How To Broom Finish Concrete – 5 steps to Brooming Concrete!

broom finish concrete examples

In this blog we will explain how to broom finish concrete, and how mastering this technique can significantly elevate the quality of your concrete projects, ensuring beauty, functionality, and safety.

Learning how to broom finish concrete is easy and is one of the most common finishes for concrete that is in need of some grip.

Broom finishing concrete is a great way to add grip to areas that need tread and by doing so we can minimize falls, slips, and other accidents due to slippery surfaces.

How to broom finish concrete, how to concrete.com

Broom Finish Concrete

When it comes to creating a durable and visually appealing concrete surface, the finishing touches can make all the difference.

Among the various techniques employed by skilled craftsmen and construction experts, concrete broom finishing stands out as a tried-and-true method for achieving both functionality and aesthetics.

This often-overlooked art of concrete finishing not only enhances the grip and slip resistance of the surface but also lends a distinctive texture that can elevate the overall appeal of any concrete project.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of concrete broom finishing, exploring its benefits, techniques, and the endless possibilities it offers.

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional in the construction industry, this blog is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to master the art of concrete broom finishing.

Why Broom Finish Concrete?

Broom finishing concrete is not just added for grip as there are other benefits for finishing your concrete with a broom finish.

Here are 5 reasons to broom finish concrete:

1. Enhanced Safety:

One of the primary reasons to broom concrete is to improve safety by providing increased traction and slip resistance. Broom finishing creates a textured surface that helps prevent accidents, particularly in areas prone to moisture, such as pool decks, driveways, and sidewalks. The grip provided by a broom finish ensures stability and reduces the risk of slips and falls.

2. Aesthetic Appeal:

Broom finishing adds a visually appealing texture to the concrete surface, giving it depth and character. This technique can be customized to suit various styles and preferences, allowing you to create a unique and attractive look for your outdoor spaces. Whether you desire a rustic, contemporary, or traditional appearance, a broom finish can transform an ordinary concrete surface into an eye-catching focal point.

3. Cost-Effective Solution:

Broom finishing is a cost-effective method compared to other decorative concrete techniques. It requires minimal specialized equipment and materials, making it accessible to both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. By opting for broom finishing, you can achieve a visually pleasing result without breaking the bank, making it an ideal choice for large-scale projects or budget-conscious individuals.

4. Durability and Longevity:

Broom finished concrete surfaces are known for their durability and longevity. The textured finish not only enhances the concrete’s resistance to wear and tear but also helps to distribute weight and pressure more evenly. This makes broom-finished concrete an excellent choice for areas that experience heavy foot traffic, vehicle usage, or exposure to harsh weather conditions.

5. Ease of Maintenance:

Ease of Maintenance: Another advantage of broom finished concrete is its easy maintenance. The texture created by the broom finish helps to hide dirt, stains, and minor imperfections, making it less demanding in terms of regular cleaning. Additionally, if any damage occurs over time, repairs can be easily carried out by re-brooming the affected area, extending the lifespan of the concrete surface and reducing maintenance costs.

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How To Broom Finish Concrete In 5 Steps

This is a simplified process of how to broom finish concrete in a 5 step process. The process is simple, and straightforward, and can be done by using minimum tools.

  1. Prepare the Concrete: Start by pouring and leveling the concrete surface. Ensure that it is properly compacted and free of any debris or excess water.

  2. Trowel the Surface: Once the concrete is firm enough to support your weight but still workable, use a steel finishing trowel to smooth and level the surface. This step helps create a flat and even base for the broom finish. Move the trowel in straight lines, overlapping each pass slightly, until the entire surface is troweled. This will also bring more cement to the surface and allow for a harder concrete surface.

  3. Timing is Key: Wait until the troweled surface is no longer wet but still has some moisture and is workable. This usually occurs within a few hours after troweling, depending on the weather conditions.

  4. Choose the Right Broom: Select a broom with medium to stiff bristles, preferably made of nylon or polypropylene. This type of broom will create the desired texture on the concrete surface.

  5. Begin Brooming: Starting at one end of the concrete, gently drag the broom across the surface in a straight line. Use consistent pressure and maintain a steady pace to achieve an even texture. Continue this motion, overlapping each pass slightly until you reach the opposite end. Rebroom if you like more tread, if you want deeper tread, use a slightly heavier broom.

Tools Needed To Broom Finish Concrete

broom finish concrete examples

Besides the basic concrete tools needed to place and finish concrete, brooming concrete can be done with many types of broom heads, and finding or making poles for further reach when brooming can be made from any kind of extension pole or stick.

In most cases, after the concrete has been troweled and left for a period of time, the brooming can begin!

What you will need for brooming concrete:

1. A medium firmness broom:

The standard broom around the home will usually be enough to give your concrete the texture or grip that it needs. If using a hard bristle broom, lines will be bigger and will scratch more into the surface, if the bristles are too soft, they will not scratch the concrete enough.

2. Extension pole:

If your concrete project is too wide to reach the broom out over the concrete, adding an extension pole or handle to the existing broom handle can make all the difference. Extension handles can be made from old poles, long light sticks, or bamboo, and these can be strapped or taped up giving the user much more reach for maximum brooming and fewer broom line joins.

Note: There are 3 or 4 main types of poles and attachments so be careful to choose the ones that fit together correctly!

Keep In Mind When Planning A Broom Finish

Throughout my career, I have successfully completed numerous concrete projects, specifically focusing on achieving a broom finish.

Having worked for the council, where my responsibilities included renovating street footpaths and driveway crossings/entrances, I have witnessed the significant impact that constant vehicle usage can have on these surfaces.

While some may argue that the broom finish lasts, in my experience, it tends to wear down quickly.

If you are planning to pour concrete in a high-traffic area, I strongly recommend considering a maggie swirl finish instead. This technique involves using a magnesium float to trowel small sections of the concrete (reaching as far as your arm can extend).

Once a layer of cement paste is formed, proceed to create swirling motions with the magnesium float, shaping them into figure 8-like patterns. This process results in a rougher texture compared to the broom finish, offering enhanced durability and longevity.

For wider areas use a set of concrete knee boards to get out over those normally hard-to-reach places. Concrete knee boards allow us to position ourselves on top of the concrete with minimal indentation. Great to get up against walls or around pipes when the concrete is still too wet to walk on.

Summary On How To Broom Finish Concrete

This is a simplified process of how to broom finish concrete in a 5 step process. The process is simple, and straightforward, and can be done by using minimum tools.

  1. Place and prepare the Concrete

  2. Trowel the Surface

  3. Timing is Key

  4. Choose the Right Broom

  5. Begin Brooming

Happy Concrete Brooming

In conclusion, the broom finish has long been a popular choice for concrete projects. However, its durability and ability to withstand the wear and tear of constant vehicle usage have come into question.

Through my experience working on street footpaths and driveway crossings, I have observed that the broom finish tends to wear down relatively quickly.

For those seeking a longer-lasting alternative, I recommend considering the maggie swirl finish. By employing a magnesium float and employing a swirling motion in the shape of figure 8, this technique creates a rougher texture that enhances the concrete’s resilience.

Whether it’s a high-traffic area or simply a desire for increased longevity, the maggie swirl finish offers a superior solution for your concrete projects.

Choose wisely, and let your concrete stand the test of time.

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