Vibrating Concrete Screed: What Is It, How To Use [Types&DIY]

concrete Vibrating concrete screed

Concrete slabs are found everywhere-from your parking garages to paved roads, your kitchen to your bedroom.

Ever wondered why they are so flat and smooth. Can a human do so? May be but can it do it to such accuracy with an almost perfect horizontal surface with no humps at all. The answer would be probably in a No. then how is it done?

There is a magical machine out there called vibrating screed which can perfectly smoothen the surface. Screeding is a process called in the United States in which a person performs the concrete surface cutting operation to bring the surface into a single level with proper grade and smoothness. Screeding is done by the equipment named screed.

A most simple form of screed is a straight wooden plank or metal piece, which is hovered over the surface of the concrete to remove any excess concrete. In the case of vibrating concrete screed, a motor is attached to the wooden plank or metal piece, which produces vibrations for aiding in the smoothening process.

In this article, we will see what is vibrating concrete screed and how does it work, how to use it and what are its different types and how it is powered.

In the end, there will be a DIY guide on smoothening concrete using a vibrating concrete screed.

Vibrating concrete screed

A vibrating concrete screed is a piece of equipment made to screeding the concrete to make it smooth and level.

It is a machine-powered tool that allows labor to smoothen and level out fresh concrete from a standing position.

A motor produces attached to it produces the vibrating action. Hence there is a reduction of effort required by the worker. He or she will only need to pull the screed across the entire surface. Rest is left with the machine it will smoothen it out.

How Does a Vibrating Screed Work

A vibrating screed is essentially a beam with a vibrating unit. The vibrating unit is generally mounted in the center of the beam along with the pair of end roller assemblies. The vibrations are transmitted to the concrete through the beam directly. There is no transverse movement in the beam. The screed is only moved along forward and backward along the end rollers.

How to Use Vibrating Concrete Screed

Following steps should be followed for the smooth operation of vibrating concrete screed:

  1. You should Start the power screed right before you intend to bring it over to use. Starting it earlier is simply a waster of money and resources.
  2. The next thing is that you should make sure that the handles are set in the correct position. This means that you can use them with comfort. There are models with which you can adjust very easily.
  3. Next is to put the power screed about quarter to three fourth throttle. While you are adjusting the throttle, the top blade of the screed should be a little bit away from the concrete screed. This is because while you adjust the throttle, the blade does not accidentally get a dip into the concrete.
  4. During the operation, keep pulling the power screed back nice, smoothly, and slowly. Keep a watch at your ends to make sure that they are staying on the concrete and creating the desired line.
  5. If they are not touching the concrete, a hump could be created in the concrete. Of course, it will be difficult to deal with that hum later on.

Types Of Vibrating Screed

There are various types of the vibrating screed. The most common are the following

Concrete vibrating beam screed

Concrete vibrating beam screed

In vibrating beam screed, the vibrating end is made of a concrete beam. This model is a bit heavier and is suitable for thick layers of concrete

Vibrating screed board

Vibrating screed board

The vibrating screed board has screed made of wooden board. It is a lightweight solution with less power consumption required due to the less weight of the screeding arm. This particular model is more useful for thin layers of concrete that require less amount of smoothness and leveling.

Vibrating truss screed

Vibrating truss screed

Vibrating truss screeds go one step further to automate the screeding process for slabs on the ground, road pavements, and concrete bridge decks.

In these machines, there are sections of steel truss, which span across. The truss ride along with the edge forms or screed rails. There are screed bars or tubes attached to the truss bottom rails contact. It smoothens the concrete surface, using the vibrations produced by gasoline engines or air-driven piston vibrators.

Portable vibrating concrete screed

Portable vibrating concrete screed

As the name suggests it is a portable model of vibrating screed usually powered with a battery. It is more suitable for jobs which require less concrete to be screeded or jobs locate in a remote area with limited access to gasoline or electricity supply.

Power Source

As the name suggests it is a portable model of vibrating screed usually powered with a battery. It is more suitable for jobs which require less concrete to be screeded or jobs locate in a remote area with limited access to gasoline or electricity supply.