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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.

A New Tool To Make Spraying Stucco Easier Than Ever

hand-held Stucco Sprayer by mortarsprayerBefore the hand-held Stucco Sprayer, concrete contractors who wanted to work vertically had to settle for one of two extremes – a large, costly pump, requiring a crew of four to six, or hand-stacking. The new sprayer fills a niche between the two.

Spreading Concrete Color Hardener Cleanly

Lee Levig, a Fairfield, Calif., contractor who purchased the tool, praises its speed and ease of use. Dispersing color hardener is a filthy job. You’re covered from head to toe. It’s in your clothes. It’s on your clothes. If there’s a little bit of wind, it’s that much worse.

Picking the Right Sprayer

Bob Harris spraying acid stain on a vertical concrete surfaceViscosity and solids usually dictate the pressure required, with higher viscosity or higher solids dictating higher application pressure.

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.

World of Concrete 2018 Annual Rite of Winter was Ripe with Innovation

Brickform stamp shown at 2018 World of Concrete.World of Concrete 2018 exceeded everyone’s expectations in January by attracting more than 58,000 registered professionals and nearly 1,600 participating companies, including about 300 brand-new exhibitors.

Make Tooling Choices Easier with the Mohs Hardness Test Kit

To eliminate the guesswork associated with which diamond abrasive bond tool will best polish or abrade a particular concrete slab, contractors could consider adding a Mohs hardness test kit to their toolbox.To eliminate the guesswork associated with which diamond abrasive bond tool will best polish or abrade a particular concrete slab, contractors could consider adding a Mohs hardness test kit to their toolbox.

Bosch GBH2-28L 1-1/8 inch Bulldog Xtreme Max SDS-plus Rotary Hammer offers 8.5 amps of power

The Bosch GBH2-28L rotary hammer merits its place in the long line of legendary Bosch Bulldogs.

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?

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.

Radial Concrete Stamps Have Come Full Circle

Concrete that has been stamped with a radial stamp and embedded with a concrete compass rose.Radial stamps, multipiece tools that create circular and curved patterns, have earned stamp manufacturers a round of applause.

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.

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.

Arcus Contoured Masonry Blade from Arcus Inc.

Masonry blade for cutting concrete

It occurred to the owner of Arcus that there must be an easier way to make contoured cuts than with a router. A few hours later, she was rolling a rimless, contoured salad plate on its edge, watching as it traced a perfectly smooth, contoured path. Thus, the Arcus Contoured Blade was born.

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.

Choosing the Best Blade for the Concrete Task

Engrave a crete saw grooving concreteDiamonds may be forever in jewelry and James Bond movies, but when it comes to the workaday world, not so much. If they were, a good diamond saw blade could be passed on from father to son.

Soff-Cut X-150D Prowler Decorative Concrete Saw

Decorative cuts -- V-shaped or rounded radius cuts that are ground into existing grooves -- are this Prowler's specialty. Another concrete saw is used to make the rough first cut, and the X-150D follows to make it look good.Soff-Cut International’s X-150 Prowler early-entry concrete saw can be adapted to make decorative V-shaped or radius cuts. Concrete contractors loved that feature. But they found themselves making that adaptation often, and they got frustrated.

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.

Cutting Pictures in Concrete with Diamond Blades

Engraved multicolored butterfly created with an artful eye.Discovering the right tools and techniques can make pictures in concrete very fun and rewarding.

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.

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.

7 Tips for Taking Care of Sprayers

Man using sprayer cap on 5 gallon bucketDavid Dalton of Sprayers Plus — a supplier of spray tools for a wide range of uses — suggests these tips pertaining to sprayer care and maintenance.

How to Make Troweling Concrete Easier on the Job Site

power trowel on concreteLet’s face it, working concrete is a hard job. It’s hard on the hands, the back and especially the knees. Fortunately, for some contractors there’s an option that allows them to stand upright and still complete their jobs.

Three Tips for Selecting the Right Molding Compound

The hardness of the rubber compound is what will determine whether the product is right for your project or not. Rubber's hardness is measured in durometers.There are many molding compounds available, so it’s important to get one that’s appropriate for the application at hand.

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.

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.

Which Portable Concrete Mixer is Right for You?

