When confronted with a large unfinished wall or wondering what to do with a new vertical surface, an often overlooked and misunderstood solution is actually a great option; Vertical Decorative Cement or Concrete. With the possibility of hundreds of designs, colors, patterns and textures fueled by new and proven technology, concrete is going vertical and not looking back…
Vertical Cement Resurfacing Systems integrate the most modern patterns, textures, and colors to add a new and refreshing finish to just about any wall. Vertical Concrete Systems can be installed over drywall, wood, and concrete substrates and create the look and feel of natural durable elements. EIFS and hand-carved finishes are just a few options when it comes to thin decorative cement wall veneers and vertical stamped creations.
Vertical stamped concrete constructed with cement, aggregate, and polymer as a modifier and bonding agent, are typically installed at no more than 3/4-1 1/4 inches. After being applied with a trowel to a properly prepared substrate, these systems are then imprinted with a pattern of choice, often resembling rock, brick or natural stone creating a continual seamless finish across the wall surface.
Vertical carved concrete is similar to the vertical stamped concrete mentioned above. A texture is imprinted on the vertical concrete material as a guide and the grout patterns are hand carved to simulate a natural stone appearance instead of using a specific rock or brick pattern molding. These systems rely more in the installers abilities to be creative and artistic but also give more control over pattern and custom design.
Faux Finishing and Wall Skims: Falling into this category are micro thin (no more than 3/16ths inch) skim coats which often consist of cement, very fine ‘flour’ aggregate, and polymer resins. These can be sprayed, splattered, troweled and layered creating a variety of decorative finishes. Venetian plaster, wall skims, and plaster are all types of these finishes. These are often used where only a decorative skim coat is required and often yield a natural or aged surface finish.
The Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS) is a multi-layered wall finish that combines practicality with décor. Insulating foam is adhered to the wall surface followed by a layer of adhesive and fiberglass reinforcing mesh that is applied onto the face of the insulation with a trowel. The final topcoat is a colored, textured, paint-like material that is troweled or sprayed to complete the surface.
Stone veneer gives you the look of real stone at a fraction of the cost. Todays manufactured stone veneers are so realistic that they fool even the best geologist. Artificial stone veneer is lighter in weight, and will adhere with no foundation support. Simply by using the right mortar for stone veneer, these finishes can be installed on many different surfaces.
The days of excavating stone followed by the tough and labor-intensive installation to follow are slowly being replaced by a much faster and easier method, while not compromising the quality and longevity of natural stone.
Invented by the Venetians in the 1500s, cement-based terrazzo is one of the oldest types of decorative flooring systems. Highly prized for its timeless beauty, this mosaic-like floor topping consists of small pieces of marble or granite embedded in mortar followed by polishing. But a newer type of terrazzo has entered the scene, offering a host of benefits that threaten to shrink the market for traditional cement-based systems.
This formidable competitor is thin-set epoxy terrazzo. It is applied at a thickness of only 1/4 to 3/8 inch, as opposed to traditional terrazzo that must be applied at thicknesses of 2 to 3 inches. This modern-day terrazzo is excellent for multicolored patterns and designs because the epoxy resin matrix can be pigmented, like paint, to achieve an unlimited spectrum of colors. It can also accommodate a wider variety of richly colored aggregates, including chips of marble or granite, recycled glass, mother of pearl, and various synthetic materials. With the creative use of divider strips to separate areas of contrasting colors, it’s possible to produce borders, logos, geometrical designs, and other artistic compositions.
Terrazzo—chips of marble, glass or other aggregates embedded in tinted cement, ground smooth and polished to a silky sheen—may have been yet another of mankind’s accidental discoveries. In the 15th century, mosaic artisans in northen Italy swept waste marble chips out onto their terraces, terrazzi, and smoothed the surface simply by walking over it. When workers learned to press the chips into a more permanent clay base, then grind and polish them with heavy stones, terrazzo caught on. Michelangelo used it in St. Peter’s Basilica. George Washington strode over it in his cherished Mount Vernon. In the 1950s, Richard Neutra and other modernist architects specified terrazzo in their designs, and by the ’60s, it covered floors in developer houses across the Southeast and Southwest.
When looking for ways to improve the aesthetics and functionality of an industrial storage or work area, owners are turning to industrial epoxy and coating systems. With the many benefits associated with having a clean, light reflective and durable finish, it is easy to understand why epoxies and coatings are growing in popularity.
With new developments in chemical technology, we are experiencing a dramatic change in the way concrete is sealed, coated and protected. Polyaspartic, polyurea and polyurethane coatings are now taking the place of epoxies as quick turnaround and more abrasion resistant coatings.
