Skill in handling tools comes only with practice, but it is important to develop the right techniques and understand the importance of timing. Finishing procedures common to all flatwork operations and finishes are discussed here. These include: spreading; screeding (vibratory, oscillating, roller, and hand screeding tools); darbying or bull-floating; waiting; edging; jointing; floating; and troweling.
Troweling should be done immediately or shortly after floating. This operation may be performed either by machine or hand. If by hand, it is customary for the finisher to float and then trowel an area before moving his kneeboards. An older trowel which has already been broken in is recommended for first troweling. Such a trowel can be worked quite flatly against the surface without the edges digging into the concrete. A new trowel or one less than 18 inches long and 4 3/4 inches wide is not recommended. During first troweling, whether by power or by hand, the trowel blade should be worked as flatly as possible against the surface. If the trowel is tilted or pitched at too great an angle it will produce an objectionable washboard or chatter surface.