Technical Questions

ACI Committees, Membership, and Staff have answered common questions on a variety of concrete related topics.

What is the purpose of finishing and texturing concrete surfaces?

Q. What is the purpose of finishing and texturing concrete surfaces?


A. Surface finish and texture provide aesthetics and safety. Decorative finishes may be desired in panels and walls. A wide variety of exterior finishes, such as colored concrete, exposed aggregate, graphic painting, and form liner finishes are available (CCS-5). Architectural textured formed surfaces in which bugholes are part of the texture provide a better solution to bugholes than coating formed surfaces with a mortar layer of stucco. Many surfaces need to be smooth enough for gluing tile or installing carpet. Certain operations require flat and level floors for proper equipment performance (see 302.1R). Power finishing equipment may be used to provide dense, smooth, hard surfaces with desired flatness and levelness.

On traveled surfaces, texture provides skid resistance and the necessary frictional characteristics. Skid resistance of pavements is affected by both the “microtexture” and “macrotexture” of the pavement. Microtexture is related to the fine aggregate in the mortar portion of the concrete mixture. Macrotexture is defined as the measurable deeper striations or grooves formed in the plastic concrete during the finishing operations, or as the shallow grooves cut in the hardened pavement with cutting heads composed of uniformly spaced circular diamond saw blades.


References: SP-1(02); ACI 302.1R-15; CCS-5(16); ACI 325.9R-15

Topics in Concrete: Concrete Fundamentals; Decorative; Pavement; Placing; Slab

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