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Diversify with Direction When Expanding Your Business

A nice patio set on a stamped concrete patio that has been stained a tan color.There are a lot of questions that don’t always have easy answers. Fortunately, plenty of people have headed out in different directions within the concrete industry and found the journey has taken them to a pretty good place.

K. Schipper
Jun 5, 2019
Seal Exposed Aggregate Concrete for Best Results

A penetrating sealer preserves the concrete without changing the look, allowing the exposed aggregate to retain its natural appearance and color.Exposed aggregate concrete is a decorative concrete look that will enhance the curb appeal of driveways, pool decks, sidewalks and patios. It’s achieved when the top layer of concrete has been removed to expose the rocks underneath.

Tyler Stephens
Jun 13, 2019
Vendors Bring New Concrete Products to Contractors

Vendors displaying their goods at a tradeshow for potential buyers.The more things change the more they stay the same. This is an adage I’ve heard my entire life without ever really giving it any serious thought. What does it even mean? Well, in the context of this article let’s take a closer look.

Greg Iannone
Jun 5, 2019
A Concrete Stupa, A Blessed Build

A stupa made from concrete for the Buddhism religion.A stupa is one of the most venerable icons in Buddhism. It's a structure steeped in symbolism, and building or maintaining one is said to bring a person close to enlightenment.

Jan 7, 2010
Basic Building Blocks of Polishing Concrete

Polished Concrete floor high gloss reflecting a drumset.Identifying some of the basic building blocks of polishing and examine them in terms of “myth” or “accurate perception.”

Peter Wagner, CSI
Oct 6, 2010
A Grand New Concrete Entrance at a Texas Football Stadium

 It stands to reason that a big-time football program would want to play in a big-time stadium.Texas Christian University’s football program has emerged as a national power over the past few years, and for a smallish university (enrollment under 10,000) that’s quite an accomplishment. It stands to reason that a big-time football program would want to play in a big-time stadium.

Chris Mayo
Jan 24, 2013
Myth-Perceptions in Polished Concrete: Setting Up For Success or Failure

Microsoft campus in Washington state polished and colored with water-based dyes.The one universal truth about the polished concrete industry is that, sadly enough, there is no universal truth. We don’t agree about what defines polished concrete, what steps are important, or what is the best way to steer the industry.

Peter Wagner, CSI
Jul 16, 2010
Former Preschool Teacher Now Masters the Trowel

Carved concrete by Cindee LundinYears ago, Cindee Lundin took a leave of absence from her job as a preschool teacher and enrolled at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota to work on her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She already had two associate degrees — one in art and the other in child development. It was there that her passion to pursue art full time began.

Vanessa Salvia and Stacey Enesey Klemenc
Oct 16, 2018
Molding an Ergonomic Concrete Chair in 24 Hours

An ergonomic chair sits outside among the grass and falling tree leaves.Chris Rousseau, manager of Hotwire Direct, shared with us his experience making a nicely molded concrete chair with the help of one of his company’s performance CNC foam-cutting machines. He measured different parts of his body to dial in the chair’s measurements and banged it out in just about 24 hours.

Apr 16, 2012
Concrete Project Puts Columbus on the Map in Memphis

Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue under the flag of Spain, a country ruled in the 15th century by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella.Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue under the flag of Spain, a country ruled in the 15th century by the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. But do you know what nation Columbus called home?

Not that tough on the scale of trivia challenges, right? Columbus hailed from Genoa, now part of Italy.

Joe Maty
Oct 21, 2018
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.

David Stephenson
May 20, 2014
Marketing for Concrete Contractors

Concrete can't sell itself, contractors must depend upon a bit of marketing too. Image from Many contractors believe that their workmanship will sell itself, but too often, they depend on referrals. Decorative concrete contractors are artisans, not necessarily salespeople.

Christina Camara
Feb 1, 2006
Things to Know About Alkali-Silica Reaction

Under certain conditions the silica in glass and other reactive aggregates such as silica sand, granite and olivine react with the calcium hydroxide in portland cement and form a siliceous gel.One of the glitches of combining glass aggregate with portland cement is that the combination may trigger alkali-silica reaction (ASR).

Stacey Enesey Klemenc
Jul 10, 2018
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.

John Strieder
Aug 26, 2005
Know the Difference Between Demos and Training

Solomon/Brickform Training and DemoI think we can all agree we’d be happy if the decorative concrete industry were bigger. You know, if the pie were just a little bit bigger. What are we doing as an industry to positively influence the decorative market? What are you doing as a contractor, material supplier or manufacturer to help grow the pie?

Greg Iannone
Mar 18, 2019
Hashtags: What They Are and How to Use Them Effectively

Hashtags: What They Are and How to Use Them EffectivelyDo you remember the last time you saw a hashtag? Chances are it was in the last hour but at least sometime today, and it may not have even been on a social network. Hashtags are everywhere these days, from your favorite TV show to highway billboards. As such, they can and should be a part of your social media strategy. The key is using them effectively.

Lindsey Congeni
Dec 8, 2017
Be Careful When Using 100 Percent Solids Urethane on Metallic Floors

Blue metallics on concrete patioWhen installing a metallic epoxy system, urethane can be detrimental to a project’s outcome or a welcome addition to its success.

Jon Kopp
Jan 22, 2019
Fast Self-leveling Concrete Crack Repair Product

Two part repair product for cracks in a concrete slab.DP-600 Concrete Repair products from 3M offer a fast way for concrete repair people to get their fill.

Nov 8, 2005