Few people can run out and start expertly stamping concrete, staining, placing overlays, or polishing concrete on day one. Experience and training are necessary to master the craft. But the problem is, training often takes time and money that simply isn’t available to the busy concrete contractor.
More people buy existing houses than build new ones. It is common practice for new homeowners to renovate, remodel, and generally alter their home to make it more to their liking and better suit their lifestyle. Enterprising decorative concrete professionals can easily capitalize on this fact.
As an industry, we have many big meetings, shows, and conferences every year. There are events for every conceivable segment of concrete, masonry, and cement. But how many of those are aimed squarely at contractors? And how many are meant for the decorative concrete contractor? If you’re working hard, stamping concrete, staining, and installing decorative overlays, what’s out there for you to see the latest tools, techniques, and products?
We tend to fixate on using stamped concrete for a limited scope of applications – driveways, patios, sidewalks, pools. But there is more it can do. One of the more unlikely options is as a replacement for hardwood and engineered wood floors. Read more to find out how stamped concrete can effectively compete with hardwood.
Professionalism is important to continued and sustainable success. It can be difficult to maintain, but professionalism pays off. When you demonstrate the core values of a professional – competency, honesty, preparation, and consideration – you improve your chances of making the sale and developing long term, repeat customers who gladly recommend you to others. Respect your customer, respect your crew, and respect yourself.
The value added prospect of decorative concrete is unique for the contractor. It relies heavily on the margin between the extra time and material expense and the customer’s higher perceived value of the finished product. This difference represents the additional potential earnings for the contractor, versus traditional, non-decorative concrete work.
World of Concrete is the highlight of the year for the concrete and masonry industries. As a result, most exhibitors try to have something big to show off at World of Concrete. Here’s a quick preview of what Solomon Colors is bringing to the show for 2017:
Sign up for MyConcreteContractor.com between January 17th, 2017 and February 17th, 2017 for a chance to win a Samsung Tab2 tablet! If you're going to be at the World of Concrete, stop by booth # O41054 for details. Offer only valid for decorative concrete contractors - review MyConcreteContarctor.com terms of service for eligibility.
A good website can help net you more sales, grow your business, and build your reputation. And it doesn't have to be hard. Read more to learn why you need a website and how to get started.
Concrete restoration is how many contractors break into decorative concrete. The barrier to entry can be relatively low and the opportunities are plenty. Concrete restoration is how Brickform Training guru John Reynolds got his start and it could be how you get yours.
Antiquing goes by many names, including release color, accent color, and highlight color. Simply put, antiquing is an additional color used to accent and highlight textured concrete. It is formed when a secondary color is applied to a textured concrete surface, generally in the deeper areas of the impression.
This is a common question at Brickform training. On the surface, the products seem fairly similar. They are both surface-applied coloring agents. They both create opaque color. They both come with the complete Brickform Standard Color Selection. There are a few significant differences that dictate when, where, and how both Cem-Coat and Freestyle Pro are used. Find your application below to see which is better and why.
Exposed aggregate is a classic decorative finish for concrete. It is arguably the oldest form of decorative concrete, dating back to the early 20th century. Exposed aggregate is a versatile finish for flatwork, vertical applications, and as a component of larger, more complex projects. Surface Deactivator is the exposed aggregate surface retarder from Solomon Colors. It is just one of the many products offered by Solomon Colors to make exposed aggregate better. Surface Deactivator offers more control and consistency than sugar-based retarders.
Acid stains belong to a class of materials called reactive stains. These stains do not use pigment to color concrete. Instead, they chemically react with calcium hydroxide (lime) in the concrete to change color. This leads to rich, amazing, and durable color. Beauty comes with a price, however. As the color change is reliant on a chemical reaction, it may be hard to predict or control. Read on to see how Brickform Blush Tone Acid Stain was used to stain a basement floor.
Water-based stains are another weapon in the war on ugly concrete. Over the past couple decades, water-based stains have grown in popularity due to their ease of use and wide color palette. The growth of water-based stains has democratized the staining market.