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11 Proven Concrete Color Recipes

11 ways to color your concrete, step by step how-tosStep-by-step instructions and useful tips from people in the industry who have experimented enough to know what works.

Border Tools and Designs

Horses stamped into concrete and stained a reddish brown color.Classic Native American patterns, wild horses, tropical fish: today's border-stamp makers are living on the edge.

Edger finishes wall tops in one pass
Match the Concrete Mix with the Right Equipment

Match the Mix with the Right EquipmentToo often mixing decorative overlays becomes an afterthought or path of least resistance process. This is the drill and paddle I have used for years, so it must be OK. Worse yet, and I am guilty of this, those of us on the training and manufacturing side default to whatever mixer is provided when we show up for a product demonstration.

Densifier prolongs concrete's life
Magic Trowel Smooths Concrete Surfaces Without the Trowel Line

Using a Magic Trowel can help you achieve a smooth finish without trowel lines.Originally developed for finishing drywall, this magical tool smooths concrete surfaces without leaving any trowel lines. “We’re getting so many calls from concrete people,” says Joe Torres, president of TexMaster Tools, which makes the Magic Trowel. “The guys in this industry are going crazy!”

Which Portable Concrete Mixer is Right for You?

Whiteman plaster/mortar and concrete mixers are heavy-duty mixers from Multiquip that are reliable, easy to maintain, and offered in a full range of sizes and engine configurations for virtually any application.Modular, compact and sturdy in design; portable concrete mixers come in designs to fit all construction needs.

Three-Headed Planetary Grinder Great For Small Jobs

Flex North America Inc., a tool manufacturer with a history dating back to 1922, has built a presence in the decorative concrete industry with its selection of German-made grinders, polishers, grinding discs and concrete mixers.Flex North America Inc., a tool manufacturer with a history dating back to 1922, has built a presence in the decorative concrete industry with its selection of German-made grinders, polishers, grinding discs and concrete mixers.

Getting Creative with Finishing Brooms

Troweling concreteConsider the broom finish. Because steel trowel finishes are “slippery when wet,” the broom finish has been used for years to create nonskid surfaces on driveways, garage floors, sidewalks and loading docks. It’s not necessarily pretty, but it works — it’s a utilitarian texture.

A Prepper's Best Friend

The word "diamonds" is inevitably associated with the concept of "big bucks," but like many other things about diamond grinding, this is something of a misconception.The word "diamonds" is inevitably associated with the concept of "big bucks," but like many other things about diamond grinding, this is something of a misconception.

Tool helps users with paving projects
Why Choose a Pump for Large Vertical Concrete Jobs

Nathan Giffin applying mud with a Graco pump.While hand-mudding vertical concrete projects is the preferred method for getting a working surface ready to be shaped and carved, for bigger jobs it’s not necessarily efficient.

Enter a spray system.

Diamond Blades Are a Guy's Best Friend

Diamond blades are essential for cutting grooves, lines and control joints.Cutting lines, grooves and control joints with diamond blades is nothing new for concrete contractors, but enterprising craftsmen have been putting their creativity to the test by using the blades to produce decorative borders, graphic designs or V-shaped grooves that look like they were hand-tooled.

Using Spray Equipment Can Be A Speedy Solution For Contractors

applying a stain to a concrete pieceApplying stains and sealers with spray equipment may strike the decorative concrete contractor as a convenient, speedy solution, not terribly complicated.

How Heavy Should Your Concrete Polishing Machine Be?

Polished concrete in a federal building in San Francisco. Does size matter in the world of polished concrete? I have heard the arguments on both sides for why smaller or larger polishing machines are better, but ultimately it depends.

Create Stronger Concrete with Consolidation Tools

The E-Screed is a precisionengineered lightweight wet screed for single operator strike-off of concrete. This high-frequency screed produces uniform vibration distribution over the entire blade length.Most decorative concrete contractors know that consolidating concrete is as essential to a quality finished product as mix ratio or proper finishing and curing. Consolidating forces air out of the concrete and encourages aggregate to rotate and fit together tighter, creating stronger concrete.

Quick Imprint Liners: Reusable Form Liners for Many Concrete Applications

The reusable concrete form liner seen here can be used for a variety of applications, tilt-up, down cast and even vertical precast pours.Quick-Imprint creates a reusable form liners — for tilt-up, downcast, and vertical precast pours — enabling an imprint finish on both sides of the walls.

Custom decorative concrete developed by Aggregate Industries US brings hockey imagery to life at new Boston Bruins practice facility

With a landmark 68-foot-high hockey stick, the new 75,000-square-foot practice complex of the Boston Bruins hockey team includes an ice rink with seating for 660 fans, a lobby featuring displays of Bruins accomplishments, a modern locker suite and team lounge and expansive training and weight rooms.

