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finishing concrete?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by HLM86, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. HLM86

    HLM86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    I am having an 11' x 51' slab of concrete poured. Can anybody give me some tips on finishing or floating it? I was told to use a water hose and get 1 person on each end of it and work it over the top of the concrete to smooth it, what do yall think. Any help is appreciated.
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    NONONO! you need some floats on long poles and to hand finish you need kneeboards and hand tools and the proper equipment and know what your doing or it will look like crap.
    I suggest you contact a cement contractor and ask if they have a finisher who does side work.
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Sheshovel is right. the only time you use a hose on concrete is if your are going for an exposed agegate surface, and how it was described to you is still not how you do it :)

    Hire a concrete finisher for a day.

    The basic steps are this:

    • Rod off your concrete as you pour it to get it to the correct height and slope.
    • Run a bull float over the concrete and hand float the edges to smooth it and further correct the height and slope.
    • As the concrete cures, begin using a edger to define the edges and begin trowelling the surface of the concrete, removing imprefections with it. Its a slow and tedious process. If you can't reach across the slab with your tool you have to use kneeboards to support your weight on the concrete.
    • Once you have it troweled smooth, you can use a broom to give it a nice finish (if its outdoor and you don't want it smooth). I like to use the edger again after brooming it to give a stripe around the slab.
    • Finally, use a groover to run a few grooves across the slab to keep it from cracking if its a large slab.
  4. makfence

    makfence LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Both guys are right. IF you have never pored concrete before, a slab that size will be one big under taking. you could get your self into a real mess. Be prepared. concrete can be very unforgiving. GOOD LUCK :waving:
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I just realized the dimensions of that slab.

    Your going to want to hire a guy with a power trowel to do that, or do it in a couple pours, you can't finish that much fast enough by hand.
  6. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    You can't beat a helicopter for jobs like that, and cheap to hire as well.
  7. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    What is the slab for? I have used the hose trick on some dog pens for myself. It works ok but not great. Put water in the hose for more weight. Plan on doing some touch up. My dogs like it just fine. Screed it with a 2x4 first then it would be best to bull float then the hose. I would pour that in two sections. You will need some help.
  8. HLM86

    HLM86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    That is what it is,is dog pens. It is for myself, so i'm not doing work for someone else and getting paid. I was thinking screen it with the 2x4 as mentioned and then bull float. How much do yall think i would cost to hire someone to come and finish it? Thanks for all the help.
  9. DKinWA

    DKinWA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    Just a couple of questions. Is it out in the open where you can work it from all four sides? Can you run the cement truck parallel to one of the long sides? Will it be a 4" thick slab?
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    I read the poening post to this thread. And thats all the further i feel i needed to go.

    I respectfully suggest that if you do not know what you're doing...then have someone with experience do it.

    Plain and simple.

    Sure we can all display our concrete finishing skills/knowledge, but its not something you do via a 'How to' manual.

    Concrete finishing is somthing that you need to be around and learn the ropes. Learn why, how, and what.

    And that can not happen via how to instructions.


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