Concrete texturing is a general term used to describe a thin coat of acrylic or polymer concrete applied over traditional, boring concrete. Concrete texturing is a decorative concrete option, which allows you to add style and elegance to all your concrete surfaces. Acrylic concrete offers an array of colors, surfacing styles and patterns.
Acrylic resurfacing has been in use since the 1970’s. The concrete material was originally used in plain form to cover eroded or deteriorated concrete. Over the years, as advanced texturing, staining, coating and design techniques have been introduced, it has transformed into an artistic medium.
Concrete Texturing is also the name of our company. Concrete Texturing has been installing decorative concrete surfaces since January, 1998. Our customers include the federal government, architects, contractors, developers, concrete companies, churches, schools, pool and spa companies, restaurants, retail shops, business owners and over 4,000 satisfied homeowners.
In 2014 alone, Concrete Texturing installed over $1,000,000 in residential work. We are “A” rated by Angie’s List and a recipient of their superior service award. Concrete Texturing is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the Nevada Registrar of Contractors.
Although most companies claim they have a revolutionary or unique product, there is little distinguishable difference among products from leading manufacturers. And unfortunately, manufacturers cannot control each independent contractor and their installation techniques. The considerable difference lies in the quality of craftsmanship and depth of experience. This is why each company should be weighed on their own merits, rather than the products used.
Note: Home Depot and Lowes do not sell quality concrete coating products and are not recommended. Concrete Texturing prefers using quality products from Excell Deck Coatings, Maverick, Super-Krete, TCC, Westcoat , Life Deck and Concrete Armor.
All Concrete Texturing customers have the option of matte, semi-gloss and glossy sealants. The finish is up to the customer’s personal taste and the environment in which it is applied. A discussion on the shine and longevity of each sealant is important before starting your project. The amount of shine will also vary depending on lighting, texture, coloring and absorption rate.
Concrete Texturing has a range of textures available. We have products that are designed to be smooth, semi-rough or rough. Each job is applied in the manner specified by the customer. Please keep in mind that sealed concrete can be slippery when wet. Extra caution should be exercised when coatings are new. Slip-resistant resin increases traction but does not eliminate the risk of slipping. Sealant must be allowed to age before achieving maximum protection.
One of the many perks of working with Concrete Texturing is that your product is completely customized to enhance your space and suit your needs. Needless to say, it will look amazing, whatever you choose! Select from our array of standard designs and colors, as well as a variety of coloring techniques, textures and sealants.
We can imitate the look of flagstone, slate, cobblestone, Mexican tile, brick, and Kool deck, or we can acid stain your floor to achieve a very unique surface.
When preparing concrete for installation, Concrete Texturing uses a combination of muriatic acid, grinders, sanders, and pressure washers, depending on what is required to create the ideal profile. Chemicals are used to remove oil, adhesives and paints. Concrete Texturing comes prepared for anything, because every surface has its own unique challenges and quirks.
Your surface should be re-sealed every 2-4 years depending upon sunlight exposure, how frequently it has been cleaned, and the amount of traffic the surface has endured. A good time to reseal is when the surface becomes dull or difficult to clean, or when water can immediately penetrate the surface. Once a fresh coat of sealant is applied, colors are brought back to full intensity and the surface is easily cleaned again.
Every Concrete Texturing application is finished with a seal coat. The seal coat makes the surface non-porous, which prevents discoloring or extreme fading due to UV (Ultra- Violet) rays. Most stains caused by tire tread, oil, calcium stains from water, animal urine, plants and fruit will wash off.
If tire tread marks become noticeable, you can rinse the surface with a garden hose. If that doesn’t remove the tire marks, you can add a common cleaner like dish soap, and scrub the surface with a household scrub brush.
When a spill does occur, you should clean the surface as soon as possible. Any stain left on the surface for long periods of time is more difficult to remove and can potentially discolor the surface. Potted plants should be elevated above the surface to prevent rings. Watered plants should have a pan or saucer underneath to catch water overflow and prevent hard water stains from working their way into the surface.
