Decorative concrete made from ready mix concrete consists of sand, gravel, Portland cement, water and other additives

Stamped concrete uses specialty molds and other techniques to create concrete surfaces that resemble flagstone, cobblestone, brick and even hardwood floors. It is also more comfortable to have a very flat and even surface for your patio furniture, and this can be easily accomplished though the used of beautiful stamped concrete. Stamped concrete is a very heavy material with which to work, and it dries quickly, so the work must be done speedily as well.

It is a colouring process, which takes place on a cementitious surface. If, it is protected by a sealer or wax, it can be very enduring, and Acid stained concrete has been used with great effect both inside and out. Many builders achieve this by mixing their own shades at different rates. This gives acid staining such a useful and popular range of applications, that is can be seen in everything from living rooms, to driveways. Age may not come into it, but the condition certainly does. If the surface is Spalled, the aggregate stones may be showing through the concrete surface. This is because the aggregate stones do not react with the acid stain, and what you are seeing is only from a reaction with materials in the concrete paste. Whereas, where the concrete has been stamped overlaid or textured, a very effective depth of colour and realism can be achieved.

This could not be any further from the truth as concrete floors do become damaged over time just like any other floor. Staining concrete floors is one way to keep them properly maintained and in use for years on end. To begin, the first thing a person must do is acquire the materials needed to perform the staining. Because concrete staining must be preceded by an acid wash, it is important to make sure that safety measures like rubber gloves and protective eye gear are worn at all times. Other materials needed are a bucket, broom, rollers, concrete cleaner, and the sealer. Then thoroughly clean the entire surface area of the concrete floor to get rid of all dirt and grime. This may take awhile especially in wreck rooms and garages because they tend to be cluttered with a large amount of miscellaneous materials. This is the most dangerous part of the process and where protective gear should be worn because acid can be hazardous to work with. When the acid stain is dried and has taken effect, scrub the floor with a baking soda and water to clean any residues left by the acid stain. Sealer and stain is the same thing and this should be spread on evenly in quadrants, much like the acid wash. Let this dry and repeat if necessary to give the concrete floor the protective coat it needs. Keeping concrete floors in good condition can take about two days to complete but will save time in the long run by not having to relay pavement. Follow each one of these steps and make sure that protective gear is worn at all times

At the time, there was a variety called Roman concrete, which was made from quicklime, pozzolana, and pumice

Roman concrete is perhaps one of the strongest in the world. Proof of the strength of the material can be found in Ancient Roman architecture still standing today. Amazingly, the products have withstood the test of time. What exactly is concrete made of?Many people underestimate the science that goes into concrete production. Most people think that cement and concrete are one in the same. What are the different varieties of concrete?Believe it or not, there are many different types of concrete. This is said because the design of concrete can be tailored from project to project. Concrete designs are customised according to the different demands such as strength and weight requirements. Concrete mixing plants are manufacturing plants where concrete ingredients are mixed before being transported to a construction site. The final product of the former is then transported to a construction site. This is done so that there is no oversupply. The second benefit is that it eliminates inefficiency at the construction site.

From a primal and formless slurry, you can transform it into virtually any shape that becomes a solid mass. The possibilities for creative expression are endless. You can grind, polish, stamp, or stain it. You can embed meaningful objects within it. It feels earthy, and is at home in both traditional and modern settings. even countertops. Textured and colored, it can echo the patina of timeworn tile. It first occurred to me to make a countertop out of concrete in 1985, when a friend and I were hired to design and renovate a professor’s house in the Berkeley Hills. ” Armed with this rare creative license (and plenty of youthful exuberance) we aimed to be as innovative as possible. Concrete can also be used as a floor material with enormous creative advantages whether seeded, stained, stamped, broomed or diamond-finished. carve your initials in concrete.

The large aggregate particles of the concrete are worked down into the concrete while it is still wet. This powder produces an antique effect on the surface further enhancing its look. Also, stamping concrete is typically less labor intensive unlike installing other pavers that can really take up much time. The best thing about stamped concrete is its extremely versatility. Aside from the wide range of designs that can be done with it, other techniques such as staining and scoring can also be used to enhance its look. It also does not pose any tripping hazard because it’s a single continuous surface not like individual pavers that can become loose or uneven and, therefore may pose a safety risk. All you really need to do to keep stamped concrete in good condition is to apply a clear sealer over it every year or so depending on the amount of traffic the surface has to contend with. With pavers, however, you need to check for any pieces that have settled to remove any tripping hazard, not to mention pull up weeds that grow between the pavers to keep the area tidy. A stamped concrete driveway can eventually crack due to heavy loads like large delivery vehicles regularly passing over it or the settlement of the soil underneath. Concrete contractors are aware of the tendency of concrete to crack so they place control joints in the concrete paving to make the cracks occur neatly at the joints. When this happens, repairing the cracks can become very difficult because it’s hard to match the original material’s properties. However, do note that proper concrete installation greatly minimizes cracking if not altogether. So, it is very important to choose a seasoned contractor to do the job and also to use high quality products to ensure that you get a beautiful stamped concrete surface that will last a long time.

