They are beginning to look at ways to use the concrete they already have and improve their lifestyle with the home they love

Businesses see the marketing potential in having their logos engraved on the doorstep or inside the lobby. Decorating existing concrete has been a quiet, secret option for too long. That has led to mystery and secret method stories about using concrete. Actually, decorative concrete is pretty straight forward. The name can fit concrete stamping, overlays, polishing, or engraving. Stamping concrete requires new concrete. Specially shaped stamps are pressed into the wet concrete. If the overlay is thick enough, it can be stamped or engraved with a decorative design that makes everything look brand new. The workshops with the most clear slide presentation will probably give you the most content for the investment in training. A good slide presentation with easy to read handouts to apply afterwords would be even better. The methods can seem like ‘secret knowledge’ that few people have a chance to get. Specially designed tools are used to engrave the concrete. The low maintenance shouldn’t be a secret any more. Minimal upkeep over time and day to day cleaning keep decorative concrete beautiful for many years. Or it could be a smart add-on for an existing business such as concrete flat work, other decorative concrete or landscaping. Stock or custom designs for the templates help to keep the pattern on theme. Or those same tools can be used freehand with abstract patterns. Even more tools cut straight lines for geometric patterns such as brick or tile. One tool, the Sandroid has its own sandblasting and recirculating process. Tools and supplies are available as open stock. Or you can choose complete business packages of tools and supplies all in a specially fitted cargo trailer. Experts lead the seminar in three action and information packed days. The large training facility in Missouri was opened in 2009. You can take advantage of the not-so-secret options of decorative concrete. Options that make beautiful concrete for your property. Or options that open new business doors for you when you offer decorative concrete services.

If I ever get around to it I would use a router for my reliefs or probably cut them out of plywood and screw them on to the original form base. Then I would seal the plywood with some good paint or probably use fiberglass resin. If you are adventurous you can buy the gel coat without the wax pre mixed and add your own. They claim it is better – you can build up a couple of coats and then add wax for the final coat. The thing here is if you use the wax type you can’t paint more gel coat on top – it won’t stick. Make sure that there are no undercuts in your forms and that they are as smooth as you can make them. I think I would also use a spray on non-stick like “Pam” as extra insurance. Use 2×4 bracing on the outside.

Apart from the kitchen and garage that we usually renovate, our driveway is among the areas of our home or property that we want to modernize or improve. But then, do you know what the best driveway for your home is?There are many types of driveways that we can choose from. They usually depend on the building materials used and the common materials for installing driveways or even garage are asphalt, cement, cobblestone, brick, natural stones, etc. The initial cost of asphalt driveways is lesser compared to other types of driveways but then the asphalt driveway requires frequent maintenance. This is because the asphalt should be resealed every year or two. A typical asphalt driveway is gray in color and looks plain. A brick driveway can withstand for years but then it tends to appear uneven as time passes by thus regular or yearly maintenance is also required. ) Concrete or Cement drivewayA cement driveway is the most popular type of driveway that you can find in modern homes today. A concrete driveway can already be considered as part of the landscape outside the home because the concrete can make the house look attractive and elegant looking. It is plain in color and best suits those with limited budget but are longing for a durable driveway. ) Exposed aggregate concrete – uses materials that can be likened to granite which needs polishing in order for the beauty to come out. In the case of exposed aggregate concrete, pigment or other building materials still needs to be added to provide new color, texture or design to the concrete. For exposed aggregate concrete, the concrete is poured the regular way into the area of the driveway but the top layer is washed gently thus exposing some of the aggregate. ) Decorative or stamped concrete – can cost double or triple the price of plain concrete but it it’s definitely worth your money. Decorative or stamped concrete is today’s home remodeling. Homeowners can choose a color or texture for their stamped concrete driveway based on the color and style they prefer. Pacing stones, brick pavers and natural stones are the common pavers used. Paving driveways are also expensive and requires high maintenance. It is important to choose a driveway that will last for a long time and at the same time will really make your home more attractive and trendy.

As concrete work can be one of the more challenging home improvement categories, a careful analysis of overall concrete prices is in order. If you are going to do some extensive patio work, for example, you will need to think your way through the project step by step before you decide that it makes economic sense to avoid hiring someone to do it for you. If you haven’t done much concrete work before, it isn’t likely that you have all the tools necessary to launch a sizable project. – that you may need to do the job. Assuming that you have most of the necessary concrete working tools at your disposal (either your own or borrowed from friends and family), you will still need to put some kind of price tag on your own time and effort. Having to go back over a the job, redo a section, or end up with less than satisfying results can make the difference in concrete prices a moot point in the end. Finally, don’t beat yourself up for having spent so much time in the planning process – all the thought that you put into it will serve you well in managing the project alongside your contractor. Make sure that you have a clear idea of what you are paying for and how much you are paying for it.

There are many options available for spaces like this. There are many designs that can be used to give your space the look you desire. If you are interested in stamped concrete, you will want to find a company that is willing to provide the product that you desire. A company may be able to make it look sleek and modern or aged and worn. It really depends on your preference. Once you know what you want, you should begin looking for a company that can fulfill what you would like to have done. You should also look for companies with excellent customer service as well as years of experience in creating the artistic atmospheres that their clients desire. The workers may get the wrong message and do the wrong work. Other miscommunications dealing with time-frame and scheduling could take place, and you could end up with something that you would have never wanted. This would not happen necessarily because of bad workers, but it could happen because of bad customer service. Even though they are laboring hard, they should be neat and orderly in both appearance and in the way they treat your property. That is simply another aspect of customer service. Do some price comparisons if needed. Hopefully your new stamped concrete area will be complete soon, and you will be able to have the rest of your outdoor paradise finished.

