Who Received a 2023's Golden Trowel Award?

The Face Companies awarded a dozen Golden Trowel Awards at World of Concrete 2024. International work dominated projects.

The Golden Trowel awards were presented January 24 during World of Concrete 2024. The Golden Trowel is a 24-karat gold-plated Marshalltown trowel mounted on a polished granite and walnut base and is an award given by the Face Company each year to concrete contractors who produce the flattest and most level floors in the world.
The Golden Trowel awards were presented January 24 during World of Concrete 2024. The Golden Trowel is a 24-karat gold-plated Marshalltown trowel mounted on a polished granite and walnut base and is an award given by the Face Company each year to concrete contractors who produce the flattest and most level floors in the world.
The Face Companies

The Golden Trowel has been presented for 35 years to contractors who produce the world’s flattest and most level floors. They are awarded in several different categories, based on how the floor was initially struck off, how wide the floor castings are, how much shake-on hardener or steel fibers were used, and other factors that influence flatness and levelness. Golden Trowel Gold Plates are awarded to the winner in each category, while Golden Trowel Silver Plates recognize truly outstanding entries that achieved exceptional results but did not dominate the category. The thought behind the genesis of the Golden Trowel was that competition might drive up quality. That thought has been proven conclusively to be true, year after year.

The best floor in the world back in 1990 wouldn’t even be considered for a Golden Trowel today. And North America no longer dominates the awards. North America was shut out of the world records in 2019, won only one of two new world records in 2020, and was shut out again in 2021. And this year, of the 12 Gold and Silver Trowels awarded, 10 were from Brazil, China, and Thailand, and only 2 were from the USA! And if you count the trowels awarded per country, Brazil won 6, while China, Thailand, and the USA each won 2. That’s quite a change from the recent past, when the USA dominated the awards.

Why are floors so much better now?

People continue to learn how to use existing concrete placing and finishing tools to better advantage and are passing on that knowledge and skill to new generations of concrete finishers. Concrete floor consultants are learning what works and what doesn’t, and are teaching the best practices. And batch plants are being held to high standards on the concrete that they deliver to the field. The tools available are better than they were, even just a few years ago. The Somero Laser Screed revolutionized the way concrete could be struck off. As laser screeds got better and better, and as people learned the best ways to use them, the flatness and levelness of floors improved significantly, even as daily output was dramatically increased. All these factors have made a big difference in the flatness and levelness of floors. But so has striving for excellence and for the recognition that comes from being the best in the world – a winner of the Golden Trowel.

Over the first 25 years of the Golden Trowel contest, we had winning entries from North and South America, Australia, and Europe, but not one from Asia. Because we noted that floors in Asia were neither as flat nor as level as floors in the West, and because floors in the West were constantly improving, it appeared to us that Asia might never catch up to the rest of the world without some incentive.

For this reason, the Face Company inaugurated the “Golden Trowel Asia” contest in 2015. The Golden Trowel Asia is a special award available only to contractors in Asia. There have been a total of 26 Golden Trowel Asia Awards won by 14 different contractors from China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and Indonesia. The quality of floors has been improving very rapidly in Asia; this is obvious when you note that half (4) of this year’s 8 Golden Trowels are going to contractors in Asia!

A total of 151 different contractors from North and South America, Europe, Central America, Asia, and Australasia have claimed the 389 Trowels awarded in the contest's 35-year history (1989 through 2023).

View images of the winning projects at goldentrowelaward.com.

2023 Golden Trowels

Chengdu Keyixin Technology Co., Ltd., from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, won their first “Golden Trowel Asia” in 2019, then went on to win their first Golden Trowel in the worldwide contest in 2020. They won two more in 2022 and once again they won two more Golden Trowels in the worldwide contest this year. The first of these was a Large Laser Screed project, with 6 Kg/m2 Dry Shake and 45 Kg/m3 steel fibers, at Daka International, JiaoZuo, Henan, China. This measured FF 96.1 / FL 102.7. They used a Somero S-15R.

  • Laser Screed • 24 m Wide Bay • FF 96.1 / FL 102.7
  • 6 Kg /m2 Dry Shake • 45 Kg/m2 Steel Fibers • 12,371 m2
  • Daka International • JiaoZuo, Henan, P.R.China

Chengdu Keyixin’s second Golden Trowel was an unshored elevated slab with 5 Kg/m2 Dry Shake at CIM Park, Langfang, Hebei, China. It is difficult to get good F-Numbers on an unshored elevated slab. (The world record in 2015 was FF 69.6) Keyixin achieved FF 68.7, and an incredible FL of 85.7! They used a Somero Copperhead 3.0. 

  • Unshored Elevated Slab • FF 68.7 / FL 85.7
  • 6815 m2 • 5 Kg /m2 Dry Shake
  • CIM Jinan Park • Langfang, Hebei, P.R.China

These make Chengdu Keyixin’s 12th Golden Trowel and their 5rd Gold award in the worldwide contest. They have certainly learned how to make exceptional floors.

The Nutcon Corporation Co., Ltd., from Nongtumlueng , Panthong Chonburi, Thailand, produced two Golden Trowel winners this year in different categories. The first was a large Laser Screed TPC Project in Chonburi Province, Thailand. measured FF 119.9 and FL 84.6. They used a Somero S-10A.

  • Laser Screed • FF 119.9 / FL 84.6
  • 9797 m2 • TPC Project • Chonburi Province, Thailand

Nutcon’s second Golden Trowel was for a slab on elevated piles – something we never see here in the states. The floor is basically constructed on piles 5 ½ ft high off the ground. This was the Asia W10 Project in Prachinburi Province, Thailand. Incredibly, their F-Numbers were almost the same as their large Laser Screed project at FF 119.8 / FL 89.5. They used a Somero S-485.