Pans should be placed underneath vehicles that leak. The oil from the vehicle will wash off, however constant oil and cleaning will prematurely wear the sealant. Highly corrosive materials should be prevented from touching the surface. Items such as battery acid and radiator coolant could cause the acrylic concrete to discolor.
Concrete must be allowed to expand and contract with temperature changes. Joints provide a controlled crack for movement, thus all expansion joints are left in place and should not be filled with concrete.
Caulking can be placed over the cracks inside the control joints to prevent debris and water from getting underneath your concrete surface and causing damage. However, anytime a coating is being applied over concrete, the expansion joint or control joint should remain exposed and be worked into the design.
After the sealant is applied you must stay completely off of the surface for 24 hours. Wait 3 days before placing boxes and light furniture on the newly sealed surface. Avoid putting heavier furniture, appliances and vehicles on the surface for 4-5 days.
There are many methods and cost-ranges for repairing concrete cracks. The method used to repair a crack is determined by many factors including, but not limited to, the purpose for repairing the crack, size, budget, and material going over the crack (tile, coating, etc.).
Regardless of the method used to fill a crack, it’s possible that it will retrace itself or reappear. So whenever possible, it should be worked into the design pattern of the coating.
If cracking is an issue, Concrete Texturing may recommend a flagstone pattern. Since we free cut our flagstone we can trace along any crack making it a grout line within a flagstone pattern. Since our grout lines are slightly recessed, any flaws are less visible. The crack is also much easier to repair if it opens up again in the future.
Total thickness is typically 1/16” – ¼”. There are modified cement mixes designed to spread thicker, but these materials are typically not designed for a decorative look. When applying a decorative overlay, our concern is ensuring that the acrylic penetrates the concrete. If the surface needs to be substantially built up, other products can be used as a base coat, then the acrylic concrete overlay applied as the top coat.
THICKER IS NOT BETTER.
With this product, thicker does not mean better. The thinner it is, the better the flexural properties. Flexibility allows for expansion and contraction of concrete during freeze/thaw cycles. When the acrylic concrete is applied 1/16” to 1/8” thick it is allowed to move with the concrete as opposed to against it, unlike products like tile, slate, pavers or concrete patches.
Concrete Texturing has perfected a faux-flagstone design that is crafted by hand. This means every simulated stone is individually cut, shaped, textured and colored. Concrete Texturing is one of the few companies in the nation, and the only one in Las Vegas, that applies faux flagstone with this method.
Less craft-minded companies install their flagstone using stencils, stamps and tape. These common methods cannot create the realistic look of flagstone. They were created to standardize and minimize training and installation efforts. The very nature of stamps, stencils and tape creates a uniform pattern, which is desirable in some patterns such as slate, brick or tile. However, uniformity does not lend itself to a flagstone effect. The most desirable flagstone surfaces are created when each individual faux stone is different in color, size and texture. This can only be created when every inch of the surface is crafted by hand.
Real flagstone installation prices range from $8.00 to $15.00 per square foot depending on the quality of stones and craftsmanship. Faux flagstone installed by Concrete Texturing ranges from $5.00 to $7.00 per square foot depending on job size and type of grout line.
Coated concrete is much cooler than plain concrete, but generally not quite as cool as brand name Kool Deck. However, most people do not have genuine Kool Deck texture. Instead, they have sprayed texture that is designed to look like Kool Deck. The temperature of a surface varies depending upon the existing substrate, the texture and color. Typically, the flatter the surface and the darker the color, the hotter the surface can get.
No. Kool Deck is a product that must be applied to freshly poured concrete, before it dries, in order to effectively bond to the existing substrate. Acrylic concrete can be applied to new or old concrete. Acrylic concrete is finished with a solvent-based sealant that makes it stain resistant, where as Kool Deck is a very porous product that stains and discolors easily.
100% of all decorative concrete surfaces
must be maintained with a periodic seal coat.
Weather, sun, traffic, and water will gradually deteriorate the seal coat on your decorative concrete surface. If you regularly maintain the seal coat, your surface will last for many years.
