Floating on Concrete: The new way East Texans are flooring their homes

Floating on Concrete: The new way East Texans are flooring their homes

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Buildings seem to be popping up everywhere you look in East Texas, and a lot of those buildings are going with no flooring, just the concrete foundation.

The smooth almost mirror-like concrete is possible because of trowel technology. Improvements over the years in riding trowels have made this possible.

Billy Moss knows concrete. He knows what it takes for flat and smooth: The right trowel.

"It makes a good hard surface; hardens the surface up and makes a good slick finish," Billy said.

It changed the business and the slab too.

"Fifteen guys pouring a slab and now you cut it back to ten," Billy revealed.

All because of a trowel you can ride. Daniel Virmontes has worked for Billy Moss Concrete for decades, but for the past eight years or so, he's sort of become a hoverer.

"And he's not near as worn out because he's not holding the handles all day. He's just sitting and riding," Billy stated.

It's like a riding mower instead of a push mower, but there are no wheels. It's all in the tilt of the blades.

"So it is like a hovercraft," I offered.

"Yes, definitely; like a hovercraft," Billy agreed.

Hovering on a cushion of concrete, but it's also a non-liner slalom course.

"You have to run around all that plumbing, and we have smaller walk-behind machines that we can run around the plumbing," Billy said.

"Can I try the trowel?" I asked Daniel.

"Yeah, you can try in a little bit if you want to," Daniel replied.

There are many riding trowels to choose from, but Billy and Daniel prefer the Allen. CEO of Allen Engineering Dewayne Allen tells me it's been around since 1987 and was invented in Chicago by Butch Holt. It's had several design changes over the years.

"How about now? Now can I try the trowel?" I asked Daniel again.

"Yeah in a little bit.

It doesn't look too hard to operate. It runs with a foot pedal. The trowel blades make it move. It steers by the pitch of the blades.

"How about now? Now can I try the trowel?" I asked Daniel again.
"Yeah, you can have it now you know. I can let you have it for a couple minutes," Daniel smiled as he handed me a hand trowel.
"Oh gee, thanks. That looks like a lot of fun. I'll try not to hurt myself," I said taking the trowel.

I have got to remember to be more specific.

Billy Moss gets the most use out of his riding trowels during dry summer months. Dewayne Allen tells us before his riding trowel a big company could do 10-15,000 feet of concrete; now it's up to an acre and a half.

Copyright 2015 KLTV. All rights reserved.