The decorative concrete industry is constantly innovating and pushing out new, creative designs, for both residential and commercial flooring. A colorful, patterned concrete surface not only creates a lasting impression, but it can set the tone in a space. This is the case for a recent job completed by Elegant Concrete Polishing in an elementary school in Connecticut. The bright colors and swirling shapes and curves evoke an energetic vibe throughout, as you can see in the images below.
Connecticut Elementary School Project
The pictures above are of the 17,000 square foot elementary school. The Elegant Concrete crew installed the polished concrete flooring using the AmeriPolish SureLock System. The slab was ground and polished from a 40 grit metal all the way up to a 1500 grit resin. The decorative flooring design was installed per the architectural layout, established with another firm that Elegant has built a solid relationship with. In order to accomplish such a colorful finished product, Elegant used 6 different colors from AmeriPolish in the initial overlay stage. Colors include: Patriot Blue, Turquoise, Forest Green, Green, Burnt Sienna and Sepia. After polishing the floors completely, Elegant protected them with SureLock Densifier and sealed them with SureLock Stain Shield.
Using Terrazzo to Create a Border
In another project Elegant completed recently, the crew installed CTS RapidSet TRU self-leveling overlay and then used a zinc terrazzo bar around the perimeter to act as a divider for the border. Elegant ground and polished the TRU after it was entirely laid and set. Then finally, the crew dyed the perimeter band with AmeriPolish OS Dye in Terra Cotta to give it a two-tone effect and clearly establish the border from the main center area. In the picture to the right you can see how crisp and polished (so-to-say) the terrazzo strips are in conjunction with the polished concrete. Although a slightly more expensive material to use on a slab, the result is unparalleled.
Get to Know Elegant Concrete Polishing
Elegant Polishing, Inc. is located in New Haven, Connecticut, and area known for its sustainable flooring solutions. Over the years, floor finishing and restoration has evolved to a more durable and environmentally friendly solution. Every year, hundreds of products are introduced into the residential and commercial, industrial market. Elegant Polishing’s goal is to listen to your specific needs and come to the best solution for your project.
Industrial warehouses undergo a substantial amount of wear and tear from heavy machinery, as one would expect. However, keeping factory and facility concrete floors polished and in pristine condition is crucial for efficient daily operation and ease of movement. Kent Companies is currently finishing up a job in a 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, MI that aims to accomplish this very thing.
The Unique Process
Since the floor in this manufacturing facility is meant to be durable and withstand heavy machinery, pallets, forklifts, etc. Kent Companies mixed aluminum aggregate into the concrete overlay, a process perfected with years and experience. Commonly known as metal shake, this floor is now restored with a polished concrete surface that can better withstand the tough rigors of industrial work. In addition to being stronger, the metal shake floor is open to the production area, which allows for easier turnover and movement through the production line and out the door. This office furniture manufacturing facility involved polishing all aisle ways throughout the plant. Over 50,000 square feet of polished metal shake aisle ways are now in the facility.
Kent Companies not only laid and polished metal shake concrete floors, but the crew also created control joints to better manage any cracking that may occur over time. And lastly, AmeriPolish densifier and guard were applied to protect and seal the floor from spillage and stains. The floor is dark already however, so stains will not be as noticeable.
If you are more interested in learning more about how this floor was completed, the products that were used, etc. please feel free to contact a member of the Runyon Surface Prep team, or comment below! For more project posts by Kent Companies, visit the customer highlights page.
Decorative concrete is a growing industry, with prevalence not only in commercial and professional settings, but an engrained presence in the residential home market as well. It’s fascinating to see the creative ways homeowners incorporate concrete into their living spaces in new and unique ways. Cuviello Concrete and Terrazzo Polishing has tapped into this industry trend, and a recent custom home polished overlay perfectly exemplifies why.
Before: all the prep work done
Concrete Hippo Mixing
Pouring Out the Concrete Overlay
Rolling Out the Concrete Overlay
Zinc Register Cut-Out
Finished Entry Way
Finished Living Space
Job Completion Process:
This custom home overlay covers an area of 2,000 square feet of TRU self-leveling. Initially, 3/8″ of uncolored TRU was applied with SpiderLath. The second pour comprised 3/8″ of integrally colored TRU with 16-gauge zinc strips. The zinc strips marked off areas of the floor to be kept empty, as evidenced in the radiator picture above.
After mixing, pouring and spreading the TRU self-leveling overlay, the Cuviello crew used a grinder to polish the floor to its desired shine. They started with 50 grit metal-bonded Calibra ceramic discs and then worked up to 100 and 200. 3DHS densifier was applied to make the TRU denser. This densifier penetrates deep to improve surface performance and resist the harmful effects of traffic wear and weathering. After the ceramic discs, the crew used 200 and 400 V-Harr premium polishing pads.
