Concrete and cementitious floor finishes

Concrete flooring is an extremely durable, long-lasting, eco-friendly, and low-maintenance material. With the wide variety of concrete floor finishes available, concrete floors are now a durable, versatile and stylish flooring type to suit any style. Concrete surfaces are also relatively easy to clean as they are water resistant. The look of perfectly finished concrete is nothing short of beautiful.

Types of concrete finishes
  • Broom Finish Concrete is one of the most simple and basic forms of concrete finishes. Dragging a broom over the surface of drying concrete leaves behind small textured ridges. These ridges create an interesting and eye-catching pattern and increases the traction of the floor. This simple yet effective surface is great for both the indoors and outdoors, but it is especially good for outdoors as it will keep the floor from becoming too slippery when wet.
  • Salt Finish Concrete is another simple way to add interesting texture to a concrete floor. A salt finish is created by apply a sprinkling of rock salt on top of the concrete before it completely dries. When dry, water is splashed on the surface, until the layer of salt melts and washes away. What is left is an interesting pattern of small pits and indentations. This is also a particularly good concrete finish to use outdoors as the pits and indentations help to create traction.
  • Sand Finish Concrete or sand wash concrete, is treated to create the texture and colour of sand. To get a sand finish concrete floor, a concrete mixture that uses sand as an aggregate is required. When the concrete floor is laid out and is drying, a chemical is then left on the surface overnight. This chemical slows the drying of the top level of cement. The following day, the top layer is washed off, exposing the sand below.
  • Trowel Finish Concrete is achieved by using trowels to smooth out a newly installed concrete surface. Before the newly laid concrete dries completely, a trowel is used to level and smooth it out.
  • Float Finish Concrete creates a compact, smooth, and sturdy surface by running a float over the laid concrete. This finish is similar to a trowel finish except that different tools are used. Float finishes are easier to achieve as floats often have long, extendable handles that allow concrete to be efficiently smoothed at a comfortable standing position. Smooth concrete surfaces like these can be slippery though, especially when wet.
  • Feather Finish Concrete requires the application of a commercial feather finishing compound. Feather finish is a good way to revitalise old, uneven concrete floor as it hides imperfections and leaves a smooth yet textured surface.
  • Brushed Finish Concrete is similar to a broom concrete finish, except a brush is dragged over the newly laid concrete. A variety of differently textured concrete floors can be created this way as the ridges left behind will depend on the type of brush used and the size and hardness of the bristles.
  • Smooth Finish Concrete are the most basic type of concrete floors. They are achieved by simply smoothing and levelling the surface of drying concrete. To achieve a truly smooth concrete surface, it’s best to first use a float and follow it with a trowel to ensure that there are no imperfections.
  • Top-Cast Concrete Finish is achieved using a surface retarder called Top-Cast which produces a similar effect to an aggregate finish as the compound is designed to expose the aggregate in the cement. Top-Cast is capable of creating a concrete surface that comes in a variety of colours and texture.
  • Acid Wash Concrete Finish is a concrete floor with a mottled pattern. Acid washes work by dissolving some of the upper layers of laid cement and exposing some of the aggregate below.
  • Epoxy Finish Concrete gives the floor a glossy sheen and is available in solid colours. An epoxy finish is especially good for concrete floors in high-traffic areas such as the garage as it is very resistant to abrasions and scuffs. There are two types of epoxy coating, solvent-based and water-based. Water-based epoxy coatings are usually clear, to maintain the solid grey look of bare concrete but adds a bit of shine. Solvent-based epoxy coatings come in a variety of different colours. Although susceptible to direct sunlight, if not UV protected.
  • Swirl Finish Concrete is textured to create overlapping circular swirls. This interesting and unique pattern is achieved by moving a trowel over the drying surface of the concrete in a circular or curving pattern. The swirls can be as deep or as big or small as required. The unique textures and patterns achieved by this finish also have the added benefit of increasing the traction of the surface.
  • Concrete Aggregate Finish or exposed aggregate finish, is basically a finishing method where the top layer of a concrete floor is washed away so that the aggregates can show through. In a concrete aggregate finish, the aggregate is chosen for its attractiveness. It could be bits of granite, sea shells, coloured glass or colourful stones. When the concrete is set, it is treated with a chemical that will slow the hardening of the cement. After leaving the chemical in overnight, the surface water is then used to wash the surface and the top layer of cement is removed and the aggregates are left exposed. This results is an variety of unique patterns and textures that creates a durable, non-slip surface.
  • Stamped Concrete Finish leaves a textured pattern on the surface to increase the friction of the floor. Often used outdoors, this simple yet elegant solution creates a slip-proof concrete floor

Concrete Finish Options come in a variety of colours and stains, polished as well as different finishes that mimic other flooring materials, such as marble or slate. Decorative touches like stencilled designs can also be applied for a floor that is truly unique. Some of these finishes sound similar , but the visual effects are quite different.

Concrete floor coatings offer unique properties and benefits that lend themselves to various applications. Several factors, such as anticipated traffic, environmental conditions and durability requirements, must be taken into consideration to determine which concrete floor is most appropriate.

For expert advice on the correct cement products to use to achieve the best possible results contact the Sephaku call centre on 0861 32 42 52 or speak to your technical representative.

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