Using a power trowel machine for casting concrete floors gives the finished product a professional look. Power trowels are used for both floating and finishing concrete floors. Compared to hand trowels, power trowels significantly increase the productivity and quality of the finished product. They come in walk-behind and riding models, and they are quite expensive. However, consumers can rent power trowel machines from tool rental businesses for a reasonable amount, and then they don't have to worry about the large expense or upkeep of the machine.
Procure a power trowel machine. Unless you can buy or borrow a power trowel machine, rent one from your local home improvement store. Read the machine's instructions because you don't want any surprises once the concrete is ready to set.
Prepare the area. If the floor requires any wooden forms before the concrete is poured, make sure your forms are in the correct positions. Brace the forms securely to avoid frustrating mistakes later on. Make sure the floor is reinforced according to local regulations.
Determine how much concrete you'll need by measuring the floor and multiplying the square footage by the depth of the intended floor. Add five to 10 percent to account for losses or spillage.
Pour the concrete evenly on a cool, humid day. If you pour it in hot, dry weather, it will dry out before it cures properly. Have several helpers available to help you rake the concrete evenly over the area for the floor. This should be done quickly. Using a side-to-side motion, rake it evenly over the form.
Use a bull float to float the surface and remove air bubbles from the concrete. Push the bull float away from you across the surface until the entire surface has been worked.
Wait until the concrete has cured enough that you barely leave a print on the concrete when you walk on it.
Before starting the power trowel machine, check the machine for gasoline, oil and water levels. Wear safety glasses and a dust mask, and make sure that onlookers stand at a safe distance from the machine.
Connect the battery wires. Make sure you read the operation manual for instructions specific to your model.
Run the machine across the surface of the concrete, overlapping rows, until the entire surface has been smoothed and is completely level. If you desire a non-slip surface, you may need to roughen it up after you are done with the trowel machine.
Clean the concrete off of the power trowel machine with water. An old paint brush can help to loosen concrete that has started to harden. Never get water on the engine while you clean the machine.