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How to Make Concrete Smooth: A DIY Approach

Are you looking to create a smooth and polished concrete surface? With the right techniques and a DIY approach, you can achieve a professional-looking finish right in your own backyard. Whether you want to smooth out a concrete floor or create a sleek concrete countertop, this article will guide you through the step-by-step process. For more information, check out our Concreter Services Townsville. Additionally, if you’re considering enhancing your space with bamboo flooring, our guide on “How to Lay Bamboo Flooring on Concrete Slab: A Step-by-Step Guide” provides seamless installation tips and expert advice to complement your polished concrete surface.

Key Takeaways:

  • Preparing the concrete surface is crucial for achieving a smooth finish.
  • Leveling, floating, and troweling are key steps in smoothing concrete.
  • Polishing methods such as mechanical or chemical polishing can enhance the surface’s shine.
  • DIY concrete finishing is possible, but consulting with professionals is recommended for best results.
  • Maintaining and caring for smooth concrete surfaces will prolong their lifespan and appearance.

Importance of a Smooth Finish

Having a smooth finish on your concrete is essential for both the texture and durability of the surface. A smooth concrete surface not only feels more comfortable to walk on but also resists wear and tear more effectively. To achieve a smooth finish, it is crucial to employ the right concrete smoothing methods and tools. Following a step-by-step concrete smoothing guide can help you achieve the desired results with precision and accuracy.

Concrete Smoothing Methods

There are various concrete smoothing methods available, each serving a specific purpose in the surface preparation process. Some common methods include:

  • Leveling the concrete surface
  • Floating and troweling
  • Polishing for a glass-like shine

Each of these methods contributes to creating a smooth and visually appealing concrete surface.

Step-by-Step Concrete Smoothing Guide

Following a step-by-step concrete smoothing guide ensures that you don’t miss any important steps and achieve a professional-quality finish. This guide typically includes:

  1. Preparing the concrete surface
  2. Leveling the surface
  3. Floating and troweling
  4. Polishing the concrete

By following these steps diligently, you can achieve a smooth concrete finish that meets your expectations.

Concrete Smoothing Tools

Using the right tools is crucial for effective concrete smoothing. Some essential tools for achieving a smooth finish include:

  • Screed boards for leveling the concrete surface
  • Darbies for smoothing and leveling concrete
  • Trowels for achieving a smooth and even final finish

Having these tools at your disposal ensures that you can complete the concrete smoothing process efficiently and achieve the desired results.

When it comes to concrete smoothing, precision and attention to detail are key. By employing the right methods and tools and following a step-by-step guide, you can achieve a smooth concrete surface that enhances the aesthetics and longevity of your project.

Leveling the Concrete Surface

Before achieving a smooth concrete surface, it is crucial to ensure that the floor is level. Uneven concrete can create structural issues and affect the overall appearance of the surface. To level the concrete, self-leveling cement is a widely used solution.

“Leveling the concrete floor is an essential step in creating a smooth and visually appealing surface.”

Self-leveling cement, such as Ardex, is a popular choice for leveling concrete. This specialized cement mixture can be applied and poured directly onto the uneven surface. It has a high flowability, allowing it to seek its own level and create a flat, even surface.

Once the self-leveling cement is poured, it needs time to cure and harden. After the curing process, the surface can be ground to achieve a smooth and polished finish. This leveling technique is highly effective in creating a seamless and uniform concrete surface.

Advantages of Self-Leveling Cement:

  • Easy application and self-smoothing properties.
  • Evenly levels the concrete surface, eliminating high and low spots.
  • Creates a flat and seamless substrate for further finishing.

Disadvantages of Self-Leveling Cement:

  • Requires proper surface preparation to ensure adhesion.
  • May not be suitable for extreme irregularities or deep voids in the concrete.
  • Can be time-consuming due to the drying and curing process.

Comparison of Different Self-Leveling Cement Brands

BrandFeaturesApplication ThicknessDrying Time
ArdexSelf-smoothing, high flowability1/16″ to 2″2-6 hours
MAPEIExcellent leveling properties1/16″ to 5/8″24 hours
HenryQuick-curing, feather edge applicationFeather edge to 1/2″4 hours

Floating and Troweling the Surface

After leveling the concrete surface, the next step in achieving a smooth finish is floating and troweling. Floating plays a crucial role in the concrete smoothing process as it helps smooth out any imperfections, compact the concrete, and prepares it for further finishing steps.

You have two options for floating the concrete: by hand using small hand floats or larger bull floats, or by using a machine for mechanical floating. Hand floating allows for greater control and precision, making it suitable for smaller areas or intricate designs. On the other hand, machine floating is a faster and more efficient option, ideal for larger concrete surfaces.

