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Along with decorative concrete systems that remain popular year after year, there are always new trends to consider. This means that you have the opportunity to choose a more standard system or go with something that is fresh and innovative. Regardless, you will be more than thrilled with the outcome, whether it is for your kitchen floor, basement, fireplace surround, wall, driveway, outdoor patio, pool deck, or some other surface.
The Different Decorative Concrete Systems
Before looking at trending systems, it helps to understand what decorative concrete is. In simple terms, this is concrete that is enhanced using coloring, patterns, and textures. Rather than dull and boring gray concrete, decorative concrete systems literally transform the interior and exterior aesthetic of a home or business. In place of a cookie-cutter design, you get to enjoy a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Acid stains are among the most popular decorative concrete systems chosen today. Especially when working with a product like SunAcid, the results will exceed your expectations. What makes acid stains unique is that they interact with components of the concrete itself. Acid stains create a smooth, glossy finish in the color or color combination that you choose. With this option, you get industrial-strength functionality and a stylish system in one.
Stamped overlays are another one of the most popular decorative concrete systems available. Used inside and outside, overlays literally transform the appearance of standard concrete. With this system, stamped overlays created using mats are placed on top of newly poured concrete. Depending on the aesthetic that you want, the surface can resemble brick, slate, hardwood, travertine, and a host of other natural materials. As you can imagine, this is an amazing system well worth your consideration.
You might also consider a troweled-on finish. In this case, a licensed contractor or installer uses a trowel to create a unique finish. To get the desired results, a thin layer of water-resistant cement is troweled on top of regular concrete to mirror patterns of various natural materials. If preferred, you can even have this system tinted to complement other design elements of the home or business.
Whether you choose one of the established decorative concrete systems or go with something more contemporary, you will not be disappointed. As mentioned, the concrete surface still has a utilitarian purpose, yet it is enhanced aesthetically based on the look that you want to achieve. The key is to have the work performed by a professional who uses only the highest-quality products on the market.
Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware of concrete rejuvenation and how it works. As a result, they invest in having a completely new driveway installed. If your driveway has developed cracks, spalling, or some other type of imperfection, before you invest in a completely new driveway, learn the facts about concrete rejuvenation.
Key Benefits of Concrete Rejuvenation
Any time a new concrete driveway is installed, the homeowner is inconvenienced for a period of time. That means parking on the street or perhaps a neighbor’s driveway. The problem is that some homeowners live in cities that have no street parking or very strict rules about street parking.
In addition to the inconvenience of a new driveway installation, there is the mess. With a new driveway installation, the old concrete must be ripped out. In comparison, rejuvenation involves making any necessary repairs to the surface and then applying a new concrete surface. When the work is performed by a professional contractor, your driveway will look brand new.
Another benefit of concrete rejuvenation is that this is the perfect opportunity to have a colored stain or stamped pattern applied. Using a top product, like SunH2O, enhances the aesthetics of the driveway and provides protection from harsh UV rays and stains. Even more exciting is the fact that this particular acid stain comes in many gorgeous colors. In fact, your driveway will have a one-of-a-kind appearance that stands out and adds value to your home.
Concrete rejuvenation will also increase the lifespan of your driveway. Because of the resurfacing materials, your driveway will now repel moisture that can cause unsightly chips and cracks to develop. Even if your driveway has small imperfections, concrete rejuvenation is capable of hiding them. Ultimately, your driveway will last much longer when you choose rejuvenation over a simple repair.
Patios and pools decks can be completely transformed with beautiful concrete. In addition to enhancing aesthetics, concrete is a strong, durable, and long-lasting solution for surfaces beyond floors. Once quality concrete is applied, the best method of protection is with outdoor concrete sealers.
Unlike concrete for interior applications, outdoor concrete faces a number of challenges. Obviously, it is subjected to the elements, like rain, snow, wind, dust, and hot/cold temperatures. Because of this, it has to be properly sealed. Otherwise, the surface would eventually fade, crack, flake, and so on. With outdoor concrete sealers, unwanted problems are prevented.
Thanks to quality outdoor concrete sealers, areas with a high volume of foot traffic are not affected. To ensure the concrete remains beautiful and wears well, it must be sealed. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent products available, including SunClear UltraProtect, an industrial-strength sealer that is perfect for high-traffic areas, and SunClear EcoProtect, an environmentally friendly solution.
When researching outdoor concrete sealers, consider how long the application will last. The exact number of years that a sealer protects depends on the type of product. As an example, if a patio or pool deck is sealed using a urethane or epoxy system, you have between five and 10 years of protection. However, an acrylic resin sealer only lasts about two to three years. Regardless, once a sealer nears its lifespan of protection, your concrete patio or pool deck must be resealed.
