Concrete finishing is revolutionizing the concrete industry. It's been around about as long as concrete itself, but newer techniques and better tools and machines are making concrete the most durable and affordable home improvement installation for new areas outside and inside your home. Concrete finishing is just like finishing any other materialit's the process where a raw material is treated to create a desired texture, smoothness, and durability.
While the process of finishing involves strengthening the material, concrete tends to be more than strong enough for most home improvement projects. For residential applications, concrete finishing is usually focused on creating a decorative surface. Through a multi-step process including leveling, edging, floating, trowelling, and texturing, concrete can be so smooth it's difficult to identify it as concrete at all. An expert concrete contractor can manipulate concrete to imitate nearly any other material available. The new motto is becoming: Concrete, the new everything.
The biggest obstacle is educating homeowners. Concrete may not be the best material for every single installation or for every homeowner but, too many people still think of concrete as that coarse, drab surface of sidewalks and driveways. Countertops and interior flooring are the first surfaces to make headway into this largely untapped potential. Concrete cabinets, bookcases, and furniture are prime candidates to become the new fad in home décor.
Three Options for Concrete Finishing
Coloring and texturing are among the final stages for a visually stunning concrete installation. The following options are far from strict categories. There are dozens of complete "concrete systems" that use a wide variety of coatings and texturing methods. But the following categories can give you a broad overview of your options and their relative pros and cons.
Concrete doesn't have to be boring! Liven it up withConcrete Finishing
Newer Techniques, Tools, and Machines
Detailed concrete finishing needs to begin as soon as the concrete is poured. Previous obstacles for decorative finishing involved the time-consuming and detailed process of the work. The expertise of an experienced contractor is still an absolute necessity to achieve even modest results. Power trowels, hydraulic concrete breakers, and concrete vibrators not only enable detailed finishing, they also reduce time-intensive labor and, consequently, the final cost of installation.
These improvements allow homeowners to use the extraordinary durability of concrete and achieve the beautiful appearance and texture of other materials for a lower price than most alternatives.