If you've ever set foot on traditional concrete – and you most likely have, given that it's such a versatile paving material – you may have noticed that the surface isn't completely smooth. Indeed, it's rough underfoot, scored with numerous nearly-parallel lines. Such a texture is created by a process known as brooming.

Why broom concrete in the first place? In many cases, traditional concrete isn't as snazzy as decorative concrete, so it must not be for decoration. 

Why go to all that extra work, and what does that work consist of?

Creative Concrete, your New Brighton residential concrete contractor, has all the answers about this common concrete-finishing technique.

Why Broom (Brush) Concrete?

Simple: traction. 

Concrete that is left to cure on its own will dry completely flat. In our crazy Minnesotan climate, that means things get slick pretty quickly if precautions aren't taken! 

In addition, using de-icers or salt on your concrete structure is not recommended, as we covered in our Top Winter Concrete Maintenance Tips. Brooming creates a slightly uneven surface that helps with grip.

How Is Concrete Brooming Accomplished?

Every concrete contractor accomplishes brooming slightly differently, though there are some commonalities across the industry. A stiff broom, for example, is generally the tool of choice for creating the characteristic rough finish.

After the concrete has been leveled, they wait for it to bleed out so less water is left in the mix. In most cases, there's no need to trowel it, but some contractors include it, and the brushing will be done after that process is finished.  

It looks like a simple technique when watched—just like sweeping, no? In reality, however, it requires precise timing and conscientious movements to get the desired texture.

When Is Concrete Ready for Brooming?

If it's done too early, this can cause weakness in the surface, but if you wait too long, it can reduce the texture. It has to be done exactly when the slab is still soft but when most of the moisture has been evaporated, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on our current weather patterns. 

Depending on the size of your project, the brushing can take anywhere from 20 minutes up to four hours to complete, 24 to 48 hours to harden, and up to 28 days to fully set.    

Decorative Options for Broomed Concrete

Though brushed concrete is textured, stamping and other ritzy finishes can also be added as borders for a truly one-of-a-kind work of concrete art. Geometric patterns, circles, hues, colors, and multidirectional designs are some great designs to make your brushing stand out. 

Geometric Patterns

Looking for a modern look? Triangular or square patterns can add a touch of geometric flare to the finish.

Circular Shape

If you want to move away from traditional, consider adding curved lines or circles in your concrete by sweeping the broom in circles or curved lines rather than straight lines. Whether it’s for a small patio slab or a larger area, you’ll end up with an attractive and safe surface.

Hues & Colors

When most people think of concrete, they think of one color, but tints and colors can add a brilliant finish. Check out our gallery for inspiration, from rusty red to muted gold!


Contractors are beginning to think outside the box when it comes to brooming to create both practical and functional finishes. For the more adventurous, consider creating diamond or zigzag patterns for a truly unique design. 

Creative Concrete: New Brighton Decorative Concrete Experts

From traditional to custom design, brushed concrete can elevate your space and add a unique flare to any space. When you need experts in the industry, our team has been serving the Twin Cities for over 20 years, and we specialize in residential and commercial concrete services.

No matter the concrete project, we've got the expertise and service-driven mindset to execute it. For all your concrete needs, contact our New Brighton office today at 612-414-7932.