One of the best ways to extend the life of outdoor concrete sealers, whether for a patio or pool deck, is by choosing the best available product. This will block the penetration of chemicals, stains, oil, grease, and dirt that negatively impact concrete. At the same time, a quality sealer makes cleaning and maintenance easier since nothing penetrates the surface.
A quality sealer also prevents chlorides and water from intruding. For that reason, there is less risk of damage caused by freeze and thaw cycles. Something else to consider is that the right outdoor concrete sealers add a layer of protection against wear and tear, as well as abrasions. That means that your patio and pool deck will remain gorgeous and in pristine condition.
For the best results with outdoor concrete sealers, it is imperative to have the product applied by a professional. Although there are do-it-yourself products on the market, unless the sealer is applied correctly, problems will develop.
There is no question that decorative concrete coatings have become the most popular solution used by both home and business owners. Even so, some people are not aware of what these coatings are, the benefits they offer, and the way they are applied.
Decorative concrete coatings can also be referred to as decorative concrete overlays. These coatings are an amazing way to transform the appearance and functionality of any concrete surface. Although typically applied to floors, driveways, walkways, patios, and pool decks, decorative coatings can be applied to other surfaces, including fireplace surrounds, countertops, fire pits, water features, stairs, and the list goes on.
In simple terms, decorative concrete coatings are applied to a properly prepared concrete surface. There is a wide range of color options, patterns, and textures. For instance, a patio floor can be coated to create a marbled earth-tone effect, or a skilled contractor can install a polished surface with a family crest design element. There are no limitations with decorative concrete coatings, which is why they are in such high demand.
Once concrete coatings are applied, they completely change the aesthetics of the surface. However, coatings also make the concrete surface stronger, more durable, and longer lasting. That means a patio, kitchen floor, driveway, or some other surface looks gorgeous and lasts for years and years. Even anti-slip ingredients can be added to enhance the safety of a concrete surface.
As for the application process, the first and most important step involves preparing the concrete surface. In addition to patching any cracks and eliminating areas of pitting or spalling, a contractor will ensure the surface is leveled and solid. From there, all dirt and debris are removed and the surface is cleaned using a manufacturer-approved cleaning product or mechanical process like grinding or shot blasting.
With a clean and dry surface, decorative concrete coatings are readied, whether this is a handcrafted textured overlay system, like Tuscan; a spray textured coating, like SunSplash; or another product. During that time, other agents are added, pigments, color, or anti-slip ingredients. Then, the coating is applied using a spray-on technique, roller method, hand-troweling, and so on. Once the entire surface is covered, it is allowed to cure and dry.
Once the first coat is ready, a second coat is applied. Once again, this coat must properly cure and dry. To protect newly applied decorative concrete coatings, it is imperative that a sealer is added. Depending on the desired aesthetic and effect, the sealer can be colored or clear. Once the sealer is dry, the concrete surface looks gorgeous.
While many people automatically relate epoxy coatings to garage floors as a way to enhance appearance, this flooring system is actually far more versatile. While it is true that epoxy floors look amazing, especially when colored metallic flakes or pigments are added, they offer many additional benefits for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.
Among the top benefits is that epoxy coatings create a nonslip surface. Because of that, this flooring system is the perfect choice for any home or business where spills are common. Whether the spill consists of water, ice, food, or even condensation, the nonslip surface creates a safer environment.
Today, millions of homes, as well as commercial and industrial buildings, enjoy epoxy coatings, including garages, kitchens, restaurants, bars, laboratories, beverage plants, food plants, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and the list goes on.
Another thing that makes epoxy coatings unique to other flooring systems is that they serve as a sealant for concrete floors. Therefore, this flooring system is highly versatile, making it the ideal choice for floors as well as walls, walkways, driveways, and even ceilings in certain situations.
There is also the fact that epoxy coatings are extremely strong and durable. Especially for someone who wants to invest in a long-lasting floor, epoxy is ideal. Once applied, products like SunEpoxy 54 and SunEpoxy 100 convert to a solid polymer. At that point, not only is the chemical breakdown prevented, the floor’s strength intensifies. Compared to other flooring systems, epoxy is much stronger and longer lasting, and it wears incredibly well.
For home and business owners, having a floor that is easy to clean and maintain is always a bonus. Since the concrete surface is no longer porous after the epoxy is applied, cleaning up messes is easy. Typically, sweeping as needed and an occasional damp mopping is all this floor needs. Considering these benefits and the beauty of epoxy coatings, it is easy to understand the popularity of this flooring system.