Hand Floating: To hand float the concrete, use small hand floats with a wooden or magnesium blade. Start by moving the floats in a sweeping motion across the surface, applying even pressure to smooth out any uneven areas. Continue floating until you achieve the desired smoothness and uniformity.

Machine Floating: Machine floating is done using power trowels or ride-on trowels. These machines consist of rotating blades that level and smooth the concrete surface. Working in parallel rows, the trowel operator guides the machine across the concrete, allowing the blades to do the work. This method is quicker and requires less physical effort compared to hand floating.

Once the concrete has been floated, the next step is troweling. Troweling helps create an even smoother surface and is especially important for indoor concrete applications. Commonly used trowels include float trowels, finishing trowels, and flooring trowels.

Float Troweling: Float trowels have a flat, rectangular blade and are used to further smooth the surface after floating. Move the float trowel across the concrete in circular or sweeping motions to achieve a consistent texture and sheen.

Finishing Troweling: Finishing trowels have a curved edge and are used to refine the surface and eliminate any remaining imperfections. Hold the finishing trowel at a slight angle and apply light pressure while moving it across the concrete. This step helps achieve a very smooth and polished finish.

Flooring Troweling: Flooring trowels are wider and longer, specifically designed for larger areas such as floors. They allow for more efficient troweling, covering a greater surface area with each pass. Flooring trowels are commonly used in commercial and industrial applications.

Both floating and troweling techniques are essential for achieving a smooth concrete surface that is visually appealing and durable. The level of smoothness desired and the size of the project will determine whether to use hand floats or machines for floating, as well as the type of trowel for troweling.

Now that the concrete has been leveled, floated, and troweled, it is ready for the next stage of the concrete smoothing process, which is polishing. Polishing further refines the surface and enhances its sheen and aesthetics. The techniques and tools used for concrete polishing will be discussed in the next section.

Polishing for a Glass-Like Shine

Concrete Polishing

Once the concrete is completely cured, it’s time to transform it into a stunning, glass-like surface through the process of polishing. Concrete polishing is a popular technique that enhances the overall appearance and smoothness of the concrete, giving it a brilliant shine.

There are various methods of polishing finished concrete, with mechanical and chemical polishing being the most common options. However, one widely acclaimed method is diamond polishing, which utilizes industrial diamonds to achieve exceptional results.

Diamond polishing involves using abrasive discs embedded with industrial diamonds to grind and smooth the concrete surface. These diamonds gradually refine the surface, removing imperfections and revealing a polished finish. The grit size of the diamonds determines the level of sheen achieved. Finer grit sizes produce a higher level of shine and a more refined finish.


Polishing the concrete surface not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also provides several practical benefits. A polished concrete floor is highly durable, resistant to wear and tear, and easy to maintain. Additionally, it can improve indoor air quality by reducing the accumulation of dust and allergens.

Overall, concrete polishing is a transformative process that adds the finishing touch to your concrete surface, elevating it to a whole new level of elegance and sophistication.

Benefits of Concrete Polishing:

  • Creates a glossy, mirror-like finish
  • Enhances the overall appearance of the concrete
  • Improves durability and resists wear and tear
  • Easy to maintain and clean
  • Reduces the accumulation of dust and allergens

Comparing Concrete Polishing Methods:

Polishing MethodDescription
Mechanical PolishingUses grinding and polishing machines with diamond abrasive discs.
Chemical PolishingUtilizes chemical agents to react with the concrete surface, producing a polished finish.
Diamond PolishingInvolves the use of industrial diamonds to grind and polish the concrete surface, achieving exceptional shine and smoothness.

“Diamond polishing is a game-changer when it comes to achieving a glass-like shine on concrete surfaces. The precision and effectiveness of diamond abrasives make it a popular choice among professionals in the industry.”

Benefits and Limitations of DIY Concrete Finishing

DIY concrete finishing offers several benefits for individuals looking to save money and have control over their concrete projects. However, it is important to consider the limitations that come with taking on this task independently.

Benefits of DIY Concrete Finishing

  • Cost Savings: By choosing the DIY route, homeowners can save on labor costs and potentially reduce overall project expenses.
  • Flexibility and Control: DIYers have the freedom to work at their own pace, make design choices, and customize the final result.
  • Learning Opportunity: Engaging in a DIY concrete project provides valuable hands-on experience and allows individuals to expand their skillset.
  • Satisfaction and Pride: Completing a concrete project independently can be a source of personal satisfaction and pride.

