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11 Proven Concrete Color Recipes

11 ways to color your concrete, step by step how-tosStep-by-step instructions and useful tips from people in the industry who have experimented enough to know what works.

ExStik™ pH Tester for Concrete

Extech's Rugged & Waterproof pH Meter Tackles Water Quality TestingWhether you’re evaluating a prospective client’s existing concrete for estimating purposes or you’re in the process of neutralizing a surface in preparation for resurfacing, Extech’s pH tester ExStik pH100 (aka the ExStik) is a fabulous tool for identifying problem areas.

How to Excel at Concrete Countertop Sink and Edge Fabrication

A grinder smoothing the inside of a concrete sink.A review of tools and methods for sink polishing and edge profiling concrete countertops.

Dust Containment Equipment for Decorative Concrete

TE DRS-B Dust Removal SystemDust control is a hot topic these days. We compiled a list of some of the dust control equipment on the market that can help on any decorative concrete job.

Create Stronger Concrete with Consolidation Tools

The E-Screed is a precisionengineered lightweight wet screed for single operator strike-off of concrete. This high-frequency screed produces uniform vibration distribution over the entire blade length.Most decorative concrete contractors know that consolidating concrete is as essential to a quality finished product as mix ratio or proper finishing and curing. Consolidating forces air out of the concrete and encourages aggregate to rotate and fit together tighter, creating stronger concrete.

Patriot Spraysafe System by Patriot Sprayer Systems Inc.

Patriot Spraysafe sprayer that uses carbon dioxide as the propulsion agent for the sprayer. What sets Patriot Spraysafe apart is carbon dioxide. The system uses carbon dioxide cartridges to propel liquid through its nozzle.

Cordless Tools are a Must-Have On a Concrete Job Site

Cut the CordIf you’ve been ogling the new cordless tools but think they’re just for the do-it-yourself crowd, or wonder if they’d stand up to a full day’s work on a hot — or frigid — job site, it’s time to take another look.

Choosing the Right Vacuum Cleaner

Pulse-bac vacuum cleaner.For many contractors, a shop or industrial vacuum may be an afterthought. At the very least, you may not put a whole lot of time into choosing the vacuum that specifically fits your company's needs.

Concrete Mixers are Perfect for Mixing Small Batches

FRP Mixing machineAs you know, there are plenty of situations when you mix your own concrete rather than having it delivered from the ready-mix plant. Whether you are proposing stain, exposed aggregate or stamped concrete, a mixer is a great option for creating samples.

Complying with OSHA's Dust Control Regulation

Complying with OSHA's dust control regulationStill struggling with how to meet the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s requirements on protecting your employees from silica dust? You certainly aren’t alone.

How to gauge grinders for polished concrete jobs

Before purchasing a grinding/polishing machine, polished concrete contractors must determine what types of jobs they are seeking -- smaller custom-design projects or larger-volume ones.Before purchasing a grinding/polishing machine, polished concrete contractors must determine what types of jobs they are seeking — smaller custom-design projects or larger-volume ones.

Decorative Concrete Tips: Need a Tool? Make it yourself!

A six-inch edger was transformed into a customized chamfer tool to provide a clean, straight and more consistent finish on the top edge of retaining walls and precast wall panels.It happens often: A concrete contractor is faced with a project that requires adaptations to an existing form or tool to shape the concrete during that critical hour before it turns hard.

Orange Bristled Brushes Specifically for Decorative Concrete

Orange bristled brushes for concrete by Riviera Brush Co.Riviera Brush Co. has been a leader in the concrete brush industry since 1989. They started out by developing their line of Orange-Crete wash brushes for the ready-mix industry. The brushes were designed to stand up to the harsh conditions inherent to the industry — lime, abrasives, muriatic acid and other cleaning agents. They were ideal for cleaning trucks and equipment.

Compact Concrete Engraving Blade

Three 2 inch diamond blades by DCI for engraving concrete more detailed work.Bob Harris, president of the Decorative Concrete Institute in Temple, Ga., is offering an innovative product to make decorative contractors’ lives a little easier.

What to Know when Buying Mixers and Pumps for Decorative Concrete

.What should contractors look for before purchasing a mixer? How does size and application play into the mix?Some facts and advice in the form of questions and answers that may help you maneuver the market if you’re interested in learning more about mixers and pumps.

Trimtape Inc., Tapes Help With Concrete Layout, Cutting, Blasting

Trimtape Inc., Tapes help with concrete layout, cutting, blastingTrimtape Inc., a Georgia company, is unspooling several sticky options for concrete contractors. Trimtape’s grout line tapes, which range in width from 1/4 inch to 1 inch, are laced with strands of fiberglass for strength. Layout marker lines appear every four inches of tape.

enVisions Casting Mat from PreiTech Corp.

PreiTech mat laid out to show its shiny colors.It’s hard to describe enVisions using words alone. The plastic casting mat, which is laid into a countertop form before the concrete is poured, creates a genuinely unique, shimmering visual effect on a concrete surface.

