Different Types of Concrete Finishes

Some of the reasons concrete need a specified finish is to provide foot and vehicle grip for pathways and driveways. A smooth pathway when wet can be slippery and dangerous, almost like walking on tiles.

In other cases where you may need a floor that must stay clean and easy to keep clean such as an outdoor dining/ kitchen area or garage, a smooth trowel or machine finish is the best option. Dirt will not stick as easily to a smooth surface as it would to a textured finish like a cove or broom.

After concrete has been placed there are different types of concrete finishes that can be applied depending on the intended use. These concrete finishes are:

CoveConcrete cove finish

A semi-rough textured finish that look like swirls and figure 8 when applied. A common finish to driveways, pathways, outdoor entertainment areas and swimming pool walkways.

Wood Float

A similar look to the cove with the swirls and figure 8 only alot more coarse. Rarely used except on heavy sloped driveways for added grip and longer wear and tear. Also great for under tiles to provide added grip for a sand and cement bed.

BroomConcrete broom finish

A simple finish using a broom but gives a clean and smart finish and look. Great thing about having a broom finish is that you get a uniform look.

Steel TrowelSmooth concrete finish

Small concrete areas a steel trowelled by hand a number of times to give a smooth surface. Great for areas that need to be easy to maintain like garages and outdoor kitchen areas.

Machine Trowel

A machine trowel gives a smoother finish then a hand trowel and covers larger areas. It also hardens and seals the surface making it almost resistant to chipping and breaks. Great for house slabs and garages.

At Inspire Concrete we can help you choose the best surface finish. Contact us today to discuss your next concrete project and a no obligation free quote.

About John Nisa

I’m a bit more than a concretor, I have more than 13 years’ experience in the construction industry and been on both sides of the fence - designing and constructing. I understand what is needed to pass council regulations and inspections. I’m not interested in doing fast rough jobs. I pride myself in delivering a fantastic job. I want to be proud to put my name on every job.

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2 Responses to Different Types of Concrete Finishes

  1. robert buchan aia csi February 28, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    Hi John, thank you for nice simple well-illustrated examples that I have been able to use to explain the difference between a float & a trowel without just waving my arms around!
    …. where in the USA do you work exactly?

  2. Kairi Gainsborough February 18, 2017 at 12:42 am #

    Thanks for explaining what tools are used to get different finishes on a concrete surface. I never realized that smooth surfaces are created using a trowel, while textured surfaces need other tools. A machine trowel sounds like a very useful tool to have if you need to cover more ground. It makes sense that it would be perfect for a garage floor. The smooth finish would make it easier to clean up dirt and spills that you would typically see in a garage.

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