Limitations of DIY Concrete Finishing

  • Expertise and Experience: Achieving professional-level results requires specialized knowledge and experience in concrete surface preparation, finishing techniques, and polishing.
  • Specialized Equipment: Larger projects or projects with specific requirements may call for equipment that may not be readily available to DIY enthusiasts.
  • Time and Effort: DIY concrete finishing can be time-consuming and physically demanding, particularly for larger areas or complex designs.
  • Potential for Mistakes: Without proper training and guidance, DIYers may encounter challenges in achieving a smooth finish and may need to invest additional time and effort in correcting mistakes.

“While DIY concrete finishing can be a rewarding experience, it is important to recognize the expertise and equipment limitations that may arise. For larger or more complex projects, seeking professional assistance can ensure optimal results and save time and resources.”

Here is a table summarizing the benefits and limitations of DIY concrete finishing:

Cost savingsExpertise and experience required
Flexibility and controlSpecialized equipment needed
Learning opportunityTime and effort-intensive
Satisfaction and pridePotential for mistakes

While DIY concrete finishing can be a fulfilling endeavor, it is essential to evaluate the scope of the project, one’s skills, and the desired outcome. For larger projects or those requiring specialized techniques, seeking professional assistance from experienced concrete contractors is often the best choice.

Professional Concrete Smoothing Services

Concrete Smoothing Services

If you are looking to achieve a flawless smooth finish on your concrete surfaces, it is highly recommended to hire professional concrete contractors. These experienced experts possess the necessary expertise, knowledge, and specialized equipment to deliver exceptional results.

Professional concrete contractors offer a range of concrete smoothing services tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you require concrete leveling, floating, troweling, or polishing, they have the skills to ensure a perfect smooth finish every time.

When selecting a concrete contractor, it is crucial to consider their reputation, qualifications, and customer reviews. A reputable contractor will have a proven track record of delivering high-quality concrete smoothing services.

“Hiring a professional concrete contractor guarantees you access to expert advice and efficient services.”

By enlisting the services of professional concrete contractors, you can rest assured that your concrete surfaces will receive the utmost care and attention to detail. They will work closely with you to understand your specific requirements and provide valuable recommendations based on their expertise.

Furthermore, professional contractors utilize state-of-the-art equipment and cutting-edge techniques to ensure precision and efficiency in their work. They stay updated with the latest advancements in the industry to deliver the best possible results.

The Benefits of Professional Concrete Smoothing Services

There are several advantages to hiring professional concrete contractors for your smoothing needs:

  • Expertise: Professional concrete contractors have in-depth knowledge and experience in working with concrete surfaces. They understand the intricacies involved in achieving a smooth finish and can effectively address any challenges that may arise.
  • Quality Results: With their professional expertise and specialized equipment, contractors can deliver superior-quality results that exceed your expectations. Their attention to detail ensures a flawless finish.
  • Time and Cost Savings: Hiring professionals saves you time and effort. They have the necessary tools, resources, and manpower to complete the project efficiently. Additionally, their expertise minimizes the risk of errors and costly mistakes.

By choosing professional concrete contractors, you are investing in the long-lasting beauty and durability of your concrete surfaces. Their services add value to your property while providing a visually appealing and smooth finish.

For all your concrete smoothing needs, contact our team of skilled professionals at Professional Concrete Contractors. We are committed to delivering exceptional results and ensuring your utmost satisfaction.

Importance of Proper Concrete Surface Preparation

Proper concrete surface preparation is the foundation for achieving a smooth and durable finish. Before you begin any concrete smoothing project, it is crucial to invest time and effort into properly preparing the surface. This step sets the stage for the success of your project and ensures that the final result will meet your expectations.

The first step in concrete surface preparation is surface leveling. Surface leveling techniques, such as self-leveling cement, create an even and uniform surface that is essential for achieving a smooth finish. Self-leveling cement is applied and poured onto the surface, smoothing out any uneven areas and providing a solid foundation for further concrete smoothing steps.

Another important aspect of concrete surface preparation is repairing any cracks, holes, or imperfections in the surface. These imperfections can affect the overall quality and longevity of the concrete finish. By addressing and repairing these issues, you can ensure that the surface is structurally sound and ready for smoothing.

Cleaning the surface thoroughly is also a crucial step in concrete surface preparation. Removing any debris, dirt, or contaminants from the surface ensures proper adhesion of smoothing compounds and helps achieve a smooth result. This can be done through mechanical methods such as pressure washing or by using appropriate cleaning solutions.