As many as 90% of all concrete coating businesses
go out of business within two years.
Many new businesses don’t last more than a handful of years. This is certainly true in the decorative coating business, because many contractors decide to offer the service without acquiring the skills and knowledge to properly execute them. As a result, these contractors end up making costly mistakes that force them out of business.
Hiring an unqualified coatings contractor can increase
the cost of maintenance by as much as 50%.
At Concrete Texturing, approximately 35% of our work involves maintaining or redoing other contractors’ work. This requires our team to evaluate the quality of work and product that was initially installed. Most of the time the product was not installed correctly, and didn’t bond with the existing concrete surface. We often need to completely grind off the applied materials, which increases the customer’s cost significantly. So make sure to do your research and select a qualified coatings contractor!
The concrete coatings industry is highly fragmented, with many small companies organized as manufacturers and installers. Most have fewer than 5 employees, and many are one-man operations. Most importantly, the majority of these companiesdo not specialize in coatings and textured overlays.
For many, concrete resurfacing is a secondary product offering. Their primary trades are painting, concrete finishing, landscaping and/or dry-walling, but they represent themselves as professional concrete resurfacing companies.
Concrete Resurfacing material is a system, not a single product
Almost all concrete resurfacing applications consist of 2 to 5 products, combined to create a system. Consumers often have the false perception that a single product is applied and that product will look and perform the same regardless of who installs the product. This is not the case.
In a system, each product must be compatible with the other products and combined correctly. Only then will they form an attractive, durable and functional surface. If the products are not compatible, your surface will deteriorate quickly, or they may not bond to the existing surface at all.
Although most companies claim they have a revolutionary or unique product, there is little distinguishable difference among leading manufacturers’ products. And, manufacturers cannot control independent contractors and their installation techniques.
There is, however, considerable variability in craftsmanship, product knowledge, management skills and experience. Each contractor should be judged on their own skill and experience, and not the brand name of the products they use.
Imperfections enhance the finished look
Concrete overlay products offer diverse flexibility in appearance, style, texture and durability. Depending on your preferences, a skilled and experienced applicator can create a simple look, or an elaborate, one-of-a-kind mosaic. This flexibility is inherent in the product and allows a qualified contractor to create a natural, imperfect product that is visually appealing.
It’s important that customers understand upfront that there will be minor blemishes and imperfections in the surface–they constitute its one-of-a-kind beauty. It is the little flaws that give your surface character.
When it’s time to choose a decorative concrete professional, how do you distinguish between an experienced contractor and a corner-cutting swindler? A little research and some educated questions can help you make the right decision–saving you time, money and countless headaches.
A Little Planning Goes a Long Way
Planning is the foundation of successful decorative concrete installation. A detailed strategy and careful research enables a qualified decorative concrete professional to:
- Provide the right surface based on your personal taste and needs
- Accurately estimate the cost and length of time required for installation
- Present a quality solution that factors in the condition of your existing surface, the finish that is most durable for your traffic patterns, and the appropriate color schemes for your house and personal taste
This conversation with your contractor should help you evaluate their skill level and gauge the success you can expect in the project.
Do Your Research
Before you invite a contractor to your home, do some Internet research. A qualified contractor appreciates an informed consumer, so educate yourself on the options and expertise required to complete the job.
There are many online photos of work done by contractors in the concrete coatings field. See what appeals to you and your taste. Then decide if that particular look fits in your home environment. See if your selected contractor has a website that will educate you on the process. Their website should showcase a portfolio of completed jobs and company information.
Many general contractors add concrete coatings to their product mix, but have little experience with them. One way to tell if the installer lacks a long-term commitment to the industry or the future maintenance of your job is whether he has a portfolio of jobs and a website. Industry statistics show many of these companies go out of business within a few years, leaving homeowners with expensive maintenance issues down the road.
Choose carefully! Hire a professional with longevity in the coatings industry who is not at risk of disappearing after your job is complete.
Narrow your Search
- Set appointments with at least 2 or 3 decorative concrete contractors.
