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The Allure and the Reality of Polishing Concrete

A peacock strutting his stuffIt has become pretty clear that polished concrete is the hot market in decorative concrete right now. There was no shortage of equipment and chemical manufacturers touting the latest and greatest at the show, with each making a case for why their system was the best option on the market.

Concrete Crafters Blend Applications at Popular Microbrewery

Concrete Crafters Blend Applications at Popular MicrobreweryThere’s a little bit of art and a little bit of science involved in the making of beer. And when the popular Sun King Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, Ind., needed an upgrade to its floors, the local flooring contractor contacted to handle the job applied the same mixed approach.

Concrete Polished Floor for Nike Retail Store in Puerto Rico

Polished concrete floor in a Nike retail store in Puerto RicoPolishing concrete on a tropical island may sound like a dream job, but there are some challenges to working in this environment. Brian Chafins is a project foreman at Preferred Global, where he maintains production levels on flooring projects and manages job installs.

Improved Practices Make Better Polished Concrete School Floors

A high school in Yakima Washington with polished concrete floors in the hallway.On of the advantages of landing a contract for several polishing jobs is that the later ones can improve on the minor missteps of the earlier ones. A recent pair of jobs for the Yakima, Wash., School District is a classic case in point.

Architect Embraces Polished Concrete in Schools

Polished Concrete and Colored ConcreteAll over the country, architects who design primary and secondary schools are warming to polished concrete. Jim Ward, of Ward Scott Architecture, Tuscaloosa, Ala., is one of them. His firm’s recent project, Big Sandy Elementary School, part of the Tuscaloosa County School System, opened in 2013.

Replace Old Vinyl Composite Tile with Polished and Dyed Concrete

A concrete floor that was polished after the vinyl composite tile was removed.The Harley dealership is a leader in sales and rider satisfaction for the entire Mid-Atlantic region, and its headquarters reflects its ethics. The 31,000-square-foot facility boasts a modern industrial theme, with cathedral 25-foot ceilings and marblesque floors.

Family Christian Center Upgrades to Polished Concrete

The new worship center at the Family Christian Center in Clermont, Fla.┬áisn't your grandfather's church. It boasts sleek lines and contemporary design.The new worship center at the Family Christian Center in Clermont, Fla. isn’t your grandfather’s church. It boasts sleek lines and contemporary design.

Maintenance Plans Can Potentially Please Both Parties

If done right, polished concrete -- and other decorative concrete approaches -- offer low-maintenance solutions in interior and exterior settings.If done right, polished concrete — and other decorative concrete approaches — offer low-maintenance solutions in interior and exterior settings.

That’s “low-maintenance” as opposed to “no-maintenance” or “maintenance-free.”

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.

How Do Successful Concrete Contractors Choose the Right Manufacturers?

Concrete Warehouse FloorChoosing the right manufacturer is a dilemma every contractor in our industry faces every day. I’ve heard many analogies used to describe the decorative concrete industry over the years, but two comparisons have always resonated the most: “Polished Concrete is part Art and part Construction,” and “The polishing industry is still the Wild West.”

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.

How to Keep Punch Lists from Pulverizing Your Profits

The final checklist graphicA “punch list” is the final review of a project. It is usually completed by the project architect and is most often completed after the project has reached a milestone called “substantial completion.” And for a decorative concrete contractor, the punch list is probably the single largest money-losing piece of a project.

Recipe: Adventures in Aggregate and Polished Concrete

Mild-mannered, terrazzoesque floor by day, photoluminescent phenomenon by night.Mild-mannered, terrazzoesque floor by day, photoluminescent phenomenon by night. This glow-in-the-dark effect can brighten up any surface.

Recognize and Respect the Value of a Good Concrete Worker

Keep a good concrete crew going - Between the money you dole out each week on wages, payroll taxes, insurance and worker's comp, you spend more on employees than all your other assets combined. Even though this is a fact, most contractors have a hard time recognizing employees as assets. Why is this and how can you remedy that situation?Between the money you dole out each week on wages, payroll taxes, insurance and worker’s comp, you spend more on employees than all your other assets combined. Even though this is a fact, most contractors have a hard time recognizing employees as assets. Why is this and how can you remedy that situation?

An Overview on Some of the Newest Concrete Grinders on the Market

Eagle Solutions -- SP13A look at the various grinders on the market and their benefits for you and your decorative concrete polishing business.

Concrete Polishing Pitfalls to Avoid When Bidding

Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts pro football team, as polished by American Concrete Concepts inc., of Springdale, Ark.Arenas and stadiums are a market that is gaining momentum in polished concrete. Between high schools, colleges and professional sports teams, there are a lot of these venues around the country. As they come up for remodel, polished concrete is a great option for the flooring on concourses and even under seats.

Concrete Polishing & Grinding Equipment Specification Report

Best concrete polishing machine to buy or purchase. How to pick the best machine.Know your business and you’ll know what kind of equipment fits your needs. Find the information you need to know in Concrete Decor's Polishing & Grinding Specification Report.

How Concrete Hardness Affects Diamond Life

Diamonds, part of an abrasive used to cut through the hardness of concreteHow long is a set of diamonds supposed to last? Or more to the point, what kind of square footage can I expect out of a set of diamonds?

Basic Facts About Colloidal Silica Densifier

Colloidal silica densifier on concreteColloidal silica was introduced as a concrete densifier many years ago, and it has proven itself a reliable tool for concrete polishers and others needing to harden or densify cured concrete surfaces. However, there is widespread confusion about what it is, and this confusion can lead to misinformation. This article attempts to bring some clarification.

When to Use or Not Use Dry-Shake Color Hardener

Throwing color hardener on concrete.Some say avoid this combination altogether. But others say it can be done well — as long as contractors are aware of potential pitfalls.

Perfectly Unpretty: Concrete Work in Illinois Holocaust Museum Speaks to Design Aesthetic

The front entrance of the Illinois Holocaust Museum Concrete Re-Surfacing Technologies Inc. of Palos Park, Ill., was brought in to finish 8,000 square feet of plain concrete floor at the new Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, one of the nation's largest memorials to the loss of millions of innocent lives during some of Europe's darkest hours.

Applying Concrete Densifiers -- Feel Good About Rejection

Box store used densifier prior to polishing concrete.One message comes through loud and clear in any discussion, debate or disagreement about the various types of densifiers used in concrete polishing.

Almost all of them work, with one exception...

Quality Polishing Diamonds: A Polisher's Best Friend

Husqvarna floor grinder sitting back so the bottom pads are show.Although a good grinder/polisher will take other types of pads besides diamonds, the industrial version of the gemstone is a must for a wide range of tasks. And, there’s the rub: just as with jewelry, these diamonds are seen as being expensive.

Making Maintenance an Integral Part of Your Concrete Business

Add concrete maintenance to your construction business and you will see a big return.Polished and decorative concrete floor installations accounted for only about a quarter of our business as of the start of this year. Most of our revenues were coming from cleaning, maintenance and restoration services.

Troubleshooting Topically Colored Polished Concrete

I was recently asked to troubleshoot issues on a polished concrete floor that failed to show vivid color, even after all the usual right steps were taken.I was recently asked to troubleshoot issues on a polished concrete floor that failed to show vivid color, even after all the usual right steps were taken. It was “The Case of the Disappearing Color.”

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