Benefits of Proper Surface Preparation

Proper concrete surface preparation offers several benefits:

  • Enhanced adhesion: By leveling the surface, repairing cracks, and cleaning away debris, you create a smooth and clean canvas for the smoothing materials. This promotes better adhesion, ensuring that the smoothing compounds adhere properly to the surface.
  • Improved durability: A properly prepared concrete surface is more resistant to wear and tear. By addressing any underlying issues and creating an even surface, you can enhance the durability and longevity of the concrete finish.
  • Professional results: Proper surface preparation lays the groundwork for achieving professional-quality results. It ensures that the concrete surface is free from imperfections, making it easier to achieve a smooth and polished finish.

Factors Affecting the Smoothness of Concrete

Several factors can influence the smoothness of a concrete surface. To achieve the desired smooth finish, attention must be given to the concrete curing process, choice of polishing techniques and tools, as well as adhering to recommended practices.

Curing Process and Concrete Smoothness

The curing process plays a crucial role in achieving a smooth concrete surface. Prior to proceeding with any polishing techniques, it is essential to ensure that the concrete is fully cured. Proper timing and temperature control during curing are vital to ensure the desired smooth finish.

Polishing Techniques and Tools

The selection of appropriate polishing techniques and tools also plays a significant role in determining the smoothness of the final concrete surface. The use of diamond grits and polishing machines can help achieve the desired level of smoothness. It is important to choose the right grit size and to follow the recommended polishing methods to achieve optimal results.

“The choice of polishing techniques and tools is crucial for achieving a smooth and visually appealing concrete finish.” – Concrete Polishing Expert

Attention to detail throughout the concrete smoothing process is essential. Following recommended practices and procedures, along with proper technique application, can help ensure a consistent and visually appealing smooth finish.

FactorsImpact on Concrete Smoothness
Curing ProcessProper curing results in an even and smooth surface
Polishing Techniques and ToolsAppropriate selection enhances smoothness
Attention to DetailConsistency and meticulousness contribute to smooth finish

By addressing these factors and giving careful consideration to each step of the concrete smoothing process, a smooth and visually appealing concrete finish can be achieved.

Maintenance and Care for Smooth Concrete Surfaces

Once you have achieved a smooth concrete surface, it is important to maintain and care for it to preserve its appearance and durability. Regular cleaning, using appropriate cleaning solutions and tools, can help remove dirt, stains, and debris from the surface. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may damage or scratch the concrete. Applying a protective sealer can enhance the shine and provide added protection against stains and wear. Proper maintenance practices, including routine inspections and prompt repairs, can extend the life and beauty of your smooth concrete surface.

Cleaning Tips for Smooth Concrete

  • Regularly sweep or use a soft-bristle broom to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Use a mild detergent or concrete cleaner to remove stains, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • For tough stains, such as oil or grease, use an appropriate cleaner and a stiff brush to scrub the affected area.
  • Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners that can damage the concrete surface.
  • Rinse the concrete thoroughly after cleaning to remove any residue.

Protecting Your Smooth Concrete

“Regular maintenance and proper care are essential in preserving the longevity and appearance of your smooth concrete surface.”

To protect your smooth concrete surface and maintain its shine, consider the following tips:

  • Apply a high-quality concrete sealer to protect against stains, moisture, and wear.
  • Reapply the sealer as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure continued protection.
  • Use coasters or felt pads under furniture to prevent scratches or indentations.
  • Avoid dragging heavy objects across the concrete surface.
  • Place doormats or rugs at entryways to minimize tracked-in dirt and debris.

Inspections and Repairs

Regular inspections can help identify any issues or damage to your smooth concrete surface. Promptly address any cracks, chips, or other damage to prevent further deterioration. Consult a professional concrete contractor if you are unsure about the best repair methods or if the damage is extensive.

Remember, proper maintenance practices and timely repairs can significantly extend the life and beauty of your smooth concrete surface, ensuring a long-lasting and visually appealing finish.

Maintenance TipsBenefits
Regular cleaningKeeps the surface free from dirt and stains
Applying a protective sealerEnhances shine and provides added protection
Routine inspectionsIdentifies potential issues for timely repairs

DIY Concrete Smoothing Tips and Tricks

If you choose to embark on a DIY concrete smoothing project, there are several tips and tricks that can help you achieve better results. Follow these DIY concrete finishing techniques, concrete smoothing DIY hacks, and make use of the right DIY concrete polishing tools to ensure a successful project.

