salt concrete finishes are made by sprinkling rock salt on top of wet concrete and then washing it away, leaving little pits in the final product.

The salt finish concrete surface is achieved by rolling coarse rock salt crystals onto a freshly laid concrete surface and then washing it off with streams of water once the concrete has hardened. Plain or colored concrete finishing gets a beautiful, rough subtle texture and skid resistance with this coating.

It’s primarily used in swimming pools and other wet environments. The (5) image shows the surface of the concrete after the salt finish.

5. Stamped Concrete Finish

Stamp Concrete Finish
Stamped Concrete

Concrete stamps are a frequent form of texture. Concrete stamps are made up of panels with inlaid motifs that are placed on still-curing concrete. To achieve the desired aesthetic, designs may include brick, stone, or other decorative patterns, sometimes imitating other typical construction materials while preserving the strength and durability of concrete.

After the forms have been removed, the concrete surface can be stained to add color, as indicated below. The needed patterns are pressed into the freshly leveled concrete to create the stamped concrete finish.

6. Coloration of Finishes

Color is added to concrete to give it a look that matches the architecture of the surrounding structure. Mix-added pigments or post-cure staining, both of which are mentioned below, can be used to achieve this. To produce a nice look that matches the surrounding environment, the colored finish of the concrete is achieved through mix-added pigments or post-cure staining.

Pigment or strains can be used to create a colored finish on a concrete surface. Colored concrete with pigments can be made by mixing the pigments directly into the concrete mix before pouring.

The application of stain is usually followed by the application of a sealant to protect the concrete surface.

7. Pigments Finishes

Using pigments to color concrete is a straightforward procedure that involves mixing the pigments directly into the concrete mix before pouring.

Pigments are supplied in liquid form or as dissolvable packets that are “ready to mix.” In both circumstances, the pigments are combined with the other concrete materials in the mixer. The spectrum of colors available is usually limited to “earthy” browns and tans, however, greens, blues, and greys are also available.

It’s critical to preserve pigmented concrete adequately sealed throughout its lifespan to avoid water infiltration, which can fade the pigment.

Read More: 5 Types of Paint Finishes | Paint Finishes for Walls

8. Concrete Stain Concrete Finish

Concrete Stain
Concrete Stain

Concrete’s color can also be changed with the use of various staining agents. The use of acid as a staining agent is a frequent practice.

Colors are often limited to neon-bright, somewhat delicate tones, similar to concrete pigments.

Water-based (acrylic) staining can be used to create a considerably wider range of colors, including black and white. Stains can be applied to any age of concrete, although the colors are usually more intense if the stain is applied soon after the concrete has been laid.

The application of stain is usually followed by the application of a sealant to protect the concrete surface.

9. Swirl Concrete Slab Finishes

Swirl Finish Concrete
Swirl Concrete Slab Finishes

A swirl concrete finish is a one-of-a-kind concrete finish that is achieved by spreading the concrete surface in a circular pattern that is evenly overlapping.

It gives the concrete surface an aesthetically pleasing appearance that is preferred for outdoor applications because it not only adds beauty to the surface but also makes it safer to walk and stand on than a smooth surface concrete finish, especially during the wet season.

10. Polished Surface Finishes

Polished Concrete Finish
Polished Surface Finishes

The polished concrete finishes on a concrete surface are obtained through a mechanical process of grinding and polishing with the use of specialized tools and equipment to provide distinct textures with the use of a penetrant chemical.

These are some of the widely used concrete finishing techniques and really effective for their intended purposes.

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