DCF Trainer Profile: Chris Sullivan

DCF Trainer Profile: Chris Sullivan

Chris Sullivan is a prolific author, speaker, and educator on topics relating to decorative concrete. He will also be a presenter at the 2018 Decorative Concrete Fair. Chris will share his varied expertise on decorative concrete systems and processes.

DCF Trainer Profile: Cement Sisters

DCF Trainer Profile: Cement Sisters

The Cement Sisters are the first Decorative Concrete Fair trainers we’re featuring prior to the event. This sisterly trio will demonstrate carving, texturing, and staining concrete with Brickform Vertical Mix. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to read about more trainers and features.

Demo Recap - HD Supply White Cap in Sun Valley, CA

Demo Recap - HD Supply White Cap in Sun Valley, CA

Solomon Colors conducted yet another educational demonstration at the HD Supply White Cap in Sun Valley, CA on May 9th, 2018. Like any other Brickform demo, this one was an excellent chance for staff and customers alike to develop familiarity with decorative concrete products and techniques.

New For 2018 At The Decorative Concrete Fair

New For 2018 At The Decorative Concrete Fair

The Decorative Concrete Fair has returned for 2018. It promises a holistic, well-rounded learning and networking experience for anyone in the decorative concrete industry. With expanded classroom learning opportunities, improved demonstrations, and an all new competition, the 2018 Decorative Concrete Fair is the best training value for your time and money.

What Is A Hardscape?

What Is A Hardscape?

Hardscape is a blanket category for any manmade materials incorporated into a landscape. Typically, the term hardscape is used to refer to patios, walkways, retaining walls, and other similar structures. Hardscapes can be made from a variety of materials including natural stone, brick, pavers, wood, and concrete.

Profile of a Successful Demo

Profile of a Successful Demo

Throughout the year, Solomon Colors helps facilitate dozens of educational demonstrations at customer locations. These demos are a valuable tool for the ready-mix producer, materials distributor, and the concrete contractor. They present the opportunity to develop relationships, build skills, and grow demand. On February 28th, 2018 Carew Concrete held one such demonstration, with the help of Solomon Colors, at their Appleton, WI plant.

Saving Labor While Increasing Value

Saving Labor While Increasing Value

The largest expense for any business is labor. Reducing labor costs and improving efficiency is the best way to increase the bottom line. But that raises the question: “How do you decrease labor costs in a labor-intensive field like decorative concrete?” Here are four ways to decrease labor costs in decorative concrete and improve the bottom line.

First Canadian Concrete Expo a Resounding Success

First Canadian Concrete Expo a Resounding Success

On February 7th and 8th, Solomon Colors exhibited at the first annual Canadian Concrete Expo in Toronto, ON. A steady stream of concrete contractors, materials suppliers, ready mix producers, precast producers, and block manufacturers came by the Solomon Colors booth.

World of Concrete: Solomon Colors & Concrete Cares

World of Concrete: Solomon Colors & Concrete Cares

It’s become tradition, at this point, that Solomon Colors will be part of Concrete Cares’ efforts at World of Concrete. Every year, Concrete Cares attends the World of Concrete to receive donations and raffle tools to raise money for cancer charities. As a charity-oriented company, Solomon Colors always happily supports Concrete Cares in the fight against cancer.

World of Concrete 2018 Preview

World of Concrete 2018 Preview

Solomon Colors will be in the Silver Lot, in our usual place near the South Hall. Stop by and see us at World of Concrete 2018! Use the code "BUY" to receive a discount when you register for an exhibit only pass at World of Concrete. 

How To Stamp Using Fan Patterned Stamps

Fan textures are usually composed of brick for cobble textures arranged in a semi-circle patterns. There can have a rounded concave or pointed convex. With the concave bottom, the top of next texture will center nicely behind the next. Convex textures will sit offset of the previous row.  Fan patterns create beautiful impressions reminiscent of European streets.

