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An Overview of the Different Decorative Concrete Systems and What They Offer

Sundek Decorative Concrete System

Sundek Decorative Concrete System

Having a huge selection of decorative concrete systems is exciting, each with unique color, texture, pattern, and design options. However, because there are so many choices, you may feel a little overwhelmed when trying to select just one. Even though each system is unique, they are all exceptional. To make the decision-making process easier, it would help to spend a little time learning about the various systems and what they offer. Along with the information provided, you can always speak to a Sundek representative, who will gladly guide you through the process based on your specific needs.

  • Concrete Stains – You have a choice of water- and acid-based stains, both outstanding decorative concrete systems. The difference between the two is that an acid-based stain penetrates the concrete surface, where it reacts to salts and minerals in the concrete. As a result, the color becomes a permanent component with a one-of-a-kind marbled or variegated aesthetic. A water-based stain does not penetrate concrete, but it produces a gorgeous finish that can be enhanced when blended with several colors. A liquid concentrated dye is also available, which dries quickly and comes in stunning colors.
  • Decorative Concrete Overlays – Used to repair and resurface existing concrete surfaces, decorative overlays create a new surface that looks gorgeous while being strong, durable, and long lasting. You can stick with the original pattern or design, or the contractor or installer can create something entirely different. A few examples of the best products on the market include Classic Texture, Tuscan, SunStone, and SunStamp.
  • Polyaspartic and Epoxy – These decorative concrete surfaces are also used indoors and outdoors as strong, durable, long-lasting, and beautiful coatings. For applications where fast curing is essential, polyaspartic is ideal. While epoxy floors are commonly used in garages, service departments, mechanic shops, and various industrial environments, they are a great solution for the interior of homes and businesses, as well. Epoxy floors come in a range of colors and can be enhanced with gorgeous metallic flakes.
  • Acrylic Finishes – Acrylic finishes, which are another type of decorative concrete systems, produce an opaque appearance. Used for indoor and outdoor applications, these finishes can be applied over various concrete surfaces, including decorative, bare, and textured.
  • Clear Sealers – While not true decorative concrete systems per se, clear sealers offer a number of benefits. Not only do sealers provide an extra layer for optimal protection, they can be colored to enhance decorative systems in place. These sealers enhance protection against stains, daily foot and vehicle traffic, abrasions, and chemicals.

The 5 Primary Benefits of Using Epoxy Floors in Hair Salons

Epoxy floors in hair salon

Epoxy floors in hair salon

Many people still have the misconception that epoxy floors are only used in residential garages and commercial mechanic shops. While these are common applications, this flooring solution is far more versatile. For instance, this is an ideal choice for hair salons. Among the many benefits, six stand out as being the most important.

1.     High Durability and Strength – Epoxy floors are extremely durable and strong. Hair salons see a tremendous amount of foot traffic, so having a floor that can stand up to daily wear and tear is essential.

2.     Resistant to Chemicals – Various dyes and other chemicals are used in hair salons. If dropped on a standard floor, it would be stained or seriously damaged. However, products like SunEpoxy 54 and SunEpoxy 100 provide optimal protection. These coatings are highly resistant to multiple chemicals, as well as water and food spills, impact, and more.

3.     Easier Cleaning and Maintenance – Another benefit is that both cleaning and maintenance are a breeze. This involves nothing more than sweeping and damp mopping as needed.

4.     Improved Safety – Especially in busy hair salons, stylists, hair washers, and front desk personnel scramble to stay on schedule. This creates a risk of falling or slipping. Because epoxy floors are naturally resistant to slippage, employee safety increases. This also reduces the risk of injury for patrons. Yet another safety factor is that this flooring system is resistant to fire.

5.     Enhanced Aesthetics – Epoxy floors can be enhanced with color and metallic flakes. This dramatically enhances the floor and the overall decor of the hair salon. This type of flooring can also be patterned or textured, which further enhances the appearance of the business.


Are All Outdoor Concrete Sealers the Same?

Outdoor Concrete Sealers Provide Protection

Outdoor Concrete Sealers Provide Protection

Whether you are interested in having a concrete patio, deck, walkway, or pool deck sealed, it is essential that the installer use the right sealer. After all, not all outdoor concrete sealers are the same. For example, there can be differences between quality, longevity, color options, application techniques, and more. Therefore, it is important to learn what your options are and the benefits that each provides.

You have a choice of four main types of outdoor concrete sealers, including penetrating, acrylics, polyurethanes, and epoxies.