Both stamped and stenciled concrete decorative techniques are similar, using patterns for it to resemble natural materials like stone, bricks or cobblestones

They differ in the pattern material used. Stamped concrete uses rubber design mats while stenciled concrete uses disposable paper stencils. Using stencils also produces more distinctive grout lines since color is added after the stencil is placed on the concrete. There are different types of sealers used for both types of external surfaces. Breathable coats protect the concrete from the inside by penetrating and binding with the concrete. This type of sealer is advisable for pool decks and driveways since these are not as slippery as film forming type of sealers. Film forming sealers will give off a glossy finish while penetrating sealers will give a matte finish. Either sealer can be water or oil-based. When applying sealers to stamped and stenciled concrete there are a number of things to remember. The surface should be clean, free from dust, chemicals and other contaminants. When resealing, it is important to know the type of sealer used, the same type of sealer should be used otherwise it will not bind with the concrete surface. It is also time to reseal stamped and stenciled concrete when the concrete surface is stained, and there is increased moisture on the concrete’s surface.

It can be used in flooring, wall, and ceiling applications, or it can be employed to construct statues and furniture. It can be made to look industrial and cold as well as traditional and warm. With so many applications, it is nearly safe to say that concrete can be used to make almost anything, and countertops are no exception. Utilizing concrete countertops has become an increasingly popular way for designers and homeowners to achieve a look unparalleled by any other material. Concrete countertops can add the perfect design element to almost any design style, including traditional, earthy, modern, industrial, contemporary, and more. Concrete countertops are only limited to the imagination and the ability to make the forms as such. Obviously, the aggregates must allow the concrete to set up as it should. However, aggregates can have roles in the aesthetics of the concrete countertop, as well. For example, the type of fine aggregates chosen (i. In this case, aggregate sizes and colors are just as important as any concrete coloring to the final look of the top. Portland Cement. Portland cement is the binder that keeps concrete held together. Because traditional Portland cement is grey in color, it can have an effect on the overall look of the concrete countertop. If you are looking for a top that can be easily stained dark colors, or if you are wanting to leave the concrete countertops the natural, grey color, then regular Portland is the right choice for the project. There are a variety of techniques used to achieve a certain color in a concrete countertop. These colors are often called integral colors or integrated colors. Post-pour colors will grind off, exposing the original color of the concrete. Some post-pour concrete coloring techniques include stained concrete countertops, tinted concrete countertops, and dyed concrete countertops. Make sure to check rules and tips for each of these techniques before attempting. For every concrete countertop, you will want to use some sort of sealer. Concrete is naturally porous, so you will need a sealer to keep the pores from sucking in bacteria, stains, etc. Because this sealer will protect your concrete countertop investment, don’t cheap out on this step. Sealers can come in many different sheens and even tints. Decorative Props. One semi-common technique is inlaying decorative materials into the concrete countertop when the concrete has yet to cure. If used on a functional countertop, impressions should be shallow to avoid creating an area that collects dirt and grime. Impression materials are abundant and can include rubber stamps, hand or foot prints, leaves and sticks, cookie cutters or cake molds, etc. Surface Finishes. For the surface, there are many different finishes that you can choose, including flat, polished, stamped or impressed, troweled, textured, and more. This finish can have a enormous impact on the final look of the concrete countertop. The only limitation is the maker’s ability to create the mold or form. Also, you can use a router, like those used on granite or marble countertops, to create edge styles including bull nose, rounded corners, triple egg, ogee, and more. There are also a variety of Styrofoam and rubber edge molds that can mimic wood trim, jagged rock edge, and numerous more. This will mean you have one fluid piece that accounts for the counters and the sink with no seams. There are even more sink shapes available with concrete than there are with other materials. Again, if you can dream it and build the mold, you can make it with concrete.

The value of your home and location are the most important. Also, you need to choose a flooring style that is popular in your area. For homes above the 200,000 dollar range there was a dramatic increase towards tile, hardwood flooring and area rugs. But, recently there has been growth in Stained Concrete. Stained concrete is gaining in popularity in New York Loft apartments. But also, Tile, Marble, and stone are big sellers. Vinyl is more durable than Hardwood and is not as cold as Ceramic or Porcelain Tile. Hardwood Flooring is very common in upper middle class homes. Solid Hardwood is the largest seller.