  • It’s always a good idea to lay out your tools and get organized ahead of time.
  • Place and finish the slab as you normally would.
  • After you’ve finished the slab and are waiting for it to firm up, start prepping your tools.
  • Use Brickform Antique Release and Liquid Release to protect your tools and the concrete while stamping.
  • Apply Antique Release to the bottom of the stamps prior to stamping. Apply it to the concrete at a rate of 800 to 1000 square feet per bucket. Too much release will result in a false imprint while too little will cause the texture tools to stick to the concrete.
  • Start by using corresponding texture skins around the edge of the slab and in hard to reach areas.
  • Use Brickform Touch-Up Wheels to help create crisp, clean grout lines.

How To Stamp Using Brick Textures

Cobble and brick pattern stamps are common finishes for a variety of applications – including streetscapes, walk paths, and patios. They provide a vintage appearance that works well in old areas and new construction alike. Failure to master placement of these textures, however, can lead to a cheesy, cartoonish look. Watch this video to see how to best stamp using cobble and brick stamp patterns.

  • It’s always a good idea to lay out your tools and get organized ahead of time.
  • Place and finish the slab as you normally would.
  • After you’ve finished the slab and are waiting for it to firm up, start prepping your tools.
  • Use Brickform Antique Release and Liquid Release to protect your tools and the concrete while stamping.
  • Apply Antique Release to the bottom of the stamps prior to stamping. Apply it to the concrete at a rate of 800 to 1000 square feet per bucket. Too much release will result in a false imprint while too little will cause the texture tools to stick to the concrete.
  • When stamping, make sure your first tool is lined up perfectly square.
  • For easier stamping, consider cutting a tool in half to use at the edge of the slab.

Stamp Placement Videos

Stamp Placement Videos

If you want to be successful when stamping concrete, it is important to be familiar with the layout and fit of the texturing tools. Improperly fitted tools lead to squeeze ups, sloppy grout lines, and generally poor texture. Even if you fit the tools properly, unfamiliarity with the textures will make the process slower, reduce the quality of the finished product, and make the process more difficult.

Todd Rose Presents at Concrete Decor Show

Todd Rose Presents at Concrete Decor Show

Todd Rose, Solomon Colors Area Manager and training guru, will present two educational courses at the Concrete Decor Show. He will also be available at Solomon Colors/Brickform Booth #308, as well Area Manager Ross Urshan.

Crete and Brews: How Concrete Suits Breweries, Bars, and More

Crete and Brews: How Concrete Suits Breweries, Bars, and More

Concrete and beer are a match made in heaven! More specifically, concrete is a good choice for flooring and décor in breweries, pubs, and bars. Concrete offers a combination of durability, serviceability, and aesthetic that makes it especially attractive for breweries, wineries, and all manners of watering holes. 

It All Comes Down To Sealer

It All Comes Down To Sealer

Sealers are the unsung heroes of the decorative concrete world. You and your clients will fret over choosing just the right textures, patterns, and colors. But how much time do you spend considering the sealer? Do your clients even know about this step?

Train to Win at Decorative Concrete

Train to Win at Decorative Concrete

There’s nothing quite like some good, old fashioned hands-on training. We host Contractor Education Seminars every year in Springfield, IL and Rialto, CA during the Spring and Fall seasons. These training programs offer a comprehensive look at core decorative concrete skills such as finishing and placement, stamping, staining, and sealing.

Decorative Concrete in the Basement: A Solid Foundation For Your Business

Decorative Concrete in the Basement: A Solid Foundation For Your Business

Patios and driveways may make up the meat and potatoes of your business. But what about other opportunities? Consider basements as your next avenue for growth. Read on to discover why it could be in your best interest to start selling clients on the benefits of decorative concrete finishes in their basement.

Exposed Aggregate Isn’t Just For Pools Anymore

Exposed Aggregate Isn’t Just For Pools Anymore

Exposed aggregate is a versatile decorative finish. When you focus on the right characteristics and features, it is an easy sell that will leave you and your clients happy. You will find that exposed aggregate has a place in nearly any concrete application, not just pools.