A superior stampable cementitious topping. Here is an opportunity to use topping products that are trowelable and stampable, that hold their shape, and that can be used indoors or outdoors.
Savvy concrete contractors have been closely watching the recent explosion in popularity of decorative concrete toppings, and many are learning the skills required to get a piece of this hot new market niche. In both exterior and interior applications, the use of stampable textured toppings is turning drab, damaged concrete slabs into attractive, durable floors and surfaces that add value and appeal to commercial and residential properties alike.
While much has been written about the use of self-leveling overlayments for interior commercial applications such as casinos, malls, hotels, and office building lobbies, these self-leveling materials will not accept imprinting, stenciling or texturing, nor are they appropriate for exterior installations. Consequently, there is an opportunity to use topping products that are trowelable and stampable, that hold their shape, and that can be used indoors or outdoors.
For exterior or interior applications where imprinting or texturing is desired, L.M. Scofield Company introduces Scofield™ Texturetop,™ a trowelable cementitious topping available in two types that quickly cure to create attractive, durable, abrasion-resistant concrete floors and surfaces.
In residential markets, trowelable cementitious toppings such as Scofield Texturetop are ideal for exterior uses on driveways, pool decks, and sidewalks, and for interior applications ranging from workrooms and entryways to utility rooms and screened porches. In commercial environments, uses for Scofield Texturetop are numerous, including auto dealer showrooms, upscale restaurants, theme parks and resorts, and virtually anywhere textured resurfacing is desired.
Scofield, a leader in architectural concrete products since 1915, offers worldwide availability of Scofield Texturetop in two types. Scofield Texturetop Stencil Grade offers premium performance at depths from featheredge to one-eighth inch (1⁄8"), while Scofield Texturetop Stamp Grade provides superior performance at depths from one-eighth inch (1⁄8") to three-quarters inch (3⁄4"). Both types are complex, precisely engineered, polymer-modified cementitious formulations produced by a proprietary manufacturing and intergrinding process that ensures consistently high quality.
Both types of Scofield Texturetop have numerous benefits compared to other topping materials, including high strength, excellent resistance to moisture and freezing/thawing, and an appealing range of standard and custom decorative colors. Scofield Texturetop is easy to mix and economical to install. Contractors simply add the bagged mix to premeasured water, mix and place, according to manufacturer specifications. Either type of Scofield Texturetop provides fast setting and rapid strength gain, which permits fast-track installations, an important concern for many customers.
Scofield Texturetop Stencil Grade is designed for applications where various stencils — brick, stone, and a variety of stencil patterns — are desired. Scofield Texturetop Stencil Grade is applied with a broom, squeegee, trowel, sprayer or air-driven hopper gun over the top of a paper stencil and allowed to stiffen for several hours. Upon removal of the stencil, the result is an attractive, decorative pattern made from the durable, cementitious topping.
Scofield Texturetop Stamp Grade can be imprinted by the use of Lithotex® Pavecrafters,® a system of mat-type imprinting tools and thin, flexible embossing skins. Scofield Texturetop Stamp Grade is installed at a thickness two times as deep as the deepest profile of the embossing skin or imprinting tool being used, which ensures a layer of paste between the texturing tool and the concrete substrate. Because timing is crucial to successful imprinting, the Texturetop mortar should be allowed to stiffen until it is sufficiently rigid to support stamping operations, yet remain plastic enough to imprint properly.
Absolutely essential to the successful installation of Scofield Texturetop — and, indeed, to any cementitious topping — is proper substrate preparation and the absence of any severe moisture problems. Through the use of grinding, shotblasting or similar equipment followed by thorough cleaning, loose particles and other contaminants are removed, leaving a sufficiently roughened profile that will provide superior adhesion for the topping. If the substrate is highly porous, Scofield™ Bondaid™ Primer must be applied prior to installing Scofield Texturetop to seal the surface and promote adhesion.
Cracks or joints in the existing substrate will telegraph through the Texturetop topping as they do with other cementitious products. Consequently, since the substrate and topping must move together, contractors must honor the cracks and working joints in most cases by extending them up through the full depth of the topping by sawcutting, tooling or forming.
Just as with any cementitious product installed outdoors, weather plays an important role when installing either type of Scofield Texturetop in exterior applications. Ambient and substrate temperatures must be in acceptable ranges, and wind and rain must be minimal or absent.
For any kind of Scofield Texturetop installation, Scofield recommends the use of tools and equipment marketed by Wagman Tools. The mixing buckets, gauge rakes, smoothers and hand trowels offered by Wagman have proven track records in numerous successful installations of Scofield Texturetop.
Following installation, Texturetop surfaces can be chemically stained with Lithochrome® Chemstain,™ if desired, which reacts with the surface of cured Texturetop toppings to produce permanent, translucent, variegated color effects. All Texturetop surfaces should be sealed or coated in order to protect the surface and make periodic maintenance easier. Scofield offers a range of products that provide the necessary surface protection and improve appearance: Scofield™ Cureseal,™ Cementone® Clear Sealer, the Scofield™ Clearcoat™ system, or, in instances where additional color is desired, Colorcure® Concrete Sealer.
Scofield Tech-Data Bulletins recommend protecting the beauty of interior applications of Scofield Texturetop through the on-going use of a compatible, slip-resistant, emulsion-type, commercial floor polish. The Worldwide Scofield-Johnson Wax Alliance was created to provide customers with the best possible product-specific maintenance programs.
As demand for textured toppings increases — be it exterior or interior, residential or commercial, renovation or new construction — concrete contractors are discovering an excellent opportunity to broaden their skills, increase business and improve profitability.
Robert P. Harris is Director of Product Training of The Scofield Institute, part of L.M. Scofield Company. He is also an ACI Certified Instructor. Bruce Hackett is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to Concrete Decor.