Cordless hammer drill made for speed
Picking the Right Mixer and Paddle for Concrete

A dual-paddle mixer is not only more efficient, but it also will keep the bucket from spinning out of control.The right mixer and paddle can be the pairing for success. Just as a good cook knows when to use a stand mixer with bread hooks and when to get out the hand mixer with a whip, there are a mixer— and a paddle or blade design— for just about every size job in the decorative concrete industry, as well.

Plate Compactors and Rammers: Making a Choice Before the Concrete Pour

The most important factor in making that choice is the type of soil to be compacted. A rammer, which uses a piston set and springs to generate force, works best on cohesive soils, which are composed of clay and silts. Vibratory plates, on the other hand, are low-amplitude, high-frequency machines. They are most effective compacting granular soils, which are made up of sand and gravel.When raw soil or aggregate needs to be compacted before a pour, what do decorative concrete contractors use to pound the ground? Rollers are too much machine for smaller jobs. So generally, the choice is between rammers and vibratory plate compactors.

21st Century Plastic Form Release for Concrete

petroleum-based chemicals can be sprayed on and contractors know they work. But Franmar offers an alternative because the company strives to manufacture products that are effective and safe for both user and environmentIf you’re using a 21st century form product, such as plastic, then it probably makes sense to use a 21st century form-release system, as well.

Easy to use SpiderLath a Metal Lath Alternative

Even though it's a new product, they don't need to be reeducated on how to put it on the wall.If you apply vertical concrete, carve concrete walls or create cast pieces, sooner or later you may have to face a painful truth: Traditional metal lath can be troublesome.

Mobile Mixers Give Decorative Concrete Contractors More Control

een here are samples of concrete with a portland cement content that have been color loaded in the mobile mixer. Mobile mixers, sometimes called volumetric mixers or metered concrete, offer a variety of benefits to decorative concrete contractors, including only paying for what is used, eliminating hot loads, readily allowing mix design changes on-site, labor savings, admixture additions and color batching.

Products New and Tried-and-True Share WOC Exhibit Floor

new concrete products from World of Concrete 2016The numbers were up for World of Concrete 2016, although not in the temperature department, as nearly 1,550 exhibitors displayed their wares Feb. 2-5 in the expansive Las Vegas Convention Center. Occupying more than 740,000 square feet in three halls and spilling out into the surrounding parking lots.

Trends in Concrete Curbing Equipment

The best concrete curbing machines on the market. Easy way to create concrete curbs.Keeping up with the newest trends in the concrete curbing market. Take a look at four awesome concrete curbing machines.

Electric Machines Can Ease Workload

In the category of wheelbarrows, this one packs a heck of a lot of power. Electric wheelbarrows and mini skid-steers can ease manual labor.In the category of wheelbarrows, this one packs a heck of a lot of power. Electric wheelbarrows and mini skid-steers can ease manual labor.

Are You Waiting Too Long To Cut Your Control Joints in Fresh Concrete?

Pacific Palette saw-cut joint tool made these lines perfect on this concrete slabDecorative concrete contractor Tom Ralston has probably never met you, but even so, he suspects you’re waiting too long before cutting your control joints. “Saw-cutting concrete is usually done long after the concrete has been poured or has set up,” he says. “It’s kind of like locking the gate after the horse has left.”

Make Tooling Choices Easier with the Mohs Hardness Test Kit

To eliminate the guesswork associated with which diamond abrasive bond tool will best polish or abrade a particular concrete slab, contractors could consider adding a Mohs hardness test kit to their toolbox.To eliminate the guesswork associated with which diamond abrasive bond tool will best polish or abrade a particular concrete slab, contractors could consider adding a Mohs hardness test kit to their toolbox.

18V Brushless Compact Tough Hammer Drill/Driver Released by Bosch

A compact tool shouldn’t mean fewer features or less power. The Bosch GSB18V-535C 18V EC Brushless Compact Tough 1/2 In. Hammer Drill/Driver and Bosch GSR18V-535C 18V EC Brushless Compact Tough 1/2 In. Drill/Driver prove a small package can not only pack a serious punch, but deliver on next-generation jobsite technology. From Bluetooth connectivity to KickBack Control, these lightweight, compact tools promise to be go-to options in your tool bag.

Forming in the rain
Power Trowel Polishing Offers Faster, Less Expensive Polishing Method

Stirring things up in the polished concrete tradeIt’s going to take the industry by storm. It’s a game changer. Revolutionary. In the case of polishing concrete with power trowel machinery, all those phrases might well prove true. Or, maybe not. Revolutionary? You could make that claim. Game changer? Yes, but...

How to Make Troweling Concrete Easier on the Job Site

power trowel on concreteLet’s face it, working concrete is a hard job. It’s hard on the hands, the back and especially the knees. Fortunately, for some contractors there’s an option that allows them to stand upright and still complete their jobs.

