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Tips and Techniques: Polishable Overlay Installation

The Nordstrom Rack clothing store in Aventura, Fla., contains 7,000 square feet of polished overlay, including this aisle. The project is the work of Creative Concrete Services, Lakeland, Fla. Photos courtesy of CTS Cement ManufacturingIn terms of decorative options, existing concrete slabs are limited to topical color systems. In many cases these coloration processes are subject to fading and wear and are sensitive in high-moisture environments. You’ll find more versatility in 3/8-inch concrete overlays. Not only do you have a choice of UV-stable integral colors, but you can also choose from several types of aggregates.

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

Discussing Trends in Architectural Polished Concrete

Architect hand on a blueprint designWe all are aware of how important a role architects play in our industry. They are the ones advising municipalities and every type of building owner. As architects learn more about what we can do with a concrete surface they are becoming very intrigued with how much they can do.

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.

High-End Furniture Store Opts for Polished Concrete

High-end furniture store installs polished concrete to hold up to their increasing foot traffic.Over the years, wear and tear got the best of the carpet in this furniture store and the folks at Roche-Bobois decided it was time for a new look: Polished Concrete.

Contractor Gives Tips On Different Ways To Manage Your Customer's Expectations

make a concrete sample board -As a former contractor, manufacturer and now basically an owner's representative on most projects, I'd like to share a relatively simple formula that will handle this issue for 90 percent of your projects.As a former contractor, manufacturer and now basically an owner’s representative on most projects, I’d like to share a relatively simple formula that will handle this issue for 90 percent of your projects.

J.C. Penney Chooses Polished Concrete Over Other Flooring Options

A huge national remodeling project for the department store chain has kept concrete polishing contractors busy this year.A huge national remodeling project for the department store chain has kept concrete polishing contractors busy this year.

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.”

Developing Effective Polishing Specifications for a School

A schoolhouse on a gray background.Recently an architect who was writing the polished concrete specification for a school district contacted me when he recognized that he did not know enough. The good news is that he asked for help in crafting an informative and realistic specification that allows educated bids with room for profit.

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.

J.C. Penney Remodeling Plans Continue Amid Company Changes

Forging ahead with the shop within a shopForging ahead with the “shop-within-a-shop” concept at J.C. Penney stores nationwide, wave three of the stores’ remodeling makeover took place this spring across the country. Polished concrete is still part of the plan … at least for now.

Mix Design and Performance for Polished Concrete

Mix Design – What do those two words conjure up in our imagination? Architects randomly pulling ingredients off a shelf? Engineers wanting to prove they have the perfect solution? Owners going overboard in their expectations? Ready mix operators using what they have in their silos?An in-depth study on mix design for polished concrete.

L. M. Scofield Co.'s 2014 Decorative Concrete Awards

turtle stained into concreteThe sixth annual Decorative Concrete Awards were announced recently by sponsor L. M. Scofield Co. The contest honors contractors and designers who use Scofield decorative concrete materials.

This year, for the first time, the contest was divided into six categories.

Polishing in a Second-Story Condominium

Upscale condo with polished concrete floors.For Dancer Concrete, a recent polished concrete project on the second floor of a former school building in Indianapolis posed a tough test of skill and, thanks to some challenging logistics, strength.

Looking Back at the Year in Polished Concrete

A look back at the year in polished concretePeter Wagner looks back on the industry of polished concrete during the Great Recession all while keeping perspective and hope of the future in mind.

How Densifiers Help with Concrete Maintenance

The use of diamond pads to get out of a jam or cut corners is often money- or time-motivated.In the 1990s, when concrete polishing took off in the United States, silicate hardener/densifiers were rarely used. Now, a concrete floor is not considered properly polished if densifier has not been applied to rejection.

Things to Think About When Making the First Cut on a Polished Concrete Job

Exposing aggregate in a concrete floorWhen starting the first cut on a concrete slab, everyone wants to know how it will look when finished. Professionals know each concrete slab is different. The sheer numbers of variables mean no two pours or slabs will look the same.

Does Polishing Concrete Floors Count as Recycling

A large warehouse with men working on the polishing of the floor instead of covering the concrete with another flooring option.Contractors who restore concrete floors give new meaning to the phrase "green thumb."

A concrete floor is a renewable resource.

Iconic Concrete Building is a Brilliant Addition to OSU

polished building facade and dichroic glass finsBuildings don’t often sparkle like jewelry, but in the case of the chiller plant on the Ohio State University campus, it does just that, thanks to a highly polished RetroPlate finish and the application of dichroic glass.

Dealing with Delaminations in a Concrete Surface

delamination cracks all over concrete surfaceConcrete placement is never easy, with many variables such as wind, sun, ambient temperature and humidity to consider as they all affect each pour. The mix design and consideration of the actual makeup of the concrete and possible additives are just as important.

Polished Concrete Installed at Harley-Davidson Dealership

Polished Concrete in Harley Davidson DealershipThe owners and designers of a new Harley-Davidson dealership near Boston are revved up about the unconventional, highly varied appearance of the renovated building’s polished concrete floor.

Research Says Polished Concrete is the Most Slip-Resistant Flooring

Polished Concrete is the Most Slip-Resistant FlooringAt a recent meeting of the CPAA, the board of directors and active committee members met to help lead, develop and guide our future. The hottest topic was the presentation on standards for polished concrete. To our surprise evidence was indicating tgat properly polished concrete is one of the safest flooring choices available to the consumer.

Polished Concrete Highlights Rounded Antique Aggregate

The contractor originally hired for the job turned out to have very heavy equipment and county officials were unsure the century-plus-old building could withstand the weight. Viridian Architectural Design initially wanted to resurface the ground floor of the circa 1875-1895 Fulton County Courthouse in Rochester, Indiana, with terrazzo but the money for the pricey topping wasn’t in the budget. Still, the county wanted that stone look to complement the other floors in the building and polishing was deemed the next best thing.

CPAA Adopts New Position on Measurement of Polished Concrete Floors' Slip-Resistance

polished concrete floor slip resistanceIn April 2015 the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA) adopted a new position on the measurement of slip resistance of bonded-abrasive polished concrete floors.

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.

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