  • Penetrating – These sealers are formulated to penetrate the surface of concrete, where they react to chemicals within the concrete itself. This makes them perfect for shielding against moisture and deicing chemicals. Because these outdoor concrete sealers create an invisible layer of protection, no change occurs to the surface. For protection against the elements, and especially for surfaces subjected to freeze/thaw cycles and corrosion, penetrating sealers are the best.
  • Acrylics – Acrylics are available in a nice selection of sheen levels. Not only do these sealers enhance the aesthetics of exposed aggregate and colored stamped concrete, they offer outstanding protection against chlorides and water. For that reason, acrylic sealers are a great choice around the pool and spa area. While these sealers are available in both water-based and solvent-based formulas, those with a solvent base typically enhance color much better. Products like SunColor and SunSand produce superior results.
  • Polyurethanes – Whenever a high-build protective film is required, polyurethane decorative concrete sealers are an excellent choice. In addition to various sheen levels, the finish is non-yellowing and transparent. For enhancing the appearance of stamped, exposed aggregate, and colored concrete surfaces, polyurethane sealers work great. Almost twice as thick as acrylic sealers, the surface ends up being extremely resistant to abrasions and chemicals.
  • Epoxies – Just like polyurethane decorative concrete sealers, epoxies provide a high-build protective layer on top of a concrete surface. Because these sealers are available in clear, pigmented, or colored formulas, you can choose based on your preferred design aesthetic. The primary benefits include a concrete surface that is hard, abrasion resistant, and long lasting.

Regardless of the decorative concrete product or technique used on any concrete surface, the installation is not complete until a high-quality sealer is applied. Decorative concrete sealers also enrich color intensity, regardless if a stain, dye, or integral color is used on the concrete, as well as create an amazing sheen on the surface. They prevent chemicals, stains, grease, oil, and dirt from penetrating the surface, and they prevent or minimize the intrusion of chlorides and water.


Can Decorative Concrete Resurfacing Salvage a Damaged Driveway?

Decorative Concrete Resurfacing

Decorative Concrete Resurfacing

Compared to jack hammering, removal and replacing, decorative concrete resurfacing is usually a much better option. Although most driveways last up to 25 years or longer, some conditions can reduce their lifespan. These same conditions can leave driveways with cracks, spalling, and pitting issues. If you are facing this situation, you might be concerned that your driveway is too damaged for resurfacing.

In some instances, the damage can be severe enough that a complete driveway replacement is recommended, but in most cases, the surface can be repaired and then resurfaced. When professionally done, the driveway appears and functions as if brand new.

To understand the advantages of decorative concrete resurfacing, look briefly at the other two options. When a driveway is patched, it becomes more structurally sound, but from an aesthetics standpoint, it is unsightly. Every filled crack and pit is clearly visible. As imagined, this affects the overall appearance of the home. With a completely new driveway installation, the entire existing slab must be removed. This process is messy, and it takes quite a bit of time to complete.

In comparison, decorative concrete resurfacing involves making repairs to mild to moderate damage, prepping the surface, and then applying an overlay of your choosing. To achieve the desired results, it is important for the installer to use top-of-the-line products, like Tuscan, SunStamp, or SunStone.

Numerous benefits go hand in hand with decorative concrete resurfacing. As mentioned, not only are existing flaws on your driveway covered up, an overlay upgrades its appearance. You will have multiple choices of color, pattern, and texture, regardless of the chosen technique. That way, your newly resurfaced driveway will complement your home and vice versa.

One important thing to note is that prior to decorative concrete resurfacing, the underlying cause of the problem needs to be identified. Only then can the issue be fixed so that future problems do not arise.


Which of the Different Types of Concrete Overlays is Best for Your Project?

There is nothing wrong with variety. However, when it comes to the abundance of options for concrete overlays, you might feel overwhelmed when trying to narrow your choice to just one. To make sure that you select the best overlay for your project, you should spend a little time conducting research. Of course, you can always reach out for help from a reputable concrete installer.

Sundek SunStamp Overlay System

Sundek of Illinois Water Feature SunStamp

Stamped concrete overlays are one of the more popular choices and for good reason. For one thing, this overlay can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, what makes stamped overlays so incredible is that a professional installer can replicate the appearance of various materials, including stone, wood, brick, tile, and more. When finished, no one would even know the surface was concrete unless told. If you want something unique, stamped concrete overlays are exceptional.

Micro toppings are another type of concrete overlay that might fit your project. In this case, you can choose the actual grade, from fine to coarse, and select from a wide range of colors. If your current concrete surface is starting to look worn, instead of having it completely ripped out and reinstalled. Micro toppings are a much better solution. You can even have saw-cut designs added, which makes for a gorgeous floor.

Certain concrete overlays are perfect for horizontal and vertical surfaces. Based on how the overlay is applied, via trowel, broom, or hopper gun, the aesthetic changes. Again, when working with a professional installer you can discuss what look you want to achieve. Made up proprietary blends of sand, polymers and binders, this overlay provides a smooth, yet non-slip surface that makes it ideal for outdoor surfaces, including pathways, patios, and even driveways.

Although the overlay that you choose is certainly important, it is even more important that the appropriate product is used. Something like SunStone, Classic Texture, or Tuscan are all excellent products for concrete overlays.