The final step in the process was to protect and seal the floors with AmeriPolish SR2 stain resistor to preserve the floors for long-lasting shine and stain resistance.
- Expect the unexpected, working in broken up areas will add 2-4 times the amount of labor depending on the general layout of the area
- Educate, educate, educate the architect, owner and general contractor, then manage expectations
This custom home job turned out gorgeous, but there were two big accomplishments that the Cuviello Concrete crew is especially proud of: finishing the edges to a zero tolerance without damaging the powder-coated window frames and pouring the second lift of TRU to exactly the top edge of the aluminum sliding window track and floor registers.
If you’d like to see more work from Cuviello Concrete and Terrazzo Polishing, see this previous post. For more information about this job (how it was accomplished, the products used, etc.) please don’t hesitate to contact us. And stay tuned for more customer highlights!
Arguably, the core foundation and integral measure of quality for any concrete slab is determined by the overlay. Without a properly mixed, poured and spread concrete overlay, every other step in the concrete polishing process may suffer. ModernCrete is intimately aware of this fact, which is why their crew is so adamant about laying concrete floors that are well-prepared and executed. It’s safe to say they excel at it, with an average overlay installation rate at 250,000-400,000 square feet per year. ModernCrete’s attention and devotion to quality flooring inevitably results in beautiful, finished surfaces, as captured in the images below.
The finished look
Preparing the concrete overlay
Mixing the RapidSet TRU self-leveling overlay in HIPPO mixers
Letting the overlay dry
Spreading the concrete overlay
Pouring the TRU concrete overlay
The photos above were actually taken from 3 different projects, but they aptly display the steps of a typical concrete overlay application. The photos with hippo mixers were taken at a 5,000 square foot overlay in Houston, TX. On this job site the ModernCrete crew used 450 bags of Ardex PCT and AmeriPolish integral color. They then used HTC grinders with the Fenix system to polish the floor to a 3000 grit polish.
ModernCrete has perfected its concrete overlay process, with standard methods and products used on any concrete flooring application. They are outlined as follows:
- Hippo mixers are crucial for projects that call for a self-leveling floor installation
- Self-leveling compounds include: CTS RapidSet, Mapei, Ardex and Ultraflor PC-5614
- Hippo mixers allow you to mix up to 5 bags at a time, drastically reducing the amount of time and worker fatigue, as compared to traditional hand mixing
- AmeriPolish integral OS color adds color for clients who want it
- The Fenix polishing system from HTC is used to diamond polish most overlays
- During installation, steel porcupine rollers from CTS RapidSet are used to level the floor and release air entrapped by surface tension at the skin of the overlay
- Spiked shoes from Shoe-In Pro Finish make getting on and off spikes simple
- For floors that need to be taken down more than 1/4″ in order to prep overlays, a concrete shaver is ideal
More About ModernCrete
ModernCrete Concrete Design is a full service decorative concrete firm. It is headquarted in Austin, Texas – an environment perfect for the energy and artisanship operations vital to decorative concrete. Making concrete floors beautiful has been ModernCrete’s passion since 2001. It uses state of the art techniques and tools for superior results. Pride of workmanship is a hallmark of this company and its employees. And above all else, customer focused quality is integral. ModernCrete is committed to understanding your needs and making your concrete vision come to life.
For more information about how to properly apply a concrete overlay, the prep work involved, which products to use, etc. please contact us or write us in the comment section below. And to see more “real life” projects, visit our customer highlights category.
More and more, retail stores are realizing the benefit of customized concrete floors, via special designs and stencils, in addition to simply maintaining a polished finish throughout. Creating a personalized space not only distinguishes the location, but it strengthens the brand and can help create a welcome and engaging environment. Adapting to this decorative concrete trend is a measure of success for Kent Companies, who did such a job at the Cabela’s store in Grandville, MI.
The 88,000-square-foot store is Cabela’s 43rd retail location across the United States and Canada. It includes thousands of quality outdoor products, as well as a mountain replica, wildlife displays, an aquarium, a boat shop, an indoor archery range, a gun library, a bargain cave, a deli and a fudge shop. The Cabela’s logo, as seen in the top-most picture, measures 120” x 71.9.” This logo stencil provides a bold statement, reinforcing store branding as guests enter the retail location. In regards to the other pictures, polished concrete throughout stands up to heavy retail traffic and offers store operations and management many maintenance benefits.
Maintenance Creates Lasting Effects
In order for the floors at Cabela’s to remain so pristine, especially with such high foot traffic, the retail location must have a maintenance plan in place. With a little guidance from Kent Companies in terms of which products to use, how often to apply them, etc., and proper execution, the floors in Cabela’s should continue impressing customers for years to come.
