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Vol. 11 No. 2 - February/March 2011

Cemrock: Globetrotting Decorative Concrete Powerhouse

When Olson bought Cemrock, it was pulling in about $1.2 million a year doing exclusively zoo and aquarium habitats, which served as a great foundation to build from.You might think that rappelling from cliffs, learning about orangutan habitats and studying the prehistoric skeleton of a triceratops are activities without much relevance to decorative concrete.

By Kelly O'Brien
February 11, 2011
Recognizing Artistry: The 2011 ASCC DCC Awards

Glamorous pool deck with ribbons of white running through gray backdrop.The Decorative Concrete Council, a specialty council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, St. Louis, Mo., has announced the winners of its third annual decorative concrete awards competition.

February 11, 2011
Auto Painter Turned Decorative Concrete Mastermind

Awesome concrete wall looks like sediment layers of an actual cliff.Let’s get the question out of the way that you undoubtedly are itching to ask: Is it a jungle out there for California transplant Steve Kroo and Concrete Jungle, his Northridge decorative concrete business?

February 12, 2011
Is Your Decorative Concrete Business a Well-Kept Secret?

Is your decorative concrete business a well kept secret?Please take a second to answer this question, because ignoring it could very well cost you a lot of money. Are you a well-kept secret?

By Doug Carlton
February 21, 2011
Nashville Nightclub Receives Decorative Coating Makeover

Overlay floor in blues and maroon in Nashville, Tenn.The historical structure that now houses the Nashville Dinner Theatre has always attracted attention. During Prohibition times, people slyly used a tunnel in the building to transport alcohol to area nightclubs. Today, it attracts crowds for its dinner shows and performances by local vocalists.

By Natasha Chilingerian
February 18, 2011
Going From Good to Great using Overlays and Microtoppings

Let me start by being blunt. Almost anyone can squeegee down a couple of coats of topping. But overlays and microtoppings are handcrafted, not generic flooring you buy on a roll.Let me start by being blunt. Almost anyone can squeegee down a couple of coats of topping. But overlays and microtoppings are handcrafted, not generic flooring you buy on a roll. How do you go from doing what anyone can do to creating your own distinctive look and giving customers exceptional projects?

By Trevor A. Foster, with Amy Johnson
February 25, 2011
Pigment Peculiarities

A vibrantly colored surface may not seem like the end of the world, but the color difference between the surface and the underlying concrete can pose problems not only in the case of damage somewhere down the line, but also just in the process of finishing the slab.Any time you’re dealing with integral color, the key to success is getting a nice, even distribution of pigment. The key to that, in turn, is managing the water-to-cement ratio in your mix.

By Kelly O'Brien
March 11, 2011
Preparing Your Concrete Countertops for Topical Sealers

Here are a few tips for lowering your concrete's vapor transmission rate soonerThe steps you take with your wet-cast or GFRC countertops prior to sealing them will affect sealer success more than the actual application of the sealer. It’s important to gain an understanding of what your concrete is doing, or more importantly, what you are doing with your concrete.

By Mark Celebuski
March 21, 2011
Dealing with Wastewater and Sludge from Concrete Countertops

Cleaning these mixers uses about 15 to 30 gallons of dirty water and generates roughly 5 to 30 pounds of sludgeConcrete-making uses water. Cleaning concrete-covered mixers, tools and buckets uses even more water. Add to that the sludge that’s rinsed out and you’re often left with a big mess. Everyone who makes concrete faces this dilemma: what to do with all that dirty water and gritty sludge.

By Jeffrey Girard
February 28, 2011
The Benefits of Decorative Shotcrete

A concrete mason shoots shotcrete onto the wall with a pump.Shotcrete is not a physical product. It cannot be touched or held in your hand. Shotcrete is a process or verb. It is the action of placing concrete to achieve high strengths and low permeability.

By William T. Drakeley Jr.
February 1, 2011
Staining Was Never Easy, But Now It's Complicated

For my verticals, Martin Webb stained over troweled gray skim, and then graphically retroweled with integrally colored skims.I was once a much younger concretist, really impetuous and passionate. I was working for L.M. Scofield Co., and as my wife told me, I worked way too much. So she left me. To be more accurate, she left me in charge of the kids for 10 days while she and her best girlfriend toured a bit of England and Scotland.

