How to Float a Concrete Floor

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Used to smooth concrete, a bull float with a long handle allows the operator to remain off the floor or slab while working. Concrete professionals commonly use bull floats, but skilled do-it-yourselfers can find these floats at rental tool outlets. Proper utilization requires some physical strength and knowledge of concrete.

Things You'll Need

  • Bull float with handle
  • Concrete trowel
  • Pour the concrete in the forms and screed or strike off the concrete level with the top of the form. Allow the concrete to set until water no longer accumulates on the surface.

  • Pull the float across the top of the cement. The float levels the concrete and pushes aggregate down within the slab, bringing the cement paste to the top. Hold the float so the leading edge is above the concrete surface to prevent gouging. This requires raising the long handle of the bull float and may entail overhead lifting.

  • Work the bull float in both directions, if possible. Make several passes over the cement slab centering the float over the edges of the previous float passes.

  • Finish the concrete floor in the desired manner. This can include a smooth trowel finish or a broom finish for additional traction.

Tips & Warnings

  • Common materials for bull floats include wood and magnesium. Wood bull floats are sometimes shop-built using a 2- by 4-inch board for a handle.
  • Bull floats are available in a number of sizes. Smaller floats are useful in corners or other closed areas.

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