Concrete has quickly become one of the most popular building materials used in today’s market. It’s used not only in construction but also in decoration. There are many different types of applications and uses for concrete. That also means that many different kinds of coatings are needed for aesthetics and protection.
Here are 6 products and systems available for todays uses:
Stamped concrete overlay
A stamped concrete overlay is a ½ inch thick layer of concrete that is then stamped or imprinted with a specially designed tool in order to create beautiful patterns that often mimic natural materials like wood, stone, or brick. This method makes it easy to recreate the look of more expensive materials. Stamped concrete overlays are suitable for interior and exterior use.
The overlay is able to provide a piece of property with beauty and benefits at a fraction of the cost of other options. The technique involves placing new concrete over the old existing concrete slab in a relatively thin layer.
They could also create all new concrete for those clients who do not have preexisting concrete. The contractors who install the stamped overlay then apply the actual stamps to the concrete overlay while it is still wet in order to change the look and the texture.
It is possible to recreate the look of slate, wood, brick, natural stone, and more with the overlays, as long as the contractor has the skills and experience to do the job right. More and more contractors are realizing just how beneficial it is to become proficient with these overlays as well as other concrete techniques.
Can be used indoors and outdoors
One of the best things about the stamped concrete overlays is that it is possible to use them inside and outside both. They stand up to the sunshine, rain, and all sorts of weather, so stamped overlays are great for the patio and around the pool.
However, they are nice enough and versatile enough that many are actually using them for their internal floorings as well. Not only do they look great, but they can also help to regulate the temperature inside the home. When summers get rather warm, having concrete flooring inside can help to keep things a bit cooler for you.
Residential and home use
Because of that versatility, it means that stamped overlays are an ideal option for many different types of properties, including residential spaces as well as commercial spaces. Whenever a client has a space that needs that special touch and a great look without spending a fortune, concrete is the key.
They are cost-effective, and fairly easy to maintain, making them a perfect choice.
Concrete stains add color and vivacity to any concrete or cement-based surface. The staining method gives you endless color options to perfectly match any décor. Stained concrete surfaces can also be sealed to protect the stain or to add a non-slip surface.
Concrete staining is a great way to take a concrete slab old or new and make it absolutely gorgeous. Many people are not taking concrete slabs inside their homes and places of business and make them beautiful floors that are all one of a kind. No two stained concrete floors can ever be alike.
There are different types of concrete stains that can be applied to concrete depending on the goals of the client. Acid-based stains provide a variegated mottled appearance.
These stains require some type of sealer to bring out their rich, luxurious colors so many people search for. Sealers that can be applied include water-based acrylics, solvent-based sealers in addition to epoxies and urethanes.
Acid-stained concrete floors can be maintained with wax that is used on vinyl flooring as well. These floors are easy to maintain and if they are well taken care of can last for twenty even forty years.
Solvent based dyes
Solvent based concrete dyes are a special kind of concrete colorant that is utilized in either polished or unpolished concrete.
In polished concrete applications, they are utilized due to the fact that they do not affect the surface of the concrete as acid stains do, acid stains create a profile that would be counterproductive to concrete polishing.
Solvent-based dyes will add beautiful color to polished concrete with less variegation. Polished concrete requires a colorant that does not etch the surface. When concrete is polished finer and finer abrasives are utilized to bring luxurious polish.
Adding acid stain to a polished concrete floor would be counterproductive and would actually roughen the surface that was just made smooth. It is for this reason that acid stains are not used for polished concrete and solvent-based dyes are.
Concrete stain densifier
There is another type of concrete stain that is utilized and that is a concrete stain densifier. These stains are used on exterior surfaces due to the fact that they are highly UV stable.
In addition they do not require sealers, this is a beneficial do to the fact that sealers can reduce the coefficient of friction and make concrete more slippery.
Now, this does not mean it is never a good idea to seal exterior floors however if you are looking for a solid colored stain for a pool deck or any exterior flatwork this just might be an option that will work for you.
In addition these stains actually stop dusting, increase impact and scratch resistance as well.
Acrylic texture system
Acrylic texture systems are a great way to update a concrete surface. This system is popular for pool decks, patios, walkways, or other areas needing a concrete makeover. The acrylic texture system offers strong, long-lasting protection and an easy-to-maintain surface.
Not only the floors, but acrylic texture systems are also now used for walls as well. Traditional renders made of cement and sand and are popular all over the world as they are quite inexpensive.
Why use acrylic texture systems over them then? One thing is that all of the acrylics come in premixed so the quality is pretty much the same. Cement render that is mixed on spot might have little variation from bag to bag and amount of water used.
I’ve personally worked with both and I can say that acrylic texture systems can look quite good.
It can also be used with traditional cement render by doing the base level with cement and finishing with acrylic texture on the surface. This is quite common in insulating facade rendering with acrylic texture.
There is a lot of ease when the texture comes in premixed, no need to mix tons of cement on the spot and it can be easily mixed when opened. The negative of this is lots of plastic buckets on the spot, but it is the same with Readymix bags as well.
