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Cutting-Edge Concrete Densifiers

Densifying concrete can improve color as well as performance. These innovative materials will help you firm up your surface.Densifying concrete can improve color as well as performance. These innovative materials will help you firm up your surface.

High-traffic Polished Concrete Floor at Dave & Buster's

Polished concrete flooring at Dave and BustersThe owner of Dallas’s Dave and Buster’s sports bar wanted the look of a contemporary football field for the floor. After the floor was polished to an 800 grit, Chris Post of Elite Concrete Solutions delivered that and more.

Measuring Gloss on Polished Concrete the CSDA ST-115 Standard

Amazing shine off of a high gloss polished concrete floor in a Japanese restaurant in Las VegasA gloss meter measures how light is scattered, but an angle, ambient lighting, or even a high-gloss coating can impact the number. A DOI meter addresses this problem by “seeing” through a coating to determine the consistency of the surface underneath, but it cannot measure the porosity of the floor.

Polished Concrete Benches Create Unique Patterns

The benches all lined up create a unique design.Justin Hawkins and his Lincoln, R.I., outfit, Livingstone Studios, sent us these photos of arrangable cast concrete benches they created for the Rhode Island School of Design’s Chace Center.

Developing Effective Polishing Specifications for a School

A schoolhouse on a gray background.Recently an architect who was writing the polished concrete specification for a school district contacted me when he recognized that he did not know enough. The good news is that he asked for help in crafting an informative and realistic specification that allows educated bids with room for profit.

Contractors Strike Gold Polishing Driveways

Polishing concrete driveways is a great way to get extra cash.

Polishing contractors take note: There may be a future in grinding and sealing concrete driveways.

Cold-Weather Concrete Pours and Early Polishes

Pouring concrete in cold weatherAs we come out of the winter, I always deal with multiple polishing projects where the concrete was placed during cold temperatures. Although there are ACI standards for cold-weather placements, I still experience quite a few slabs that have issues related to cold weather.

Replace Old Vinyl Composite Tile with Polished and Dyed Concrete

A concrete floor that was polished after the vinyl composite tile was removed.The Harley dealership is a leader in sales and rider satisfaction for the entire Mid-Atlantic region, and its headquarters reflects its ethics. The 31,000-square-foot facility boasts a modern industrial theme, with cathedral 25-foot ceilings and marblesque floors.

Why the Formula Approach for Polished Concrete Hurts Our Industry

A picture of a graphing calculatorThe weak economy does not have to make our industry buckle under price pressures. We've forgotten that polished concrete is already the best bargain in the flooring industry, and what's more, we've allowed the formulaic installation to become entrenched in specifications.

Light Sources Will Affect the Color of Your Dye on Concrete

lightbox that shows how different light sources affect the color of concreteWhen you are asked how well you understand dyes, are you confident? Maybe you shouldn’t be. Unless you or your customers have art or design backgrounds, or you have been burned on a project, you are probably naïve.

Decorative Concrete Ready For Lift Off

Polished concrete floor gives off perfect reflection for the US Space & Rocket Center in AlabamaA Tuscaloosa, Ala., company landed the contract to polish some 12,000 square feet of concrete poured as part of a major renovation to the US Space & Rocket Center, which serves as home to the internationally known Space Camp for bright and cosmically focused kids.

Tips and Techniques: Polishable Overlay Installation

The Nordstrom Rack clothing store in Aventura, Fla., contains 7,000 square feet of polished overlay, including this aisle. The project is the work of Creative Concrete Services, Lakeland, Fla. Photos courtesy of CTS Cement ManufacturingIn terms of decorative options, existing concrete slabs are limited to topical color systems. In many cases these coloration processes are subject to fading and wear and are sensitive in high-moisture environments. You’ll find more versatility in 3/8-inch concrete overlays. Not only do you have a choice of UV-stable integral colors, but you can also choose from several types of aggregates.

How Densifiers Help with Concrete Maintenance

The use of diamond pads to get out of a jam or cut corners is often money- or time-motivated.In the 1990s, when concrete polishing took off in the United States, silicate hardener/densifiers were rarely used. Now, a concrete floor is not considered properly polished if densifier has not been applied to rejection.

A Look Back at Polished Concrete's First Decade

The autoscrubbers were used on this concrete floor.Polishing concrete, not unlike other new industries, begged, borrowed and stole from others in its infancy. Equipment came from the surface prep, stone restoration and cleaning industries, and as one can imagine, nothing was a perfect fit. It is still evolving today, but here is a look at where it came from.

Polished Concrete Wows Museum Goers

A display at the Natural History Museum has polished concrete floors installed.In Southern California, grinding and polishing concrete that was placed 20 or 30 years ago is fairly common. However, burnishing concrete that’s more than a century old is a rare task for any contractor.

How to Create a Concrete Surface with a Sand Finish

Fire pit in the middle of a concrete slab.With concrete surface retarders, concrete can have a sand-etched finish.

Concrete Artisan Brings Decorative Concrete to Alabama Market

Concrete floor with radials of concrete in black, yellow and red.Travel-tested diesel generators, a fleet of polishing machines and a bundle of big-name contracts - all part of how Jeff McCool and his team do decorative concrete in the Deep South.

Concrete Grinding and Polishing Tips: Rotation, Presoaking and Play Sand

Play sand is a great thing to keep handy as an abrasion aid when using a concrete grinder. It keeps the diamonds dressed and cooled while acting as a secondary abrasive to assist in the actual grinding process.Play sand is a great thing to keep handy as an abrasion aid when using a concrete grinder. It keeps the diamonds dressed and cooled while acting as a secondary abrasive to assist in the actual grinding process.

The Three Stages of Grinding and Polishing Concrete Countertops

Grinding a concrete countertopAchieving a fine polished look in concrete countertops requires using progressively finer grits of diamond pads.

The Drive is On to Optimize Power Trowel Concrete Polishing

The Drive is On to Optimize Power Trowel PolishingBrad Obbink went all-in as a polished concrete contractor a few years ago, discarding the paint pot and brush and hitching his fortunes to the concrete grinder/polisher, for better or worse.

Annual Decorative Concrete Competition Lauds Projects Based on Skill and Creativity

Contractors, construction companies, architects and designers are eligible to submit, and projects are judged on skill of installation, creativity, artistic expression and integration with the overall design intent.Contractors, construction companies, architects and designers are eligible to submit, and projects are judged on skill of installation, creativity, artistic expression and integration with the overall design intent.

Polishing Concrete and Dyes Are a Winning Combination

You lose a lot of the color in the final grinding and polishing with stainsWhile dyes have experienced an increase in market share in the colored concrete industry over the past few years, it's not unreasonable to say they've enjoyed an unmitigated bull market within the polished concrete arena.

White Concrete Poses Particular Challenges for Installers

Space in JC Penney was a challenge with the white concrete used.The biggest issue contractors confronted during J.C. Penney Co.’s Wave 2 of renovations in August concerned the whiteness of the Izod shops’ burnished floors.

Moisture and its Effect on Polished Concrete Finishes

Moisture and its Effects on Polished ConcreteAll things in polished concrete relate to physics and chemistry. With that in mind, let’s look at how moisture interacts with concrete and polishing chemicals, with an additional focus on efflorescence.

Two Money-Making Alternatives for Polishing Contractors

Dollar bills lying on top of each other.As business owners, as soon as we open our eyes each day, we begin to think and search. Where are we going to find more work for our crews? Besides the usual options of bidding on new construction projects, refurbishing old polish jobs or removing epoxy coatings, there must be other ways to make money with our equipment and skills.

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