The Importance of Surface Prep for Decorative Epoxy Flooring

One of our customers in Florida, Artistic Surfaces, is a prime example for how important it is properly prep your concrete before putting down a coating – whether it be an epoxy, overlay, etc. Below are four different epoxy jobs that their crew completed recently, courtesy of Sam Godbey, the Director of Operations at Artistic. The pictures don’t do them complete justice, but it is very evident surface preparation played a major role, and we were happy to have a part in that.

Charcoal Metallic Floor

This 3,600 square foot charcoal floor is owned by a high profile client. It’s a private residence, used to store the owner’s cars, sports memorabilia, and other appropriately coined “toys”.

Artistic prepped the surface with an HTC 800, Ermator T8600 and 25 grit HTC diamonds. This is a grey epoxy with a combo of Sterling, Onyx and Quick Silver metallic pigments.

Harley Quinn-esque Floor

This blue and pink metallic floor looks like cotton candy. It is located in a residential dressing room. Artistic partnered with Coastal Construction for this job.

They prepped the surface with an HTC 500 and 25 grit HTC diamonds. It’s an epoxy with black pigment base and metallic pigment colors Surfs Up and Merlot.

Black & Aluminum Striped Bar

This black and aluminum striped floor is located in a 5,500 square foot bar called the Escape Lounge. The epoxy was poured with a black base and then the aisles were taped out in a curved design and colored with Aluminum metallic.

An HTC 800 and 25 grit diamonds were used to prep the surface. Artistic also used CTS Rapid Set TRU self-leveling overlay in the back of the bar. The black portion of the epoxy floor was pigmented with Jet Black metallic and the stripes were pigmented with Aluminum metallic.

Intricately Designed Office Floor

Artistic recently re-did their 1,300 square foot office floor. They cut off the old white overlay and transitioned it to an epoxy metallic floor. They kept the same detailed saw-cut design work.

To prep the surface, Artistic used a 60 grit screen and floor buffer. This epoxy floor required a myriad of metallic pigment colors for all the intricate designs: Copper, Butterscotch, Merlot, Mother-of-Pearl, Surfs Up, Rose, Maui and Jet Black.

After putting down the metallics, they used a regular blade and v-blade to re-cut the saw-cut designs. Then they filled the cuts with black grout. And finally, they re-sanded the floor and put down 2 clear coats of epoxy.

About Artistic Surfaces

Artistic Surfaces was founded in 1989 by Harvey Namm after 25 years’ experience in flooring. The Company soon became an award winning flooring contractor in the Florida market installing flooring in stores like; Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Burdines, and Saks 5th Avenue. Luxury hotels, Art Galleries, Airport Terminals, Performing Arts Centers, Sporting Arenas and other venues were added as the years passed.

In the winter of 2009, Artistic Surfaces launched a new division for decorative concrete. This new division will capitalize on the emerging demand for interior and exterior decorative concrete flooring. This new division marked the company’s entry as the area’s most experienced design applicators for decorative concrete concepts.

*All photos and information courtesy of Sam Godbey – Director of Operations at Artistic Surfaces. Reach him at SamG@artisticsurfaces.com.

The 6th Annual Concrete Décor Show is in Indy This Year!

The Concrete Decor Show is in Indy this year

The Concrete Décor Show takes place September 28 – October 2 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis – right in our own backyard! It’s the perfect opportunity to not only meet us at the Show, but you can stop by our huge facility and see what we have to offer.

The Concrete Décor Show 2015 has a worldwide reputation as the largest gathering of decorative concrete trainers, educators, practicing artisans and concrete experts, giving attendees an inside look at the latest technologies and techniques the industry has to offer. Manufacturers, design professionals, distributors/suppliers, resellers, retailers and product end-users such as contractors share their expertise, so that you can do what you do better. Attendees benefit from one-of-a-kind training to build skill, and experience real world applications. In addition to training workshops and seminars, two days of exhibits and demonstrations at the Indianapolis Convention Center deliver the best opportunity to explore decorative concrete products and services, and technology in action.

Are You a Concrete Décor Professional?

The Concrete Décor Show is ideal for any industry professional involved with the designing, applying or installing of decorative concrete – artists, contractors, architects and design professionals as well as supply stores, distributers and manufacturers. You can visit Runyon Surface Prep at booth #318 all week, so please stop by if you’re attending. 

