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The Importance of Managing Expectations in Polished Concrete

An ipad and a piece of paper tracking business progress.Possibly one of the most-discussed topics in the concrete polishing industry today is managing the customer’s expectations. Many an instance has occurred in which the floor has been ground, honed and polished within a hair’s thickness of perfection in the contractor’s eyes, only for him to be informed at collection time that it isn’t what the customer had in mind.

Don't Get Pushed Around by Clients - Get Paid
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A family pushing a car.We all wish that we could tell our customers, “Screw you! I did the work. Pay me!” I know that in my career I have gotten just about every excuse in the book as to why I wasn’t getting paid for my work. By its very nature, the decorative concrete industry that we love so much allows customers to play with our money.

A Guide to Removing Built-Up Residue from Polishing Concrete

Removing Built-Up Residue from ConcreteSurface preparation is the crucial beginning stage of any concrete polishing process. It is especially important in old office buildings, warehouses or department stores where tile or carpeting once covered the flooring, leaving behind residue that must be removed before applying an overlay or polishing. Photo courtesy of Stoops Freightliner

Color Repairs Explained in Black and White

shiny brown polished floorOver the last few months I’ve had multiple projects with issues related to color. I feel it will benefit Concrete Decorreaders to understand the process for corrections as well as some simple tips and tricks for achieving desired results.

River Scene Incorporated into Building's Polished Concrete Floor Before Building Was Constructed

concrete river in floorA handcrafted 5,900-square-foot meandering river scene incorporated into the building’s polished concrete floor before the building was constructed. Womack also manufactured and installed three different versions of concrete countertops, and finished the exterior concrete with custom pattern mats and a unique stain.

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.

Communicating Standards Through Industry Specifications

Writing on parchment with two pencils and an eraser.Too often we take the written word as gospel, but is that truly smart? Do we know what, or who, stands behind the words we read? After all, paper will not refuse ink. Our industry is growing, and as the industry grows, so do the misrepresentations and misunderstandings.

Setting Expectations for Polished Concrete -- 'The Look'

In the early days of our industry, for every new process introduced, accountability seemed to lag a few years behind.Polished concrete is a young industry. Surveying the processes and technological advancements over the last 15-20 years, it’s apparent the industry has continued to grow and discover new, faster— and not always better— ways of achieving unique, shiny floors.

Polished Concrete Floor Reflects Local Culture at Knight Museum

Polished concrete floor with aggregate trucked from nearby areas to give perfect effect.You've heard of Stonehenge, right? How about Carhenge? It's an installation of half-buried cars, all laid out in a circular pattern that mimics the site's much older and more famous cousin. The pocket of western Nebraska that includes Carhenge and the nearby town of Alliance can seem about as windblown and mystically alien as the legendary British Isles site itself.

Time Constraints? Try Burnishing Instead of Polishing Concrete

Polished concrete is a mechanical process, while burnished concrete is actually a chemical processThe terms “polishing” and burnishing” are sometimes used interchangeably in the decorative concrete industry to describe two very different processes.

Posh Campus in Los Angeles Chock Full of Decorative Concrete

Lobby of upscale campus gets polished concrete floors.This posh campus of office and parking structures, located in the western Los Angeles neighborhood of Playa Vista about one mile from the Pacific Ocean, contains polished concrete floors and board-formed concrete walls and pillars, but that’s just a taste of what decorative concrete has brought to the 15-acre campus.

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.

Tips on Coloring Polished Concrete

Test slab of concrete with different dyes..Learn about the four ways to add color to slabs that are intended for polishing: Integral Color, Dry Shake Hardener, Acid Stain and Dyes

Vertical Polished Concrete Condo Touted to be World's Largest

Florida's Miami Beach is a part of the country known for its high real estate prices, but the penthouse condominium sales price of $60 million for the Faena House Saxony Condo set a new high. Florida’s Miami Beach is a part of the country known for its high real estate prices, but the penthouse condominium sales price of $60 million for the Faena House Saxony Condo set a new high.

Why Finding the Right Grinder can Make a Difference

Smaller concrete grinding machines, easy to transport to the job site.There’s a grinder/polisher model available for just about every task, whether it’s prepping the floor of a big-box store or finishing a basement or small office. Finding the right tool for the job can make a big difference in speed and efficiency, so know what you want before you go shopping.

Talking the Talk, Walking the WOC

The goal is to not only raise the knowledge and expertise of both veterans and newcomers to our industry, but equally importantly, to raise our own knowledge through interaction with all of you in the field.Walking the walk, not just talking the talk, is more important than ever for our young industry. As the polished concrete industry enters its second decade, we’re still the infants of the floor coating and floor covering industry, an industry that is worth more than 25 billion dollars annually.

Contractors Take a Shine to Polished Concrete

Most contractors -- including Ware and Siefken -- praise the results achieved with a good densifier and a planetary polisher, a machine which consists of one large drum that turns in one direction and three smaller platens with grinding media that turn in the opposite direction. Siefken, who's been polishing for six years, says he started off with a buffing machine but after one job purchased planetary equipment.Contractors across the country have plenty of good things to say about polishing concrete.

Estimate Thickness of Polishable Overlay Correctly

Correctly estimating the thickness needed to get the job done right is one of the biggest issues a contractor faces when applying a polishable overlay.Correctly estimating the thickness needed to get the job done right is one of the biggest issues a contractor faces when applying a polishable overlay.

How Asbestos Abatement Affects Polished Concrete

Asbestos is very dangerous when found in tiles and glue on concrete and needs to be professionally abated.Asbestos is very dangerous when found in tiles and glue on concrete and needs to be professionally abated.

Decorative Concrete Remains a Sure Bet in Las Vegas

Stained stenciled concrete floor takes on the look of Grand Canyon running through this high end restaurant in Las Vegas.Throughout the nation's gambling capital, signs of rejuvenation are unfolding as tourists with a bit more spending money check in, investors' interest returns and locals get back to work.

Recipe: Polishing and Engraving a Logo into a Concrete Basketball Court

Sacramento Kings Basketball court concrete floor polished and engraved concrete.A technique that incorporates an embossed team logo, handsome basketball-inspired line art and a beautifully rich planking pattern into one stunning polished and engraved floor.

Measuring Gloss on Polished Concrete the CSDA ST-115 Standard

Amazing shine off of a high gloss polished concrete floor in a Japanese restaurant in Las VegasA gloss meter measures how light is scattered, but an angle, ambient lighting, or even a high-gloss coating can impact the number. A DOI meter addresses this problem by “seeing” through a coating to determine the consistency of the surface underneath, but it cannot measure the porosity of the floor.

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?

Basic Building Blocks of Polishing Concrete

Polished Concrete floor high gloss reflecting a drumset.Identifying some of the basic building blocks of polishing and examine them in terms of “myth” or “accurate perception.”

Cold-Weather Concrete Pours and Early Polishes

Pouring concrete in cold weatherAs we come out of the winter, I always deal with multiple polishing projects where the concrete was placed during cold temperatures. Although there are ACI standards for cold-weather placements, I still experience quite a few slabs that have issues related to cold weather.

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