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Keep Concrete Simple!

Concrete contractor giving a concrete countertop a final inspection.We have staining over stamping, stamping over overlay, stamped walls, stained walls. It's crazy — who keeps raising the bar? The answer is THE MARKET. This explosion of decorative concrete is market-driven. Folks want it, and it's more than just a fad. It must be a little overwhelming to contractors just entering this exciting business.

Game Board tabletop mold and other releases from Proline

Proline Concrete Tools has recently released several new products for the precast industry.

Dying for Decorative Concrete

Man dumping concrete mix into a hopper with a dust mask on.There is not a comforting way to say the word “cancer.” Even in this day of strong chances of recovery and survival, it is a word that gets our attention every time. Although the products we use turn normal concrete into extraordinary works of art, some of those products are carcinogenic. Are you taking the proper measures to be safe?

Be a Salesman not a Talesman and Sell More Concrete

There are many stereotypes associated with sales professionals. There's the slick-dealing used-car salesman type who makes people feel suspicious. There's the natural-born salesman who walks into the room and is instantly everyone's new best friend, with talents in every area and the best jokes. Then, there's the talesman, the unknowingly annoying salesman.There are many stereotypes associated with sales professionals. There's the slick-dealing used-car salesman type who makes people feel suspicious. There's the natural-born salesman who walks into the room and is instantly everyone's new best friend, with talents in every area and the best jokes. Then, there's the talesman, the unknowingly annoying salesman.

Treating and Preventing Concrete Burns

Todd Rose's wedding-day photo shows his acid-scabbed hand underneath that of his bride, Sarah.If you work with concrete you already know how abrasive, alkaline and caustic it is.

To put it simply, as portland cement dries, it will absorb water from any source in order to harden. That means it will suck the moisture from your skin as well.

ACI Releases Long-Awaited Decorative Concrete Standards Guide

ACI Decorative Concrete Standards GuideMany years in the making and rigorously reviewed by dozens of experts in the field, the much-anticipated 310R-13 Guide to Decorative Concrete was officially published by the American Concrete Institute in December 2013.

Re-ignite Your Spark of Passion for Decorative Concrete

Decorative concrete aggregateThe fear that we may lose touch with the concrete artistry in our industry is a legitimate feeling. It seems like more and more projects require firm decisions and designs before they ever reach our eyes. Are we losing the chance to add our expertise, advice and artistic touch to decorative projects?

New Formula for High-Strength Shotcrete to Protect Tunnels from Fires and Terrorist Attacks

Fire-proof shotcrete Concrete Decor Magazine Phys.org reported that the science magazine Rubin published research conducted by engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum who have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions. The new formula enhances concrete with 140 kilograms of steel fibers per cubic meter, a figure that was thought to be impossible for shotcrete. The science magazine Rubin reports that engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions.

Trade Shows: What's in Them for You?

man at tradeshow with attendeeThe decorative concrete industry is a niche market with a lot of players competing for work. An internet search for “decorative concrete contractor” will bring up nearly 3 million entries, and “concrete artisan” generates nearly 1 million. In local phone books, however, there are typically no such entries.

How the Polished Concrete Market is Shifting

grey polished concrete in warehouseOver the last few years, I’ve noticed a shift in the polished concrete market. As the industry has grown, there has always been three sizes of contractors.

Listening to Your Customers Pays Off in the End

Listening to your audienceBeing successful in business, as in life, is knowing when to be right, and when to allow the other person their thoughts and views, especially when the “other” person is a potential or existing customer.

Your Profit Margin and How to Know if You're Really Making Money

Making sense of your profit margins.The value to your business is best determined on a per-unit basis. However, many contractors don’t exactly make widgets for their customers. So if your primary business is something like concrete staining, polishing or stamping, I recommend you calculate your margins on a per-square-foot or per-project basis.

A Decorative Concrete Supply Store That Helps Its Customers Make Money

hardrock developments showroomHow Canadian construction supply retailer, Hard Rock Developments promotes decorative concrete and helps its customers make money, too.

Second Graders Love Decorative Concrete

Second Graders Love Decorative ConcreteThe way to homeowners' hearts is through their kids. So why not market decorative concrete to second graders?

Halifax Startup Recycles Carbon Dioxide for Greener Concrete Products

Carbon CureCarbonCure Technologies, a Halifax-based startup that has developed the technology to recycle carbon dioxide gas back into solid concrete.

New Technology Delivers the Shine to Concrete Without the Grind

Multiquip's SlabArmor process showing a concrete construction working riding on a concrete polishing machine.Beauty may only be skin deep, but the performance qualities of an MQ Whiteman SlabArmor concrete surface are just as impressive as the strikingly good looks the SlabArmor system delivers.

Diversify with Direction When Expanding Your Business

A nice patio set on a stamped concrete patio that has been stained a tan color.There are a lot of questions that don’t always have easy answers. Fortunately, plenty of people have headed out in different directions within the concrete industry and found the journey has taken them to a pretty good place.

Tips and Hints from the Concrete Pros

A well trained dog holding a ball on his nose. a small sampling of helpful hints shared at demonstrations sponsored by the Decorative Concrete Council during the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Concrete Contractors.A small sampling of helpful hints shared at demonstrations sponsored by the Decorative Concrete Council during the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Concrete Contractors.

Stepping up from Decorative Concrete to General Contracting

Concrete Form installation using reusable forms, a level and a plastic mallet.Are you content with installing decorative concrete countertops, overlays and stamped concrete, or do you have what it takes to rise to the occasion?

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.”

Pricing a Polished Concrete Job

Two people doing paperwork at a desk with computersPricing a polished concrete job is hardly cut and dried. There are many things to consider. There are more obvious factors, such as labor, fuel (diesel will probably be your largest expense next to labor), tooling, and travel expenses. There are also various factors about the floor itself that must be considered.

Successful Concrete Businesses No Matter Where You Call Home

An outdoor kitchen project by Elements, a decorative concrete company in Sheridan, Wyo.Doug Carlton discusses his favorite trait of the decorative concrete industry: Passion.

PCA says U.S. cement consumption increased in 2013
Successful Contractors Offer Good Customer Service

Man jumping on a graph with an upward arrow of improvement.Turning a profit in today’s construction industry is no accident. This is why it is essential — now more than ever — to practice the strong fundamentals that every successful business is built on. I witnessed a perfect example of such a business this fall and it made me rethink my effort as a decorative concrete professional.

International Decorative Concrete Industry Evolves

For those of us who work in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, we take for granted the quality of our everyday materials, let alone how easy they are to obtain. In developing countries, the amount of time and cost involved in getting everything needed for a job can be staggering. But staggering to who?For those of us who work in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, we take for granted the quality of our everyday materials, let alone how easy they are to obtain. In developing countries, the amount of time and cost involved in getting everything needed for a job can be staggering. But staggering to who?

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