For more feature stories about Kent Companies, see our customer highlights page. If you have in-depth questions about the above process, products or how to maintain your floors, please contact us or write us a comment below!
There is something to be said about a concrete floor that is enlivened and totally transformed with a natural grinding and polishing process. It is obvious after little time when a floor is done poorly, but properly polished concrete that is maintained will exhibit a long-lasting sheen. Hunter Advanced Concrete Polishing embodies this concept and is to be admired for the highlighted project below.
For years, Hunter Advanced Concrete Polishing has been a preferred provider of some of the region’s leading retailers, restaurateurs, contractors, schools, municipalities, commercial and industrial, and others who understand the value of their property – and the importance of preserving it. What began as a small family business has become an enterprise with more than 20 employees. Together they continue to apply the very best techniques and learn-by-doing to ensure that every job is done right. From the materials used, to the equipment and techniques used to apply them, Hunter ensures high quality craftsmanship in the production of polished concrete floors that instantly become a mark of pride for their customers.
Hunter ACP was tasked with transforming the above main arena floor at Christensen Field in Fremont, NE. It was in fairly rough shape before, as evidenced in the top left picture, due to a poorly executed resurfacing job by a different contractor two years prior to Hunter getting their hands on it. The Hunter ACP crew first ground down the surface with a Husqvarna grinder and rugged diamond tooling. Then the crew filled in the 2″ wide joints with joint filler from Metzger/McGuire. And the final step in the process was polishing the entire surface to the desired shine by working up to a higher grit with each pass.
The Lasting Results
Hunter ACP is a large proponent of a natural, long-lasting result achieved from truly polishing a surface, not simply applying a protectant and then burnishing, which will wear and dull more quickly over time. Thus, the truly polished floors at Christensen Field should last for years to come, especially when maintained to Hunter ACP’s prescribed specifications. Hunter ACP guarantees that the floor will not spall or lose its luster as long as the maintenance program is followed, which is something to consider. A maintenance program is vital for the upkeep and lasting effect of a concrete surface, especially when heavy foot traffic is a factor.
Creating a polished concrete surface that is going to last over a long period of time, with little wear, long-lasting never-ending shine and well-preserved design is of course the ultimate goal for any polished concrete floor. However, actually attaining this is a different story. A unique concrete polishing solution, that addresses all of these desired outcomes, is the Green Endurance Process. This is a natural, yet customizable, approach with a focus on maximum durability and aesthetics. The process begins by working closely with architects to write in specs that are most conducive to the polishing process, eliciting the best results possible. Cuviello Concrete and Terrazzo Polishing is a large proponent of this process and integrates it into every job.
Recently Cuviello completed concrete polishing work at Howard County Middle School in Hanover, MD – a 23,250 square foot area. The corridors and cafeteria floor now feature cream and sand aggregate with multiple colors of dye in an elaborate design. What a head-turner! By using the Green Endurance process every aspect that effect the finished floor was controlled — mix design, placement, finishing, joint placement, the polishing process, protection and in service maintenance training.
The Green Endurance Process
- Saw cut the pattern into the concrete
- Fill the cuts with VersaFlex polyurea
- Grind with 50 grit and 100 grit metal, 50 resin bond abrasive
- Hone with 100 and 200 grit
- Dye the floor with AmeriPolish Solvent Base Color
- Densify the floor with Retro Plate 99
- Finish honing with 400 grit resin bond abrasive
- Polish with 800 and finally 1500 grit resin bond
Each bonded abrasive was fully refined from one grit to the next. At no time was any grit skipped.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Understand exactly what the spec says and exactly what your scope of work includes and does not include
- Educate, educate, educate your architect, owner and general contractor, and then manage expectations
- Develop a TIGHT relationship with the division 3 contractor — be sure they understand what they are finishing is going to become the finished floor. Educate them beyond what the division 3 spec says and what is included in their scope of work.
- Successfully applied dye within the lines
- Intricately saw cut the designs
- Kept a consistent and steady work flow to accomplish saw cutting, joint filling, dying, densifying and polishing through multiple smaller crews
Get to Know Cuviello Concrete and Terrazzo Polishing
Cuviello Concrete and Terrazzo Polishing uses its expertise and experience with technical stone polishing to obtain maximum clarity of reflection (DOI Distinction of Image) and superior durability of the polished surface when applied to concrete and terrazzo. As a leader in the industry on an international level, expertise in contracting services places them in a unique position where they consult with and have trained other polishing contractors from across the globe. In addition, Cuviello Concrete was a founding member of the Concrete Polishing Association of America.