An Introduction to UV Curing Equipment for Concrete Coatings

Concrete contractor using a hand held Ultraviolet (UV) light to cure a sealer on a concrete countertop.An engineer for a manufacturer of machines that use ultraviolet light to cure coatings explains equipment options for contractors.

Data Loggers Available to Track Relative Humidity and Temperature

Both data loggers use Bluetooth technology and an app that works with Apple or Android smart devices.In an effort to help contractors resolve moisture-related problems in concrete, Wagner Meters and Tramex are introducing new monitoring devices to track and document relative humidity and temperatures at a job site.

A Tool to Help Visualize Decorative Concrete by Depiction Software

Deco-con wizard screen shot.Potential clients often struggle with visualizing what decorative concrete will look like at their home or business. The new Deco-Con Wizard from Depiction Software can help remove the mystery by quickly and easily showing them what selected decorative concrete patterns will look like on their property.

Adhesive anchor system is ideal choice
Choosing the Right Countertop Grinder

Buddy Rhodes grinding a concrete countertop.Every concrete countertop fabricator is after a smooth, clean finish on his or her work, be it a kitchen island, fireplace mantle or sink basin. Achieving a flat, shiny surface often comes down to the type of grinder that's used, and with so many machines on the market, many fabricators can feel overwhelmed by the choices.

Polypropylene brush for use on the Wagman Revolution System

Wagman Metal Products Inc., the global leader in power trowel replacement blades, pans and innovative trowel attachments for scrubbing, stripping, and polishing, introduces a new polypropylene brush.

Proline Concrete Tools Flexible Concrete Stamps

Proline Concrete Tools Inc. isn't in the winemaking business, but if contractors all over the country want to press its grapes, the company would be more than happy to make that happen.Proline Concrete Tools Inc. isn’t in the winemaking business, but if contractors all over the country want to press its grapes, the company would be more than happy to make that happen.

Arcus Contoured Masonry Blade from Arcus Inc.

Masonry blade for cutting concrete

It occurred to the owner of Arcus that there must be an easier way to make contoured cuts than with a router. A few hours later, she was rolling a rimless, contoured salad plate on its edge, watching as it traced a perfectly smooth, contoured path. Thus, the Arcus Contoured Blade was born.

Radial Concrete Stamps Have Come Full Circle

Concrete that has been stamped with a radial stamp and embedded with a concrete compass rose.Radial stamps, multipiece tools that create circular and curved patterns, have earned stamp manufacturers a round of applause.

An Alternate Countertop Forming Method Now Available

Concrete Countertop Solutions has developed an alternative countertop form that will help create cast-in-place countertops with a variety of edge styles.Concrete Countertop Solutions has developed an alternative countertop form that will help create cast-in-place countertops with a variety of edge styles. Z-Counterform reduces labor time and doesn't require any double-sided tape or drilling into kitchen cabinets.

Wet/dry vacuum is powerful, convenient
World of Concrete 2018 Annual Rite of Winter was Ripe with Innovation

Brickform stamp shown at 2018 World of Concrete.World of Concrete 2018 exceeded everyone’s expectations in January by attracting more than 58,000 registered professionals and nearly 1,600 participating companies, including about 300 brand-new exhibitors.

Cracked Mud Seamless Skin from Proline Concrete Tools

A custom seamless skin that mimicked the cracked mud of the Serengeti.Proline Concrete Tools receives a lot of requests for custom stamps, but rarely do the patterns end up turning into a nationwide trend.

Back in early 1990s, the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park wanted to emulate cracked mud found in the Serengeti Desert and Proline was up to the task.

A New Way to Fix Cracked Concrete

A man stands looking at his concrete patio that has no cracks anywhere throughout.An engineered piece of metal that bridges cracks to hold two pieces of concrete together and an overlay can be installed right over the top.

Soff-Cut X-150D Prowler Decorative Concrete Saw

Decorative cuts -- V-shaped or rounded radius cuts that are ground into existing grooves -- are this Prowler's specialty. Another concrete saw is used to make the rough first cut, and the X-150D follows to make it look good.Soff-Cut International’s X-150 Prowler early-entry concrete saw can be adapted to make decorative V-shaped or radius cuts. Concrete contractors loved that feature. But they found themselves making that adaptation often, and they got frustrated.

Compact Concrete Engraving Blade

Three 2 inch diamond blades by DCI for engraving concrete more detailed work.Bob Harris, president of the Decorative Concrete Institute in Temple, Ga., is offering an innovative product to make decorative contractors’ lives a little easier.

World of Concrete 2019 Didn't Disappoint

The 2019 show, which marked the 44th time World of Concrete has been held, topped the charts as the largest show in more than a decade.The 2019 World of Concrete has been held, and it topped the charts as the largest show in more than a decade. The annual extravaganza for the concrete and masonry industries attracted 60,511 attendees and more than 1,500 exhibiting companies spanning 776,800 square feet of space in the Las Vegas Convention Center in January 2019.

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