Then, large rubber mats are stamped into the concrete’s surface, leaving a pattern or texture behind when the stamps are lifted

Typically, before the concrete is stamped, the surface is dusted with coloring or the color is added to mix. In general, stamped concrete costs less than pavers. Also, stamping concrete is typically less labor intensive unlike installing other pavers that can really take up much time. Aside from the wide range of designs that can be done with it, other techniques such as staining and scoring can also be used to enhance its look. When it comes to maintenance, stamped concrete has very minimal requirements unlike pavers which can be high maintenance. All you really need to do to keep stamped concrete in good condition is to apply a clear sealer over it every year or so depending on the amount of traffic the surface has to contend with. A stamped concrete driveway can eventually crack due to heavy loads like large delivery vehicles regularly passing over it or the settlement of the soil underneath. Concrete contractors are aware of the tendency of concrete to crack so they place control joints in the concrete paving to make the cracks occur neatly at the joints. When this happens, repairing the cracks can become very difficult because it’s hard to match the original material’s properties. Likewise, changes to the surface if not addressed properly, can be very obvious and unappealing should you try to alter the concrete’s shape or add on to it. However, with advances in decorative concrete every year, it is becoming more and more likely that you will be able to match the existing concrete quite closely. With pavers, it is less likely that you will have to worry about cracking with pavers. Also, because they are individual units, repairs, replacements and modifications are easy and in most cases there is usually no problem with finding matching pavers.

Outdoor EnhancementsOutdoor enhancements are a great way to add value to a home. Amazingly, the cost of the outdoor embellishment is often more in budget than most people think. Custom Concrete FurnitureYour concrete prized possessions can offer smart, luxurious concepts and technological convenience. More artisans and contractors are using concrete to bring a unique sense of style that you want to possess. New-age way lightingFiber-optic cables being used to speed up telephone lines, cable TV and the Internet are a wonderful age way to light up your great possession- concrete. These fine strands of telephone lines, cable TV and the Internet can be cast directly into concrete to create fascinating visual effects. To make any dream come true, it is important to discuss some of the unique ways with concrete experts about the customized options available. In this highly demanding world, concrete has something extra to create a niche for itself.

It is durable enough to last for decades to come, strong enough to be used in structural applications, and malleable (before cured) to be molded to almost any form or shape. It can be made to look industrial and cold as well as traditional and warm. Concrete countertops are only limited to the imagination and the ability to make the forms as such. In the application of countertops, the aggregates are of great importance. However, aggregates can have roles in the aesthetics of the concrete countertop, as well. For example, the type of fine aggregates chosen (i. sand) can drastically change the color of the finished product. Because traditional Portland cement is grey in color, it can have an effect on the overall look of the concrete countertop. However, if your concrete countertop is going to be white or light colors, or you need it to be easily dyed or stained, you may be better suited to choose a white Portland cement. It has the same binding properties as traditional Portland, only it is white in color when cured. White Portland is the only way to get a truly white concrete countertop. There are a variety of techniques used to achieve a certain color in a concrete countertop. These colors are often called integral colors or integrated colors. Make sure to check rules and tips for each of these techniques before attempting. There are many different sealers. Especially for kitchen applications, choose an FDA approved sealer. Tinted sealer must be used carefully because if the color is conflicting or if the particle count of the tint is too high, it can completely ruin the hard work you put into the concrete countertop. Decorative Props. Concrete countertop fabricators have been trying many unique ways to set their countertops apart. One semi-common technique is inlaying decorative materials into the concrete countertop when the concrete has yet to cure. Inlaid materials can include sea shells, tiles, natural stones, glass, etc. Even more delicate objects like preserved leaves can be inlaid. If used on a functional countertop, impressions should be shallow to avoid creating an area that collects dirt and grime. Surface Finishes. If you can imagine an edge finish, it is available with concrete countertops. The only limitation is the maker’s ability to create the mold or form. Also, you can use a router, like those used on granite or marble countertops, to create edge styles including bull nose, rounded corners, triple egg, ogee, and more. There are also a variety of Styrofoam and rubber edge molds that can mimic wood trim, jagged rock edge, and numerous more. If you mess up, the only fix is a new concrete countertop. If you are really going for a streamline look with your countertop, consider actually molding your sink into the concrete countertop. This will mean you have one fluid piece that accounts for the counters and the sink with no seams. Again, if you can dream it and build the mold, you can make it with concrete.

This served as a transition space and place to put items such as chairs, grills and other items to generally enjoy life with. Stamped concrete is concrete that has been mixed with colors and stamped with a special pattern to make it look like a more traditional brick patio surface. This creates an effect that makes it look like custom stones or bricks were used to create the surface. There are several reasons this technique has become more popular in recent times. For one, stamped concrete usually costs less per square foot than a traditional brick patio. It also has some additional advantages surrounding maintenance. Over time as the ground changes bricks can start to pop out.

That first impression can add 20 percent to your home’s value, a figure that rivals the return on a new kitchen or bathroom

A Simple Yard Clean-UpLet’s start off with the most simple of additions to your landscape, because far too often I see homes for sale with landscaping that could surely change a potential buyer’s opinion for the worse. This is necessary because anyone looking to buy a house, with the intent to keep the house in tact is not looking to spend a couple of days getting the landscape up to par, without a premium. Stamped concrete is commonly used for patios, sidewalks, driveways, pool decks, and interior flooring. Adding a deck, or an outdoor living space for that matter, can project a payback in the 60-90% range. An outdoor living space essentially provides you with another living space which can help when entertaining guests in favorable weather. Below is a very fashionable example of a living space that isn’t out of the realm of possibility for anyone. Here is a prime example of a beautiful outdoor living space, it can be concealed, has a fire pit couch and a TV.

