The author, president of a consulting firm that assists in the planning and construction of concrete floors, says that the two most common approaches for judging a floor's surface appearance comparing the final product to a small test panel or evaluating how closely it complies with the project specifications are ineffective. Using small test panels can lead to inaccurate conclusions because the panels often vary from the final product in terms of the amount and uniformity of the concrete used, placing and finishing techniques, and jobsite conditions. Using specifications to judge a floor's appearance can be misleading because the terms used to describe the desired quality are subjective and prescriptive.

To address the problems posed by subjective language and the use of small test panels, the author recommends eliminating the use of subjective terms and using a larger test placement as a standard of project acceptance, as recommended by ACI 302.1R-96, Guide for Concrete Floor and Slab Construction.