However, both of them were discovered few decades ago and both of them are widely popular these days

Well, the trend of using the renovating decoration right after setting the concrete is a recent one and has already gained attention of the both the experts and the home owners alike. Well, there are different options with which you can decorate your concrete. For example, the method called the stamp concrete was invented somewhat 50 years back from now. However, back in the 1950s, the process was actually invented as a novelty product. After that, in the middle of the 1970s, the stamped concrete received a huge spurt in the growth. And from 1978, the decorative concrete became one of the major attractions of the show. At the initial stage, there were only a handful of designs available to the users. However, with the growth of the industry more companies came in the field of manufacturing the product. As a result, more varieties became available and the designs too, become more intricate. They made the task of installation and design even more convenient. Several great means of colors were started being used as well. For example, there are different highly effective colouring options such as the Transparent Stains, Acid Stains, and other high quality dyes available these days to color the concrete. They are more effective and more durable than the previous options. This is because the installation of this type of decorative is simple and faster. They have certainly played a very important role in changing our age old attitude to the concrete.

Ensuring a seal after every eighteen months or so can aid in the process. Structures like concrete driveways are always subjected to immense UV rays that are harmful and can eventually deteriorate the appearance of the path to your house. Including a penetrating surface sealer should help in increasing the performance and durability of a concrete structure. Even concrete flooring especially basements and kitchen floors are always subject to damages like moisture, oil spills etc. Hence with the application of a sealer the original appearance and texture of the floor can be restored. Avoiding wet washes and sweeps can help immensely in the process. Immediately clean the surface if you find one. Always use a strong broom while cleaning and removing tire marks, dirt, moss etc. Apply the coat evenly in layers and allow them to dry between coats. Ensure to keep cars at bay for a minimum of 72 hours. Never expose or walk on fresh sealing since excessive wind may mix with fresh layers.

Curves, color, finish, and textures add versatility to the appearance of concrete. Concrete adds value to your home. People just associate concrete with being the best money can buy. It’s what concrete does. However, how bad it cracks and where is often up to the mason that installed it. Concrete is susceptible to road de-icer which could ruin surface finishes. If you skip sealing your driveway, it will degrade much more quickly and cost you even more. Asphalt soaks up oil and gas. Asphalt is just plain dirty. Walk around on your asphalt driveway and then look at the bottom of your shoes. The binder used to keep asphalt together is made with tar. When you seal the cracks in asphalt, you use tar. Then you track that into your house. In the long run, asphalt is going to cost you more because of having to replace it when it wears out. Not to mention it cost money to seal it every year. It is just not made to last as long as concrete. Maintenance free concrete will not only add immediate beauty and value to your home, it will be a permanent driveway solution that adds beauty and value to your home for decades to come.

This can be one of the trickiest parts of the stamping process. There are of course color swatches, the best way to pick your color from a color swatch is to pick a color from the swatch and then go back one or two colors to get the actual color that you want. This is very similar to picking out a color that you want to paint a room. There are many variables such a lighting and the other colors in the room (sofa’s, rugs drapes etc. ) that you wish to paint. This is what I call perceived vision. If you can relate to what I have just mentioned it also applies to picking out a color for your stamped concrete project, there are many variables of perceived vision, such as sunlight and surrounding colors, such as the color of your house, grass, and landscaping. Onto pouring and finishing your stamped concrete project, I suggest that you start with no more than 100 square feet. First off let the concrete truck driver put the color into the concrete truck for you, and let it mix for at least 10 minutes. You will want some color differences as this will resemble the natural colors of what ever impressions or stamp that you have chosen for your project. For example if you look at a rock you will notice that it has many shades of the same color and often some other colors. A good way to get a rough grade is to use a tool called a concrete rake or a square edged shovel. Once you have gotten the concrete . Once you have one person on each side of the screed board each of you will start to pull the concrete towards the end of the form work leveling as you go along. At this point you will need a bull float to close the surface of the concrete. Do not worry about getting it completely flat, as once you begin to stamp it will not be flat at all. Do not get hung up on small dips or small elevation changes in the concrete. Now it is time to stamp your project. Simply spray the area you will be placing your stamp and the stamp itself before you place the stamp onto the concrete. Place each stamp down and set the next stamp snug against the stamp mat that is already on the concrete. Your project will be a lot darker when you apply the sealant than you anticipated, not to worry, the sealant also needs to cure.

Today, decorative concrete transforms your thinking and takes your breath away the first time you see the work done by decorative concrete

A variety of finishes are available to complement the desired look. With decorative concrete, you can transform that boring floor into a floor that looks like cordovan leather. Moving outside, polished concrete floors have many advantages over the popular wood deck. Maintenance work is high. The beauty of decorative is beyond compare. You can make your floors into the more expensive stones and pavers at a fraction of a cost. Even ordinary, gray concrete can be stained to a glossy finish. Regardless of whether you own a home or office, consulting with a contractor is a good idea when weighing the options for your polished concrete flooring. When properly done, this technique can bring depth and detail to an ordinary surface and save you both money and headache in the long run. Decorating with concrete is not something you would ordinarily think of doing, but when you learn about its versatility and beauty, the more tempting it becomes to think of concrete work as an art form. Decorative concrete can transform your thinking as well as your floors, pool decks, and countertops.

Decorative concrete is available all around the world, and once it is designed, it can be applied to any needs. This article will review decorative concrete for use as a restaurant floor and for a commercial kitchen floor. Using concrete ensures that you will have a floor that is consistently reliable and durable. This is an especially important trait for a commercial kitchen floor, where lots of activity and use means wear and tear on a flooring surface. Concrete is really the best choice for this kind of environment. However, this does not mean that the floor needs to be plain. However, concrete is safe, providing a seamless, slip-free surface over which busy chefs and waiters can move efficiently. Sanitary floor treatments mean that bacterial and fungal growth is highly limited. In fact, few customers actually come to realize that the floor they are walking on is made of concrete, the same material that is used in uninspired industrial settings. With overlays, concrete can become something else – thin coatings and stampable overlays transform simple concrete floors into a beautiful statement, or visually suggest another material. Restaurants can also have their logos stamped into concrete.

This makes the surfaces look much more natural although the varieties in looks and shades are quite remarkable. You can experiment with the stains and techniques in different ways to obtain the results that you find most appealing. A simple way to vary the look of the concrete stain is to dilute it. You can get a very interesting effect by dipping leaves of fern fronds into the concrete stain and placing them on the concrete. A cool effect can be created by spraying a second color of stain to certain areas of the floor. This will accent the look and give you a real natural stone feel.