It generally occurs somewhere there is a water supply to keep feeding the ice crystal growth. The heavy weight of the topsoil limits the vertical growth of the frost but promotes the formation of a lens-shaped bump within the soil. The type of soil through which water passes to feed the formation of a frost heave is referred to as “frost susceptible. ” The force of one or more growing ice lenses is sufficient to lift a layer of soil almost twelves inches thick. Besides that, a crack in a stamped or marble-stained slab of concrete isn’t as noticeable as a crack in a plain, square slab. Stamped concrete can be used outside the home to beautify pool decks, driveways, entries and courtyards, and patios.

It provides walkways and pathways through your flowerbeds. It can be a patio to house the barbecue, the picnic table, and an area to entertain. There is nothing more pleasurable than a morning cup of coffee in your favorite patio alcove as you soak up the warmth of the sun and welcome the arrival of a new day. Concrete can work wonderfully as a retaining wall to stop erosion from allowing earth to fall into your yard. The same purpose can be served in reverse if your yard slopes down and away from the level surface. It can be functional and decorative at the same time. Walls can also be built tall enough to ward off trespassers, thieves, or any unwanted party. Concrete landscaping can be purchased in all sorts of designs. Make up a diagram to see how your ideas look on paper. Unless you are a handy man that is capable of building something new, it may be best to hire professionals to assure the job will be done correctly. As with anything else, no two landscaping contractors are alike. Seeing this sort of work is not something you can try ion for size, it is advisable to look carefully when anticipating a garden landscaper. Check with friends who have had work done, or maybe the local Better Business Bureau can point out some successful and long standing contractors in your community. In choosing one, there are a few things to keep in mind. A contractor indicates the professional standing of the company. The longer you have to wait, the less likely it is that you have contacted someone that is highly regarded in his trade. You are not looking for customer service but rather for someone who shows they are serious about doing the work for you. Be alert to appearance. Seek your landscaper using these points as a guide. The out of doors was never more beautiful.

Concrete stain can actually highlight and intensify the variations found in the concrete – natural as well as man made blemishes and markings. Custom texture, color and finish are part of the quality craftsmanship of a true professional . Concrete stains are only left on an overlay for 1-2 hours as opposed to 4-6 hours on concrete slab. Frequently acid stains produce too much variation on an overlay. Concrete stains come in a variety of colors and can create a beautiful custom look to any walkway, patio or indoor floor. It creates beautiful colors on concrete, mostly earth tone browns, reddish browns and greens, although now more vibrant colors are becoming available for a variety of taste and effects blues, violet and pink tints. Most cement yards carry reactive acid stains for concrete, acrylic concrete sealer, and stamped concrete products IN STOCK. If necessary, abrade surface by sanding, grinding or non-hazardous concrete etch. There are several steps in cleaning an exterior floor. Colored concrete is also something that you might be seeing more of lately. The color is applied directly into the concrete. Color Floor can be applied via airbrush, high volume low pressure unit (HVLP), production gun, pump (bug) sprayer, sea sponge and traditional bristle brush. Just be sure to do research on any company you might hire to perform this job. If you hire a company just based on price, it may not be your best decision. If the Concrete Stain is not applied correctly and the job turns out wrong then you might just be tearing your concrete out.

All basements will have flood damage at some point in their life

Excessive rain, clogged foundation drains, and plumbing malfunctions are all common problems that all homeowners will eventually encounter. The basement is the lowest point in the house, and any water that inadvertently ends up in the house will find its way to the basement floor. If the basement floor is covered in carpet or wood, it will be ruined. If its covered in tile or vinyl, the submersion in water will most likely trigger a delamination process that will end up with your flooring eventually coming unglued from the concrete in your basement. Even if the concrete under the carpet or tile is covered in glue, mastic, or grout, it can be prepared to be stained. After the floor is stained it will be coated with a sealer that will protect the floor from water and mold. Additionally, the floor will be free from allergens that are commonly associated with carpet floors. Patterns can be applied by staining over a vinyl stencil that is stuck to the floor. The addition of multiple colors of stain will create a floor that is as durable as concrete, but as beautiful as marble or granite tile.

There is a choice to make between safety and appearance, and safety wins every time. And concrete salt damage is the inevitable result. Even if you choose not to salt your own property, salt finds its way into your concrete driveways, concrete garage floors, and walkways. And now the problems begin. It is made from easily found natural materials and is considered to be hard and durable. Concrete is naturally very alkaline, being made up of lime, sand, stone. and has a very specific optimum pH range to maintain its strength, hardness, and cohesion. Combining with the ingredients already inside your concrete, a waterborne reactive silicate penetrating sealer will penetrate the concrete and create a chemical reaction with the calcium and free lime – forming a gel in all the pores. The very best benefit from this permanent solution is the resulting ph change provided by some formulas. No more surface flaking or crumbling. Your concrete will end up harder, denser, waterproof, salt and chemical resistant, stain resistant, and keep its appearance. They are also formulated to be applied on existing concrete and will provide permanent protection from salt and other chemicals, preventing any further surface erosion or interior compromise. If your concrete is already crumbling, this will not ‘repair’ it.

