Bull Floats are a tool that’s used for leveling and smoothing freshly poured concrete. They’re basically a long 8 to 10 foot aluminum bar that’s got a big, flat rectangular “blade” attached to the end of it.
When you’re finished pouring concrete, you’re left with a rough surface that you need to smooth out so that it’s level. That’s where bull floats come in.
The technique is simple.
You just take your bull float and push and pull it across the surface of the concrete in long, straight lines. It’s like mowing a lawn. The idea is to make sure you cover every part of the surface at least once. It doesn’t have to be perfect because you’re going to go over it again later.
When you’re done, you’ll need to leave the concrete to dry for a little while. It’s going to take at least half an hour, but if it’s a particularly hot day, you’ll need to leave it for longer. Just keep an eye on it and see how it’s going.
What you’re looking for is when the surface isn’t wet anymore. It’s going to look like it’s almost dry, but if you touch it, you’ll be able to feel that it’s still wet.
That’s when you can go back over the concrete with your bull float, but this time, you’re going to want to do lots of small, wavy movements instead of nice, long straight lines.
What you’re doing is called “floating the concrete.”
This technique will do two things. Firstly, it’ll help to level out the surface of the concrete even more than it already is. That’s because you’re smoothing out the small lumps and bumps that the first pass didn’t catch. Secondly, it’ll close the surface of the concrete.
The reason you need to close the surface of your concrete is because if you don’t, it’s going to be too porous, and that’s going to make it harder to finish your concrete.
After you’ve done this second pass with your bull float, you’ll need to leave the concrete to dry again. This time, you’ll want to leave it for around an hour before you can move on to the next step, which is the final, finishing touches.
You’re going to need a tool called a “hand float” for this. It’s the same as a bull float, but it’s a lot smaller. You use it in exactly the same way as a bull float, but you’re going to be using it in much smaller, tighter circles, so that you can go over the entire surface of your concrete using it.
After you’ve done this, you’re going to need to leave your concrete one more time to dry. This time, you’ll need to leave it for at least 24 hours, and you’ll have to keep people off it while it’s drying. That’s because the surface will still be soft.
After 24 hours, your concrete will be dry and ready to use, but you’ll still need to wait around a week before you can put anything heavy on it, like a car.
That’s all there is to it. Bull floats are easy to use, and they let you level out your concrete and smooth it perfectly for a professional finish.