Why Attend the Concrete Décor Show?

Show organizers say that the public’s demand for decorative concrete is heating up. You will need expert knowledge about new trends, decorative concrete products and resources that you can use to grow your business. The Concrete Décor Show is considered the premiere trade show for concrete contractors, decorative concrete professionals and construction business owners, and showcases architectural and decorative concrete for residential and commercial construction. Educational sessions, hands-on workshops, nationally recognized speakers, trainers, industry experts and demonstrations provide you with ideas, products and strategies to enhance your company’s knowledge base and bring your business to the next level.

  • See more through the demonstration pavilion and in-booth demos
  • Learn more through a comprehensive education program that features in-depth seminars in every major segment of the industry
  • Do more in hands-on workshops, which encourage student participation in a community-oriented makeover project
  • Experience more with the ample time for networking, including a welcome reception, dedicated show floor hours and an exclusive Happy Hour event with drinks and hors d’oeuvres hosted by Runyon Surface Prep Rental and Supply from 5-7pm at The Crown Plaza Hotel on Thursday evening right after the show.

About Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply

As a full service sales and rental facility located on the north side of Indianapolis – and only minutes away from the Concrete Décor Show – Runyon Surface Prep Rental and Supply is unique in that an entire division of the company is dedicated exclusively to servicing the surface prep industry. We not only offer rental equipment, but we stock consumables on the shelf, ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. You can pick up from our facility or we can ship all over the U.S., including same-day delivery via Southwest.

We partner with some of the biggest brands, including Ameripolish, CS Unitec, CTS Rapid Set, Ermator, HTC, Husqvarna, Metzger/McGuire, Prosoco and most recently, HP Spartacote, giving support at any level necessary in helping you get things done.

We pride ourselves on our customer service, supporting customers with expert knowledge, consultation on job sites and training on select equipment, giving you the project-ready techniques you need for prep, polishing or removal.

You’re Invited!

Join Runyon Surface Prep for Happy Hour from 5-7pm on Thursday, October 1 at the Grand Hall Bar of the Crown Plaza Hotel. Download your invitation here. And stop by booth #318 at the Show for a meet-and-greet with members of the Runyon Surface Prep team – we look forward to meeting you!

How to Use Glass in Decorative Concrete Countertops

ASG glass countertopToday, artisan crafted, decorative concrete or terrazzo countertops are growing in popularity, because each creation is not only unique, it’s also a masterpiece of design. The use of glass aggregate introduces a third dimension to the surface that plays off of light and color, creating a richness and depth worthy of its glorious shine.

Seeding Glass for Countertops

In this article, we’ll explore one of the most effective applications for creating unique and colorful countertops: seeding. Glass chips are sprinkled, broadcast or spread onto the surface of the concrete countertop (this application can also be used on a floor, slab or other surface). Even though it can be tricky to spread the glass uniformly onto the surface, artisans can use this technique to create customized, personalized or one-of-a-kind glass designs using less glass relative to other types of applications. Seeding can be accomplished in seven steps:

  1. Prepare and place your concrete as you normally do.
  2. Bull float the concrete to smooth out the surface, but don’t rough trowel or finish trowel your project.
  3. Spread the glass out evenly – or in a pattern – on your concrete surface using any quantity, colors and mixes of glass that you desire.
  4. Lightly trowel the glass into the still-wet concrete, gently pushing the glass into the surface, taking care not to push the glass too far in, or your finishing, grinding and polishing process will take longer. For a bolder finish, leave Pea gravel, compacted substrate, even some of the higher glass tips on the surface or sticking out of the concrete.
  5. Cure concrete for about seven days, enough time to avoid damaging the surface by finishing too early, or damaging your tools by finishing too late.
  6. Begin grinding the concrete surface with a 50-grit diamond grinding pad. Increase to a 100 grit, then 200 grit and continue increasing the grit until you achieve the finish and polish you’re looking for. Avoid scratching or scarring the concrete by wetting the surface during the entire grinding process to reduce friction between the pad and the concrete.
  7. Sweep, vacuum or wash the surface (often with muriatic acid) to remove dust. Apply a sealer of your choice, carefully following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

seeding glass diagram

When you’re looking for quality glass chips for use in decorative concrete countertops, count on Runyon Surface Prep. We carry American Specialty Glass products. ASG recommends adding an acrylic fortifier to the concrete mix to help with the adhesion of the concrete to the glass and other aggregates. Using a retarding product on your concrete surface before spreading the glass chips can also increase the working time.

