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Surface Finishes
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The selection of an appropriate finish is an essential part of pavement design which can materially affect both the performance and overall cost-effectiveness.

The type of finish should be determined in relation to the anticipated service conditions, with particular reference to the type and frequency of loading, impact, abrasion, chemical resistance, and ins some circumstances, other factors such as hygiene, dust prevention, skid resistance and aesthetics.

When the pavement is exposed to some forms of aggressive agents, special surface treatments or coatings may be required.

NZS 3114:1987 Specification for Concrete Surface Finishes as well as CCANZ IB33 Specification and Production of Concrete Surface Finishes provide information relevant to surface finishes.

Table 1 provides general recommendations on surface finish/finishing techniques on the basis of typical applications, anticipated traffic and exposure conditions.

Typical Applications

Anticipated Traffic

Exposure/ Service


Office and administration areas, laboratories

Pedestrian or light trolleys

Pavements to receive carpet, tiles, parquetry, etc.

Steel float

Pavements with skid-resistant requirements

Wooden float or Broomed/ tyned (light texture)

Light to medium industrial premises, light engineering workshops, stores, warehouses etc.

Light to heavy forklift trucks or other industrial vehicles with pneumatic tyres

Smooth pavements

Steel trowel

Dry pavements with skid-resistant requirements

Steel trowel (carborundum dust or silicon carbide incorporated into concrete surface)

Wet and external pavement areas

Broomed / tyned hessian drag (light to medium texture).

Sloping pavements or ramps or high-speed traffic areas

Broomed/ tyned (coarse texture) or grooved)

Heavy industrial premises, heavy engineering works, repair work-shops, stores and warehouses

Heavy solid-wheeled vehicles or steel-wheeled trolleys

Pavements subject to severe abrasion

Steel trowel/ burnished finish (use of special aggregate monolithic toppings)

  Table 1.  Surface Finish/Finishing Techniques