The third annual Decorative Concrete LIVE! happened during World of Concrete 2019. This year it showcased the power of concrete. It did this in a mix of the latest technologies in products, tools and equipment for residential, retail and also commercial projects.
With demonstrations throughout the show, artisans from around the country wowed the contractors, architects and also other visitors. Over 5,000 people strolled the space to see the many ways concrete can add beauty, sustainability, resiliency and also energy efficiency to building projects.
This year, artisans focused on how both decorative and architectural concrete can positively contribute to the wants and needs of an increasingly energy-minded society. They did this by using concrete below ground, on the surface, up the walls and also in all areas in between.
Insulated concrete forms — cast-in-place, reinforced concrete-filled building blocks — returned as a key component for today’s sustainable building practices. “There’s not a better way to tie decorative concrete products to energy-efficient building systems than with ICFs,” says Bent Mikkelsen, show organizer and publisher of Concrete Decor.
Artisans installed a variety of finishes both decorative and durable, including cementitious materials and lightweight stucco, on the ICF walls provided by Fox Blocks, the show’s builder partner. “These engineered products also offer vertical carving mixes a new market opportunity.”
And the versatile building blocks aren’t just limited to either straight walls or 45- and 90-degree angles. This was proven by a round window crafted with ICF system components.
An air-heated radiant floor system from Legalett made to be installed in concrete slabs educated visitors on an alternative method to heat buildings. “No longer just a golden opportunity for decorative concrete applications, these slab-on-grade concrete floors can also greatly contribute to creating an energy-efficient building envelope,” Mikkelsen notes.
Artisans in charge
Heading up this year’s dedicated team of artisans was Emil Gera of Gera Concrete in Pennsylvania. “Small towns are often known for producing football legends, but they should also be recognized for the talent they bring to the concrete industry,” Mikkelsen says. “Emil’s humble leadership and also his ability to move a team of artisans to the finish line is just one reason he deserves industry recognition for his work at this year’s Decorative Concrete LIVE!”
Gera’s right-hand man, Matt Sampson from Florida, also is due accolades for his tireless efforts and dedication for a job well done, Mikkelsen adds. The dynamic duo was among the first to arrive each day and the last to put away the trowel.
Cindee Lundin of Arizona donated both her time and talent to this year’s showcase. She did this with a project she dreamed up named “Sustaining Life.”
And, Mikkelsen had nothing but praise for her and her trio of dedicated helpers. “When you ask Cindee to do her thing, that’s all you have to do. This is because she not only knows the products of this industry. She also knows how to make them perform in ways that simply push their boundaries.”
Notable demonstrations included:
- Danny Carrillo and his aides showed how applying proven materials with both tools and equipment from Graco. Graco was also the show’s tooling partner. This equipment adds both productivity and profits to a project. “They also create opportunities to deliver high-end finishes that weren’t previously marketable. That’s a game changer that also deserves attention,” Mikkelsen says.
- One space was addressed by Aquron’s Matt Desurne and Sam Syvrud. Additionally, they had help from their guru Scott Kummer and equipment from SASE. Together, they demonstrated how their products’ proven capabilities with pool builders were also an asset to installers of polished concrete and terrazzo.
- Debbie Ohland etched a stenciled design with a tool from Engrave-A-Crete, which is an artisan’s best friend for concrete carving. Shellie Rigsby-Cordell then stained it.
- Rick Lobdell and Tim Maloney both drew on and cut up floor protection from Skudo. The floor protection then doubled as a different kind of tool. The floor protection helped them create a stencil of a knight logo for a high-end shot-blasting application.
- Marty O’Mara of Nox-Crete made stripping, waterproofing, enhancing and also protecting decorative concrete look easy. Nox-Crete products were the right products for the job,
The 2019 Decorative Concrete LIVE! is brought to you by both Concrete Decor magazine and the Concrete Decor RoadShow. A host of top-rated sponsors also held demonstrations throughout the week. These featured moisture barrier products, and also a waterjet-cut stencil. They also featured power troweling, polishing concrete and stamping concrete. Additionally, the demos showed how to form radius walkways and mold decorative edges. Contractors also seeded glass in countertops, applied metallic epoxies and effectively used accent colors.