In fact, it’s so easy that you’ll never think that it is a chore

First of all, stamped concrete is generally durable so it does not need high maintenance. There are only a few things you have to do in order to preserve its finish and beauty. You could also try using protective sealer instead of color hardener. Just like hardeners, these sealers also act as protection for the concrete. It is also applied so as to resist dirt, moist, chemicals, oil, grease, and other harmful substances. Also try to prevent dirt build up on your stamped floor by constantly sweeping and dusting. If you have some time to spare during weekends, you can also apply wax on your concrete stained floors and scrub it until you achieve the glossy finish you want. Stamped concrete is not that hard to scrub anyway, and you will get your desired result without exerting too much effort. Another tip to help you maintain your stamped concrete is avoiding placing rock salt on it. These are just some of the basic cleaning tips you have to do to maintain the beauty and shine of your precious stamped concrete You have spent your hard-earned money for it so it is just right for you to protect it and take good care of it. Your stamped concrete would be a lifetime investment if you know how to maintain it.

You might find the perfect color carpet, but the pattern may not work. It’s especially aggravating when you find the right color and pattern, but there isn’t enough tile or carpet in stock! If you’re tired of chasing around and settling for a floor that’s a different shade or design then what you want, take a look at decorative concrete stain. The modern innovation of decorative stain has allowed Interior designers, builders, and owners to look at concrete floors in a whole new way. Stains and dyes have made polished and stamped concrete the number one choice for many new construction and remodeling projects. Floors can be sophisticated, playful, classic, or cutting edge. This includes existing cement surfaces which are new or in good condition. Stains can also be mixed so multiple shades are blended into the surface pattern. Concrete floors offer many advantages like durability, easy maintenance, non-slip surfaces, and better sanitation.

And while wood, tile, and carpet still have their place in many homes, concrete flooring is giving them all a run for their money. Take one look at concrete staining in action and we promise you won’t believe your eyes. Acid staining allows you to convert existing concrete floors to exciting, polished surfaces with unique, custom etched designs. By incorporating unique colors (usually earth tone browns, reddish browns, and greens), tones, and custom textures, the treated concrete takes on a mottled, marble-like look. Acid Stain Designs differentiates itself not only by virtue of the stunning designs we can incorporate into your home, but also by virtue of the attention to detail we incorporate before any concrete is stained. When existing flooring is removed to get to underlying concrete, it is vital not only to make certain all of the flooring is gone, but also to make certain that the integrity of the concrete wasn’t damaged during the removal process. Learn more about the visually stunning and virtually maintenance free choice for flooring that turns everyday concrete surfaces into decorative canvases.

These types of flooring offer the appeal of natural stone, but are far more practical and economical.   There is much variation in the finished floor, giving it a warm and textured look. The gloss finish reflects light, making rooms feel big, open, and airy. The original slab is ground down, and a new layer of concrete is poured on top.   A stained concrete overlay is another good choice of designer flooring. Stained concrete can be installed in both interior and exterior spaces. There is a wide range of colours to choose from. This thin cement overlay is laid 5mm thick.   For an elegant look, Terrazzo Micro floors make for an outstanding choice in floor design. By the 20th century, these marble floors where too expensive and labour intensive to produce. Using Pandomo Floor technology, a concrete overlay is decorated with a marble chip aggregate. There are many colour choices available which can help you achieve any look.   If you want to create a space that looks amazing and is also a pleasure to live and work in, then consider a decorative concrete coating for your floor design.

There are several factors you need to consider to make a smart choice. Also, you need to choose a flooring style that is popular in your area. Here is a list of the most popular flooring choices for various areas in the United States. 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. But also, Tile, Marble, and stone are big sellers. There is an increase in sales of luxury wood look products. Hardwood Flooring is very common in upper middle class homes. There are many flooring trends that impact specific areas or specific home design types.

It is suitable for use in industrial warehouses, restaurants and auto repair shops but it will work equally well in the garage or kitchen of a private residence. There are several colors and many styles available including some that mimic the look of marble or polished stone. These patterns are achieved using a sealer that penetrates the concrete surface and hardens to protect the material on the inside. This type of flooring will stay glossy even though you will never have to wax it. When you are polishing the floor you can choose how much sheen you want. You can have a flat finish, a high gloss finish or something in between. This process eliminates any need to apply a topical coating that requires any kind of extra maintenance. An occasional dusting is the only other thing you will need to do. It cannot be damaged by mold, humidity, mildew or moisture, which makes it extremely durable. Moisture can escape freely because the material breathes. In addition to all this, it will not be stained or marked by spill liquids, heavy equipment or vehicle tires. When the sun sets, that heat is released back into the room. The highly reflective nature of the material makes it possible to reduce the amount of light you need in the room.

These types of flooring offer the appeal of natural stone, but are far more practical and economical. No matter what your design plans are, or what look you are wanting to create, there is a custom designer floor out there that will suit your requirements. You’ll spot them in cafes and restaurants, as well as in fashionable clothing boutiques and retail stores.   There is much variation in the finished floor, giving it a warm and textured look. The gloss finish reflects light, making rooms feel big, open, and airy. Designer floors are a decorative concrete coating. In most cases, the floors are then coated with a protective resin. There is a wide range of colours to choose from. The finished floors have a translucent high gloss coating which gives them a resemblance to natural stone. Stained concrete overlays are popular in retails shops such as boutiques, hairdressers, and cafes. A stained concrete overlay is an ideal way to bring a bit of style to your outdoor entertaining area. The result is a character filled floor with a glossy finish.   For an elegant look, Terrazzo Micro floors make for an outstanding choice in floor design. Terrazzo floors had their origin in Roman times, and were a symbol of style and class. By the 20th century, these marble floors where too expensive and labour intensive to produce. There are many colour choices available which can help you achieve any look.   If you want to create a space that looks amazing and is also a pleasure to live and work in, then consider a decorative concrete coating for your floor design.