By Michael Miller
February 27, 2011
The Allure and the Reality of Polishing Concrete

A peacock strutting his stuffIt has become pretty clear that polished concrete is the hot market in decorative concrete right now. There was no shortage of equipment and chemical manufacturers touting the latest and greatest at the show, with each making a case for why their system was the best option on the market.

By Chris Sullivan
March 17, 2011
Transforming Poorly Polished Concrete Floors for Profit

How to update poorly polished concrete floors.All concrete polishers are aware of the many subpar polished floors out there that are giving polished concrete a bad name. I get several calls each week asking how to fix a bad floor, so I am sure that you are dealing with this as well.

By Jennifer A. Faller
March 18, 2011
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.

By Elizabeth Gillette Offensend
March 20, 2011
Unique Concrete Pours and Cutting-edge Acid Staining

distinctive utilization of natural materials, eyecatching use of glass, and subtle exploitation of polished and unpolished steelTake an older home on the beach in need of radical change. Add a designer and a concrete contractor, both of whom are comfortable thinking outside the box. Give them carte blanche and as much time as they need. Allow their creative juices to simmer. What do you get?

By Chris Mayo
February 17, 2011
5 Facts Regarding the Business of Stenciled Concrete

For years, it seemed to me that people thought stenciled concrete was the bastard child of decorative concrete. I never really understood that.For years, it seemed to me that people thought stenciled concrete was the bastard child of decorative concrete. I never really understood that.

By Todd Rose
February 10, 2011
Fu-Tung Cheng Plays with Walls

This house, built in San Mateo County, Calif., by Cheng Design, has the fingerprints of acclaimed precast-piece designer Fu-Tung Cheng all over it.This house, built in San Mateo County, Calif., by Cheng Design, has the fingerprints of acclaimed precast-piece designer Fu-Tung Cheng all over it.

By Cheng Design
March 19, 2011
Two Ways to Get Radiant Heat in your Concrete

There are two kinds of radiant-heat solutions available to address these issues: hydronic and electric heating systems.Have you come across clients who are considering polished, stamped or stained concrete flooring, but who hesitate because concrete is a naturally cold surface?

By Greg Jazwinski
February 27, 2011
Concrete Polishing Pitfalls to Avoid When Bidding

Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts pro football team, as polished by American Concrete Concepts inc., of Springdale, Ark.Arenas and stadiums are a market that is gaining momentum in polished concrete. Between high schools, colleges and professional sports teams, there are a lot of these venues around the country. As they come up for remodel, polished concrete is a great option for the flooring on concourses and even under seats.

By David Stephenson
February 11, 2011
NeoMix D-FRC from Cheng Concrete

NeoMix D-FRC empowers the artisan or contractor to expand their opportunities for businessBorn out of frustration with the long learning curve for mastering GFRC, Cheng Concrete’s NeoMix D-FRC is designed to not only shorten that learning curve for contractors, but also to outperform traditional GFRC in regards to flexural strength and abrasion resistance.

By Emily Dixon
March 21, 2011
The Complete Decorative Concrete Contractor

The colors were stains and tinted sealers from Increte, and metal inlay was used on the perimeter.Five veteran contractors and artisans provide insight by explaining where their decorative concrete journeys began, how their skill sets grew and how diversification has affected their careers.

By Natasha Chilingerian
February 11, 2011
Orange Bristled Brushes Specifically for Decorative Concrete

Orange bristled brushes for concrete by Riviera Brush Co.Riviera Brush Co. has been a leader in the concrete brush industry since 1989. They started out by developing their line of Orange-Crete wash brushes for the ready-mix industry. The brushes were designed to stand up to the harsh conditions inherent to the industry — lime, abrasives, muriatic acid and other cleaning agents. They were ideal for cleaning trucks and equipment.

March 15, 2011
Recipe: Get the Look of Travertine using Concrete

Love travertine tile? get the look using concrete.Intended to mimic the look of travertine, this microexposure finish leaves the surface with a subtle texture that complements integrally colored exteriors beautifully.

By Kelly O'Brien
March 7, 2011
Color Recipe: Transform Dull Lifeless Concrete with Tinted Liquid Release

Have dull, ugly, once beautiful concrete? Transform your slab by using this color recipe that includes using a tinted liquid release.This recipe is for those clients who call you complaining about a stamped or textured patio that’s become lifeless and dull. With just a few steps and a freshly mixed batch of tinted liquid release agent, you can bring color and depth to those sad surfaces.

By Kelly O'Brien
February 26, 2011