By no means is this an inclusive list of interesting finds, there was plenty of products and demos to explore at the 2019 Concrete Decor Show at the Arlington Convention Center.
With some things, it’s what goes up first that can really matter. The trainers used Imperial Core Bond. This is a multiuse polymer-modified cement-based material from Kingdom Products. They used this as the basecoat for Kingdom Products’ Imperial Vertical Carving Mix. A one-component mix that just requires water, Imperial Core Bond was the bonding agent behind the walls of the DreamKrete exhibit and the training wall (pictured above) in Emil Gera and Troy Lemon’s vertical concrete workshop. The two men led a team that used Vertical Carving Mix to create simulated brick, stone and wood. They then colored it with multiple shades of Kingdom Products color hardener. Cindee Lundin’s workshop used the same Vertical Carving Mix to create a faux bois bird bath.
Trinic was on hand with both products and demos. Namely, one of its newest products, Car-VZ. Car-VZ is an innovative additive that Washington-based artisan Warren Ness and Trinic owner, Bob Chatterton developed. They desgned the ultra-concentrated material to add to locally supplied sand and cement to create a carvable mix that you can also polish. The men say the mix has a long open time and is resistant to efflorescence and micro-cracking. To take the vertical product to the next level, the duo came up with Colo-RZ, available in a wide range of natural colors. Trinic used these products to create a striking fireplace and surround at a demonstration at the nearby DreamKrete booth.
Stone Edge Surfaces
Stone Edge Surfaces did a soft launch of its new Deck & Balcony Waterproofing Systems at the show. Made to be installed over plywood or concrete substrates, the line contains three waterproofing systems — standard, pro and custom — that were designed with Stone Edge products that have been used in the industry for years. According to Bruce Grogg, company president, contractors can save anywhere from 23 cents to $1.08 per square foot with this new one-component product over competitors’ two-component mixes.
Amid much fanfare, AggretexSC, heralded as “Concrete that Rocks,” debuted its newest polishable overlay, RazzoEFX. The revolutionary high-quality mix featuring stunningly sophisticated aggregates springs to life by blending with water, placing and polishing. RazzoEFX also includes several SKUs with glass premixed in the bag! Applied at a minimum depth of 3/8 inch, the self-consolidating overlay has a working time of 20 minutes. You can walk on it in two hours and polish it in as little as 18-24. White Noise will lead the new line’s release in December, followed by Grey Matter and others in the coming months. Both White Noise and Grey Matter are engineered to be mixed with hundreds of kinds of aggregates. They provide infinite design flexibility in a custom concrete overlay.
Nox-Crete was showing off Blast-Off, a tried-and-true fast-acting concrete remover that’s superb for cleaning texture skins and stamps. Just spray it on with Nox-Crete’s Pump Foamer, scrub and rinse with water when the foam turns from pink to white. The biodegradable liquid made from sugar cane and sugar beets takes off the hardened concrete residue and contains a powerful detergent that cuts grease, oil and dirt, leaving behind a clean, crisp stamp ready for the next job. You can use Blast-Off on aluminum, steel, plastic, glass, fiberglass, rubber and painted metal surfaces, including tools and also power equipment.
Trimaco FloorShell ProBoard, a heavy-duty yet lightweight surface protector used in the show’s workshop zones, is a breathable, reusable, leak- and impact-resistant floor covering made from recycled fibers. The product is an ideal alternative to Masonite. You hold it together with a special brown-colored seam tape for board-on-board adhesion. Additionally, a red polyethylene tape secures the covering to the surface. And, unlike the red tape you sometimes have to contend with, this one leaves nothing behind.
Among its many products, Laticrete shared the advantages of its Spartacote Vapor Ban ER, a versatile moisture vapor barrier and fast-curing primer applied in one easy step. The 100% solids, two-part epoxy installed as a single coat is specifically designed to control the moisture vapor emission rate from new or existing concrete slabs. The moisture-mitigating coating, designed for epoxy or polyaspartic finishing systems, cures in three hours. You can tint or broadcast with chips or quartz media.
Bloody Marys weren’t the only thing Makinex Construction Products was serving at the show. Also powering up the crowd was its Dual-Phase generator line. The single- and three-phase portable generators weigh less than 350 pounds, making them much easier to maneuver on the job site, as well as load and unload. Equipped with a rare earth magnet alternator, these generators produce 15% more power than conventional copper-wound machines. Contractors report they can run a three-phase grinder, a one-phase grinder and a vacuum all at the same time.
If restoring old floors is part of your game plan, SlabArmor from Multiquip allows you to produce a polished look without polishing. The game-changing SlabArmor works well with just about any concrete mix. Additionally, you can use as a stand-alone product or as a more beneficial multistepped system. It can restore, densify, cure and control water evaporation all in one fell swoop. SlabArmor Starter and Closer close capillaries within a slab, promote hardening and produce an attractive, long-lasting finish ideal for warehouses, distribution centers and retail stores.