Garage floor coating systems come in a wide range of colors and finishes. There are basic low grade systems common in track homes and spec properties, as well as the high-end commercial grade systems commonly found in the more discerning or custom-built homes.
Regardless of the quality factor the basic ingredients are similar. Garage coatings are usually an epoxy product characterized for its incredible strength and bonding abilities. Garage coating systems should:
Now that you have a beautiful concrete countertop, it’s important that you protect your investment. Note: Concrete countertops cannot all be grouped together as having the same maintenance level, as not all concrete countertops are created equally! Each fabricator has his/her own ways of creating and finishing counters.
Here are some basic ways to protect and maintain your concrete countertop:
As far as daily maintenance goes, wipe up spills as soon as they occur, use a light dish soap or detergent to clean, and avoid harsh chemicals, such as bleach. Once a month, use wax to maintain your concrete countertop and build up a protective film over time. Similar to a car wax, a wax for your countertop will create a slick, smooth, easy-to-clean surface. If your countertop begins to show signs of wear and dulling, reapply an additional coat of wax.
When it comes to yearly maintanence, you may decide to apply a penetrating sealer every year or two. This will strengthen the stain resistance of the concrete.
One of the best ways to determine the ideal maintenence solution for your concrete countertop is to ask the fabricator or manufacturer directly, and have them provide you with the proper care instructions after they install the counter. This will ensure a long-lasting countertop for years to come.
Concrete bar tops and tabletops are being used in residences, night clubs, restaurants, point of sale terminals in retail stores, and so much more. Countertop manufacturers can include inset details, create custom patterns, patterned edge details and a variety of custom finishes.
Concrete tabletops are ideal for use in the backyard, on the patio or even in a garden room. Durable and easy to maintain, a sturdy tabletop made of concrete will last for years.
Integral counter sinks are designed within the countertop. Creating a unified and consistent look, integral sinks are one-of-a-kind and meld basin with countertop. This fusion creates sleek and elegant tops providing ease of use in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas.
Integral sinks can be designed in a variety of fashions. The possibilities are virtually endless. Many decorative concrete contractors offer their own individual artistic style of sink designs.
Whether you are redesigning an existing bathroom or building a new home, concrete may not be the first material that comes to mind when talking about the bathroom sink. However, concrete provides a plethora of benefits over other sink materials, including the ability to transform into any size, shape and color under the sun. Concrete is a wonderfully versatile material for use both inside and outside the home. With unlimited choice in colors and styles, it is no wonder many homeowners are turning to this traditional sidewalk substance today.
Concrete sinks can also be integrated into countertops, but the ability to mold this material into any shape or design means that your integrated sink will only be limited by your imagination. You can opt for sinks in unusual shapes, like a kidney bean or pear contour. You can also go for some of the fun styles today like the wave sink, ramp sink or trough sink. The versatility of concrete means your sink can take on any shape, color or function you choose.
Concrete is an easy substance to build with and it is an efficient material to maintain. With proper sealing, this material becomes water proof, somewhat stain proof and exceedingly durable. The nearly unlimited choices in colors and styles mean that you can customize the look of your bathroom completely. If you thought concrete was just for driveways, check out the beautiful array of concrete sinks available today. You will never look at concrete in the same way again.
Concrete countertops and bath vanities whether polished, cast in place, pre-cast or stamped, these rather new inventions are becoming one of the most popular fields of the decorative concrete industry.
Concrete vanities and countertops offer the customer a totally brand new innovative look to chose from.
By using concrete as a component, decorative concrete countertops are functional, versatile, durable and ultimately beautiful. From a malleable material like wet concrete we can contour, form, and create a design which will eventually become rock solid.
Bathrooms are a wonderful place to express one’s personal creativity. There are many styles of bathroom vanity tops. From custom shapes and sizes to molded sinks and as always any color or surface aggregate you desire.
Bathroom vanities do more than house your sink and offer storage. The quintessential bath vanity sets the tone of the room and embodies the spirit of your design scheme or décor. Concrete vanity tops add a touch of sophistication and class to any vanity base.
With concrete, you get all the benefits of a solid surface: luxury, durability, and easy care. Concrete is a great option for bathrooms because you can be so creative with it. One of the benefits of choosing concrete for your sink or countertop is the range of colors available. A professional concrete contractor can create custom colors to help you match or complement other materials in your bathroom, helping to tie all the elements together for one complete and remarkable bathroom vanity.
The fireplace and fireplace surround serve as the centerpiece of a room, both visually and socially. Family and guests inevitably gravitate to this soothing,flickering backdrop for conversation and mingling. Beautiful concrete fireplace mantels or a fireplace surround provide an eye-catching focal point. If properly designed, the fireplace mantel shelf or fireplace surround can serve as a worthy substitute for any work of art.