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How to Finish Concrete in Edmonton

I was visiting with my friend and while sitting on his deck, he was mentioning that he was looking to build a lower level patio pad and possibly a dog run.  Realizing that this isn’t a simple undertaking, I asked what he was planning on doing.  After Googling Concrete Finishing Edmonton this is what I learned.

Watching someone pour and finish concrete is completely different from finishing it yourself. Now you know you’ll need concrete, a shovel, and a trowel, but what else should you use and what can you expect? The intricacies of properly and professionally finishing concrete takes time to master so here are some points to consider.

Tools Required:

  • Broom
  • Darby
  • Edger
  • Groover
  • Magnesium float
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Screed
  • Steel trowel


Make it look Finished

Potentially the most important tip even if it isn’t an actual step in the process. We all want ensure that the finished product shows quality workmanship and not just a load of concrete poured into a square or other shape. We want you to walk away from a job making sure it looks professional and with a feeling of pride in your work.

Selecting and Mixing Concrete

Remember that not all concrete is created equal with some types of concrete handle extreme temperatures better than others while others can take on more weight. It is extremely important to make sure that the concrete you choose fits the purpose for which it is required. Consider at least a 3,000 PSI concrete for sidewalks and driveways, but the best concrete for heavy loads is at least 4,000 PSI.

Follow the recommended instructions for mixing the concrete. You’ll always get the best results when you measure and mix precisely as opposed to going by eye.



There isn’t really a set process when pouring concrete, however, you will want to make sure there are no bubbles that could potentially cause craters later.


Tamping, or compressing, is rarely needed with many types of today’s concrete mixes. Tamping some types of concrete can weaken the slab and ruin the project so make sure to double check the type of concrete mix you’re using before tamping.


Troweling concrete is not the easiest or most enjoyable job. When ready to trowel, use a wooden trowel or magnesium float to smooth the surface. Please note that some texture is a good thing, especially in an area that may be exposed to water or the elements like here in Edmonton.

If you are unhappy with the troweling job, one option you have to finish the surface is to use a broom and lightly drag it across the surface of the concrete until it is flat. Use an old broom and be prepared to replace it if you don’t clean it quickly. A “broom-finished” concrete surface offers much more traction on wet concrete than a smooth, trowel-finished surface.

Know When to Finish

Inexperience in finishing concrete can often lead to one of two mistakes – troweling too soon or too much. Both of these mistakes can pull too much water to the surface resulting in a white, dusty and cracked surface. Concrete sets more quickly on warm days, so make sure to work at a pace that is appropriate to the weather conditions.

Work Bleed water Back into the Concrete

Bleed water or Bleeding in fresh concrete refers to the process where free water in the mix migrates upward to the surface due to the settlement of heavier solid particles. Some bleeding is normal but excessive bleeding can be problematic.

It is important not to allow the water to evaporate. Work the surface with a trowel to work the water back down into the concrete to prevent dusting, scaling and cracking.

Add Color

Many concrete contractors take pride in being creative with finished concrete. We’ve seen some pretty impressive finished concrete that resembles marble, stone, brick or tile. All it takes is some colored concrete dye and some serious dedication to perfecting your work but please note that this is not a simple process for a weekend do-it-yourselfer. 

Protect Your Concrete

It is always suggested to apply a sealant to the concrete after it is finished, dried and cured. A good sealant will protect the concrete for 3-5 years if it is properly applied.

Places Where Concrete Can Be Used

You can use concrete for many applications including:

  • Basement Flooring
  • Utility Room Flooring
  • Warehouse and Commercial Flooring
  • Driveway
  • Garage
  • Carport
  • Footers
  • Mailbox Pads
  • Patio
  • Dog Runs

Some property owners tend to love the simplicity of concrete and it can be a fun and relatively inexpensive project where one can let their artistic skills be shown off.

Here is some additional related info if you want to dive deeper. 

For any advice related to concrete curing in Edmonton, contact Brett at  Garden Concrete Services!