Whiteman plaster/mortar and concrete mixers are heavy-duty mixers from Multiquip that are reliable, easy to maintain, and offered in a full range of sizes and engine configurations for virtually any application.Modular, compact and sturdy in design; portable concrete mixers come in designs to fit all construction needs.

Easy to use SpiderLath a Metal Lath Alternative

Even though it's a new product, they don't need to be reeducated on how to put it on the wall.If you apply vertical concrete, carve concrete walls or create cast pieces, sooner or later you may have to face a painful truth: Traditional metal lath can be troublesome.

Polypropylene brush for use on the Wagman Revolution System

Wagman Metal Products Inc., the global leader in power trowel replacement blades, pans and innovative trowel attachments for scrubbing, stripping, and polishing, introduces a new polypropylene brush.

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.

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?

 

Match the Concrete Mix with the Right Equipment

Match the Mix with the Right EquipmentToo often mixing decorative overlays becomes an afterthought or path of least resistance process. This is the drill and paddle I have used for years, so it must be OK. Worse yet, and I am guilty of this, those of us on the training and manufacturing side default to whatever mixer is provided when we show up for a product demonstration.

Dust Suppression System Offers Solution to OSHA's Regulations

DustAway system can easily be customized for just about any type of bulk mixer, it's not necessarily a product that's going to help smaller contractorsSometimes the solution to a problem is only an imaginative thought away.

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.

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.

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.

The New Product Made from Recycled Concrete: Eckocrete

Contractors troweling fresh concrete.The material has crushed recycled concrete for aggregate and fly ash waste from coal mills for the base. Other industrial byproducts provide nanofibers for crack reduction and nanoparticles for surface density to reduce water penetration.

Concrete Countertop Polishing Tips and Tricks

Grinder that is used for polishing concrete countertopsConcrete countertops are a very hot item these days, and fabricating them can be much easier than you think — when you use the right tools and technique. This is the key to eliminating frustration and ultimately producing a quality product.

New Planetary Grinders Offer More Choices to Countertop Fabricators

One of the biggest innovations in the concrete countertop grinding and polishing industry has been planetary technologyOne of the biggest innovations in the concrete countertop grinding and polishing industry has been planetary technology - machines that have multiple grinding heads, allowing fabricators to cover a large radius of material at a time and achieve an extra-flat result.

Lightning Strike Roller Screed from Lura Enterprises Inc.

the screed's patented threaded axle, which allows for attachments to be screwed on.The Lightning Strike Roller Screed first made its name at the 2007 World of Concrete show, where it won the Most Innovative Product Expert's Choice award in the placement tools and equipment category.

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!

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.

Moisture Tests in Concrete: Calcium Chloride vs. Relative Humidity

When good floor coatings go bad, moisture is often the culprit. When good floor coatings go bad, moisture is often the culprit. 

Even cured concrete can emit enough moisture to blister, cloud or delaminate a coating, especially when a slab with no vapor barrier sits on ground with poor drainage. The manufacturers of overlays, microcoatings, sealers and specialty coatings set moisture tolerance limits for their products.

Magic Trowel Smooths Concrete Surfaces Without the Trowel Line

Using a Magic Trowel can help you achieve a smooth finish without trowel lines.Originally developed for finishing drywall, this magical tool smooths concrete surfaces without leaving any trowel lines. “We’re getting so many calls from concrete people,” says Joe Torres, president of TexMaster Tools, which makes the Magic Trowel. “The guys in this industry are going crazy!”

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.

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.

Pearl Abrasive Concrete Crack-Chaser Blade

Crack-Chaser Blade from Pearl Abrasive Company was designed for more efficient cleaning, routing and repairing of cracks in concrete.The Crack-Chaser Blade from Pearl Abrasive Company was designed for more efficient cleaning, routing and repairing of cracks in concrete. The diamond segments are sintered to the core in a V-shaped pattern, leaving a clean groove for filling.

How to Measure RH in Concrete

RH measurements in concrete

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.

Crete Master Concrete Surface Finisher

His invention has four smooth-edged blades of blue spring steel attached to a disc. The disc, with a 5⁄8-inch opening and an 11 thread size, fits onto many variable-speed polishers or angle grinders.Crete Master's smooth-as-glass countertop finish, a hand-held surface finisher that excels in finishing concrete counter tops, horizontal and vertical overlays, colored hardeners, edges on concrete slabs and many other applications that require a smooth finish.

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