*photos courtesy of American Specialty Glass

Use Terrazzo Glass in Decorative Concrete for a Truly Unique Look

Glass-Infused Concrete OverlayThe use of glass adds a unique decorative element to concrete. How the glass is applied, the quantities of glass used and the mixes of colors chosen creates a customized design for a floor, countertop or other decorative concrete product limited only by the imagination.

Glass is used to create the ancient art known as terrazzo, which uses chips of glass, marble or similar material fixed in tinted cement, then ground and polished to a smooth sheen. Its beauty was discovered by mosaic craft workers in 15th century Italy, after noticing how small marble chips left on a terrace pushed into the surface, smoothed by foot traffic over time. The effect not only makes the floor unique, it strengthens the surface as well. Nowadays, architects and designers all over the world use the extremely durable terrazzo to create one-of-a-kind floors using vibrant, modern colors and transform environmentally sustainable surfaces into a stunning work of art.

Common Applications of Glass in Decorative Concrete

In this article, we’ll explore one of the most common applications of glass in creating terrazzo: integrally mixing. The process replaces all or a portion of the aggregate in a concrete mixture with recycled glass chips, creating a uniform look of glass aggregate and concrete in the finished product. Integrally mixing uses much more glass than other applications such as seeding, which will be discussed in our next article.

Steps for Integrally Mixing

  1. Replace traditional aggregate content with recycled glass chips on a 50/50 or any other percentage. If a 6-bag mix that requires 100 lbs of aggregate per batch, replace all or a portion of the 100 lbs with glass. More glass provides a more colorful finish, whereas less glass leaves a more subtle color.
  2. Mix, pour, bull-float, rough trowel and finish trowel the concrete.
  3. Cure concrete for about seven days, enough time to avoid damaging the surface by finishing too early, or damaging your tools by finishing too late.
  4. Begin grinding the concrete surface with a 50-grit diamond grinding pad. Increase to a 100 grit, then 200 grit and continue increasing the grit until you achieve the finish and polish you’re looking for. Avoid scratching or scarring the concrete by wetting the surface during the entire grinding process to reduce friction between the pad and the concrete.
  5. Sweep, vacuum or wash the surface (often with muriatic acid) to remove dust. Apply a sealer of your choice, carefully following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

integrally mixing ASG glass

*photo courtesy of American Specialty Glass

When you’re looking for quality glass for use in decorative concrete like terrazzo, count on Runyon Surface Prep. We carry American Specialty Glass products. ASG always recommends adding the fine glass product (ground glass minus 30 mesh) to your mixture when glass aggregates are used. The silica in the fine glass chemically reacts well with the cement to better bond the concrete mixture to the glass. The fine glass is lighter in color and is great for subtle color effects in concrete.

5 Simple Steps to Keep Concrete Dyes from Fading

How to Keep Concrete Dye from Fading

Concrete dyes are an attractive way to add color to a concrete floor. However, because of the nature of dye — it penetrates the porous surface to create color, rather than reacting chemically with the concrete — contractors can conduct a few assessments and tests at the job site before determining whether a concrete dye is the right product for the job:

  1. Type of Concrete. Typically, a pure color dye will change slightly, due to the minerals in the concrete, taking on a lighter or darker shade, which can also change with time. Adjust the dye color to the type of concrete for the desired shade.
  1. UV Light Stability. Sunlight can damage dyed concrete floors, causing vibrant colors to fade. Check if windows in the room are made with glass containing UV-protection, which can keep floor color from fading.
  1. Moisture Vapor Test. When moisture in concrete brings salts to the surface, it causes dyes to seep deeper into the floor, diluting their color. Testing for efflorescence cannot only root out a bigger moisture issue, it indicates whether water will cause the color to diminish.
  1. Use Stain. Concrete stains work differently than dyes, reacting chemically with the concrete to create color that is more resistant to fading from sunlight or moisture.
  1. Apply Guard. A proper guard provides long-lasting, breathable protection for the floor and its color. Apply after polishing. 

