If you plan to do some masonry work, you may need to use floats and be aware of their price.
Floats are tools that can help you level and smooth the surface of concrete, plaster, or mortar.
They are usually made of wood, metal, or plastic and come in different shapes and sizes depending on the type of finish you want to get.
In this article, we will explain what floats are, how to use them, and the price of floats in the Philippines, which is typically between ₱50 and ₱50,000.
What is Floats in Masonry?
Floats are flat, rectangular tools with a smooth or rough surface on one side and a handle on the other.
They are used to press down and even out the wet material on a wall or floor, getting rid of any bumps or air bubbles. Floats can also make swirls, ridges, or grooves on the surface.
Floats are not the same as trowels, which are also used in masonry. Trowels are smaller and have a pointed or curved edge that is used to spread, shape, or apply the material.
Trowels are better for working on corners, edges, or small areas, while floats are better for covering large, flat areas.
Floats are most often used to level and finish. Finishing creates a desired texture or appearance, while leveling makes the surface flat and even.
Leveling: Use a wood or magnesium float with a smooth surface to make a flat and even surface. Move it in circles or sweeps with even pressure, and use a straight edge or screed to make sure it is level.
Finishing: Use a sponge or rubber float with a textured surface to get the look or feel you want. Move it in different directions and lightly press down on it to make designs or patterns. You can add more finishing touches with a brush or broom.
Type of Floats
Floats are tools used in construction to level and finish concrete or plaster surfaces. There are various types available, each with unique advantages and disadvantages:
- Wood Float: A traditional and cost-effective tool used to level and smooth concrete or plaster surfaces, but it can absorb water and may warp over time.
- Magnesium Float: A modern float made of lightweight metal alloy, suitable for leveling and providing a smoother texture than wood floats, but it can be more expensive and less commonly found.
- Sponge Float: Equipped with a sponge-like material attached to a plastic or metal base, it creates a fine texture on concrete or plaster while removing excess water to prevent cracking, but it wears out quickly and requires frequent replacement.
- Rubber Float: Featuring a rubber-like material on a plastic or metal base, it produces a very smooth texture and fills small holes or gaps, enhancing waterproofing, but it can be more expensive and challenging to handle.
- Bull Float: A large float with a wide blade and long handle, used for leveling extensive concrete areas before setting and creating a smooth finish with slight tilting.
- Hand Float: A smaller float with a short handle and narrow blade, ideal for leveling small concrete or mortar areas after screeding and creating various finishes by adjusting pressure and direction.
- Trowel: Equipped with a pointed blade and curved edges, it finishes concrete or mortar surfaces by pressing and smoothing, also allowing the creation of decorative patterns by dragging across the surface.
- Power Float: Featuring an engine rotating blades at high speed, it effectively finishes large concrete areas after leveling with a bull float and offers versatility in creating different finishes through adjustable blade angles and speed.
Floats Price List
The price of floats depends on many factors, such as the type, size, quality, brand, and availability of the product.
However, here are some approximate prices of floats you can get in the market:
|Type of Floats||Price|
|Trowel||₱100 – ₱300|
|Hand float||₱200 – ₱500|
|Wood Float||₱50 – ₱150|
|Sponge Float||₱100 – ₱200|
|Rubber Float||₱200 – ₱400|
|Magnesium Float||₱300 – ₱500|
|Bull float||₱2,000 – ₱5,000|
|Power Float||₱10,000 – ₱50,000|
You can buy floats from hardware stores, online shops, or masonry suppliers in the Philippines. Some of the popular brands of floats are Marshalltown, Kraft, and Goldblatt.
How To Use Floats
To use floats effectively, follow these steps:
- Prepare the surface: Ensure it’s clean, dry, and free of debris. Apply a bonding agent if needed.
- Mix the material: Follow instructions to prepare concrete, plaster, or mortar with the right consistency.
- Apply the material: Use a trowel, shovel, or scoop to spread it evenly over the surface.
- Level the surface: Utilize a smooth-surfaced float, moving it in circular or sweeping motions with even pressure.
- Finish the surface: Employ a textured float, moving in various directions with light pressure for desired patterns.
- Cure the surface: Allow the material to dry for at least 24 hours, using water spray or plastic cover to prevent cracking.
Things You Should Know About Floats
- Where is Float Used?
Floats are used in mason projects for walls, columns, foundations, bricks, blocks, stones, tiles, floors, patios, driveways, sidewalks, and concrete repairs.
- What is Float and Why is it Important?
A float is a tool for leveling and smoothing concrete or mortar in masonry work. It makes things look better, last longer, be stronger, and prevents problems like cracks and gaps.
- What is the Difference Between a Float and a Trowel?
A float has a flat blade that levels and smooths, while a trowel has a pointed, curved blade that shapes. With a float, you can make a smooth or rough finish, and with a trowel, you can make patterns.
- What Types of Materials Float?
Floats are made of wood, plastic, or magnesium because these materials are light, strong, and do not react with water.
- Why Use a Power Float on Concrete?
Power floats make it easier and faster to finish large areas of concrete that have already been leveled with a bull float. They make finishes that are smoother and harder, and they give you more ways to make different looks.
We hope this article has helped you learn what floats are, how to use them, and where to buy them in the Philippines.
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