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Post Info TOPIC: Decorative 'Crete


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Decorative 'Crete


Hi folks! As I mentioned I own a decorative concrete company. I thought I would just throw a little info out there. Obviously, this isn't a "plug" or a "pitch" 'cause we're scattered all over the place.
When most people think of decorative 'crete their minds go directly to stamped. We do a lot of different things and stamping used to be one of them but this year I'm not offering it. I don't really like it and my preferance is staining and engraving. Some of you may have seen some of this work. So long as the 'crete is 30 days old it can be worked with using this process. It can be 100 years old and still be beautified. The options are almost endless, indoors-outdoors, horizontal-vertical. Staining and engraving is usually a more econmical and durable option than other stuff out there.
For you car-guys, you could get your shop floors totally customized to reflect your favorite rides. One of the ones I've done is a 48" Chevy Bowtie in the centre of a customer's garage.
Just throwin' some options out there. If anybody has questions I'd be glad to answer them. If ya want me to locate a contractor in your area I probably can. There's guys who do what I do all over North America. We're independant contractors, but know each other through a forum for our biz.
Later folks...good luck with your projects. biggrin

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ive done a little etch and stain.you are rite.it looks great was fairly easy.i have seen it done in an entire house at lake fork.in east texas.the owner said it is easy to clean also.verry low maintence.geezer69

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Yup, that's what we say low to no maintenance. Heh,heh. It's true, though. It can look like marble tile or random flagstone or anything in between. One of the biggest advantages and selling features for us is the fact that it's monolithic so the disadvantages that come with modular do not exist.

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Are you taking about epoxy type coatings?
Not sure what you mean by engraving.
Post up some pic's if you have any.


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Epoxy is an option but there's better material available now. That "chip" or "flake" flooring is really popular for shops. Engraving is exactly as it sounds...we have specialized tools that cut patterns and designs into the concrete. Typically, it's done after color is stained and the engraving goes deep enough to only remove enough of the stain to expose bare 'crete in the form of a grout line or joint. Literally any pattern or design is possible...a soldier course brick border for along your driveway, only it's all one piece...can't come loose and break away, weeds can't grow in between...It really is a fantastic option.

I have loads of pics...I'll read the instructions here and try to put a few up.

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Only decorating I have done is to trowel in big leaves and ferns into the finish swipes and pealthem off. Has to be just right to come out perfect but it can be done. Look's cool IMO, probably won't so much as it wears out.

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I've done that myself and I like it too. I always stain color and clear seal my work and it really lasts well. In my opinion all concrete, even if it's just a plain old whatever, should be sealed. Prolongs the life by so much.

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  I poured a patio last summer and did the acid stain,,, I still have a 18 X 25 space that I was going to add on to that with a travertine over a sand base, for a hot tub and a outdoor kitchen,, but as a cost factor,, I think I will go with the stained and decrative engraved concrete.. colored to look kinda like travertine tile, the ajoining patio is a rustic red varigated color,, but I need to put another coat of clear sealer on it,,
Can you post some pictures of different patterns Come On??  The cutting is done with a water cooled diamond blade I assume,,

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I will sort through some pics...there's a lot. basically if you can draw or produce an image it can be engraved into your 'crete. Depending on which pattern/design is being done we use a diamond blade saw that's been specially designed for this or we use a variety of impacting tools, also designed for this purpose. None of the cuts are deep enough to require cooling so they're done dry. The tools have dust control systems integrated into the design so that's not a factor either.

If you check in the Tech. Library thread I posted a link for one of my supplier's website and you'll see loads of pics there. I'm still rebuilding my site or I would link you there as well.

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  Hey C.O.   I am about ready to pour this new pad . mentioned above,, , which will butt up against the other one,, I plan on staining it the same way,, but I had a problem with the first one, I don't think I cleaned it reall good after the staining process, and when I put the gloss sealer on it ,, it didn't turn out very shiney, or even,, kinda "blochey" looking.  can I use like a floor sander to go over it and maybe take some of that sealer off ane maybe restain  the whole thing again? including the new pad? its not important that it really matches perfectly,

 Any suggestions?     Thanks     BR

-- Edited by Bad Rat at 18:55, 2008-08-08

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Hiya buddy! Ya may or may not have a rough time getting that sealer off to restain. Was it a solvent based or water? If it was solvent you may need to use that solvent to strip it. You only put one coat on so if you can get your hands on a rotary floor scrubber put a black pad (most agressive) and have at 'er. Stain your new slab with the same stuff in the same manner and then after that residue is thoroughly washed away do a very dilute application over the whole shabang. New and old sides. That should help to match 'em up. Thoroughly wash the snot outta the whole thing, let it dry 100% and slap on 2 coats of a solvent clear sealer. Solvent sealer is strong for the outdoor abuse and gives a nice shine...you gotta have 2 coats. If there's a Sherwin Williams store near you, I recommend their H&C brand of clear sealer. Hope that helps, good luck.