However, there are several options to makeover an old dull concrete driveway, walkway, patio or any other concrete surface without having to tear out aging concrete and install a new one. Is the Surface Suitable for Resurfacing? Before anything else, though, you need to determine whether the concrete can actually be resurfaced. There are no complex steps here. All you need to do is inspect the concrete surface to make sure it is in sound condition. If you are not sure what to do, ask a concrete professional to check out the concrete. Staining – In this option, you’re not just adding a solid color to a concrete surface. Because stains seep into the concrete, it produces rich semitransparent color effects and can even mimic the look of stained wood or polished marble. Because the properties of different concrete surfaces vary, the effect of staining is also different every time and it is this uniqueness that makes it appealing. The concrete is saw cut after it has hardened. Engraving or etching – Special tools are used to etch designs into concrete. As you can see, the options for concrete resurfacing are many, creating a lot of possibilities for upgrading the look of aging concrete.

Also, some basic factors, along with the combination of concrete surface conditions such as application methods, temperature, have called attention than in any other decorative discipline. Before StainingSince every piece of concrete is unique in its own ways, the only way to determine the true color and effect is by testing the performance of stains in an inconspicuous area. Experienced and novice staining professionals covers this type of troubleshooting and touch up work in detail. The other part of troubleshooting is with surface effects. Oil, sealers, chalk lines, to name a few, can ruin an otherwise flawless stain job. These residues can chemically alter the sealer film as well as act as a bond breaker by clogging the pores of the concrete. Expert staining professionals bring out the hidden surface issues before you waste a lot of your time, money and concrete. Be wary of those contractors propagating staining concrete to be maintenance free. Educating clients should become an integral part of everyone staining process.

Acid Stain is a very durable product if properly protected with sealer or wax, and it can be applied to both interiors and exteriors. What makes Acid Stain so attractive? Acid Stain gives concrete a mottled, variegated, marble like look. It creates beautiful colors on concrete, mostly earth tone browns, reddish browns and greens. You can go from a simple design to a very sophisticated project. The more complicated your design, the more labor intensive it will become but the end results are simply stunning. After the Acid Stain is applied, the floor should be sealed and or waxed to protect the stain and add shine and depth. The Decorative Concrete Business has been growing very rapidly for the last few years, and Acid Stain has been a big part of this growth.

Moisture will come from numerous sources. Gutters work great but few people bother to maintain them. In time they pull away from walls, debris gets in them, downspouts don’t provide proper runoff. Dry air in the basement helps pull moisture through the slab. So you have moisture, at least a little. Height – Basement floors are seldom a consideration when designed. As a result doorways and stairs are a problem. Code requires six inch risers at stairways. I see this frequently even in Multi-million dollar homes. I might add, even if there wasn’t a code issue all the doors would have to be cut down if any flooring added height, like tile or hardwood. Use duct tape and tape plastic around all edges so air cannot get out. This works as a topical moisture vapor barrier preventing moisture from wicking through concrete. You can also turn on your dehumidifier. The moisture that collects in your dehumidifier is the same moisture that ends up in carpets. Providing that you get your basement moisture under control the application of a decorative concrete overlay is the best solution. Overlays are breathable and will allow moisture vapor to pass through. They are easy to install and very inexpensive. The beauty of the area rugs is that they can be removed for cleaning or replaced. This solves the problem of unhealthy mold, mildew and resulting poor air quality caused by moist carpets. Do it yourself floor staining and overlays are the perfect solution for finished basements.

Installing such a highly structured product may be done in different styles, shades as well as textures. Spending money in preserving the looks and the stability of a concrete surface is of extreme importance. Various sealers are available that helps in reducing staining and acts as an extensive protective coating layer above the concrete surface which is non-porous. Care must be taken while using steel bladed instruments or snow removal equipments on the concrete surface. Make use of neutral cleansers instead of acid cleaners to avoid any kind of damage to the decorative concrete surfaces. Regular care must be taken in case of exterior surfaces, as exterior applications are more prone to damages than that of interiors. Sealer provides a protective shield by creating a kind of barrier that avoids penetration of chemicals, water or any other foreign substances. Also regular application of these sealers add additional life to your concrete, making them attractive and a wise decision taking into consideration the large cost of replacement. These sealers also make the cleaning process much easier, while adding extra lifespan to the concrete.

In most cases, you can simply follow directions and accomplish your goal. A sealant coat is also mandatory for the epoxy garage floor to maintain its finish for the years to come. That’s far longer than most pets, especially hamsters. In all reality, it only makes sense to install an epoxy kit if you’re willing to invest the time and effort into getting it right the first time. An epoxy garage floor is not going to be your best option if your only goal is to cover some stained concrete or keep it from getting stained in the first place. Otherwise, you may want to consider having a professional install your epoxy garage floor kit.