  • Laser Screed on elevated piles • FF 119.8 / FL 89.5
  • 6750 m2 • Asia W10 Project • Prachinburi Province, Thailand

The George J. Shaw Construction Company from Kansas City is no stranger to the Golden Trowel contest, having won nine Golden Trowel awards before this year. This year they added another, on one of their trademark large Hand-Screeded unshored Slab on Metal Decks. This was 155,000 sf and was at a project called SNB 2 at Sarpy Data Center, Springfield NE. This floor was all cut up with many blockouts, so it had to be hand-screeded. It measured FF 66.3. While this is not a world record, it is worth noting that the world record and the top four winners in this category all belong to GJ Shaw.

  • SOMD Hand Screed 87 ft wide • FF 66.3
  • 155,000 ft2 • Sarpy Data Center (SNB2) Springfield, NE

Ciclo Engengharia, from Brazil, produced two really fine Wet Screed/Hand Screeded floors this year, with 4 Kg/m2 Dry Shake. The first of these was at Assai Guarulhos, in Guarulhos, SP, Brazil. It measured FF 95.6 / FL 73.1. Before this year, only three other floors in this category ever had better F-Numbers.

  • Hand Screed • 6686 m2 • FF 95.6 / FL 73.1
  • 4 Kg /m2 Dry Shake • Assai Guarulhos • Guarulhos, SP, Brazil

Alphapiso Tec. Em Pisos, from Sao Pãulo, Brazil, produced a narrow strip Truss Screed floor with 4 Kg/m2 Dry Shake at Multilaser, Extrema, MG, Brazil, that measured FF 128.4 / FL 78.5.

  • Narrow Strip Truss Screed • FF 128.4 / FL 78.5
  • 4 Kg /m2 Dry Shake • 7723 m2
  • Multilaser • Extrema, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Colasanti South, Inc., from Winter Garden, FL, made probably the strangest floor to get a Golden Trowel this year. It was a 2659 ft. long Fmin Serpentine Ride Track for Universal in Orlando, FL that measured Fmin 113.1 (Transverse Levelness/sideways tilt), Fmin 113.7 (Transverse Flatness/side-to-side rocking) LL Fmin 170.4 (Longitudinal Levelness/fore-and-aft tilt), and Fmin 152.0 (Longitudinal Flatness/bumpiness) This ride track went through a great many hairpin turns and had a lot of blockouts between the wheelpaths for electrical connections for the ride.

  • Fmin Narrow Strip Serpentine Ride Track • 2659 linear ft
  • Fmin: LLevel 170.4 LFlat 152.0 TLevel 113.1 TFlat 113.7
  • Universal Orlando • Orlando, FL

2022 Silver Trowels

Silver Trowels are a sort of “Distinguished Honorable Mention” category. Silver Trowels are not awarded in every category, but as you will see below, sometimes a floor that would have won a Golden Trowel, is overshadowed by an even more spectacular floor the same year. This kind of a floor deserves recognition and is awarded a Silver Trowel.

Gran Nobre Pisos, from São Paulo, Brazil, won a Silver Trowel in the Large Laser Screed category for the Aurea Project-G300 at Extrema, MG, Brazil. This was 201,000 sf, and 74 ft wide, and it had 4 Kg/m2 Dry Shake. This measured FF 107.7 / FL 79.9. They used a Somero SRS-4.

Grupo Dalmas, from Carlos Barbosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, made a hand screed form-to-form floor at Pavilhão Tramontina, in Garibaldi, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil that measured FF 107.4 / FL 96.3. Their FL Number was great, but their combined FF + FL Number score was just below that of Alphapiso, so Dalmas gets the Silver Trowel this year.

In addition to their Golden Trowel at Guarulhos this year, Ciclo Engenharia produced a 5431 m2 hand-screeded floor with 4 Kg/m2 Dry Shake at Assai Atacadista Loja Praia Grande, Brazil with total F-Numbers that were just a bit lower than the one at Guarulhos. This one was FF 101.0 / FL 65.5.

Alphapiso Tec. Em Pisos also won both a Gold and Silver Trowel this year. Their Silver winner was in the Small Laser Screed category with 4 Kg/m2 Dry Shake, at Assai Atacadista Jaguaré, São Paulo, Brazil. This one measured FF 116.2 / FL 72.4. Nutcon’s Asia W10 Project had higher numbers and won the Gold Trowel. Although Nutcon won two Golden Trowels compared to Alphapiso’s one Gold and one Silver, Alphapiso has now won 15 Golden trowel awards, including 4 world records.

2023 Golden Trowel Asia Awards

Again, these are awards are only open to contractors in Asia. This year for the very first time, most of the winning applicants from Asia won Golden Trowels in the worldwide contest, so there is only one Golden Trowel Asia being awarded this year.

Mitramas Private, Ltd., from Singapore, made a 10-aisle 1607 linear ft. VNA warehouse at Teknor Apex in Singapore, using a Truss Screed. The Fmin Numbers were Fmin 133.5 (Transverse Levelness/sideways tilt), Fmin 112.2 (Transverse Flatness/side-to-side rocking), Fmin 114.6 (Longitudinal Levelness/fore-and-aft tilt), and Fmin 94.4 (Longitudinal Flatness/bumpiness). These numbers are good enough to win them a Golden Trowel Asia, the only one awarded this year.