BN Products USA displayed the ultimate mixer combo that can blend up to 220 pounds of self-leveling materials, epoxies and overlays. You can also lock the BNMS-6400 Portable Mixing Station into place for hands-free mixing. It has a lid to accommodate a vacuum attachment, a removable splash cover to keep the job clean, a built-in timer, and an upgraded bucket that allows you to walk and pour or dump the whole load at once.
Solid Solution Products
Because of the overabundance of joint separation and cracks caused from using aromatic polyurea and urethane products, Solid Solution Products urges the industry to consider using its EZ-Pour joint filler for decorative concrete floors in places such as retail establishments and grocery stores. The 100% aliphatic polyurea joint sealant has greater elongation and slower reaction properties allowing for a longer wet-out time to promote better adhesion and less separation. The product is unaffected by UV rays and is colorfast regardless of the lighting. It can be used to fill joints inside or outside.
Runyon Surface Prep
Besides its extensive rental equipment inventory, Runyon Surface Prep was at the show touting its own tooling line, especially its Magnetic Preload System built for power trowels, auto scrubbers and swing machines. With this tool-holding system, contractors can quickly change any 3-inch Velcro-backed tooling on a standard-sized pad driver. The system is made up of a stainless-steel ring that bolts to the pad driver and a tool holder ring with embedded magnets on one side and six recessed slots for the tools on the other.
Versatile displayed its Lava Flow Metallic Epoxy Floor Coating with its mesmerizing color shifts and subtle metallic sparkle. American made and American strong, Lava Flow can deliver stunning results with minimal experience and training. It dries to a glassy finish on its own but can be top-coated with polyaspartic for added scuff resistance and gloss. Versatile provides a variety of polyaspartic topcoats in gloss and matte finish (seen here).
Looking a whole lot like terrazzo, Ardex K523 is a blend of Portland cement, hydraulics cement and black-and-white aggregate that’s used to resurface indoor floors. You can integrally dy or topically stain the self-leveling topping. Additionally, you can incorporate metal terrazzo strips as design elements. Once installed, users can walk on Ardex K523 in two to three hours. You can also polish it in as little as 24. Polishing provides an exposed aggregate surface that designers just love.
JustCut’s extremely fast-cutting 8-inch turbo segmented blade produces smooth lines for concrete sawing and works efficiently at cleaning out joints. Designed for dry cutting, you can stack this popular .095 inch-thick blade two at a time if you descire a thicker blade for the job.
Graco spotlighted combining the ToughTek CM20 continuous mixer with the ToughTek S340e piston pump to show how effectively crews can mix materials and pump them onto a surface from the same location. Simply set the water flow rate for the material being used, pour the bag into the CM20 dry hopper and the machine automatically mixes it up and then drops the mud into the S340e wet hopper. From there, you can readily pump the mixture through a hose onto a surface. Portable and easy to set up and use, both mixer and pump plug into standard 120V outlets.
When it comes to cup wheels that get the job done, look no farther than the S-Cup Aggressor from World Diamond Source. Available in 5 and 7 inches that fit threaded and nonthreaded hand grinders, they are the company’s most aggressive cup wheel for concrete removal and prep work … a must-have for all concrete polishers and surface prep contractors.
Steel City Trowels, a new line Bon Tool introduced at the show, features copper rivets on each end of the shank attached to the blade to make the tools more stable and durable. Made in the USA, these finishing trowels are available in a wide range of sizes with a rounded or square end and a wood or comfort-grip handle. They come in four metals: carbon steel, razor stainless steel, golden stainless steel and blue steel.
SealBoss Concrete Solutions
To eliminate human error in color matching, SealBoss Concrete Solutions presented its 6500 CLR Polyurea joint filler that can be colored any shade with a solvent-based stain or dye after it’s placed. The material has an 80-shore hardness while still having a 200% elongation. The product is available in bulk as well as 22-ounce cartridges.
Kraft Tool’s Diamond XX magnesium screed features reinforcement throughout the length of the tool to maintain straightness in demanding applications. Made in the USA, the magnesium screed is 30% lighter than its aluminum cousins but is built to be super straight, strong and rigid. Securely fastened metal end caps extend the screed’s life by preventing concrete buildup inside the tool.
Convergent was on site displaying ColorFast, a lithium-based line designed explicitly for colored architectural concrete. A complete collection of stain, coating, finish and gloss products, ColorFast has everything needed for prepping, applying, finishing, repairing, protecting and maintaining beautiful floors. Producing a gloss that’s achieved in a fast two-step process, the coating is rolled on and the stain is sprayed. The system protects the surface with a breathable micro-coating that’s refortified with proper maintenance. It has the name ColorFast for more reasons than one.
Poraver Expanded Glass
A product of German ingenuity, Poraver Expanded Glass is a sustainable product made from post-consumer recycled glass that can help you qualify for LEED credits. Used in place of sand or gravel, the globular glass grains are available in several sizes from .04 mm to 4 mm. Poraver has 1/5 the density of traditional aggregates. This means you can replace 100 pounds of sand with 20 pounds of the creamy white granules to fill the same volume. The result is a highly workable, lighter mixture that doesn’t trigger an ASR reaction and increases thermal insulation and sound absorption.