Do it yourself concrete staining may just be your best bet to own one of these durable floors. If you choose to install a concrete stained floor yourself you can save up to 80% over what a contractor will charge to install these beautiful floors. It’s not really hard to do and you only need a few things to install them. We need to do a few tests to make sure the concrete slab you have is able to accept the concrete acid stain. If the water beads up on the surface then there is a sealer on the concrete which will not allow the stain to chemical react with the free lime in the concrete which changes the color of the concrete in the process. If you decide to remove the sealer from the concrete it is best to use an industrial strength citrus based coatings remover. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. At this point we will assume that you floor is ready to go. Clean the concrete with a pressure washer if it’s an exterior application or if it’s an interior floor you will want to use TSP(or a substitute) or a mild acid detergent such as Dyna Blue. Spray or bucket your cleaning solution onto the floor and scrub the floor with a stiff bristle broom of a buffer and a black pad. When the concrete has dried spray your desired color of acid stain (dilution 1 to 1 with water) using a pump sprayer in a circular motion to ensure complete coverage over the entire floor. Wait for a hour or two until you can walk in stocking feet unto the floor to see if all areas have been covered. If you would like to add another color now is the time. Introduce water to the floor and scrub with a medium stiffness broom and shop vac again. If not rinse and repeat until the floor passes the white glove test. Wait until the next day to seal so as not to trap any moisture under the sealer which would cause white spots. Apply 2-3 coats of an acrylic floor finish with a rayon. These can be found at any home improvement store or hardware store. If you find you have small scratches in the floor after a few months another coat of floor finish will fill in the scratches and make the floor look new again. Clean your floor with a neutral cleaner and this will ensure that your floor will accept another coat of floor finish. place walk off mats at the entrance to your home and your floors will last a lifetime.

Some of the applications that are mimicked by using stamped concrete are brick, slate, flagstone, wood, and tile

The reason people use this type of process is so they can take advantage of the strengths that concrete has to offer while giving off a unique look. The overall look of this process can make your sidewalk, driveway, or any other area look higher end and make it stand out from the rest of the exterior of your home. The actual stamping process is what makes the cement appear to be something that it’s not. This means that until the finishing stage of the installation you have the concrete formed and poured just as if it was a normal job. The stamping also dictates what type of surface you are trying to resemble. Usually your installer will plan out a design and color patter with you so that everything matches the exterior of your home. This can be at a commercial location or at your home. Any home can have stamp concrete installed around their pool, patio, throughout their walkways and driveway, and anywhere else you might find concrete. Even adding in designs to break up the monotony of concrete is a good idea for the exterior of your home, especially if you are looking to increase the overall appeal of your home. The first thing to do is to call your concrete contractor and inquire about having stamped cement installed at your home.

It can also include special treatments including stamping, scoring, chiseling, and polishing that can change the texture of the surface. This technique involves taking a cured concrete slab and literally staining it to be a different color (or colors). The most common type of concrete stain is an acid stain. It is known for producing rich color. The result is a marbleized coloring, much like grainy leather. This stain does not cover defects in the concrete. However, this character that the acid stain reveals is part of the allure of the finished product of an acid stain job. These stains have a thin, milky consistency, allowing them to seep into the concrete’s pores, which differentiates them from any concrete paint, which can flake off because paints simply coat the surface. Because there is no chemical reaction between the stain and the concrete, it applies more like a dye. Water-based stains are also commonly called concrete dyes. Acrylic stains offer a wide variety of deep and bright colors with a much broader selection than acid stain offers. Also, whereas acid stains rely on a reaction with the concrete to produce color, the acrylic stain colors are usually the same in the bottle as they are on the concrete. It also allows for easier mixing at the jobsite to match other colors around. After the stain job is complete, it is recommended to put some sort of protective coating on the surface. This will prevent fading and wear. For outdoor applications, a concrete sealer is recommended. A solvent sealer or xylene-based sealer will leave a durable, semi-gloss coat, whereas a water-based sealer will leave a matte finish. For indoor applications, it is generally recommended to apply a wax, much like that which is used on a gym floor. There are many tools and techniques that expand design options when using concrete stain. advantages of stained concrete. Staining concrete allows you to turn a functional element into a design element. Plus, with the wide array of colors and designs, staining can be used to compliment almost any design theme. Also, because the color is actually seeped into the concrete versus a layer on top like paint, it will not flake off like paint tends to. Stained concrete is just as easy to maintain as a regular concrete slab if not easier because the sealer prevents stains and rinses easily. A simple broom or hose will often clean the surface adequately. Stamped ConcreteStamped concrete is another common technique of decorative concrete. That being said, stamped concrete requires that new concrete is poured. This isn’t to say that you can’t add a stamped pattern or texture to your existing patio, it just requires a few intermediate steps. There is another product available, often called an overlay mix, that can be applied as little as three-eighths inches thick. There are limitations to capping your patio with concrete or overlaying it. The process involves pouring concrete much like you would do for ordinary flatwork. At this point, large rubber stamps are pounded into the concrete, many times with a tool called a tamper. The coloring of stamped concrete can be achieved in many different ways. The advantage of integral color is that the color is all the way through the concrete, so if the concrete is ever chipped or scarred, the color will be consistent throughout the slab. Its functional aspect is that it keeps the stamps from sticking to the concrete. Its aesthetic aspect is that when the excess powder is scrubbed off, it leave behind great accent coloring in the grooves and crevices. Some release colors also come in a liquid form. Color hardeners are usually a powder and come in a wide variety of colors. Some manufacturers make tinted sealers, or you can simply make them yourself, which is usually a good way to go if you are wanting to mix colors or play with transparency. Before you do this though, you need to know what kind of sealer you have and what kind of color product would mix with it. Tinted sealers also come in a wide variety of color options, especially if you will be making it yourself. For the sake of accuracy, this paragraph does not take into account any overlay products because these products do not carry all of the same advantages that concrete does. The sealer allows cleaning to be as easy as rinsing or sweeping. Occasionally, you will need to recoat the surface with sealer, which is an easy spray or roll on process. And, considering how long it will last and how easy it is to maintain, it is a low cost in the long run for a beautiful finish. Scored ConcreteScored concrete is a great way to give both new pours and existing pour a new look. Because these lines are actually cut into the concrete, they are as permanent as the slab itself unless covered. advantages of scored concrete. Because scoring can be a way to add decorative touches to a slab without tearing out the slab and starting over or covering the slab with other products, it is a very economical and eco-friendly approach to decorative concrete. These smooth, high-luster floors, if done correctly, do not require any wax or sealer, making it a great option for warehouses, retail locations, etc. But, homeowners are quickly learning that this technique can be utilized for a low maintenance interior flooring. You start with a rough pad and grind into the concrete. Usually, there will be exposed aggregate, making it a neat look. Polished concrete can be stained for some extra color. Or, integral color can be used before the pour to add color throughout. advantages of polished concrete. It is also very low maintenance because wax or sealer may not be necessary. Polished concrete can also be a great design feature because it is unique and customizable. Colors can be added for a different look, and even special aggregates can be added, aggregates that are only exposed because of the polishing process. Sealing ConcreteAll architectural concrete, except polished concrete and interior stained concrete, should be sealed regularly to maintain its beauty and durability. Some sealers are even mop-on. Sealing concrete makes it stain and fade resistant. It is a protective coating that usually gives a bit of a sheen to the surface, bringing out the richness of the colors used in the decorative concrete, no matter which technique. Many times, freshly sealed concrete can be described as making the concrete look wet. Many times an older patio can be resealed to make it look like new again. Plain concrete can also be sealed for a more modern look that is easy to maintain and resistant to being stained. Tinted sealers, as discussed above, can be used to add some color to a slab, whether it is plain or decorative. other flooring options Tile. Tiles can come in a variety of colors and patterns, but you are limited to what options are presented to you. Concrete offers the flexibility to choose your look, much like mixing paint. Tile requires a stable pad on which to be laid, which means often times you will need concrete anyway. Plus, the concrete, tile, and grout expands and contracts at different rates, making it susceptible to cracking, especially in outdoor conditions. Much like tile, flagstone and natural stone usually requires a concrete base and grout for a semi-permanent slab, which means it comes with the same disadvantages as tile. Plus, you are limited to what mother nature makes, versus picking your own colors with concrete. That doesn’t sound like fun! brick. Brick carries with it the same issues as natural stone, flagstone, and tile. Although cheap and easy to care for, linoleum and vinyl are not as durable as concrete, nor do they have the aesthetic and “rich” look that concrete offers. Although beautiful, wood is not the easiest to maintain. It can easily scratch or nick, and it often requires revamp after a few years, especially if not maintained properly.

