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Concrete Expectations: Set the Bar Properly at the Onset

A control joint in a concrete slab that has been colored integrally.Setting the bar properly for your clients on the onset ensures happier customers in the long run.

Greg Iannone
Aug 18, 2018
Product Warranties Can Be a Boost for Business

This key is pointing to an imperfection in the concrete that voids its warranty per the manufacturer.Peace of mind seems to be a rare commodity these days. So, if you could become involved in a program that helps offer that to you and your clients— and possibly helps grow your business, as well— wouldn’t you leap at the opportunity?

K. Schipper
Aug 17, 2018
What is the Best System for Polished Concrete Maintenance?

Conducting tests on the polished concrete.On a regular basis, many of us are asked: “What is the best way to maintain polished concrete?” Is there one method proven to be superior?

In this article, we’ll explore some field testing reviews and compare traditional DIPs (diamond-impregnated pads) to a newer floor maintenance system involving composite resin abrasives (CRAs).

Greg Cabot
Aug 22, 2018
Express Yourself with Surface Retarder

Shiny aggregate exposed from using surface retarder on concrete.While some concrete contractors might consider surface retarder to be a purely utilitarian product to provide traction, Tom Ralston of Tom Ralston Concrete sometimes uses it more like a paint brush on a hard, horizontal canvas. Or a turkey baster.

Apr 15, 2017
Adjusting Your Business and Mindset to the New Normal

Adjusting to the new normal of businessAdjusting the way you do business from this day forward is as important as accepting the fact that the "new normal" is very real. It has nothing to do with giving up. I have been lucky enough to be a decorative contractor for many years, and the new normal as I see it is as follows.

Doug Carlton
Apr 9, 2010
The Church of Decorative Concrete

This stencil was laid down in the walkway leading up to this church.Many of history’s most beautiful works of art were created for places of worship. These days, decorative concrete is doing its part to beautify churches across the country.

Emily Dixon
Aug 8, 2010
New Elephant Armor Overlay is Touted as Being Crack-Free

Elephant ArmorGST International Inc. is best known for its concrete cleaners and sealers, but the company has been working on developing the ultimate cementitious overlay for a decade and a half. They think they’ve finally cracked the case.

John Strieder
Jan 1, 2014
A Guide to Unique Concrete Casting Surfaces

cast concrete water fountainThis is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to the finer details of all potential concrete casting surfaces. Instead, this article is intended to help you begin asking the right questions, as well as give you a basic understanding of some of the options. We cannot come up with solutions until we ask the right questions.

Jeremy French
Aug 12, 2014
Does Marketing Green Concrete Work?

Contractor planting trees to call attention to their green practices.All across the country leading decorative concrete contractors are going green — no matter what colors their clients request. Some contractors are emphasizing green marketing messages in their advertising, brochures, Web sites and sales presentations. This article examines two leading contractors to answer the question: Does green marketing give you a competitive advantage that wins business?

Sherry Boyd
Sep 17, 2008
Decorative Concrete Tips: Marbleizing Cast-in-Place Concrete Countertops

How to make concrete look like marble, beautiful marble look concrete countertopThe trick is to let the material set with an open (mag trowelled) surface for about one hour for a standard one and one half inch thick top (Temp. dependent), this allows the Polymer to tighten up and lose some of its stickiness.

Marshall Hoskins
Apr 1, 2002
Fluid (Wet-Cast) Countertop Mixes vs. Stiff Countertop Mixes

Stiff mix concrete countertop mixAre you new to countertops? Are you confused about what the term "wet-cast" means? Here's a look at fluid concrete mixes for wet-casting as compared to stiff mixes for hand-packing, which is also known as "the Buddy Rhodes method."

Jeff Girard, P.E.
Sep 5, 2010
Black Concrete is Black... Or is it?

Is black concrete really black? How do I make black concrete really black?Does black pigment really affect air entrainment? It all depends on what type you are using.

Black is widely used in the concrete industry. It can be mixed to darken other pigments, and it can be used alone to make light grays, dark grays or straight black.

David Thompson
Jan 3, 2004
Perfectly Unpretty: Concrete Work in Illinois Holocaust Museum Speaks to Design Aesthetic

The front entrance of the Illinois Holocaust Museum Concrete Re-Surfacing Technologies Inc. of Palos Park, Ill., was brought in to finish 8,000 square feet of plain concrete floor at the new Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, one of the nation's largest memorials to the loss of millions of innocent lives during some of Europe's darkest hours. 

David Searls
Jan 7, 2010
Foundation Armor Before and After of Stamped Concrete Floor

The after look has a glossy sheen that makes the different heights shine.A stamped concrete floor with a solvent-based acrylic that was applied one year ago.  The applicator wanted to see what the floor would look like with Armor Blush Repair and Armor AR350 sealer before doing the entire floor.

May 30, 2014
Texturetop, A Superior Stampable Cementitious Topping

Bob Harris presses embossing skins onto fresh concrete.Inside or out, the new stampable topping from L.M. Scofield Company offers exciting new opportunities for contractors.

Robert Harris and Bruce Hackett
Dec 9, 2001
Concrete Contractors Warm up to Radiant Heating Systems

Hydronic heat tubes added to a concrete floor - in wintry areas of North America, heated walkways and driveways that melt snow have been a prized feature of upscale homes and businesses for decades.In wintry areas of North America, heated walkways and driveways that melt snow have been a prized feature of upscale homes and businesses for decades.

Gail Elber
Nov 1, 2013
Self-Leveling Concrete Overlays: An Aesthetic, Cost Efficient Alternative

Yellow furniture grouping in home with self-leveling overlay stained a rich brown.Self-levelers offer interior spaces unlimited design possibilities, fast! Through the use of integral colors, dry-shake color hardeners and similar products, fresh concrete need no longer be gray, monotone and drab looking.

Bruce Hackett
Jul 7, 2001
Tinted Polyurea Coating Perks Up a Drab Floor

Polyurea coating was used in this office space to disguise the unsightly concrete below.West End Commons is a new 91-unit loft development in Oakland, Calif. The two- and three-story townhouses have office space on the ground floor, with living space in the upper levels. Pettigrew’s company, Diamond D Concrete, won the subcontract to clean and clear-coat 40,000 square feet of concrete slab floors.

Loretta Hall
Nov 4, 2005