The rough concrete slab is always a headache until you give it a smooth finish. Working on a rough surface is quite hard. Therefore, many people out there want to have epoxy flooring to make the concrete slab smother. Leveling the surface, epoxy coating brings a good shape and also makes it shiny. However, the rough concrete slab is a result of incorrect pouring of concrete. It is the job of professionals to pour the concrete skillfully.
Otherwise, you will need to deal with the rough surface. Nonetheless, smoothing the rough concrete slab is not that tough. In fact, it is a DIY project when you follow some steps. Moreover, repairing concrete slabs comes with patches and a grinding process. But, these are not enough if the concrete slab was smooth once. Now that it got damaged after years of use, regaining its smoothness will also require an overlay.
Nonetheless, when you know how to smooth rough concrete slab, you will also know the process doesn’t require many essentials. Also, you can say that the process is considerably inexpensive. So, today we will guide you to the process where you would get to know how to smooth rough concrete surfaces and make them shiny as well.
How to Smooth Rough Concrete Slab & Make It Shiny: with 9 Steps Effectively:
Well, dealing with uneven and rough concrete slabs does not mean you will have to deal with cracks or holes. It means dealing with damaged and uneven concrete floors to make them smooth. Undoubtedly, it makes the process easier. Only a well-finished concrete floor ensures durability and strength.
Grinding is a way to make the surface smooth. But it is not enough since grinding will leave repair patches on the floor that are unsightly. That is why a thin overlay application is important to make rough concrete slab smoother. You will know it better when you get right to the steps.
- Wire Brush
- Putty knife
- Leveling bar
- Grinding machine
- Epoxy gel
- Epoxy resin
- Power drill
- Self-leveling compound
These are some basic inexpensive essentials that you will need to smooth a rough concrete slab. You will get these tools near your hands even if you are an average DIYer. We have chosen epoxy gel and resin as sealers and concrete repairing materials since many people opt for epoxy flooring.
Surely, there are other repairing materials available in the market. Choose the ones that will be best for your concrete slab. Now, let’s get to the steps one by one to have detailed knowledge.
Step 1: Sweep the Floor:
This is the very first step of this process. sweeping the dust and debris is the first thing to do when you are up to smoothing rough concrete slab. Using a push broom will be useful to sweep away the dust. However, using only the push broom will not be enough. There must be some ingrained dirt on the floor. To clean them better use a pH-neutral cleanser with warm water.
Rub the floor with the cleanser then wash away with water. Make sure there is no cleanser residue left on the floor. when you are done sweeping the floor, let it dry. Do not start working until the concrete slab dries completely.
Step 2: Repair Damaged Areas on Concrete Slab:
There must be some damaged and spalled areas you will find on the concrete slab. You may also find shards of cement and flakes or cracks that need to repair first before the smoothening process. To get rid of the concrete shards use a hammer and chisel.
Nonetheless, breaking concrete shards with the chisel and hammer is easy. Place the chisel tip on the shards and strike its head with a hammer. The force will break through the shards. When you break all shards clean the debris. Using a wire brush sweep away the debris and broken shards from the damaged areas.
Step 3: Use Epoxy Gel on Damaged Areas:
After sweeping debris from the damaged areas of the concrete slab, it is time to brush the areas with epoxy gel. The epoxy gel is a great substance for patches on concrete. It creates a strong bonding between the patching materials of damaged areas and concrete.
Step 4: Use Epoxy Resin to Fill the Cracks:
As we mentioned earlier, there might be some cracks or flakes on the concrete slab. In this step, you need to fill the cracks using epoxy resin. It helps in leveling up the concrete slab surface. However, it is tough to fill the holes or cracks with epoxy resin using normal equipment.
Use a putty knife instead. With a putty knife grab some epoxy resin and simply fill the holes or cracks. After applying the resin, level the surface floor with the knife. Now, let all the patches dry. It will take nearly 24 hours to dry completely.
Step 5: Use Leveling Bar:
To have a flat and plain floor use leveling bar. Using a leveling bar is the easiest thing to do on earth. Just place the flat bar against the concrete slab surface and then drag it over the floor. while dragging you will get to know the high areas and dips in the concrete slab. Mark the areas with chalk for proper leveling.
Step 6: Lower High Areas Using a Concrete Grinder:
High areas where you have marked with the chalk need to be lowered and leveled. Hence, a concrete grinder is required. A grinder is considered a great power tool for smoothing concrete surfaces. Place the grinder on higher areas and start grinding over the place.