Array of patterns and colorsWith an extensive palette of shades to choose from and hundreds of patterns available, decorative concrete offers unlimited design possibilities

And although you will pay bit more for decorative concrete, the amazing transformation will be well worth the investment. Speed of installationUnlike other conventional concrete, it can be poured or pumped into place without the need to trouble or replace the other units. This is one of the reasons why it has a longer life than concrete, which are produced by other technologies. Preparatory workFor the production of decorative concrete stamp no additional preparatory work is required, such as Earth excavation, reinforcement of the document in some strata, or soil drying. It can be laid directly on the old concrete, old asphalt floor, or on any other existing hard surface. Production timeThe decorative stamped concrete will be ten times faster than any other installed flooring systems, so that the work will be completed in record time. With the new techniques for decorative concrete, you will often discover that decorative concrete is your best choice.

Once it begins to harden, the concrete is stamped with fiber molds lined up side by side or rolled on with a roller. Due to the wide variety of stamp patterns, you can pretty much create any design that you can imagine. You can create the look and feel of English walkway or a cobblestone path. Stamped concrete is flexible enough to accommodate any design scheme or landscaping look. You can make use of these color options in your concrete project in a variety of ways. You can use concrete stains, color hardeners, integral color, or concrete dyes. Ask your concrete contractor which type of coloring method to use for your project. The methods used will depend on the type of project and whether it is indoors or outdoors. Some methods are not weather or UV resistant. The method of coloring and color tone that you choose will make a dramatic impact on the look and feel of your project. Do you want a soft, neutral look or a very bright and vibrant feel? Stains, for example, will give a more natural look, whereas dyes will generally give you a brighter tone. Be sure to discuss the availability of color choices and methods with your concrete contractor to ensure they have exactly what you are looking for. The complexity of your project. The amount and type of coloring used. Stamped concrete is also more durable and requires less maintenance (like yearly sealants) than asphalt and cement.

Since cement or concrete is a porous material, it will to absorb moisture and chemicals when left untreated and unsealed. They differ in the pattern material used. There are different types of sealers used for both types of external surfaces. These can be film forming sealers or penetrating type of sealers that are referred to as breathable or repellents. Film forming sealers protects the surface of the concrete by forming a barrier. This will protect moisture and chemicals from being absorbed by 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. It also dries faster and will result in a concrete surface that is resistant to abrasion and dust, making clean up easier. 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.

Before the concrete fully dries it is colored and then textured patterns are impressed into the concrete. A project can be made to look like natural stones, tile, wood, cobble stones and more. Over time pavers tend to sink into the ground and it is very easy for weeds to grow in-between pavers. In addition, when your stamped concrete doesn’t look so new anymore, you can simply have it resealed and you will instantly have a vibrant patio. If you have a patio that is just plain boring a stampable overlay can bring new life to your backyard. You choose the pattern and colors for your project. When the job is complete you will have a beautiful stamped patio!Stamped concrete is also a terrific way to add value to your home.

Concrete also offers savings on labour costs and time because its installation is relatively easier than installing pavers, which require tedious site preparation as the base must be packed extremely well so the pieces will not settle

Visual Appeal Without question, pavers look a lot better than a plain grey concrete paving. The great thing is concrete is such a versatile material that many techniques can be done to it to completely transform its appearance. Being able to resemble real pavers is just one of the effects that can be achieved with concrete, without the price tag of pavers. Concrete can be stamped, stained, engraved, scored, stencilled, and embedded with stones, to name a few possibilities. Repair and Replacement This is where pavers have an advantage over concrete. It’s the opposite with concrete if the slab suffers severe damage and calls for replacement. The whole slab would have to be removed and a new concrete surface installed. Also, do note that concrete replacement is always the last resort and is done only when the structure is no longer sound. Cosmetic problems on the concrete’s surface can be repaired or the concrete resurfaced at reasonable cost. Laying pavers over concrete will eliminate problems with pavers moving out of place and creating uneven surfaces. Consult with a professional concrete contractor to explore this option.

