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The concrete is a versatile construction material used all over the world for all types of construction applications. Concrete in its green form can be molded into any shape, size, and finish with the help of different finishing techniques and equipment to give a beautiful and long-lasting surface with a high aesthetic value.

The most basic type of concrete finish is a smooth surface created through the use of screeds and trowels.

Types of Concrete Finishes

1. Troweled Finish

Trowel finish is the most common and popular finish of concrete used for major types of applications. After the concrete is laid in the formwork and leveled, the trowel is used to smooth and fine-level the surface of concrete.

Trowel Finish
Fig 1: Trowel Finished Concrete.

Trowels are available in both manual and mechanical types. A manual trowel consists of a flat steel blade with an attached handle that is pushed and pulled across the concrete surface.

A mechanized trowel is used for large commercial projects which resemble large fans with the blades sitting directly against the concrete.

Read More on Trowels: Power-Pole Finisher for Concrete- Types and Uses

2. Broom Finish

The broom finish of the concrete is rough textured finished obtained by dragging a broom on the trowelled surface of the concrete while the concrete is still fresh.

Broom Finish
Fig 2: Broom Finished Concrete.

Dragging of broom on the fresh concrete surfaces creates small ridges that provide for traction control and slip-resistant.

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3. Stamped Concrete Finish

The stamped concrete finish is obtained by pressing the required patterns on the freshly levelled concrete. This type of concrete finish after completion of their construction looks similar to stones such as slates or flagstones, brick, tile or with proper skill they can look similar to wood.

Stamped finish Concrete
Fig 3: Stamped Finish Concrete

Stamped concrete finish is a very intelligent and innovative innovation in concrete widely applied for floor in patios, car porch, driveways and sidewalks.

Read More Stamped Finish: What is Stamped Concrete? Features, Methods, and Procedures of Stamping Concrete

4. Salt Finish

The salt finish concrete surface is obtained by inserting coarse rock salt crystals using rollers on the freshly placed concrete surface and washing it off with streams of water after the concrete is set.

Salt Finish
Fig 4: Salt Finished Concrete.

This finish gives a decorative, rough subtle texture and skid resistance to plain or colored concrete. It is mainly used for swimming pools or other wet areas.

Read More on Salt Finish: How to make Salt Finish Concrete Surface?

5. Exposed Aggregate Finish

The construction of exposed concrete finish is to have leveled concrete floor surface, distribute aggregate evenly, and keep air voids to as minimum as possible.

Exposed aggregate Finish
Fig 5: Exposed Aggregate Finished Concrete.

Power Floater or Diamond Polisher is used to polish the top surface of the partially cured concrete. The equipment removes a concrete layer whose thickness does not exceed a few millimeters at the top of the concrete. A fine grade protection layer is applied to provide the favored polished finish.

Read More on Exposed Aggregate Finish: Exposed Concrete Floor and Finishes, Its Construction and Applications

6. Swirl Finish

Swirl finish is one of the most exceptional types of concrete finish that is generated by smearing the concrete surface in a uniformly overlapping circular pattern.

Swirl Finish
Fig 6: Swirl Finished Concrete

It provides an aesthetically pleasing appearance to the concrete surface which is favored for outdoor applications because not only does it add beauty to the surface, but it also provides a safer walk and stand in comparison with smooth surface finish, specifically during the wet season.

Read More on Swirl Finish: Swirl Finish Concrete – Construction, Practical Considerations and Applications

7. Polished Finish

The polished finish on a concrete surface is achieved by a mechanical process of grinding and polishing with the help of a penetrant chemical to provide different texture with the help of specialized tools and equipment.

Polished finish Concrete
Fig 7: Polished Finish Concrete.

Read More on Polish Finish: Polished Concrete Floors – Making Procedure and Benefits

8. Colored Finish

The colored finish of the concrete is accomplished through mix-added pigments or post-cure staining to provide a pleasing look to match the surrounding environment.

Colored Finish concrete
Fig 8: Colored Finish Concrete

The colored finish on a concrete surface can be carried out by either pigment or strains. The pigmented colored concrete can be accomplished by adding the pigments directly to the concrete mix prior to pouring.

The strained colored concrete can be obtained by applying stains to concrete of any age to obtain a more vibrant colored finish. The application of stain is typically followed up with the installation of a seal over the concrete to protect the surface.

Read More on Pigment Color Pigment: Pigments for Concrete: Types, Purposes, and Influences

9. Other Finishes

The other finishes of the concrete are listed below-

  1. Color chips Finish
  2. Dyed Finish
  3. Engraved Finish
  4. Etched Finish
  5. Flashed Finish
  6. Marbleized Finish
  7. Micro Topping or Over Lay Finish
  8. Sand Blasted Finish

Read More: 9 Types of Concrete Finishing Equipment

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the type in which the concrete can be finished ?

The concrete is a versatile material in its fresh state and can be finished in many types as per the desired appearance such as Trowel finish, Broom finish, Salt finish, Exposed aggregate finish, Polished finish, and Colored finish.

2. Which type of finish is prefered for Roof Slab ?

Generally, the preferred finish for the roof slab concrete is Trowel finished. However, the fineness of the concrete surface is kept rough to have a better bond with the upcoming layers, such as flooring or waterproofing.

3. Name the type of finish preferred for different construction applications?

1. Roof Slab – Trowel Finish
2. Swimming pools – Salt Finish
3. Commercial and Industrial flooring – Trowel Finish
4. Porticos, driveways, and sidewalks- Stamped Finish
5. Museums, Auditorium, and Galleries – Polished Finish
6. Parks and Play areas – Colored Finish

4. What is the importance of finishing the concrete surface ?

It is important to finish the concrete surface to maintain the wear and tear of the surface, protection from seepage of water, and to have a even surface.

Fasi Ur Rahman

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