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Trowel Marks on Concrete Floors

ASCC Position Statement #4

Some specifications require concrete contractors to produce floor surfaces that are free of trowel marks. However, the specifications don’t define the term “trowel marks.” 

Both ACI 301-99, “Specifications for Structural Concrete for Buildings,” and ACI 302.1R-96, “Guide for Concrete Floor and Slab Construction,” use the term “trowel marks” (Section in ACI 301 and Section 11.9 in ACI 302.1R). Neither document defines the term, nor is the meaning clear from the context in which the term is used. ACI 116R- 00, “Cement and Concrete Terminology,” doesn’t include a definition of trowel marks.

Because differing interpretations of this term can cause problems with acceptance of the finished floor, the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) seeks to establish a consensus definition for trowel marks that is applicable during both the bidding phase and execution/acceptance of the finished floor. Establishing a common industry definition provides all parties with a fair and equitable ability to judge the acceptability of a finished floor surface.

To provide a clear and specific understanding, this position statement includes a definition and photo for two terms: “trowel pattern” and “trowel marks.”

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