Most applications are on floors but can be applied to vertical surfaces as well. The process is fairly simple when you have all the proper tools, product and systems. Not a big deal. Here are the steps to apply and complete over the weekend. This system is the same whether it’s a 3,000 square foot retail store or a 500 square foot basement. Step 1 – Friday night, after work. Use blue painters tape on edges, columns, stairs. Always apply from bottom and work up. Then spray (garden style inexpensive sprayer) or pour polymer on floor and mop on surface. Takes about an hour for a 500 sf space. Use this time to set up a mixing station. You need a drill and mixing paddle (available at home improvement stores) 2 five gallon buckets, a 5′ x 7′ tarp to protect floor, knee pads and a “Magic Trowel”. (magic trowel is a squeegee used for spreading your mix)Once polymer is dry mix first bucket of mix. Most overlay manufacturers package product to cover 200 square feet per bucket. Let dry for 5 hours. If there are any drip marks or high spots they can be lightly sanded with a 100-120 grit palm sander. Then apply second coat which is typically a finer, wetter coat. Step 3 – Sunday, Apply 2 coats of concrete sealer. Sealers should be sprayed on using your garden pump sprayer with light coats. Final application is finish or wax coats. Using a thick microfiber mop will not create streaks. There are a few wax finish coats that are 30% solids which are a 2 coat system. 25% solids wax coats usually require 5-6 coats to achieve same result as a 30% solids product. Each step of sealer and wax application should take 20 – 30 minutes. That’s the process. When you figure total application time for a 500 square foot floor it’s about 5 hours of actual work with lots of dry time. 00 per square foot. If you plan on applying concrete acid stains or dyes add a day to the project.

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

Many contractors use Masonite, sheet plastic, and slick films to try to protect concrete flooring. These items offer limited protection and have serious limitations. Products like plywood can scratch flooring and are typically heavy and difficult to store after use. Masonite is bulky and can’t easily be repositioned on a job site. Also, Masonite is not absorbent, so liquids flow off the sides and get into spaces between sheets, damaging the decorative concrete. 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. While it makes for good protection against impacts, it is heavy and awkward to move and does not absorb spills well at all. 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. Luckily, there are several surface protection products on the market that meet all of these requirements. It lays fast and flat upon being unrolled and allows moisture to escape for curing floors. 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. ,EZcover by McTech Group is a natural cellulose fiber composite that immediately starts absorbing a spill without degrading. It is its durable against construction traffic and wheeled traffic and the edges can be taped if needed. Contact your local surface protection supplier for more information how to best protect your valuable concrete floors.

There are a lot of misconceptions about concrete flooring out there, and a lot of advantages that few even consider. True, it doesn’t give under bare feet, but then again, neither does any other stone, such as tile or slate. Again, true, but so are a lot of other flooring options, even hardwood. Another plus is its compatibility with radiant heating, the process of burying radiant heating cables within the floor itself. This allows the home owner the option of controlling the heat and keeping the floors toasty warm. Almost anything you can imagine can be brought to life in concrete flooring. Again, it can be. Concrete flooring is the best option for affordable self expression. It’s eco-friendly. Concrete flooring is also eco-friendly. It can also be made from waste products like slag cement and silica fume, byproducts from power plants, steel mills and other manufacturing processes. It’s easy to care for. Just periodic damp or dust mopping is needed to keep it looking beautiful. For people with allergies to dust and pet dander concrete flooring can be a life saving option. The benefits are many and the costs are few.

You might find a pattern you like, but the tile may not be available in the right shade. You might find the perfect color carpet, but the pattern may not work. Stained floors can take on the look of granite, brick, marble, slate, or stone. The can also be saw cut to look like tile and colored to create vibrant patterns. Stains can be mixed and selected to match almost any color palate so there’s never a pattern or color that’s out of stock. Floors can be sophisticated, playful, classic, or cutting edge. You can choose the color and surface treatment that works best for each space and application. Stain can be added to any type of concrete floor. Colors can also be added to polished or stamped concrete, concrete overlays, and self-leveling concrete. Design choices are limited only by your imagination. Even business or organizational logos can be added to the floor. Concrete floors offer many advantages like durability, easy maintenance, non-slip surfaces, and better sanitation. Not only are they the most versatile floor choice available, they are non slip, easy to maintain and durable.

However, the materials used for these types of driveways can be outrageously expensive

However, there is a solution to creating a nice driveway at a reasonable price. There are some other trace minerals included to give the mixture some color. Labor costs can be pricey because it does take a bit of skill to properly finish the mixture. However, with some research and the proper tools, just about anyone can do it. Shovels, concrete floats and compactors, as well as a sturdy wheelbarrow are a few.

A basic application is achieved by priming floor with a polymer that looks like milk. Then polymer is poured into a 5 gallon bucket, add color, mix quickly then slowly add concrete and mix to a pancake batter consistency. Pour on floor spread evenly and thin. Most systems are a 2 coat process that are sealed with concrete sealers. Not a big deal. Here are the steps to apply and complete over the weekend. Step 1 – Friday night, after work. make sure surface is clean. Use the kind that comes in a roll with a strip of blue painters tape attached. Step 2 – Saturday morning, Prime floor again with polymer and let dry. If room temperature is comfortable and slab is room temperature, dry time is less than an hour. You need a drill and mixing paddle (available at home improvement stores) 2 five gallon buckets, a 5′ x 7′ tarp to protect floor, knee pads and a “Magic Trowel”. (magic trowel is a squeegee used for spreading your mix)Once polymer is dry mix first bucket of mix. Then slowly start adding concrete and mix until smooth with no lumps. If there are any drip marks or high spots they can be lightly sanded with a 100-120 grit palm sander. Then apply second coat which is typically a finer, wetter coat. This step should be faster than the first. Step 3 – Sunday, Apply 2 coats of concrete sealer. Acrylic sealers are recommended. Sealers should be sprayed on using your garden pump sprayer with light coats. Let dry 2-3 hours between coats. Using a thick microfiber mop will not create streaks. 25% solids wax coats usually require 5-6 coats to achieve same result as a 30% solids product. Each step of sealer and wax application should take 20 – 30 minutes. When you figure total application time for a 500 square foot floor it’s about 5 hours of actual work with lots of dry time. 00 per square foot. If you plan on applying concrete acid stains or dyes add a day to the project. You don’t want to rush it and trap moisture in your slab.

