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Old 04-08-2012, 06:18 AM   #1
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HELP! New concrete driveway finished with a wood trowel


Hi, 3 days ago I had a new concrete driveway put down at my house. Every other concrete driveway I have ever seen has always had a smooth (very fine texture) finish to it. To be honest it never crossed my mind that there are different gradients of texture that concrete driveways can be finished in. Anyway, after the concreters finished trowelling the cement I noticed how rough it was. I called the concreter up that night and ran it by him and he said he needed to make it rough so no one would slip. I have since done my homework and have noticed that you can finish with a steel float (which gives you a smoother finish) or a wood float (which gives you a rough finish). I went for a drive today and looked at every cement driveway and petrol station and didn't come across 1 that was finished with a rough texture. My problem is that I do not like the appearance of the concrete that has been laid down. If there are 2 different finishes shouldn't of he asked me which one I wanted? The question I have now, is there anything that can be done to smooth out my driveway? Also I had a black topping put on which seems to be jet black. Will this fade in time and also is there another colour I could of used which wouldn't of made it so dark? e.g. charcoal? Any reply will be much appreciated.

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Old 04-10-2012, 08:42 PM   #2
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HELP! New concrete driveway finished with a wood trowel


Typically a broom finish is what is used to create a slip proof surface for finished concrete. I trial finish is only ever used for finished interior slabs which stay dry.

As far as the black top finish.. im not sure what they used but if it was sealed then it will stay the same color for a long time. I also wouldnt recommend using a charcoal color either they that color tends to dry darker then the sample (in my experience). Not sure why you were never offered a broom finish. Hope this helps.

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Old 04-11-2012, 06:44 AM   #3
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HELP! New concrete driveway finished with a wood trowel


ANY color will fade - even the UV resistant 1's - about 3% per season iirc,,, a UV resistant sealer will be a big help but even i have to reseal my d/w ea yr,,, never used a wood float - always steel even on hgwys & runways followed by a broome.

what sort of ' topping ' did you have applied ? powder, liquid, what ?
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:37 AM   #4
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HELP! New concrete driveway finished with a wood trowel


The topping was in powder form. To be honest, the colour is not my main concern right now. I believe from the research I've done that it will fade a little. My main concern is the actual surface. It is way too rough for my liking and I would like to know if there is anything that can be done to smooth it out. Any suggestions out there?
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
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HELP! New concrete driveway finished with a wood trowel


there isn't any topping that can be installed w/uniform color other than what is mix'd in ONE bag,,, that's why there's always something to break up the ' eye ' to our brains,,, i would suggest living w/it for a yr then, if it still bothers you, have someone grind the surface using 40grit pads,,, this isn't diy work,,, IF you have to close your eyes driving into the garage ea day, have it done now & select a cementitious polymre-modified o'lay for the top surface,,, finding the right artisan can make your job MUCH easier - decorative conc artisans have a far different understanding of conc imo
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:05 AM   #6
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HELP! New concrete driveway finished with a wood trowel


I appreciate your help. How thick is this overlay that you speak of? Being so thin will this crack once I drive over it?
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:52 AM   #7
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HELP! New concrete driveway finished with a wood trowel


my experience has been w/eliteCrete & a few others,,, the thickness is typically 1/16" - 1/8",,, while it ( eC ) has a higher compressive strength than your present conc, the secret's in the flexural strength & the chemical bonding to your conc,,, now, no more questions for at least 6 hrs am off to play golf
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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HELP! New concrete driveway finished with a wood trowel


How about uploading a photo or two??

It sounds like you have what we call a "sweat" finish, which will wear down through time, and can be mechanically ground in necessary.

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