What Is Salt Finish Concrete?
Salt finishing concrete is a technique for finishing and designing concrete surfaces.
The surface of salted finished concrete is finished using a floating machine on a freshly laid concrete surface. The rock salt crystals are then spread over the concrete. Then it is finished again with the help of float. In this way, the crystals of salt are embedded on the surface of the concrete.
After the concrete dries, it is washed with a stream of water. This process can be done for a plain or colored concrete finish. It also provides skid resistance in terms of concrete finish. This method
Can provide higher skid resistance than the broom concrete finish.
Washing salt crystals on concrete surfaces form many shallow indents on the surface. The technique is simple, inexpensive, and traditional.
This type of concrete finish costs less than other concrete finishes because it does not use other tools and materials. The most commonly used salt in the concrete finish is rock salt.
Rock salt has the chemical name halite. Which is obtained naturally. Seawater evaporates due to sunlight. This evaporation results in the formation of crystals of sodium chloride.
Salt concrete finish is used in backyards, gardens, pathways, parking lots, areas around swimming pools, etc.
Process of Salt Finish Concrete
The points to consider before salt finish concrete are the same as for ordinary concrete. Things like site preparation, reinforcement mesh, formwork, concrete mixing, etc. are included before concreting.
After concreting the freshly mixed concrete into the formwork the actual salt finishing work begins. The surface of the concrete is made uniform and smooth using floats. Salt concrete finish gives the best results on even and smooth surfaces.
Subsequent steps are briefly described below,
Spreading of Salt Crystals
To ensure the best look for a salt finish, some of the rules of the thumb need to be carefully considered and followed. The most common defects in concrete should be corrected and salt should be pressed very deep into the concrete.
Salt crystals in sizes 1/8 to 3/8 inch should be used to produce the best effects in the concrete finish. And they are pressed to the finished surface of the concrete to a depth of half their diameter.
Rock salt is carefully scattered on the concrete surface. Salt rock has an application rate of 3 to 12 pounds per 100 square feet on a concrete surface.
After this process, the surface of the concrete is dried for at least 24 hours. And loose salt particles are cleaned from the surface of the concrete with the help of a broom.
Cleaning or Removing of Salt Grains
The surface of the concrete is washed with water after 24 hours.
The water in the concrete is not enough to dissolve the salts. The remaining salt crystals are scrubbed with a brush and the surface is washed with water. Pressure washers are used to easily remove salts.
The salt is washed off with water and leaves a design like a series of irregular dimples on the surface. In this way, the concrete surface can be made from salt-finished concrete.
Applying of Sealant
Dirt and debris are removed from the surface by broom before using the sealant. Spread the sealant evenly on the concrete with the help of a roller. A uniform coat on the surface of all concrete is allowed to dry for at least 2 hours. A second coat is then applied.
Specification of Salt Finish Concrete
- The surface of the concrete should be smooth and even before salting. A smoother finish can be achieved with the use of floats and rollers.
- Salt crystals are spread on the finished surface of concrete at a rate of 3-10 pounds per 100 square feet.
- The crystals of salt are spread evenly over the surface of the concrete for a good quality finish.
- Rock salt crystals of size 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch are used for salt finish concrete to get desired results.
- Do not use salt crystals larger than 3/8 of an inch in salt finish concrete. Because large indents motivate risks.
- Salt crystals should be pressed on the surface of the concrete and salt crystals should be inserted into the concrete surface up to half the depth in their size.
- The surface of the concrete should be smooth and even before salting.
- The work of spreading salt crystals on the surface of the concrete is usually started when the concrete is starting to set. Normally press your finger on the surface of the concrete to test the surface of the concrete.
- When salt is removed, its damage is removed to prevent surface discoloration.
- Dirt and debris are removed from the surface by broom before using the sealant.
Advantage of Salt Finish Concrete
- This type of method is cheaper and easier than other concrete finish surfaces.
- This type of method requires less material and manpower.
- This type of method has a high skid resistance due to its composition.
- The surface of the concrete can be designed using different colors.
- Salt concrete finishes are used in backyards, gardens, passages, parking lots, etc.