You will find diverse shades and variations added to them and that’s the key reason why concrete driveway is so well-known nowadays. Decorative alternatives – It’s the most fascinating as well as featured section of cement driveway. When you hire a professional of this business it is extremely apparent to have endless artistic features on your drive way. Stamping is the greatest option used from time to time to make it appear absolutely gorgeous. Some typical models are like rock salt paver brick replicates, field stones, grooved styles, circles, squares and so forth. If you really feel like using customized logos you can use it effortlessly. But it cement drive way that reduces your energy and time thoroughly. Toughness – Asphalt driveway is a excellent option for concrete driveway. One can not furnish these things from time to time. There are cons too. Maintenance fees are a little bit higher. Susceptible to stain and difficult to get rid of unsightly stains if not really supervised frequently. If you have budget and searching to decorate your home correctly you must choose concrete driveway with out hesitating too much.

The color of the sealer matches the color of the concrete. They are available in all standard and custom colors, to increase surface strength and overall durability. Be sure you use good quality Colored Concrete Sealers that are environmentally friendly. Colored Concrete Sealers are especially used in those projects where clear sealer or a color-matched curing and sealing compounds are required. Colored Concrete Sealers cure, seal, harden and dustproof freshly poured concrete. They preserve the natural look of concrete, and also prevent cracking. It skins in about 30 minutes, hardens in not less than 4 hours and takes about 24 hours to dry completely. However, the weather and the type of concrete may vary the dry time by 1 to 8 hours.

There have been huge changes in the style and outlook of the people towards the construction business. There have been grave changes in the styles, construction methodologies and the raw materials used. Concrete is one such basic building material that almost all architects and engineers rely on as the first choice. Concrete mixtures are always used for the strength and stability of the building. This new concept which goes by the name decorative concrete has been adopted by thousands of engineers due to its impressive looks and for the sort of professional touches that it gives. Unlike normal concrete which is used for the sole purpose of strength, decorative concrete is used for beautifying the walls, floors and ceilings of the building. Hence the concentration of this concrete is not as thick as a normal concrete mixture. The designs and styles play major roles in the concentration of the mixtures. For instance, the walls that are imprinted with trendy designs made up of decorative concrete need a heavy concentration as they are a part of the actual building. The reason for its wide usage can be attributed to its ease of preparation. All the curator needs to do is add correct concentrations of coloring agents to the concrete mixture during its preparation stage. The coloring agents are usually chemical compounds of chromium and other heavy metals. Different colors are achieved by mixing different proportions oxides with the parent elements in the mixture. As the name suggests, Stamped is prepared by impressing design molds into the wet mixture and are left to dry. The intended design of the walls are made in the molds and after removal of these molds from the dried concrete mixture, excellent impressions of the actual design are obtained. Releasing solutions like lubricant mixtures are used to release the molds from the concrete without getting stuck into the mixture. This method has been widely adapted by tile manufacturers to design and manufacture such tiles. The molds are usually prepared using wax and thickened clay. One advantage is the limited usage of coloring agents in the initial concrete mixture because the colored coating is achieved through form lining molds, which transfer their color to the walls of the blocks.

Commercial concrete floor sealers are most commonly used to seal the floors of commercial areas like offices, factories, and stores. The main purpose of a commercial concrete floor sealer is to deliver an economic, long lasting, and serviceable finish to commercial concrete floors. Likewise, for a chemical resistant surface, penetrating concrete sealers are an ideal option. Commercial concrete floor sealers can also be used on old floors, which are affected by white stains and adhesion problems.

Usually this applies to more essentially to surfaces like concrete toppings, stained concrete and stamped concrete. Spending money in preserving the looks and the stability of a concrete surface is of extreme importance. Choosing a correct sealer can be quiet simple task if you are aware of few basic things while going for things like color requirements, area of usage, slip resistance, stress levels and even more. Chemicals spills, oil stains etc should be resealed and cleaned immediately. Concrete surfaces get protected by weather and other conditions as only the sealer is worn away and not concrete itself. These sealers also make the cleaning process much easier, while adding extra lifespan to the concrete. One can simply broom or rinse-off the dust, dirt and spills from the sealers. They can even revive textures and colors of your decorative concrete, specifically the stains by acids or harsh chemical on the surface.

A slowly recovering economy and immense competition amid the concrete contracting industry have made the price of adorned and decorated concrete a real deal today. An attractive decorative driveway, patio, concrete pool deck, sidewalk, walkway, parking area, or other decorated concrete addition or enhancement is an investment in the premises, period. It functions, adds value, and improves appearances. How Are Decorative Concrete Projects Installed?After the normal process of planning and preparing the area’s layout, the routine pouring of the concrete takes place. Next? Most commonly, stamped concrete is the physical method of choice. Particular designs and shapes of all types of concrete stamps are now available. They are simply imprinted atop the concrete. Today the client can also choose the texture of his or her stamped concrete installation. Some people prefer a coarse or rougher surface for safety. It all depends upon the function of the concrete and its relative location. It practically takes care of itself. It is advisable to pick a company that has a solid reputation for honesty, and delivers a written estimate before being hired.