Quick Imprint Liners: Reusable Form Liners for Many Concrete Applications

The reusable concrete form liner seen here can be used for a variety of applications, tilt-up, down cast and even vertical precast pours.Quick-Imprint creates a reusable form liners — for tilt-up, downcast, and vertical precast pours — enabling an imprint finish on both sides of the walls.

Specialty Cutting Blades to Make Your Job Easier

A picture of the AirForce F4 by CS UnitecAn overview of different specialty cutting tools, saw blades and chains that will help you on be successful on your next job.

How Heavy Should Your Concrete Polishing Machine Be?

Polished concrete in a federal building in San Francisco. Does size matter in the world of polished concrete? I have heard the arguments on both sides for why smaller or larger polishing machines are better, but ultimately it depends.

Allen introduces Mechanical Super Pro Rider
21st Century Plastic Form Release for Concrete

petroleum-based chemicals can be sprayed on and contractors know they work. But Franmar offers an alternative because the company strives to manufacture products that are effective and safe for both user and environmentIf you’re using a 21st century form product, such as plastic, then it probably makes sense to use a 21st century form-release system, as well.

Diamond Blades Are a Guy's Best Friend

Diamond blades are essential for cutting grooves, lines and control joints.Cutting lines, grooves and control joints with diamond blades is nothing new for concrete contractors, but enterprising craftsmen have been putting their creativity to the test by using the blades to produce decorative borders, graphic designs or V-shaped grooves that look like they were hand-tooled.

Cracked Mud Seamless Skin from Proline Concrete Tools

A custom seamless skin that mimicked the cracked mud of the Serengeti.Proline Concrete Tools receives a lot of requests for custom stamps, but rarely do the patterns end up turning into a nationwide trend.

Back in early 1990s, the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park wanted to emulate cracked mud found in the Serengeti Desert and Proline was up to the task.

Custom decorative concrete developed by Aggregate Industries US brings hockey imagery to life at new Boston Bruins practice facility

With a landmark 68-foot-high hockey stick, the new 75,000-square-foot practice complex of the Boston Bruins hockey team includes an ice rink with seating for 660 fans, a lobby featuring displays of Bruins accomplishments, a modern locker suite and team lounge and expansive training and weight rooms.

A Tool to Help Visualize Decorative Concrete by Depiction Software

Deco-con wizard screen shot.Potential clients often struggle with visualizing what decorative concrete will look like at their home or business. The new Deco-Con Wizard from Depiction Software can help remove the mystery by quickly and easily showing them what selected decorative concrete patterns will look like on their property.

Salting your Concrete Slab 

Hand rollers for concrete to make the appearance of a rock salt finish.To get the look, Ralston scattered rock salt here and there on the fresh pour, along with drops of retardant. After washing away the salt and retardant the next day and attacking the concrete with an acid-water solution and a wire brush, his team had the aged, corroded effect they wanted.

Flexible and Breathable Treads Take Safety To the Next Level

The mats bond to concrete surfaces to avoid moisture underneath as well as potentially hazardous separation between the system and the concreteSeven years ago, Mike Menendez, a veteran in the decorative concrete overlay business, was presented with a franchise opportunity for detectible warning systems, which signal terrain transitions to pedestrians. After evaluating the products, he felt that he could create a better one. The end result was SafetyStepTD.

Why Finding the Right Grinder can Make a Difference

Smaller concrete grinding machines, easy to transport to the job site.There’s a grinder/polisher model available for just about every task, whether it’s prepping the floor of a big-box store or finishing a basement or small office. Finding the right tool for the job can make a big difference in speed and efficiency, so know what you want before you go shopping.

Gloss Readings of Polished Concrete Help Your Finished Floors Shine

colorful meter with a peg in the middleIn our industry we are often asked: What’s the gloss on the floor? Or, did you hit the gloss readings that are in the specification?

 

Vacuworx CM 3 Compact Modular Vacuum Lifting System adapts to the demands of the job

The new CM 3 Compact Modular Vacuum Lifting System from Vacuworx is changing the game for contractors who run compact equipment such as skid steers, track loaders, articulating wheel loaders and mini excavators on the job every day—now allowing them to handle materials such as concrete slabs, steel plates and pipe up to 6,600 pounds with ease!

Xtra-Flex Concrete Forms by Metal Forms Corp.

Xtra-Flex bendable concrete forming materialPeople who work with concrete know that creative forming is essential for a high-quality finished product. It can sometimes be the most arduous part of concrete work, especially when curves and circles are involved.

Concrete Stencils from Universal Templates

Universal Templates stencil was rolled onto this driveway and creates a uniform patternUniversal Templates manufactures plastic adhesive backed templates/stencils for the decorative concrete industry. The company has 15 different patterns, which can be purchased in 250 sq. ft. rolls (3 ft. wide x 84 ft. long) or in 500 sq. ft. rolls (3 ft. wide x 168 ft. long).

