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Vol. 4 No. 6 - December 2004/January 2005

Go with the Flow: Incorporating Cracks into Your Concrete Work

There are two basic approaches to incorporating cracks into the design of a cementitious floor: highlighting them and hiding them.One ever-popular way to hide cracks is to conceal them as grout lines in a flagstone pattern.

By David Thompson
December 24, 2004
The Basic Principles of Crack Repair on Concrete Slabs

Cracked concrete walkA how-to guide on fixing or repairing cracks in concrete.

December 23, 2004
Contractors Take a Shine to Polished Concrete

Most contractors -- including Ware and Siefken -- praise the results achieved with a good densifier and a planetary polisher, a machine which consists of one large drum that turns in one direction and three smaller platens with grinding media that turn in the opposite direction. Siefken, who's been polishing for six years, says he started off with a buffing machine but after one job purchased planetary equipment.Contractors across the country have plenty of good things to say about polishing concrete.

By Stacey Enesey Klemenc
December 19, 2004
Tips for Using Water Reducers in Concrete Work

Others agree that for stamped concrete, water reducers improve workability, finishability and strength. But the mix design needs to fit the jobContractors working in decorative concrete can often benefit from the use of water reducers. Here’s a look at two types of decorative concrete work and how water reducers can make the job easier and improve the finished product.

By Susan Brimo-Cox
December 20, 2004
Concrete Tips: Using PVC Pipe to Draw Curves for Saw-cutting

Training class using a PVC pipe to draw a curve that will be saw cut for a design.Here’s a novel, fast and inexpensive way of saw-cutting curves on concrete overlays or toppings, using a 1⁄4" diameter PVC pipe, 4" grinder and shop-vac.

By Gary Jones
December 1, 2004
Crete Master Concrete Surface Finisher

His invention has four smooth-edged blades of blue spring steel attached to a disc. The disc, with a 5⁄8-inch opening and an 11 thread size, fits onto many variable-speed polishers or angle grinders.Crete Master's smooth-as-glass countertop finish, a hand-held surface finisher that excels in finishing concrete counter tops, horizontal and vertical overlays, colored hardeners, edges on concrete slabs and many other applications that require a smooth finish.

January 4, 2005
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.

January 3, 2005
Midwest Rake Flexible Blade Smoother

Flexible Blade Smoother from Midwest Rake is designed to work with cementitious and viscous materials, the smoother is a steel blade with round corners, angled to maximize surface impact and attached to an aluminum handle.Designed to work with cementitious and viscous materials, the smoother is a steel blade with round corners, angled to maximize surface impact and attached to an aluminum handle.

January 2, 2005
Leapin' Leapfrogs, take a look at that concrete!

The eighty-foot concrete walkway depicts the lifecycles of the Monarch butterfly and the Southern Leopard frog and reads like an illustrated textbook.This “Sidewalk Textbook” was the first phase of a public art project funded by “Project WILD,” a Schoolyard Habitat Grant through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

January 14, 2005
Selling Solutions, Not Just Concrete Products: Southern Color

The fast-paced growth of the decorative concrete industry is keeping all manufacturers on a continual search for better products. Southern Color keeps at the top of its game by holding monthly training sessions not only to teach distributors about the products, but also to find out how they can be improved.Southern Color, recently bought by Rockwood Pigments, continues its tradition of customer service while it expands nationwide.

By Christina Camara
December 22, 2004
artScape Las Vegas Designer Mikhal Zambon

Mikhal Zambon (third from left) with husband and co-owner Mike Anderson (fourth from left),business partner Cheryl Hart (fourth from the right), and the crew of artScape:Las Vegas.For a woman who loves design, concrete has turned out to be the perfect medium. Check out the beautiful work of Mikhal Zambon and her associates.

By David Thompson
December 15, 2004
Colormaker Workshop Lights Creative Fires

Colormaker workshop in Eugene, Oregon, group photo of class.Check out the photos from Colormaker Floors’ workshop at the Institute for American Craftsmanship.

January 6, 2005
Solving Color Problems in Concrete

Concrete Color repair how toColored concrete is beautiful, but laying it down can be an ugly business. So many things can go wrong — the weather turns, supplies run out unexpectedly, batches of cement vary in shade. Getting decent results often means spending hours or days compensating for circumstance.

By John Strieder
January 5, 2005
The straight story on Concrete Cracks

Crack in a concrete surface that has been colored a light tan.Cracks are to concrete what death and taxes are to life — inevitable. But at least cracks can be repaired.

By David Thompson
December 25, 2004
The Magic of Water Reducers in Concrete

Jumping to high-range water reducers -- also called superplasticizers -- this category falls under ASTCM Specification C494 Types A and F. Superplasticizers reduce the water requirement from 12 percent up to 40 percent.You may be enjoying the benefits of water reducers whether you know it or not. Tony Schlagbaum, group product line manager at DeGussa Admixtures Inc. in Cleveland, estimates that 70 percent to 80 percent — maybe as high as 90 percent — of concrete mixes contain some form of water reducer

By Susan Brimo-Cox
December 16, 2004
A Look at Diamond-Polished Concrete

Adding metal machine gears to a concrete slab prior to polishing can reveal amazing effects in the final polished concrete floor project.Polishing colored concrete creates an easy-care, lustrous floor.

By Stacey Enesey Klemenc
December 21, 2004
Awesome Acrylic Stains for Concrete

It's imperative that an applicator knows the ins and outs of the surface that will be stained. Understanding the porosity of the concrete is a good place to begin. The more porous the surface, the deeper the stain will penetrateAcrylic stains are finding new uses among decorative concrete artisans, both on their own and as companions to acids.

By John Chandler
December 18, 2004