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Understanding Polished Concrete

A look at a polished concrete floor in a modern office with industrial stairs in the background.Our economy has taken a dive into the deep end, affecting some regions more than others, but generally affecting us all. So now is a good time to reflect on what exactly polished concrete is, and where polished concrete came from.

Concrete Products Work Best When Applied as a System

Concrete Products Work Best When Applied as a System Why use a concrete system, concrete products made by same manufacturer, advantages of concrete system, systems approach for concrete, reduce risks of concrete work with system, concrete benefits with system, using a systems approach, what works best for concrete products. Photo courtesy of Townescapes, Batavia, OhioProducts made by same manufacturer for concrete projects work best as a system.

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.

The Questions You Should Ask When Considering Decorative Concrete

Frequently asked questions about decorative concreteThere is nothing more stressful than deciding on the best path for your business. Making the right decision at the right time is very important in growing and in perfecting the decorative craft. I had to answer each of the questions below at some point in my decorative journey and I’m guessing so will you.

Controlling Customers' Reactions to Reactive Stains

happy customers after a good transactionExpectations of what a floor should look like will vary from client to client. A client’s views will be shaped by other stained floors seen in person or in photographs. Although all of these things can affect a client’s expectations, the greatest influence on their flooring decision should come from the concrete professional.

5 Things Architects Wish Decorative Concrete Contractors Would Do

Architects and decorative concrete contractorsThere’s one key point on which architects and decorative concrete contractors agree: “The architect needs to have a contractor who knows what he’s doing,” says Marley Porter, AIA, who operates Living Architecture & Construction Management, located in Texas Hill Country at Cottonwood Shores.

Planning for Success in Polished Concrete

Planning for success in the future with a clock face.There are new profit opportunities in polished concrete for the decorative concrete contractor. This is a fact, and every decorative concrete contractor should look into polished concrete. However, nothing ever caused more people to go broke than too much optimism and too little planning.

ACI Releases Long-Awaited Decorative Concrete Standards Guide

ACI Decorative Concrete Standards GuideMany years in the making and rigorously reviewed by dozens of experts in the field, the much-anticipated 310R-13 Guide to Decorative Concrete was officially published by the American Concrete Institute in December 2013.

Concrete Saws for the Job Site

Diamond Products now offers a new Core Cut CC150-EE early-entry walk-behind saw.An overview of the different concrete saws on the market and which might be the best fit for your job.

Using Muons from Cosmic Rays to Find Degrading Concrete

A new report from Phys.org explains how subatomic particles known as muons are being used to probe the structure of concrete.A new report from Phys.org explains how subatomic particles known as muons are being used to probe the structure of concrete. This is a useful ability because building materials such as pipes and concrete that are part of our energy infrastructure corrode and wear thin or degrade over time. Scientists were seeking a better way to be warned of infrastructure deterioration before it becomes a problem and found that these particles work.

The Pros and Cons of Taking On Military Concrete Polishing Projects

AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) showcases polished concrete projects in many of its stores up to 150,000 square feet.

As a polishing consultant I get to wear several different hats, but by far the largest amount of my time is spent managing polished concrete programs for retailers. Polished concrete is an aesthetically beautiful and valuable flooring solution, but it is fairly specialized.

Carlton's Corner: Provide Free Extras Instead of Dropping Your Prices

Apples, give free extras instead of dropping prices.As more competition fights for fewer pieces of the pie, it will become increasingly tempting to lower your prices in order to stay competitive. I understand this completely, because I operate a decorative concrete company in one of the most competitive and hard-hit housing economies in our nation.

The Four Fundamentals of Any Business Strategy

Ideas and brainstorming on paper.Business strategy is the conscience you need for effective decision-making as you wade through the ambiguous waters of entrepreneurship. You face a lot of uncertainty as a decorative concrete business owner, and having a coherent business strategy is fundamental to minimizing that uncertainty.

How Long Should You Guarantee Your Concrete Work?

How long should you guarantee your work? It all depends on who you ask. Four successful contractors from California to New York share their philosophy on warrantiesHow long should you guarantee your work? It all depends on who you ask. Four successful contractors from California to New York share their philosophy on warranties.

Transitioning to Decorative Concrete

Transitioning to Decorative Concrete Doug Carlton of Carlton Concrete offers sound advice on how to transition your structural concrete business into one that specializes in decorative concrete applications.Transitioning to Decorative Concrete Doug Carlton of Carlton Concrete offers sound advice on how to transition your structural concrete business into one that specializes in decorative concrete applications.

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.

You Owe It to Yourself to Make Time for Training

training course at the Solomon decorative concrete fairGrowth, increased profits, value and quality are a few words I hear thrown around in the decorative concrete industry these days. It seems, and rightly so, many want to grow their business and increase their value and sustainability in the marketplace by providing quality work.

Beat the Heat with Evaporation Retarders

Doug Carlton using evaporation retarder on a concrete slabWinning the battle with Mother Nature becomes a little challenging when the weather heats up. This is also the same time our services are in highest demand. There are ways to combat the heat and the challenges it creates, but few are profitable.

4 Tips for More Effective Portfolio Images on Your Website

PC showing recent work on the screen and hands on the keyboardLooks are just about everything when it comes to a decorative concrete company’s website, so make sure you have quality images that will help drum up business.

Two Types of Business Competitors and How to Beat Them Both

Business people competing in a foot race.Close your eyes. Think of your business. Imagine you operate in a world without competitors. Imagine you’re the only one that customers can hire to install decorative concrete. Visualize yourself winning bid after bid without anything or anyone to stand in your way. Now, open your eyes. Welcome back to reality.

Making and Keeping Great Hires in an Employee Drought

Finding and keeping good employees from Concrete Decor magazineIn desperation we post employment opportunities on social media sites, in local newspapers and on online job listing pages. We even purchase radio spots, hoping to pick up the one or two rock-star employees left looking for new employment. But the reality is, there truly is a labor shortage out there.

Listening to Your Customers Pays Off in the End

Listening to your audienceBeing successful in business, as in life, is knowing when to be right, and when to allow the other person their thoughts and views, especially when the “other” person is a potential or existing customer.

Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame 2016

2016 Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame winners from Bomanite, Butterfield Colors, GLC3 Concrete, and Couture Concrete.Dan Sieben, one of the founders of Bomanite, along with his Bomanite cohort, John “Jack” Dryden, are among the 2016 honorees. Joe Garceau of Butterfield Colors and George Lacker of GLC3 Concrete and Couture Concrete Systems round out this year’s selection.

What Considerations To Make When Purchasing A Vacuum

large vacuum with dust collecting featureThe philosophy behind purchasing industrial vacuums for controlling airborne dust is changing in the concrete industry, especially with new federal rules now in place concerning worker exposure to these particles.

Solar Film Affixed to Concrete in Europe

solar film on concreteEurope's first solar concrete wall appears at Reckli's headquarter in Herne, Germany. The structure's smart facade combines various concrete structures and a solar energy generating film.

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