  1. Properly prepare the concrete surface: Before you start leveling, floating, and troweling the concrete, make sure the surface is clean and free from any debris. This will ensure better adhesion of the leveling and finishing materials to the concrete.
  2. Follow the recommended steps: Each step in the concrete smoothing process is important. Make sure you level the concrete surface properly, float it to remove imperfections, and trowel it to achieve a smooth finish. Pay attention to the timing and curing process to ensure the best results.
  3. Choose the appropriate polishing techniques and tools: There are various concrete polishing methods available, such as mechanical polishing and chemical polishing. Consider the size and condition of your concrete surface to determine which method works best for you. Use diamond polishing tools for a professional finish.
  4. Take your time and pay attention to detail: Concrete smoothing requires patience and precision. Don’t rush the process; take your time to ensure each step is done thoroughly. Pay attention to details and make adjustments as needed to achieve the desired results.
  5. Experiment with different techniques and tools: Every DIY concrete smoothing project is unique. Feel free to experiment with different techniques and tools to find what works best for your specific project. Watch tutorials, seek advice from professionals, and learn from successful DIY concrete smoothing projects for inspiration.

Remember, DIY concrete smoothing can be a fulfilling and cost-effective project, but it may not be suitable for larger or complex projects. If you’re unsure or need professional expertise, it’s always a good idea to consult with concrete contractors for guidance and assistance.

By following these DIY concrete finishing techniques, utilizing concrete smoothing DIY hacks, and using the right DIY concrete polishing tools, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a smooth, polished concrete surface that enhances the beauty and durability of your space.


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Achieving a smooth concrete surface through a DIY approach is possible with the right techniques, tools, and knowledge. By following the key steps of proper surface preparation, leveling, floating, troweling, and polishing, you can achieve a glass-like shine on your concrete surfaces.

It is important to consider the benefits and limitations of DIY concrete finishing. While DIY projects can save you money and provide a sense of accomplishment, larger projects or those requiring specialized expertise may be best left to professional concrete contractors.

To maintain the appearance and longevity of your smooth concrete surface, it is crucial to practice regular maintenance and care. Clean the surface regularly using appropriate cleaning solutions and tools, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the concrete. Consider applying a protective sealer to enhance shine and provide added protection against stains and wear.

Remember to prioritize safety when working with concrete. Follow safety guidelines, wear appropriate protective gear, and take necessary precautions to avoid accidents or injuries. With proper planning, execution, and maintenance, you can transform your concrete surfaces into sleek and visually appealing features in your own backyard.

For professional concrete assistance, contact Townsville Concreting Company at (07) 4439 8639.


How can I make concrete smooth?

To make concrete smooth, you need to level, float, and trowel the surface before it cures. Once the concrete is fully cured, you can polish it to achieve a glass-like shine.

What tools are needed for concrete smoothing?

Some common tools used for concrete smoothing include screed boards, darbies, and trowels.

How do I level a concrete surface?

If the concrete floor is not level, you can use self-leveling cement to make the surface even. Self-leveling cement mixes can be poured onto the surface and then ground after curing to achieve a smooth shine.

What is floating and troweling in concrete smoothing?

Floating helps smooth out any imperfections in the concrete surface, while troweling involves using a float or finishing trowel to achieve a very smooth surface.

How can I polish a concrete surface?

There are different methods of polishing finished concrete, including mechanical and chemical polishing. Diamond polishing is a popular method that utilizes industrial diamonds to smooth, grind, and ultimately polish the surface.

Can I do concrete smoothing as a DIY project?

DIY concrete finishing is possible, but it is recommended to consult with professionals for the best results, especially for larger projects or when specialized equipment and expertise are required.

Should I hire a professional concrete contractor for concrete smoothing?

Hiring a reputable concrete contractor is recommended for professional assistance with concrete smoothing. They have the expertise, experience, and specialized equipment to achieve the desired smooth finish on concrete surfaces.

How important is proper concrete surface preparation?

Proper surface preparation, including leveling, repairing cracks, and cleaning the surface, is essential to achieve a smooth concrete finish.

What factors affect the smoothness of concrete?

Factors such as the curing process, choice of polishing techniques, and tools used can affect the smoothness of the final concrete surface.

How do I maintain a smooth concrete surface?

Regular cleaning, using appropriate cleaning solutions and tools, and applying a protective sealer can help maintain the appearance and durability of a smooth concrete surface.

What are some DIY concrete smoothing tips and tricks?

Properly preparing the surface, following recommended steps, and experimenting with different techniques and tools can help achieve better results in DIY concrete smoothing projects.

How can I achieve a smooth concrete surface on my own?

With the right techniques, tools, and knowledge, you can achieve a smooth concrete surface through a DIY approach. Proper surface preparation, leveling, floating, troweling, and polishing are key steps in achieving a glass-like shine.

Do you offer professional concrete smoothing services?

For professional concrete smoothing services, please contact Townsville Concreting Company at (07) 4439 8639.

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