As you read this article, you will realize that averting problems or solving them quickly is what this article is all about

The first of these common errors, occurs, and sometimes often underestimated, takes place before the project begins. However, the last few years have seen an unprecedented increase in the demand of the acid staining — books, web sites, videos, and manuals to help designers, architects, and contractors understand the complete acid stain process and products to avert these problems at first place. Testing in a small piece of area is always recommended prior to doing large-scale work. If a contractor notices a character mark by the staining test, using tinted sealers is considered best for hiding these imperfections. Experienced and novice staining professionals covers this type of troubleshooting and touch up work in detail. Dry sanding removed surface effects. The other part of troubleshooting is with surface effects. Surface effect is a catch term given for a comprehensive range of issues, associated with stained concrete. These residues can chemically alter the sealer film as well as act as a bond breaker by clogging the pores of the concrete. Be wary of those contractors propagating staining concrete to be maintenance free. On a positive note, even some badly damaged stained floors can be brought back to life in the right hands of staining professionals. Many times it is not too late to consult a novice staining contractor.

After the chemical reaction is completed, the stains (which are actually metallic oxides) become integral part of the concrete and gives it a beautiful mottled colored surface. The critical element of coloring concrete surfaces with an acid stain or chemical stain is the reaction between the stain and lime in the concrete. Concrete resurfacing with a self leveling concrete or micro topping becomes necessary in the following cases. It will be a very good idea to cover the entire surface with a thin concrete overlay to get desired results. If some tiles are loose or coming off then they should be removed and patched before pouring a self leveling concrete. In many metropolitan cities there is a popular trend of converting old warehouses into lofts. But the existing concrete substrate may not have enough reactive lime for the chemical reaction.

Whip it into shape with concrete stain. The end result is a surface that is a permanently stained and one that will withstand abuse, wear and tear without ill effects. There are some limitations when using acid stains as the colors are restricted to an autumnal palette. But if you want a patio, driveway, floor or any other concrete surface to have a gorgeous long-term splash of color, the acid stain is worth strong consideration. These stains lack the bonding features of the acid stains, but do provide significantly more color choices. If you have decided that you want to get a little more adventurous with your design ideas, use the ample selection of colors to express your creativity to its fullest. Prior to applying the stain, give the surface a complete cleaning with a power washer or a hose and stiff brush. Most home improvement centers sell special applicator devices that will allow you to apply the stain evenly so as to avoid clotting and streaking that can result from the use of mops and squeegees. The main difference in this process has to do with the concrete preparation prior to staining. You’ll need to clean the concrete surface, but in addition, you’ll need to chemically treat it so as to open the pores, which will in turn permit the stain to thoroughly enter the concrete itself. For sure fire quality, look at stains made by Behr, Kemiko and Sherman Williams. If you decide to take go the stain route, you won’t be disappointed. Don’t spend needless time and money replacing a perfectly sound concrete surface. Instead, stain it and transform it for pennies on the dollar.

It is a fairly simple method if done properly by professionals

According to the Concrete Network, movement or settlement of a concrete foundation can be caused by building on expansive clay, compressible or improperly compacted fill soils or improper maintenance around foundations. This movement can create all sorts of problems in the foundation of a structure that can include “poor drainage, tripping hazards, rough floors, unsightly cracks, and equipment malfunctions,” according to the Concrete Network. What is Concrete Lifting?The process of lifting concrete consists of drilling holes in the concrete and then injecting them with a special grout mix that fills the voids and lifts the concrete back into place. You should have your concrete work looked at by a professional and get an estimate from at least two companies to make sure you’re given a fair price. Check your state or local licensing to be sure you have a licensed contractor. You can also ask if the company provides a guarantee or warranty on the repair work they do if the concrete sinks again over time. A good concrete lifting company will also inspect other areas around your home to assess other places that may need mud-jacking repair. Be weary of a company that tries to convince you there is unforeseen damage that needs to be repaired – with a costly price tag. Take a look at their reviews on Google and Yelp. Concrete as a Design ElementConsider how concrete has become a design element in minimalist or modern homes, in garages and on patios. Stained concrete flooring has become all the rage.

There are several factors you need to consider to make a smart choice. The value of your home and location are the most important. Also, you need to choose a flooring style that is popular in your area. As far as flooring color, it is always important to go with a light to mid range color, and not something too exotic. In the past the most popular flooring for living rooms has been Carpet, but the last 10 years has shown a definite change in the amount of Hardwood Flooring installed in these spaces. As far as geographical location there were some areas that showed specific trends. Because of moisture, Engineered Hardwood Flooring is recommended. But also, Tile, Marble, and stone are big sellers. Hardwood Flooring is very common in upper middle class homes. Solid Hardwood is the largest seller. There are many flooring trends that impact specific areas or specific home design types. If you are interested in your homes resale value, it is always a good idea to contact a local real estate agent to get input before buying new flooring.