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  Thanks CO,, I will do what you suggest,  we will probably pour it this next week;
I don't remember what the solvent was, probably solvent based, got it from a concrete place,, I will find the S.W brand. of solvent .. but probably use the same stain. as the first pad. right?  how many gallons do you think it will take for 850-900 sq ft?, 2 coats,

Thanks again..  BR



-- Edited by Bad Rat at 22:06, 2008-08-09

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Yeah, if you're lookin' to match 'em up I'd go with the same brand for sure. With the brand of acid stain I use it would take 2-3 gallons for that job...4 depending on dilution for shade. Good luck with your placing.

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  We dug out the area for the patio today,, probably get it formed up tomorrow and pour it thursday,, had to dig out a bit of dirt to get it down enough for a 4" pad,,

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hey bad rat.hows the patio goin.ive had my head in the smoker for a while.ben busy.my ladder fell with me last friday.boy did i bust my tookus.wrecked my dagone shoulder even more.my foot isnt broke,but is out of comission.im wearing a big black thing kinda like a boot so i can do the q.its funny as hell now but laying on my back in the front yard sucked.im fine now.back to work.i think ill ask mellow yellow how he took care of his shoulder.i dont have insurance so the dr. didnt want to get involved with my shoulder.dang poncho,i wish the u.s. had better health care.this sux.im done whinin.good to see some work goin on.

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  Damn Geezer,, you tryin to kill yourself off?? maybe you need to stay off those ladders ,
I have a friend that did the very same thing,, he was trying to caulk, some siding on upper part of the garage peak,, his drive way is sloped ,and had his ladder setting on that, one of the feet of the ladder was missing the rubber pad,idea[ this should have been the first red flag] he was at the top of the ladder and leaned out sideways a bit too much and the NON rubber tipped leg slipped out and down he came ,, fell about 20 ft, and landed on his right wrist and his chin hit the concrete, he bit completely through his bottom lip and fractured the chin bone,, not to mention the shattered wrist,, he still has problems with his wrist, and a big scar on his chin and lip,furious  didn't help his looks at all..

We did get the pad poured on wed,, it was hot,, and it got a bit hard, but it came out alright,, I'm building a fence now, allong the front driveway. to hide the neighbors ugly Lowrel bushes,, she's mad at me for trimming them way back,, but she's got the same shoes on  to get glad in,  they were taking over my flower beds,,, cry

How s the Q business doing?? There sure are lots of portable BBQ wagons showing up around here,, i am thinking about doing that myself next summer at the saturday market , I think the other guy moved on to greener pastures,, he had a huge bbq wagon ,,

It's hotter than the hinges of hell here ,, was 106 yesterday, furious

end of story time for today boys and girls,, biggrin 

-- Edited by Bad Rat at 12:47, 2008-08-17

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the bbq is doing good.its a full time job.now that its done and working,im getting bored with it.i need to be building something.now i work all day and i cant turn around and see what ive done.im not used to that.my pinchers need some wood or metal in em maybe some crete.good luck bad rat.take care.

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Good ta read that your spill hasn't slowed ya down much. Yer lookin' fer more projects already! I'll never catch up 'cause it's rained every day since forever ! I'm gonna shut down the 'crete biz and get into ark buildin'. evileye 

Do you do the wet cure thing BadRat? Some guys here do and some don't...I do. I just mist it thoroughly for the first week...twice a day if it's real hot.

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you need to when its hot and dry.dont want the crete to dry out too fast.not good for the surface.causes tiny cracks starting the process for surface break down.outside cretes worst enemy is watter freezing in any tiny pour causing it to get larger wiyh each hard freeze.when freshly finished concrete freezes,its even worse.when it thaws you can scrape off the surface with your shoe sole.all crete benefits from slow cureing.the water helps alot.

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  I did water it down every hour or so during the past couple of days, then it started raining on monday,[yesterday] we were diggin out where the new fence is going, and we managed to get all the posts laid out and set,,last friday, then let them set up alll weekend, till monday morning, when it started raining, so I sent my guys home and went and bought a bike,, came back today and finished it up,, 
 
 Now I have a bunch of excvating to do in my back driveway,, good job for my son,, he has played so many video games,, that he;s pretty good with a uniloader

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