Imagine an overlay product that contains beautiful flecks of marble and at the same time can be easily matched to any color and is low-maintenance. That’s exactly what the folks at MarbleCrete Mix Inc. had in mind when they produced their signature product nearly two years ago.
MarbleCrete is a thin-set polishable overlay and hybrid cementitous product, says MarbleCrete chief executive Paul Brunius. “It can be applied horizontally or blown onto a wall vertically. It can also be applied polished or with a surface retardant by one of our certified installers.”
The product’s signature is the real marble added to the mix, but on top of that, full pigmentation allows the company to virtually match any color. “The colors we use go off the Benjamin Moore chart,” Brunius says. “MarbleCrete is an extremely durable product with a high magnesium content, is acid-resistant and achieves a high level of polish.”
MarbleCrete is composed of crushed marble sand and aggregates, and it is sold in bags. The mix is designed for application to a cementitous base coat in a variety of textures, and it can be used in mosaic patterns or as surfacing. The product can exceed 10,000 psi of compressive strength, has achieved a “bridge strength” designation and can be used for a variety of applications.
When ground and polished, the result is a smooth and glossy finish. Sandblasting can be performed after the product has initially cured. The application should be densified or sealed to prevent staining and discoloration.
MarbleCrete has found a home in commercial and residential projects, casinos, hospitals and airports, Brunius says. “We have been developing the product for the last 30 years but as far as applications go, we have been doing this for the past two years. We originally produced the product in the architectural precast field but it has developed more into the overlay market.”
Besides the marble, another unique feature of MarbleCrete is its ability to be applied indoors or out, Brunius says. “The substrate is prepared for the application. Any crack remediation is taken care of. Then we have an adhesive method application. The overlay is applied and the product is then allowed to cure. Without an exotic aggregate, it takes 48 to 72 hours to cure and with an exotic aggregate, it takes 72 to 96 hours to cure before grinding and final polishing.”
MarbleCrete has been installed in numerous locations nationwide. A small-scale project at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Hospital at Nellis Air Force Base Hospital in Nevada involved a vertical application put down 1/2-inch thick with hawk and trowel in a single application, after which it was acid-washed to lightly expose the material. One of MarbleCrete’s largest installations to date will be in Las Vegas, where 125,000 square feet of material will be applied in the valet parking and exterior walkway areas of a hotel-casino complex. The company has also worked on a number of projects in southern and northern California that range from 13,000 square feet to 26,000 square feet.
Brunius’ team also recently completed an installation in the Las Vegas area with Las Vegas-based ArCon Flooring Inc. The installation included divider strips poured 3/8-inch thick. The MarbleCrete Champagne Marble mix design was used and pigment, clear glass and mirror-coated glass were then added.
“We have been working with MarbleCrete for over a year primarily because there are a multitude of things you can do with it,” says Teresa Fernandez, ArCon’s director of business development. “We really like how versatile the product is. You can go from a minimal design to an intricate aggregate design.”
ArCon has installed interior and exterior flooring for resorts, casinos and malls. “We do a lot of creative things and we like to be innovative so using this product was a great fit for us,” Fernandez says. “We are looking into using the product for a variety of other applications. Its ability to be used both on the interior and exterior will be extremely beneficial for us.”
Most customers have enjoyed the minimal maintenance required once the product is installed, Brunius says. “MarbleCrete does not require the user to continuously seal, strip and wax the product. It’s just a matter of cleaning the product once it is installed.”
MarbleCrete is made with green products that have high LEED ratings, Brunius says.