The Miracote story began in the 1930s, when Jack Crossfield developed a way to create coatings that combine natural latex with hydrating cement. Charles Watt and Howard Patch acquired the rights to Crossfield’s patent and, in 1938, established Crossfield Products Corp.
The new company concentrated on selling its wares for ship decking. It launched an extensive naval and marine product line and adopted the brand name “Dex-O-Tex,” derived from “Decks of latex.”
“The original applications included protecting and preserving some of the mothballed military fleet,” says Crossfield executive vice president Ronald Borum. The coatings bonded well with steel and weighed less than one alternative, concrete. Just as importantly, they resisted heat and flame. They would not burn even if the ship was bombed.
Today, Miracote utilizes that same technology to protect residential and commercial surfaces from more mundane threats like wear and weather. The division, which bills its products as “Concrete Renewal Systems for Protecting, Preserving and Restoring Concrete Surfaces,” is the fastest growing part of Crossfield. Overall, the decorative market accounts for about a third of Crossfield’s business, including sales of concrete, epoxy and terrazzo, says Borum, who is responsible for the Miracote division. “Decorative concrete and concrete repair markets are our signature markets today. We are putting strong effort and growth behind Miracote.”
Miracote materials have been used to duplicate the look of imported Italian tile on a wood substrate in a Colorado residence, waterproof a parking garage, resurface hard glazed tile at a shopping mall and refurbish the walls of grain silos.
Competitors don’t offer the depth and breadth of Miracote’s product catalog, Borum says. “We have such a broad line. We can take you from concept to completion in products and concept to completion in warranty. That’s my challenge in marketing, is to get customers to understand they really can come to us for everything.”
The Cementitious Coating System — Miracote’s core product — is not paint, but a protective coating. A rubber-like polymer liquid is mixed at application with a silica-free blend of cement and aggregate. The cured product boasts exceptional adhesion and durability, meeting ADA requirements for slip retardance. It comes in 18 colors, plus white and natural gray.
Miracote Micro-topping is a “composition flooring system” consisting of Miracote concrete protective coatings, integral colors, topping colors and sealers. “It’s the best of its kind in the market, in my opinion,” Borum says.
Miracote Mirastamp is an overlay system that looks like stamped concrete and works as a tough floor. During application, a primer is applied to prepared concrete, after which a pigmented base coat is poured and stamped.
Membrane “A”, the flagship waterproofing product, is made from a water-based polymer. It’s fairly unique in the industry, Borum says. It’s high-strength, easy to work with and forms good bonds. It’s tough like urethane but environmentally safe too.
Miracote also supports its decorative products with an extensive line of concrete repair mortars.
Today, Crossfield Products Corp. is a closely held corporation based in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. The company operates manufacturing facilities in California and New Jersey. The Watt family continues to be instrumental in the management of the company, with Brad Watt serving as president and CEO.
The ship-deck specialists expanded into the decorative markets in the late 1960s, when a company called Miraco Inc. brought Crossfield a plan to sell protective concrete coatings. Crossfield manufactured them, and Miraco marketed them under the Miracote brand name. When Miraco was dissolved in the late 1980s, the brand name became Crossfield property.
Demand for Miracote products varies by region — for example, the northwest United States sees stronger demand from the concrete repair sector, while Denver-area sales are mostly to decorative contractors. But nationally, demand is split into thirds, between the waterproofing, decorative overlay, and concrete repair and restoration markets. “Our goal is to make the two concrete markets by far the largest part of the business,” Borum says.
Miracote products are sold to distributors, who in turn market them to contractors. The growth of that distributor network is one of Crossfield’s goals, Borum says.
Miracote also continues to introduce new products. Glazetop XT, a polyurea glazed topcoat that works with a cold process instead of heat, made its debut at this year’s World of Concrete conference. “That’s proving to be an extremely good product for us,” Borum says.
Crossfield is still strong at sea. The United States Navy accounts for three fifths of its marine sales market, with the rest accounted for by commercial users of offshore structures such as drilling units. And Miracote waterproofing products are used by tile-layers on everything from shower pans to exterior decks.
Miracote targets the high-end decorative concrete market, Borum says. The company manufactures all its sealers and each component of its systems.
What else sets Miracote apart? “I like to say that we have very good quality control,” Borum replies. “We use advanced and proven technologies in the formation of liquid pastes and dry powders. We service well. Those are fairly standard answers. But we back that up. Those are real.”