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Vol. 6 No. 1 - February/March 2006

How to Achieve Natural Looking Stamped Concrete with Color Hardeners

Broadcasting color hardener onto a curing slab of concrete prior to placing a stamping mat.Experts share their knowledge on everything from preparation to application — including how to achieve the most natural-looking colors.

By Amy Johnson
February 1, 2006
Using White Cement on Gray Concrete

Bright white cement used as an overlay for an ordinary gray slab gives the option to add bright pure colors to the concrete.Achieve pure, consistent color while providing your customers a highly reflective surface. Ninety-nine percent of the cement used in the United States is gray. The other 1 percent is a startlingly bright white color. Because it represents such a small share of the market, many contractors know little about white cement concrete.

By Loretta Hall
February 2, 2006
Troubleshooting Concrete Countertops: Tips from the Experts

concrete countertop with cracksIf you're new to making concrete countertops, you may have encountered any of a number of pesky problems. Even experienced concrete countertop artisans encounter a problem now and then, but they will also tell you that practice makes perfect.

By Susan Brimo-Cox
February 4, 2006
A Look at the Pros and Cons of Liquid vs. Powder Releases for Concrete

Two concrete contractors throwing down stamping mats onto concrete that has had powder release agent added.A look at the pros and cons of liquid and powder releases. When a contractor decides to apply a release agent to a wet concrete surface to keep it from sticking to a stamp, there are two ways to go: liquid or powder. Each has advantages, but each also causes problems.

By John Strieder
February 6, 2006
Cheng Design Exchange Chooses 2006 Winners

Rectangular concrete designer wine holdersCheng Design Exchange announced the winners of its second annual Members Circle of Distinction Design Challenge at the World of Concrete 2006 in Las Vegas. The concrete countertop design competition received 93 submissions, resulting in a total of seven “Best” category winners, two Merit Awards, and 11 Honorable Mentions.

February 7, 2006
Adding Color to Polished Concrete Floors

Medical clinic with polished concrete floors that have been colored using acid stains which gives a more muted color to the concrete.Color and concrete have evolved. When considering adding color in conjunction with polishing, first it was integral colors or dry shake hardeners, then acid stains crept to the forefront as it became viable to combine densifying and acid stains.

By Peter Wagner, CSI
February 8, 2006
The Amazing Vince Schrementi of Everlast Concrete

Circular concrete bar top with metal and sea shells embedded and ground down.Seamless has been coating floors since 1939. Now the company has taken a decorative direction.

By John Strieder
February 9, 2006
Fly Ash instead of Cement

Fly ash is a cement alternative and is a waste product from burned coal.Fly Ash is a coal waste products that acts a lot like cement in the right recipe.

February 11, 2006
Six Ways to Apply Concrete Sealers

Retro man applying sealer to acid stained concrete, leaning way back.Choosing the right sealer is not always easy. Once you've made your choice, then it's crucial to pick the right applicator.

February 12, 2006
Marketing for Concrete Contractors

Concrete can't sell itself, contractors must depend upon a bit of marketing too. Image from Many contractors believe that their workmanship will sell itself, but too often, they depend on referrals. Decorative concrete contractors are artisans, not necessarily salespeople.

By Christina Camara
February 1, 2006
Super-Krete Micro-Bond

Bright red dice done with a concrete coating at the world of concrete in 2006 by Super-Krete surrounded by sparkling black.Super-Krete's waterproof deck system. On this floor, Super-Krete Micro-Bond were applied over the company's Bond-Kote and sanded down to achieve an ultra-smooth finish.

February 13, 2006
Does Photocatalytic Cement Really Clean the Air?

Concrete that can clean itself and the air around it is an amazing thing.Essroc Cement Corp. has brought concrete that cleans itself — and the air around it — to the United States.

February 16, 2006
Precast Cement Coving for Floor Coatings and Overlays

Cement coving for floor coating systems keeps a clean edge to an epoxy coating with not sharp corners for dirt to get stuck in.You find them on the floors of restrooms, kitchens and hospitals, among other places: curved, angle-free baseboards called "rolled radius cove." They've been called "ship's cove," too, because they were invented for use on ships to make floors easier to swab clean.

February 16, 2006
What is Proline's "The Billy Banger"

The Billy Banger a hand tamping tool for stamped concrete mats and skins.Among the quirkier success stories of World Of Concrete 2006 is a little texture-mat tamper that manufacturer Proline Concrete Tools dubbed "The Billy Banger."

February 18, 2006
Soy-based Concrete Stains

Swirls and spins painted onto a concrete floor using environmentally friendly soy-based concrete stains.Using soy-based materials to strip, stain and seal concrete can be about as healthy as it gets. Concrete artisan Dana Boyer is selling the soy-based line through her concrete contracting outfit, Concretizen. Developed by friends of hers at New Century Coatings and sold by several "private label" resellers, the products have been personalized by Boyer to fit her vision.

February 23, 2006
Alternatives to Liquid and Powder Release for Concrete

What do dice and sea shells have in common with concrete.Liquid and powder aren't a contractor's only choices when considering release agents, and Richard Smith's contracting company seems to have explored many of the alternatives.

February 22, 2006
Use Aerated Concrete Create Cool and Stylish Homes

Mary and Kee Augustine's back porch pergola made from FlexCrete's aerated concrete made from fly ash.FlexCrete is a form of aerated concrete that contains as much as 60 percent fly ash. Unlike traditional aerated concretes, it is not cured under heat or pressure, so it uses much less energy to produce.

By Mike Dawson
February 28, 2006