- Clearly communicate your ideas and questions, and really listen to the responses; effective communication is key in a customer/contractor relationship. This person will be working in your home or business, so comfort is paramount.
- Give each contractor the exact same project information.
- Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each contractor. In the coatings industry, not all skills are equal. The degree of craftsmanship can vary greatly from one contractor to the next. Which contractor has the best follow through on your requests?
Your meeting should feel like an educational conversation, because you’re gathering information about the contractor, not just the end product. This is probably more important in the concrete coating industry than any other contractor situation. The best, most durable products in the world won’t make up for an inexperienced contractor.
Some Questions to Ask
- Get at least two references for the contractor, preferably from customers who had the same type of work done.
- Is the contractor licensed, bonded and insured?
- What insurance coverage do they have? At minimum, decorative concrete contractors should have workman’s compensation, general liability (including property and personal liability), and auto insurance. These policies help protect you and your property from legal problems should an accident occur.
- How long have they been in business? A contractor with at least 3 years’ coatings-specific experience (not general construction) usually has a stable business foundation.
- Have they attended classes or training seminars in the past 2 years? Industry trade shows, seminars, and classes keep decorative concrete contractors current on the latest products, application methods and techniques. Courses centered on business management are also important.
- Do they have a “before and after” picture portfolio?
- Do they have a website with images and information about their company?
Evaluating Work Ethic
To gain insight on a contractor’s work ethic, call all references and ask:
- How did they find out about this contractor?
- How long ago did this contractor work for them?
- What was the quality of the finished project?
- Did the contractor recommend a contract, including a written estimate? If not, did you request a contract? Did the contractor balk at the idea?
- Did the project go over the original estimate? If so, by how much? What changes from the original project did they request? Did the contractor provide a detailed explanation?
- Did the contractor stay on schedule and report to work in a timely manner?
- Did the contractor have a good attitude throughout the project?
- Did anything unusual or unsettling happen during the course of the project?
- How qualified were the workers and installers?
- How accessible was the contractor?
- Was the site clean and safe at all times?
- Would they recommend this contractor to their family and friends?
- Would they use this contractor again?
Checking The Work Site
If possible, visit at least one previous work site, preferably where similar work to your project was done.
Look for the quality of workmanship and detail. For instance: if a new floor is part of a house addition, are the corners and edges detailed, and the cut lines straight and measured? Are there stains on the baseboards and walls? Your eyes are the best reference you have when visiting a former work site, so check things over carefully.
Reviewing and Choosing an Estimate
Once you receive all estimates, take time to compare them. Don’t ever base your decision on price alone. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Be cautious of extremely low bids. Compare all items on the bid. Often low bidders cut corners, dilute products and end up costing you more in the long run. Differences in preparation of existing surfaces, textures, coloring methods, multiple colors, multiple coats of sealants and quality of sealants can affect the price.
- What warranty is being offered? Is the company likely to be around to honor it?
- Check the materials. Some estimates may contain lower quality materials, which reduce the cost of the project. Review any items you do not understand with the contractor.
- Do not sign anything until you understand all aspects of the contract, and keep all project documentation.
A professional decorative concrete contractor should provide a written contract detailing all work to be completed. Having the specifics in writing minimizes problems during and after the work is done. Remember, if it isn’t documented, it never happened. Once you receive the contract, take a few days to review it carefully. Don’t sign until you are completely comfortable with the stipulations included.
Making a Decision
What happens if you pick something out and the price doesn’t fit your budget? Try asking what adjustments to the bid might lower the price. Different color processes, textures, sealants, etc. have different costs. Often slight tweaking to the process will get you to your budget number. For example,
- If you’re asking for three colors, selecting two might meet your budget.
- Did you request stamping? Try asking for hand texture pricing.
- Try choosing a medium broadcast of chips rather than a full broadcast.
Ultimately, when all of your due diligence is done your decision may be made on instinct. Does the contractor have the same vision and ideas as you? Do they represent themselves in a professional manner, and can they create the finish and look you desire? Being informed is empowering, so move forward with the contractor that feels right to you.