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Broom Finish Concrete: What It Is And Why You Should Get It

by Concrete Craft of Nashville

The most common ways of finishing concrete are by using a smooth and troweled surface, but this can be extremely slippery when wet. Therefore, broom finish concrete is the best way to go.
This is where concrete has been poured and leveled using a stiff brush to give it a nice rough broom surface texture. Here is everything you need to know to achieve the safest broom finish walkway.


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Why Use Broom Finish Concrete?

concrete tan

Concrete Tan

dark grey

Dark Grey



fresh grey

Fresh Grey

natural tan

Natural Tan





silver grey

Silver Grey



washed terracotta

Washed Terracotta

This process of finishing concrete is typically used outdoors for verandas and driveways. A sturdy bristled broom creates a non-slip pattern on the concrete to give it a rugged texture. Many top concrete specialists have been using this technique for years to provide the most durable surface with sufficient traction.

Broom finished concrete can also add thin skid overlays of skid resistance to upgrade a deteriorating concrete surface. A brushed finish is one of the most affordable and easiest ways of making a concrete surface safe.

How Long Does It Take?

Timing is critical when it comes to broom finishing concrete. If you brush too early, the surface will be weak. Then there will not be enough texture if you brush too late. It must be done exactly right when the slab is still soft enough but after a lot of moisture has been dispersed. This process can take approximately half an hour to a few hours, depending on the weather.

Every contractor has their own way of determining how and when to broom concrete. Some may wait until their fingers do not leave an imprint, while others can tell by the way the broom feels when they pull it across the surface.

How to Broom Finish Concrete

Your contractor will first pour the slab and strike it off with a screed. Then they will level the concrete using a bull float. This is where they will wait for the concrete to bleed out, which should not take too long as exterior concrete has a low water-cement ratio, so there may not be too much water to bleed.

There is usually no need to use the trowel to finish the entire thing, but it should still be considered at least once or twice before the broom finish. Contractors also recommend that the brushing should be done right after the second trowel.

The bleeding occurs when the wet concrete settles and air particles get trapped in it. These prevent the concrete from settling correctly, which may cause some of the water content to bleed. Some concrete builders are on the fence about using a trowel for a surface that is getting broom finished. Some may skip the troweling process altogether and stick to only the bull float and broom.

This is because the more you trowel, the harder the surface becomes to finish the surface with the broom. If this troweled surface is too hard, you can instead use a damp broom over the concrete. The best way to broom across a slope is by running perpendicular to it. If there is a drain, the broom should run towards this.

Curing Brushed Concrete

It is always recommended to cure the broom finished concrete. This can be done by spraying a curing compound or if your contractor decides to use polyethylene sheets. If you are working on a basic gray concrete like a driveway or garage, many builders add a white color to it so they can see where this has been applied.

There is no need to worry because the white color will fade away in a week, and you will no longer notice it. Finally, the contractor will seal the concrete when they are done broom finishing it.

How to Achieve the Best Results

You have a lot of choices concerning the material you choose for your driveway and other outdoor flooring. Concrete is already one of the easiest to install. Installing aggregate concrete is almost just as easy.

If you already have a concrete driveway, it can be ground down to expose the aggregate underneath. The surface should then be sealed to protect the exposed aggregate driveway.
Alternatively, you can lay aggregate concrete just as you would with normal concrete. Or you overlay an aggregate finish on top of existing concrete.

What Type of Broom Is Used?

You will see several types of concrete brooms available in the market, and they all come with unique widths and specifications. This is because they all offer different styles of levels and textures.

The block which holds the bristles of the broom is typically made of wood, aluminum, or plastic. The plastic ones are most popular because they do not succumb to rust or warp, making them last much longer.

The concrete broom’s bristles are often made of nylon, polypropylene, and horsehair, so you should find them stiffer and in different sizes. This can help get a lot of unique textures compared to the other types of brooms. If you are working with more extreme textures, the wire combs are better to use.

Alternatively, there are also brooms without handles or those that are attached to a bull float. This positions the broom perfectly, so the finish is done by the sides of the bristles instead of the tips, providing a more uniform appearance.

Brooms without handles are exceptional when there are very wide pours, and it gets difficult to push the broom all the way across because the bull float handle gets too heavy.

Then you will not risk pushing the broom too deep into the concrete because the float will support the handle’s weight instead of the broom doing all the heavy lifting.

Create the Best Concrete Finish

Broom finish concrete is the best way to add slip resistance overlays. This will make all your walkways and driveways much safer to use. Contact us today, and we can deliver the most decorative concrete services for residential and commercial properties.