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The Complete Decorative Concrete Contractor

The colors were stains and tinted sealers from Increte, and metal inlay was used on the perimeter.Five veteran contractors and artisans provide insight by explaining where their decorative concrete journeys began, how their skill sets grew and how diversification has affected their careers.

Cheng Concrete announces 2013 winners of kitchen and bath sink contest

Cheng Concrete has reinvented its annual concrete design challenge with the first contest of a new series -- the Kitchen & Bath Concrete Maker Challenge. The company announced the 2013 winners in November.Cheng Concrete has reinvented its annual concrete design challenge with the first contest of a new series — the Kitchen & Bath Concrete Maker Challenge. The company announced the 2013 winners in November.

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.

Concrete Countertops Come Alive After Dark

Glow in the Dark Concrete Countertops The powdered sugar-like product is available for a little more than $100 per pound, and for this project it only took 1/4 pound to achieve this long-lasting glow effect.

How to Use Self-Consolidating Concrete for Concrete Countertops

How to measure self-consolidating concrete with a slump test and what it means. Self-consolidating concrete is great to use for concrete countertops.Self-consolidating concrete (SCC), also known as self-compacting concrete, is an amazing and special type of concrete that is highly flowable and resists segregation. It is the perfect product to use for creating concrete countertops.

The Top 7 Mistakes that Can Make or Break Your Concrete Countertop Business

concrete countertop at catch kitchen and barAvoiding certain pitfalls can mean the difference between a struggling hobby and a thriving business. When it comes to countertops, here are a few of the most common mistakes we at the Concrete Countertop Institute think are the biggest stumbling blocks for aspiring concrete countertop contractors.

Concrete Range Hood Takes on Kitchen Style

A kitchen range hood that mimics granite.Concrete hoods are an easy sell for customers who are already buying countertops, but this hood - Concrete Jungle’s first - was purchased by a homeowner with a kitchen in mid-renovation who had already committed to granite countertops.

Cheng Design's NeoMix for Concrete Countertops

Cheng's NeoMix was used to make this display for an upscale shoe boutiqueThe NeoMix system, from Cheng Design, makes it easy to create beautiful countertops. The system includes admixtures, custom-developed pigments, water reducers, semi-precious aggregates, sealer, wax, and finishing pads and tools.

Photo courtesy of Cheng Desgin

How One Artisan Created Perfect Harmony with a Concrete Table

The concrete table depicts harmony between earth, fire and waterThe Chomisteks call this piece the “Harmony Table.” The concrete table depicts harmony between earth, fire and water. At the same time, it maintains the harmony within their clients’ household.

Factors that Affect the Strength of GFRC Pieces

Scrim is being used to strengthen the dropped edges of a 14-foot-long concrete reception desk.The popularity of glass-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) has grown in the past few years as more and more people discover its versatility, strength and relative ease of manufacture. GFRC makes it possible to create stronger and lighter elements and complex 3-D pieces easily.

Cheng Design Awards Best in Concrete Countertop Design

Concrete and wood countertop by Eric Boyd, Reaching Quiet Design, Charlotte, N.C.Concrete countertop guru Fu-Tung Cheng saluted his latest group of top proteges at January's World of Concrete.

The Case for CSA Cements for Concrete Countertops

A concrete countertop that was made with CSA cement.According to Jeffrey Girard, P.E., founder of The Concrete Countertop Institute, concrete with calcium sulphoaluminate (CSA) is the way to go for countertops.

"When I first used CSA instead of portland cement, I recognized that it offers a technological advantage," he says.

Fire pit plans and materials from CCI

The Concrete Countertop Institute is offering fire pit designs in Crater and Ridge models. The plans for each design include detailed cut sheets and assembly instructions at a level of detail that stretches to 30 pages. The plans are meant to be used with glass-fiber reinforced concrete, but they could be adapted for other casting techniques.

Staying Ahead of the Curve with Concrete Countertops

Curved concrete countertop with glass additive to create custom look.When Shawn Halverson, president of Surfacing Solutions Inc., agreed to create a few conference tables for First Team Real Estate in Newport Beach, Calif., he had no idea what the final product would look like — or what challenges he would endure along the way.

Defending Against Stains and Scratches with Concrete Countertop Sealers

Delta Performance Products tested its ICT Reactive Sealing System with oil, mustard and wine.Think about what happens to a kitchen counter every day. People splash acids on it. They spill things that stain it. They chop and slice on it. They set hot pots and dishes down on it. And they clean and clean and clean it with water and chemicals and green scrub-pads

Creating Concrete Outdoor Kitchens in Cold Climates

An inviting outdoor kitchen with concrete countertops and a stamped concrete patio in a cold climate.Outdoor kitchens are a popular request no matter where you live, but typically when you read a book or see a television show featuring outdoor kitchens, the contractor is doing them in a warm climate.

Brilliant Concrete Bar Tops

Restaurant concrete countertop that looks like wood surrounded by flowing fabric.In converting a warehouse in an offbeat neighborhood to an organic microbrewery, the married duo of Emily Thomas and Chad Brill proved to be up for anything.

New UV Sealer For Concrete Countertops

Bar top that has been sealed with a UV rated sealer.As Bob Chatterton, co-owner of Surface 519, puts it, "Countertops are just a sealing nightmare. It's asked that they be resistant to everything under the sun."

So it seems a natural correlation to make a stain- and scratch-resistant coating that uses the sun - or at least the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Elegant California Concrete Home and Fireplace

Blue gray concrete sink with the edges ground down and polished to expose the aggregate within.At their showpiece house, the artisans at Flying Turtle Cast Concrete let their imaginations soar.

Cement Alternatives for Concrete

Pozzolans vary widely in color. Shown here, left to right, are fly ash, metakaolin, silica fume, fly ash, slag and calcined shale.Since manufacturing portland cement damages the environment, more and more concrete makers are giving alternatives a chance. According to the LEED certification system, concrete has several green qualities, including a long lifetime and recyclability. Portland cement, one of concrete’s primary ingredients, is another story.

New Countertop Sealers Do More Than Just Protect

Different items lined up to test against the sealers strength.More demand means better ingredients — but are they really all that different from floor sealers?\

The ideal concrete countertop sealer is a product that provides protection from stains, looks and feels like bare concrete and is safe to use.

Cast-in-Place Concrete Countertops: Forms, Mixes, Tools and Finishes

A sleek concrete countertop in a modern kitchen,As demand for concrete countertops grows, concrete contractors and artists have been honing their techniques to produce concrete countertops. Countertops fall into two general categories: cast-in-place and precast and projects can call for either application.

How to Create a Shower Bench out of Concrete

Originally designed for a shower bench installation, this striking river-themed countertop application features a dazzling blue-colored mix with glass aggregate and gorgeous river stone detailing.Originally designed for a shower bench installation, this striking river-themed countertop application features a dazzling blue-colored mix with glass aggregate and gorgeous river stone detailing.

Nashville Nightclub Receives Decorative Coating Makeover

Overlay floor in blues and maroon in Nashville, Tenn.The historical structure that now houses the Nashville Dinner Theatre has always attracted attention. During Prohibition times, people slyly used a tunnel in the building to transport alcohol to area nightclubs. Today, it attracts crowds for its dinner shows and performances by local vocalists.

Generations of Concrete Expertise Leads to Success for this Artisan

Think one-of-a-kind bath tubs, vanities, water features, fireplace surrounds, architectural details, outdoor kitchens, even aquariumsWith a history in decorative concrete stretching back to the 1930s, J&M Lifestyles brings generations of experience and expertise to all of its projects.

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