They are easy to maintain, great for regions with a lot of sand or snow, and a good alternative to carpeting if the homeowner has allergies. Decorative concrete flooring is often installed in a new home early in the construction process, which can result in damage from paint splatters, grime from workboats, impact from falling materials, and wheeled traffic. How do you help safeguard these freshly polished floors from construction traffic and mishaps from dropped tools and building materials?There are several different types of surface protection that protect newly-installed decorative concrete floors from damage. Masonite is bulky and can’t easily be repositioned on a job site. Sheet plastic has its own set of challenges. While it is easier to move around a job site and is less expensive than other floor protection options, it can be very slippery on top of polished concrete flooring and may lead to worker injuries if someone falls or trips. Plastic sheeting moves easily, which means that without being taped down, it could slide on the floor. Lastly, sheet plastic offers no impact protection from dropped heavy items. Another option that contractors use to protect decorative concrete floors that doesn’t work well are temporary carpets. The carpets have a rubber backing, which does not allow the concrete to breathe. While it makes for good protection against impacts, it is heavy and awkward to move and does not absorb spills well at all. It is also a very expensive type of protection. Many builders have tried each of these methods to protect decorative concrete but nothing works perfectly. The ideal product would be breathable so that concrete can cure, absorb spills, prevent differential drying, and would provide impact protection. If possible, the product would be reusable and recyclable to reduce waste. Luckily, there are several surface protection products on the market that meet all of these requirements. The breathable product prevents cure lines in newly-installed concrete and it won’t invalidate the flooring manufacturer’s warranty. Unlike the paper Ramboard, Surface Pro is reusable and last longer. It lightly grips floors without leaving any sort of residue. It is also waterproof and tear-resistant. It has a dense top layer and a soft cushion on the bottom and is designed to take impacts. If kept in decent condition, EZcover is reusable. It is its durable against construction traffic and wheeled traffic and the edges can be taped if needed.

For stained concrete, caustic materials such as metallic salts, diluted hydrochloric acid, dyes and hydrated lime are used to produce gorgeous colors, but this also requires the use of these dangerous chemicals, meaning that it is always safest and best to allow professional contractors of concrete to handle these types of jobs around the home

Stamped concrete uses specialty molds and other techniques to create concrete surfaces that resemble flagstone, cobblestone, brick and even hardwood floors. Many patterns are available, so you have a broad range of choices when it comes to ready mix concrete flooring for your patio, walkways or driveway. If you are planning on doing any entertaining during the upcoming summer months, it makes sense to plan and then install your outdoor living areas so that they will be ready to go when your guests arrive. This is a spot where decorative concrete designs can liven up the outdoor areas so that they become living areas and are seen as an extension of your home. It is also more comfortable to have a very flat and even surface for your patio furniture, and this can be easily accomplished though the used of beautiful stamped concrete. Your contractor can create distinctive retaining walls that will not only provide extra seating for large parties, but will also give you raised garden beds very suitable for growing your flowers, shrubs and trees. It is for these reasons, plus the savings that can be garnered over using expensive rock and brick materials, that many home and business owners turn to professional ready mix concrete contractors for adding this stylish look to their homes.

Many have overseen and done different decorative concrete systems both for residential homes and commercial establishments’ patios, driveways, sidewalks, pool decks and other concrete surfaces. Among the services offered is concrete staining. Water-based stains are generally used as an alternative to acid stains especially on floors that will not accept acid stain or as an addition to an acid stain application. They do not have the different and translucent colorings that are characteristic with acid stained floors. “What you see is what you get” because it does not have to rely on any chemical reaction to get the desired color. Before applying the stain, it is best to clean and dry the concrete first for better adhesion and penetration of the materials. For smoother finish, it is, also, advisable to fill any cracks and any glue or other sticky substances removed from the surface. The second thin coat, applied 12 to 24 hours over a dry surface will already bring out the desired color. A third coat would intensify the color. It is important to keep everything off the newly coated surface because any mark left on the wet stain will be there for good. Once all the layers are fully dry, sealers are applied to make it more durable and long-lasting. As an added advantage, water-based stains or dye is low odor, free from solvents and acids and has, therefore, very low VOC (volatile organic compound) count, making it a product of choice for interior projects. Because of its high resistance to acids, ultraviolet rays, oil, gas and alkali, it maintains its decorative finish longer. There are some DIY methods for doing concrete stain, but hiring a professional staining applicator just may prove to be the best investment of one’s money if one does not have the patience to practice staining prior to undertaking a large project.

This is why even a single spot on the driveway can really ruin the entire looks of your house. There are a number of ways to clean a driveway and there are a number of related commodities available in the market too. However, the most important tip one can receive for cleaning a driveway is never to leave the spot for too long a time as the spot can become permanent. The following steps will show the way to driveway cleaning. You may require some or all of the steps following the first step, or none at all, depending on the condition of the driveway. First, one method of concrete cleaning is to pour cola on the areas stained on the driveway and leave the driveway like that overnight. Second, any baking soda or absorbent powder is good for driveway cleaning too. Follow this up with a hard scrubbing with the brush or push broom and then rinse the area. What you must keep in mind is to follow the instructions given on the packet carefully, in order to totally clean the driveway. Fifth, you can also try sprinkling some trisodium phosphate (TSP) on the oily concrete. If the stained area is dry, wet it first and then apply the solution. The longer the stain stays, the harder it will be to remove the stain. Also, you need to use harsh chemicals (whenever necessary) carefully so that you do not injure yourself.

