Step 11: Smooth With Float
Finishing is all about timing--and surface water is the timer. Each pass with a tool brings up water and cement, but overworking the surface can weaken it. When the water from the previous pass is no longer visible, it's okay to move to the next operation.
After screeding, wait a few minutes before using the float. When the surface appears dull, hold the float on the concrete with extra pressure on the trailing edge. Run it along the pad edges and across the surface in wide arcs.