They are beginning to look at ways to use the concrete they already have and improve their lifestyle with the home they love. Perhaps they want to improve the appearance and appeal of a home they want to sell. Communities look at their budgets for time and money, then decide to utilize existing concrete for municipal beautification and improvement. Decorating existing concrete has been a quiet, secret option for too long. Actually, decorative concrete is pretty straight forward. The name can fit concrete stamping, overlays, polishing, or engraving. The end result is built in brick, stones, tiles or other designs. The cured, stamped concrete can be sealed to protect the surface and keep the design beautiful longer. If the overlay is thick enough, it can be stamped or engraved with a decorative design that makes everything look brand new. There are workshops at various freelance places for people to learn more about the techniques for stamping, overlay and polishing. The workshops with the most clear slide presentation will probably give you the most content for the investment in training. A good slide presentation with easy to read handouts to apply afterwords would be even better. The methods can seem like ‘secret knowledge’ that few people have a chance to get. Specially designed tools are used to engrave the concrete. The low maintenance shouldn’t be a secret any more. Minimal upkeep over time and day to day cleaning keep decorative concrete beautiful for many years. Or it could be a smart add-on for an existing business such as concrete flat work, other decorative concrete or landscaping. Stock or custom designs for the templates help to keep the pattern on theme. Or those same tools can be used freehand with abstract patterns. People in one New York community are looking differently at the 50 year old concrete patio that had a rough surface. When their engraving contractor smoothed the surface, then stained and engraved a design, these folks had a treasure that their neighbors could envy. The manufacturer offers a wide choice of tools that engrave on concrete by cutting with special blades, pounding with impactors, or blasting with sand. The systems can be set up with a vacuum to keep dust low. One tool, the Sandroid has its own sandblasting and recirculating process. Tools and supplies are available as open stock. You can buy the tools you think would work best for you. An advertising wrap lets the trailer act as a rolling billboard for the owner. Students use the tools, stains and sealers to create actual engraving projects. The large training facility in Missouri was opened in 2009. One part of the seminar has information about business management for decorative concrete engraving. You can take advantage of the not-so-secret options of decorative concrete. Options that make beautiful concrete for your property. Or options that open new business doors for you when you offer decorative concrete services.

With basic cleaning and applying diamond polishing pads to the concrete floor, you can easily restore the gleam of stained and dull grey concrete stone

Polishing is a process that can add beauty to otherwise drab surface while reducing costs, enhancing sustainability, and contributing to the overall easy-to-maintain lustrous surface. Diamond polishing pads can be comfortably applied to marble polishing, granite polishing and concrete polishing. There is a complete line of pads available in the market for different applications such as Wet Resin Bond Diamond and Dry Polishing Pads. Polishing BasicsPolishing your concrete floorThe technique for polishing a concrete surface may seem simpler, but it may call for professional help to get the work impeccably. The machine used to polish your old stained concrete surface is equipped with diamond-impregnated disks with metal pads attached at the bottom with diamond scattered pieces. It is by pushing and moving the polishing pads over the surface you will smooth away the flaws in the stone, even in the uneven areas. You may use the best diamond polishing pad to pass it over each successive concrete surface, doubling the size of the grit as you change pads. Switch to a 32-grit diamond pad, then move to a 60- grit diamond pad, and finally to a 120- grit pad. At this stage, surface is reasonably level but the shiny element may still lag behind. So, as to give more decorative value to the surface, you must start with a 50- grit pad till a 3000 grit pad to get the finest polished surface. After that, you can apply an effective concrete hardener to the surface, making the surface hardener to take up the finishing. Also, finishing process helps to protect the floor from recurring wear and tear making it highly durable, long lasting and shiny. Contractors, companies and individuals are excessively using the diamond polishing pads as they are the finest pads in the industry reckoned for their consistent performance and extraordinary finishing.

The modern version of the concrete mortar is the cement such as the Portland cement. One is because a concrete flooring is ideal for decorating the home in many interior schemes. In addition, floors made up of concrete are durable, costs cheaper due to lower fee of labor and easy to clean compared to other flooring types. There are concrete floors which appear gray and plain just like those found in garages and factories. However there are also other types of concrete that are more chic and stylish. Concrete floors may be painted, stained, glossed or enhanced with other materials as preferred by the homeowner. Stained concrete floors are stained with colors to match any decoration. Nowadays, there is even a new technology utilized on concrete floors. For a standard living room or family room whose floors need to be concreted, expect the concreting task to be finished in a day or two. One is your budget. However, the problem with DIY floor concreting is you might not be able to mix an exact proportion for the cement and water mixture and will lead to a poor result. If you want to stick with DIY task completion, you will need to research first on the proper proportions of materials to mix.

While this may be correct, there are other viable options for mixing your concrete that you may want to consider. The next most important tip is to thoroughly spray down the inside of your wheelbarrow with water as well as spray down your shovel with water prior to starting your mix. One of the single most important things that you must do when the mixing concrete in a wheelbarrow is ensure that the wheelbarrow remains balanced at all times. Concrete and water are both extremely heavy and as you mix them in the wheelbarrow the three points of contact with the ground can leave a little to be desired. It is very easy for a wheelbarrow full of concrete to tip over and it is definitely heavy enough to cause physical injury to anyone adjacent to it. While overwatering your concrete is generally a very bad idea as it will completely compromise the finish strength of the product, overwatering can be the secret to mixing concrete in a wheelbarrow easily. The idea here is that you want to add about half to two thirds of your dry concrete mix into a wet wheelbarrow, and then add more than the amount of water that this concrete will need. This will turn the concrete into a soupy substance that you can stir similar to how a which might stir a cauldron, as opposed to snapping your shovel in half trying to lift, turn and mix underwatered concrete. If you plan to mix concrete in your wheelbarrow on multiple occasions then it becomes critically important that you clean your wheelbarrow out well after each mix. Even if you are mixing multiple batches in a row, you should spray the sides of your wheelbarrow down with a garden hose in between each mix. This will make sure that concrete from the first mix isn’t drying on your wheelbarrow as you are working on mix number three or four. Especially when making wet mixes the concrete will be inclined to splash out of the wheelbarrow on occasion. By having the plastic down this creates a safe work area where the concrete can not damage anything allowing you to focus on the task at hand. A final tip about mixing concrete in the wheelbarrow is to choose a suitable wheelbarrow for the application. You will want a wheelbarrow that is made of metal as plastic wheelbarrows will allow the sharp edge of the shovel to scrape and scratch the plastic off of the sides. This would result in little plastic pieces inside of your concrete mix which would be undesirable. You also want to choose a wheelbarrow with high sides that will help prevent the concrete from splashing out during the mixing process.