Challenges With Liquid Acids For Etching ConcreteLiquid acids are typically diluted to begin with mainly because they are a hazardous product. Concrete is never flat and has highs and lows. Try putting a level on the floor and you will see what I mean. Concrete cures differently in different parts of the floor. You will find high spots at edges and expansion joints since they are exposed to air differently than in the center. What this means to you when applying a liquid etch solution is minimal etching on the high spots. The high spots are usually the first to fail as a result. If you look closely or use a magnifying glass you will find thousands of pinholes in the surface. Beneath that top layer it is even more porous. Gel Acids have the consistency of shampoo and are easy to control. They are not mixed with water so when you purchase a gel with a specified acid consistency you get exactly what you want. Since they do not require mixing they can be poured right out of the container and into a paint tray. Some gelled acids have been certified by ASTM, International American Society of Testing and Materials which is one of the leading organizations for establishing product standards. An Etching Concrete System That WorksIn addition to the environmental benefits of a gelled acid and ease of use is that they are effective and efficient. The high spots get the same result as the low spots. You end up using less water making it easier for your concrete to dry.

There are individuals who will like a pretty garden to draw attention to the outside of their house

some homeowners are more particular than others about the look of their yard. There are many places to get ideas about how to decorate your yard before you start to work with a landscaper. Individuals are able to get ideas from places like flower and design magazines that speak about decorating the outdoors. Not all yard areas will have plants and flowers being used for decorating. Some patio gardens are designed to be roomy enough for parties and for people to walk around freely and mix and mingle with each other. They have artistically been crafted to have a special look for the outdoors. Bricklaying will, of course, have spaces between each brick that have to be filled with something or closed by fitting the bricks tightly together. However, the small spaces between brick still allow weeds to creep through and grow. Cost wise, stamped concrete, is sometimes 30% lower than other flooring and decorative landscaping choices that can be made by homeowners.

With decorative concrete, you can create the illusion of stone floors, charismatic cobbles and even natural surfaces such as wood. This technique is widely known as stamped concrete, and a good flooring company will be able to help you explore the different colors, designs, patterns and textures that can be achieved through advanced equipment that achieves an authentic result. There won’t have to be any elaborate chemicals or synthetic products created to bring your old-fashioned and tired floors into the 21st century, and you’ll be able to save the environment while also saving the expense associated with cleaning other types of flooring available in the market. There won’t be any unsightly dust gatherings or unattractive chips that will accumulate over the years either, as this modernistic and great-value flooring is built to last.

You will not only save money, conserve resources, but also eliminate disposal problems. There are various options available for achieving any look possible with decorative concrete surfaces. Here is a basic introduction on the various decorative options and overlays available. Although cement-based overlays have been around for couple of decades, many artisans blend additives, and polymer resins with cement to enhance performance, wear resistance, and aesthetic qualities. It is interesting to note that polymer-modified overlays offer similar performance benefits, but they have distinct physical attributes. There are a variety of decorative overlay options to cover concrete driveways, pool decks, patios, parking areas, and almost any other concrete surface. And decorative overlays are often blended with acrylics or acrylic blends because they provide exceptional bond strength and UV resistance. If your surface is badly damaged, is severely cracked, is spalled due to deicing salts and freeze-thaw cycles, resurfacing may not be a good option. Resurfacing will not solve underlying soil and freezing problems. Ask your experts to confirm that the material you plan to resurface will work for your purposes.

This is an easy to clean surface that will provide a unique look to the interior and exterior of your home. In many cases, it may just be what makes a difference between a cookie cutter home and one that truly stands out. Another unique feature when it comes to the slate impression decorative concrete is the fact that you can choose from a variety of gloss options. For the exterior of your home, you can have little to no gloss that focuses on the beauty of each piece, while filling your home with high gloss pieces that with add a sense of elegance to the indoors. Of course, you can get creative in your landscaping efforts and use this form of concrete to build a walkway through the gardens of your home. This not only will give it a unique appearance, but it could help to enhance the visual appeal that your home has when people drop on by for a visit. Gardens alone wouldn’t be the only option for this unique flooring. For this though, you do need to have an idea in place and then map it out. Once completed, you end up with an authentic looking slate slab that will be highly decorative and add to the value of your home. Because of this, it is essential you hire only trained professionals. If you are in the market for adding something that adds some charm and class to your home, then you may want to consider the upscale concrete solutions that are available. Not only will it have guests asking you about how you were able to afford slate for your home, but down the road you are going to find it also adds to your property value should you find that you are selling your home in the future.