Concrete Vibrators: The Hard Truth

The UMC-1 bracket mounts easily to any casting table with lag screws and can be easily moved. Concrete countertop contractors can place the vibrator in the best position to provide localized, powerful vibration, and then move it to the next spot for a perfect finished product.Vibrators for concrete can be used to move air out of the mix come in all shapes and sizes from ultra portable to versions for the countertop.

Polishing Up On Polishing Equipment

Our editors compiled a list of some of the newest polishers on the market. This article goes in depth on each of them.Our editors compiled a list of some of the newest polishers on the market. This article goes in depth on each of them.

Protecting your Concrete Finishing Brush or Broom

The shallow, grooved texture left on the surface by a concrete broom or brush will help keep shoes and tires from slipping or skidding on a wet or icy concrete slab.A concrete finishing broom is an artist’s tool, and like any important tool, it needs to be treated with care.

The Rundown on Concrete Polishing Machines

Polishing a floor requires the right tool for the job.In this Tooling section, Concrete Decor magazine focused on walk-behind models, handheld models, edgers and other tools that can be helpful to decorative contractors on small and medium-sized jobs.

Proline Concrete Tools Flexible Concrete Stamps

Proline Concrete Tools Inc. isn't in the winemaking business, but if contractors all over the country want to press its grapes, the company would be more than happy to make that happen.Proline Concrete Tools Inc. isn’t in the winemaking business, but if contractors all over the country want to press its grapes, the company would be more than happy to make that happen.

An Introduction to UV Curing Equipment for Concrete Coatings

Concrete contractor using a hand held Ultraviolet (UV) light to cure a sealer on a concrete countertop.An engineer for a manufacturer of machines that use ultraviolet light to cure coatings explains equipment options for contractors.

Picking the Right Mixer and Paddle for Concrete

A dual-paddle mixer is not only more efficient, but it also will keep the bucket from spinning out of control.The right mixer and paddle can be the pairing for success. Just as a good cook knows when to use a stand mixer with bread hooks and when to get out the hand mixer with a whip, there are a mixer— and a paddle or blade design— for just about every size job in the decorative concrete industry, as well.

How to Choose Abrasives for Polishing Concrete

The processes used for polishing concrete are quite possibly the most misunderstood piece of the business.The processes used for polishing concrete are quite possibly the most misunderstood piece of the business. A tremendous amount of sales propaganda is available that can either provide some clarity or add serious confusion.

A Look at Concrete Power Trowels

The 24-inch Stone Smooth Operator Trowel is an edger trowel that features a Reader Service 47 rotating edger ring to finish along walls or other obstructions without scuffing or gouging.Learn how walk-behind trowels can improve an operator's comfort, control and flat finishes.

Scofield Stamps Mimic Keystone Slate

The Pennsylvania Slate series is modeled after a natural slate found in the Keystone State. The rock is popular there as an accent for traditional architectural styles.A new stamp pattern from L.M. Scofield Co. offers serious stampers a taste of old America.

Understanding Measurements for Ground and Polished Concrete

What is the difference between polished and ground concrete? How to know what is the clarity and gloss measurement.What is ground and polished concrete? How do we determine the difference between a topical-polished floor, in which a product has been applied to the floor to seal it, and a mechanical polish with bonded abrasives?

7 Tips to Take Your Concrete Countertops to the Next Level

Decorative concrete countertops - Clay caulk from an extruder will bring your edges to the next level. With silicone caulk, the clock starts ticking as soon as the caulk hits the open air.Turn your little concrete countertop shop into a that big business by getting your projects out the door sooner.

Three-Headed Planetary Grinder Great For Small Jobs

Flex North America Inc., a tool manufacturer with a history dating back to 1922, has built a presence in the decorative concrete industry with its selection of German-made grinders, polishers, grinding discs and concrete mixers.Flex North America Inc., a tool manufacturer with a history dating back to 1922, has built a presence in the decorative concrete industry with its selection of German-made grinders, polishers, grinding discs and concrete mixers.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Concrete Pours

Large scaled eagle engraved and colored in concrete.Engrave-A-Crete, which manufactures tools and templates to engrave concrete, has come up with a state-of-the-art solution to help contractors help clients envision designs for their decorative concrete projects.

Plate Compactors and Rammers: Making a Choice Before the Concrete Pour

The most important factor in making that choice is the type of soil to be compacted. A rammer, which uses a piston set and springs to generate force, works best on cohesive soils, which are composed of clay and silts. Vibratory plates, on the other hand, are low-amplitude, high-frequency machines. They are most effective compacting granular soils, which are made up of sand and gravel.When raw soil or aggregate needs to be compacted before a pour, what do decorative concrete contractors use to pound the ground? Rollers are too much machine for smaller jobs. So generally, the choice is between rammers and vibratory plate compactors.

Automated spray system from Fas-Trak Industries
Using Spray Equipment Can Be A Speedy Solution For Contractors

applying a stain to a concrete pieceApplying stains and sealers with spray equipment may strike the decorative concrete contractor as a convenient, speedy solution, not terribly complicated.

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