Pigment failures might also be a hard to notice thing, but accidents can happen with other coatings as well.
Epoxy and polyaspartic coatings
Epoxy and polyaspartic coatings are industrial-grade products ideal for use in warehouses, retail stores, garages, and other high-traffic areas. These coatings give you extreme durability with the added benefits of chemical and UV resistance.
Epoxy and polyaspartic coatings for concrete have many beneficial applications and uses in the home or various industrial or office settings.
Concrete is a naturally porous material that can absorb moisture, collect electrostatic charges, and become slippery from buildup or spilling of soils and substances. Concrete epoxy coatings come in various different forms and can provide solutions to these and other issues.
Every day, over 25,000 people go to the hospital for slips, trips, or falls. These types of accidents account for over $200 million in workers’ compensation claims every year.
For these reasons, it is incumbent upon managers in all fields to consider the walking surfaces of their work areas, particularly concrete surfaces, and how they can reduce the incidence of these types of accidents.
Both coatings can provide safe, economical solutions.
Applications for both concrete coatings
Anti-slip concrete floor coatings come in many forms, depending on the specific application you are faced with. These coatings can be smooth or have some form of synthetic or natural grit integrated into an epoxy or rubber resin floor coating.
Whether high or low profile, high or low gloss, they will significantly increase the coefficient of friction of your floor or work area. They are a good choice in such settings as airport hangars, garages, walkways, loading docks, auto showrooms and other places where slipping should be prevented.
Concrete epoxy coatings can also reduce the buildup of electrostatic charges, which is important in electronic laboratory settings. They will increase the resistance of your concrete floor to soil embedding, deterioration due to ultra-violet radiation, and chemicals.
They are generally economical, spreading 100-200 square feet per gallon. Applying a concrete epoxy coating will also lengthen the life of your flooring.
Micro-toppings are a very thin application of concrete for interior or exterior use. They are an ideal way to add coloration to an existing surface. Micro-toppings are also used to smooth out or level uneven surfaces.
Concrete resurfacing, micro-topping or spray top are all names of essentially very similar services. Concrete that is old worn or damaged can be made to look beautiful again with a concrete resurfacing treatment.
Your old worn concrete can be resurfaced with a polymer-modified cement that can be troweled down, squeegeed down, or spray down. This polymer-modified cement can either be integrally colored, antiqued, or stained depending on the application.
In addition a knock down texture can be installed for decking surfaces around pools or any where in which a textured surface is needed.
Spray top, a polymer modified cement that is shot out of a gun, can be utilized for the restoration of stamped concrete or flat concrete work interior or exterior.
Spraying cement from a gun allows the product to take on the original texture of the surface, in the case of stamped concrete this is desirable, also spray cement leaves a cleaner more seamless finish, which is sometimes desired for flatwork.
Sprayed cement can also be used to restore concrete furniture, park benches you name it. It’s possible to utilize polymer modified cement to create the shower, walls, fireplace, and countertops.
Other applications include driveway resurfacing, sidewalk repair if it is concrete and needs a make-over concrete resurfacing just might be the solution to your problem.
In addition concrete resurfacing is utilized on interior slabs when they are not good candidates for concrete floor.
Floor example once tile, carpet, and other flooring are demoed a slab riddled with holes and cracks might be exposed, although crack and holes can be patched, some customers prefer the cleaner look of a resurfaced floor.
Clear sealers are protective coatings used to enhance the life of any concrete surface. These sealers are used indoors and outdoors and help to protect the concrete from any damages. This can be used on top of other floor solutions like staining.
First, while acid stain penetrates deep into your concrete, you need to understand that the process does not seal the floor. Oil, grease, and anything that might stain ordinary plain concrete can still have an adverse effect on your stained floors.
Therefore, the first thing that needs to be done after the staining process is complete, is applying a good concrete clear sealer to prevent spilled liquids from being absorbed by your floors and ruining the look you’ve achieved.
You’ll find that most concrete sealers last for many years, but eventually you’ll need to reapply it.
Keep a close eye on your floors and look for signs that water is not beading up when spilled. This is a sign that the sealer is no longer protecting your floor, and it’s time to reapply.
If you opted to stain your outdoor concrete floor, chances are good that you’ll have to reapply the sealer in a shorter amount of time. Exposure to sunlight and the elements will wear the coating away faster than in an indoor area.
However, indoor areas that see frequent heavy traffic will also need to be sealed more frequently.
Protecting the Floor
In addition to having the sealer applied, you need to take a couple of additional steps. For instance, you’ll want to make sure that you add felt pads to the bottom of chair legs or any other furniture that moves frequently. Essentially, you want to take the same precautions you would if you had hardwood floors.
As you might have noticed, there are many different coatings available these days. These are just a few for example.
When you’re considering them, take notice of what is your surface and what stress it has to go through daily. That will help you to pick the correct one to protect your property.