Make a small circular motion while running the grinder so that it gently flattens the floor. Keep on grinding till the areas come to the same level. When the areas will be leveled up just like the rest of the concrete surface, turn off the grinder.
Step 7: Grind Again All over the Floor:
Well, grinding is not over yet. Now, in this step, you have to grind all over the whole concrete slab surface again to bring the same texture. In this case, grinding should be very light. Just run the grinder all over the entire surface lightly. When you see a similar texture in the entire floor stop grinding. Grinding will certainly produce dust and residue. Clean all the residue again using a push broom.
Step 8: Make a Mixture of Water and Self-leveling Compound:
This is another crucial step to smooth out a rough concrete floor. Making the mixture properly is important. Take a bucket and mix self-leveling compound and water together. Make sure the consistency of the mixture is the same as oatmeal. Otherwise, it will not work well on the concrete slab surface.
Read Also: Dremel Vs Die Grinder– Which One is Best-Suited for Your Project
Step 9: Apply the Compound onto the Floor:
Now, it is time to pour the mixture. But first, pour the mixture compound on the marked dips and fill them with the compound. After filling the dips, pour the compound all over the floor as a layer. Make a compound layer of about half an inch from the surface of the floor.
To spread the compound evenly, use a squeegee. With the squeegee spreading the mixture becomes easier. When you are done with it, let the layer set for about four hours. After 4 hours you will get a new and smooth concrete slab.
For normal and regular use, leave the floor about more about two days. Within two days, the floor will be fully smooth and cured for normal use.
Tips & Protection:
- Do not forget to wear protective gear. Wear protective and long clothing.
- Wear safety goggles and face masks while dealing with the repairing process. otherwise, the dust and debris will irritate your eyes and lungs. Also, goggles will protect your eyes from unexpected shard particles.
- Again, the mask will protect you from harmful chemicals of the compounds and other toxic materials from overlay. However, wearing a respirator is a must especially when you are working with epoxy.
- No matter what material you are using other than epoxy to smooth out a rough concrete floor, make sure they dry properly.
- Do not walk on the floor or place any tool or furniture before it dries properly.
Question: How do you get a glossy finish on concrete?
Answer: How to make concrete smooth and shiny and of course, glossy, is a common question. Well, only a glossy sealer can provide a shiny surface with a glossy finish. If you want to add an extra protective coating then you can also use acrylic wax.
Generally, most people use epoxy sealers or polyurethane for this purpose. Epoxy sealers not only offer a shiny finish but also they are highly resistant to stains and abrasion. Again, these sealers resist heavy traffic as well. However, it is suggested to use water-based acrylic sealers since they are easy to apply and also inexpensive.
Question: How do I make my concrete finish smoother?
Answer: There are different types of finishes available to get smoother concrete. Some of the common finishes are broom finish, trowel finish, polished finish, stamped concrete finish, colored finish, and all. However, to get the utmost smooth finish you can apply both troweling finish and polished finish. Both finishing processes will bring you your desired smoothness to the concrete.
Nonetheless, troweling is more important for dealing with indoor concrete. To achieve your desired smoothness, you have to trowel on a repeated process. Use a steel trowel for consecutive sweeping purposes. On a serious note, to avoid getting a chatter texture on the floor surface, try not to tilt the trowel. Also, adding water while finishing can also ruin the process. So, by avoiding these things, you can get a smoother concrete finish.
Question: How do you fix pitted concrete?
Answer: Pitted concrete is a common problem and it mostly occurs when the accelerator is used extensively for its quick set. The accelerator provokes the water inside the concrete to dry faster. It results in a pitted and dimpled surface.
Well, there are ways to fix this pitted concrete. There are some concrete repair materials available to fix this problem. These bonding repair materials are more like caulk. They restore the concrete surface when applied properly. However, before applying the repair material or concrete patch, power-wash the surface properly. Otherwise, the materials won’t work well.
Question: What is the best mix for concrete?
Answer: There is a proper ratio for getting the best mix for concrete. A 1:3:5 ratio of cement, sand, and coarse gravel respectively makes the strongest concrete mix ever. Nonetheless, in this mix gravel and sand come as aggregate. Again, to make a safe concrete mix you can take the 4:2:1 ratio of crushed rock, sand, and cement respectively. This is the proper concrete mix proportions to have the safest best.
Moreover, to strengthen the concrete mix you can either less sand proportion or add more cement in the mixture. To have a stronger concrete mix rating, bring the sand and cement ratio closer.
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