Dustcontrol presented its newest twin, the DC Tromb Twin, with its re-engineered motor package for easier access, a stronger chassis to improve stability and an improved inlet for the vacuum hose. The portable pre-separator and dust extractor combo outfitted with a washable prefilter and HEPA 13 filter is perfect for concrete grinding. About 90% of the coarser dust particles stay in the pre-separator while the remaining 10% goes into the extractor’s filter cyclone, saving on filter replacements. The unit has a smaller footprint. Its two components are easily to disconnect and reassemble, making transport easier.
Midwest Rake not only displayed its SpeedSqueegee tools designed to apply resinous flooring materials such as epoxy and urethanes but also demonstrated their abilities at the ChemSystems booth. Color coded to make them easy to identify, the squeegees come in four blade styles: flat flex, flat stiff, scallop notched and V-notched.
The Mongoose X from Engrave-A-Crete was the star of the company’s booth as well as the engraving and stenciling workshop led by Rick Lobdell and Debbie Ohland. Its ergonomic design features an easily removable, optional handle that lets an operator use the tool in confined spaces or standing up. A spring-loaded cutting head promotes full control by pressing down to cut and releasing to stop. Capable of a wide range of cuts, including straight cuts, arcs and circles, this versatile tool quickly and efficiently transforms existing concrete into works of art.
During the show, RapidSet demonstrated the use of SpiderLath SLSM 475, a lightweight fiberglass lath with 1/8-inch openings made for reinforcing epoxy floors. Using the lath as an underlayment will prevent epoxy from cracking. It’s easier to use than the metal variety and you can easily cut it with scissors or a knife.
One of USG’s featured products was the Durock Brand PWT Pro. This is a self-leveling overlay you can polish to expose large aggregate on interior floors in new construction or renovations. You can walk on the fast-setting cementitious hybrid in two hours and accept trade traffic in 24. Specifically designed as a wear surface equal to concrete, you can integrally color or topically dye the the topping.
Stauf, a company that’s been manufacturing adhesives since 1828, was at the show promoting ULC-500 Level Seal, a flexible leveling compound that will mitigate moisture and add resiliency to any floor coating. Among the two-component urethane’s many positive features are it dries quickly. It is also certified “green,” remains elastic and is resistant against aging. It’s also suitable for radiant heat systems.
After the launch of the new Lavina Elite Series in January 2019, Superabrasive’s 30-inch grinder, L30GE, continues to be one of its most popular machines. It is propane-powered with an intelligent fuel-control system, EPA and CARB recognized Blue Sky engine. It also comes with integrated weights, misting system to suppress dust, low-profile skirt with flexible brush, new handle, front and back LED lights, and even a phone station and cup holder.
GranQuartz cast its spell at the show in the form of Surface Pro Black Magic cup wheels. These new ceramic cup wheels are great for both wet- or dry-cutting concrete. Available in 30, 50, 100, 200 and 400 grits, the very economically priced cup wheels are perfect for edge grinding against walls.
All decked out for Halloween, Floormaps was out in full force teaching anyone interested how to use its stencils for both fun and profit. The company’s newest design option features custom graphics printed on adhesive-backed vinyl with an 80% design and 20% perforation ratio. The configuration prevents delamination. This allows for a consistent bond of the clear topcoat with the base coat below, thus embedding the design between the two. You can panel out the prints seamlessly over a large surface. You can also die-cut the design to any shape or size. Designs reportedly turn out better on darker surfaces.
Skudo’s HT Commercial System is a high-traffic floor protector. It is a nonwoven breathable fabric kept in place with a basecoat. The temporary floor protection allows the concrete to breathe and cure at a consistent rate across the slab. When it’s time to pull it up, the basecoat adheres to the mat more so than the surface. It also leaves no residue or curing lines in its wake. You then disposed of the product like other normal construction debris.
If you have an interest in bringing a natural look to resinous interior floors, Torginol had the answer on display. Torginol Wood Flakes are available in 15 traditional and modern finishes. They are made from super-thin wood veneer and broadcast like chips. The application requires extra sanding to get an even surface. However, when paired with a resinous coating system, Wood provides a unique style.
Pool decks, splashpads and playgrounds are prime candidates for the likes of Rubcorp’s rubber surfacing products. Featuring virgin rubber granules mixed with polyurethane that’s troweled over concrete, the soft surfacing product promotes safety and durability in a vast array of colors and design possibilities. The Coppell, Texas-headquartered company offers training and support in addition to distribution.
Thanks to our sponsors
Many thanks to the following companies that donated product to make the show’s workshops and demonstrations possible:
Airlite Plastics · Barnsco Decorative Concrete Supply BN Products USA · Chapin · Covestro · Engrave-A-Crete Fox Blocks · Graco · Kingdom Products · Kraft Tool Multiquip · Nox-Crete · RapidSet · Sansoe Snapties Skudo · SpiderLath · Stone Edge Surfaces SurfKoat · Trimaco · Wooster