Fixing Faded Floors

If the concrete floor is already fading:

  • Clean and seal the flooring surface to stop additional fading
  • Remove the sealer, then re-dye the floor and protect with sealer

When you’re looking for quality concrete dyes and sealers, count on Runyon Surface Prep. We carry two of the top-rated concrete dyes and sealant brands in the business. AmeriPolish products assure perfect color that resists fading through cleanings, scrubbings and traffic. Prosoco products are designed to improve the appearance and performance of architectural masonry for years to come.

Applied Flooring’s Polished and Colored Concrete Success in Troy, MI

Last week one of our customers, Applied Flooring, had a job in Troy, MI at a Nordstrom store. Along with the Applied crew, the Nordstrom GC and technicians from CTS Rapid Set and Metzger/McGuire helped complete this floor. Below are the before pictures, showing the extensive structural damage. Because of so many cracks breaking up the surface, the crew wasn’t able to polish first thing. Instead, the first step was filling the cracks. Then, once the concrete floor was repaired, an overlay was applied, the control joints were cleaned and recut and the concrete was colored. Below you can see the process from initial pour to finished look.


Concrete Overlay and Color Application

Applied Flooring used CTS Rapid Set’s TRU self-leveling overlay on the floor, and colored it with AmeriPolish OS dye. The crew worked in 20-degree weather and wrangled both the water and pump hoses from outside in the parking lot up a flight of stairs to the work area. The 300′ water hose and 400′ pump hose were at their maximum lengths. Applied made it work though, and after the overlay was laid they moved into the color application stage.

One of the biggest takeaways from this particular job revolved around the importance of color intensity. Initially, OS integral color was used, but the pigment wasn’t strong enough, so the dye was applied after the fact to accommodate the time-sensitive nature of this project and to best utilize resources.

Below you can see the floor after the second pour of TRU, the floor after 3DHS densifier was applied and finally, the polishing stage.


The Finished Look

Although there were a few unexpected surprises throughout this process, as is common with any job, Nordstrom was incredibly satisfied with the final polished floor. You can see below how reflective and high-end this space appears, especially after the merchandise was moved back in.

 

As always, if you have any questions about the products or the processes used for this particular job, please feel free to reach out via our website or in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you! And if you ever need additional support at a job, feel free to reach out to our technical support team and we will assistant in any way possible, even if it means flying to you!

A Decorative Concrete Success at World of Concrete 2014

World of Concrete was a huge success this year! Our concrete slab came together really well with the help of our manufacturers and customers. It was a 5 day process to complete all the steps — applying the epoxy, laying the terrazzo, applying the overlay, grinding and polishing, applying intricate stencils and protecting and sealing the surface. With this said, we would love to give you insight on how we accomplished this feat. See the photo gallery below for the final result, and continue reading for more information on products used. Also, check out our YouTube channel for step-by-step videos.


Theme Inspiration

The Super Bowl/football theme for this year’s World of Concrete booth was the brain child of both Wendy Runyon-Ricker and her brother Jack Runyon – figureheads in the company, and creative ones at that. The idea initially stemmed from a general football field slab to the incorporation of Super Bowl team logos in the middle of the slab, then to the tailgates, and from there the featured customer hall of fame stories and booklet, all the signage, etc.

Products Used During Each Step of the Process

Epoxy Overlay:

Concrete Overlay:

Grinding and Polishing:

Stencils:

Protecting and Sealing:

Our Featured Artist: Floormap Stencil Designs

As mentioned, Floormap Stencil Designs did the Seahawks and Broncos stencils in the middle of our slab, and they did a fabulous job! Each stencil was three layers — making for an incredibly intricate pair of logo designs. Rachel Bruce is the artist who designed the custom stencils, and she was the one who actually applied them at World of Concrete.

It has been an exciting year for Floormaps as it enters its fifth year in the decorative concrete industry. It has tackled new products, such as vinyl stencils, as well as new surfaces i.e. polished wood floors, walls, ceilings, murals, banners and signs. New training courses will be issued quarterly to demonstrate the wealth of knowledge accumulated from hands on installations and experimentation. Floormaps is also proud to announce the opening of international sales to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery on our website as well, which has pictures from the whole event. Also, be sure to watch the videos on our YouTube channel. And, if you never saw the customers we featured in our hall of fame, find their stories here. We hope to see you next year!