Tagged: eco friendly concrete

Got Tire Marks?

From the most humble abode to mansions on the hill, Sundek Decorative Concrete Dealers throughout the United States have installed over a million square feet of Sundek decorative concrete coatings on driveways over the years.

These property owners primarily desire two things:
1) Increased Curb Appeal – In my forty years of Sundek history, I have always enjoyed receiving comments from happy customers of “how pleased they are with the awesome drive up appeal that Sundek provides” – after all the front of your property is a major announcement point for visitors!
2) Sundek Decorative Concrete Solutions – Each of our Sundek Decorative Concrete Solutions for driveways is durable enough to withstand vehicular traffic yet elegant in a variety of colors, patterns and designs.      

System Series Part 6: The Magic of Metallics

Sundek SunCanvas

Wow!! If you have not yet checked out one of the most incredible processes in decorative concrete flooring – have I got the scoop!!!There’s a whole new magic show available for adding mega “bling’ to your concrete floors — metallic epoxy coatings allow you to “guild” your concrete – simulating the timeless looks of copper, silver, old world bronze, nickel, and other metallic patinas.


I’m talking about metallics – and no it’s not a heavy metal rock band. Metallic floors have been around for the past 6-7 years, but are really starting to take off as the materials have been fine-tuned and decorative concrete contractors have grown more confident using these really cool materials.


Some of these coatings contain real metallic powders, while others use special reflective pigments. They are especially popular for retail floors, office, and restaurant settings, where a modern, upscale look is desired. To see some of the unique effects possible with metallic coatings, take a look at these stunning projects.



You may recall fro20130521_164029m an earlier blog post, I wrote about stained floors and some of the nuances of working with these types of materials – one of them being that, with stains, their colors are unpredictable. You never know what you are going to get at the end.


Really Cool – Metallics give you the randomness and color use of stains but with much more color control.  https://www.sundek.com/products/epoxy-floors/sunmetal-fx


You may recall from another one of my earlier blog posts, I wrote about epoxy type floors and the advantages and disadvantages of the various materials. Metallics utilize those very materials as a carrier for the very fine metallic like “dust” particles which are applied to the floor using some very basic tools. Here is an overview of the process:

  1. The concrete floor is cleaned and given a surface profile similar to a fine sand paper finish and then primered with a color tinted epoxy.Why epoxy? Other resin type materials can be used but epoxy has an awesome tenacity for bonding to concrete. Real grippy stuff!!
  2. The colored primer coat will serve also as the background color for the metallic coat. For example we may want to create a very cool and steely look by using a light gray primer coat overlayed with silver and charcoal metallic colors swirled together.
  3. The color primer is allowed to dry and then the floor is coated with another coat of epoxy but this time it is mixed with a colored metallic material that is spread with a trowel or squeegee.
  4. Additional colors can swirled together to form some incredible looks. As the material is still wet and fluid it can be manipulated into some very fluid looks.
  5. Added effects can also be achieved by broadcasting denatured alcohol or acetone which creates a fish-eye effect in the finish. The metallic look is also very compatible with other textures and materials such as stains or textured micro-toppings.
  6. The epoxy metallics also look really sharp with custom saw-cut tile patterns.

What started out as a commercial floor application for warehouses and manufacturing facilities, metallic epoxy floor coatings are the hot new trend that is winding its way into homes as a high-end and exotic looking floor.  Metallics are glamorous and “hip” looking.


The next question you might be asking is “Are metallic epoxy floors durable?”

Yes, these floors are considered a high performance floor coatings and designed to last for years. These metallic coatings are just as resistant to oil, salt, chemicals, acids, water, and wear as any other high performance epoxy floor.  Maintenance is easy and the amount of light they reflect is outstanding due to the glossy nature of the surface.  Like any other epoxy coating, they can be a little slippery when wet if you don’t use an anti-slip additive in the final top coat.


Besides the glamorous decorative effects, the seamless epoxy floor is chemical resistant and easy to clean, making it ideal for concrete floors in medical facilities, restaurants, showrooms, and retail environments.


The Bottom Line: If you have an interior floor project that has been begging for something really different and everyday tile, carpet or laminate is just not going to cut it -check out metallic floors with your local Sundek Dealer. I like ‘em!!

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Systems Series Part 3: Sundek Stamped Overlay System

SUNDEK Stamped Concrete Overlay

In our last blog I discussed Sundek Classic Texture, the signature overlay system Sundek created and developed way back in 1970. This system set off an explosion of other decorative concrete overlays that quickly followed. The growth of decorative concrete was also rapidly growing from another important market segment – stamped concrete.


Stamped concrete had always been the “go –to” look for hardscape designers and discriminating customers because it’s timeless look of natural stone and other masonry materials.



System Limitations   Stamped concrete does however only provide a fairly narrow range of colors, textures and patterns. One of the limiting problems with stamped concrete was that the stamping tools were heavy cast metal, expensive and difficult to use even in the hands of a very capable crew. The coloring techniques and materials were and still are very unpredictable.


These limitations all changed with the innovation of flexible poly-urethane stamping tools and texturing mats. The concrete stamping process suddenly became a whole lot more user friendly. It also gave us the ability to design a project with a wide variety of realistic textures, intricate patterns and multiple color variety. The stamped concrete market exploded during the late 1980s and 1990s but the problem was that you still had to tear out your existing concrete and replace it with new concrete to be stamped and colored. This was a very expensive and many times resulted in unpredictable and unacceptable work.


logosundekLimitations Solved  A number of pioneers in the decorative concrete industry went at the problem by attempting to create the high end look of stamped concrete by applying a 2-4 inch cement topping layer to the existing concrete. Many of these projects resulted in failure. In time the cement polymer chemistry had advanced enough to where the overlays were as thin as 3/16”- down even from the ½ inch overlays from the early 1990’s. This technology gave the stamped overlay materials the necessary properties to expand and contract once it was bonded to the existing concrete and stay bonded. With polymer cements available decorative contractors were able to reinvent and adapt polyurethane stamps and texture tools to create the classic looks of full depth stamped concrete.


logosundekSundek’s Innovation  Sundek recognized the huge demand for Stampable overlays and understood what it would take to bring a premier stamped overlay material to the Sundek Dealer network as a new product offering to their customers across the country.


Because of our years of experience of installing the Classic Spray Texture overlays the Sundek Dealer knew all the necessary requirements for proper surface preparation, crack treatment, and joint detail to insure the stamped overlay is going to perform for many years to come.


As with all new Sundek materials proper training for a quality installation was another key element to insure the long term success of this new system. Every year Sundek provides several installation training sessions for Sundek Dealers across the nation. This training includes the stamped overlays systems even though they were introduced to the Sundek nation over twenty years ago.



Custom Scoreline Effect

logosundekDesigns  Sundek stamped overlay can be designed with a wide variety of natural stone textures, a host of masonry patterns -all combined with a rainbow of color techniques. Probably the most popular SSUNDEK, concrete coating, European flooring, Tuscan, custom slate pattern, porch, walkway, front entry, custom staining, residential, Sundek of Illinois, Chicago, IL. Awarded-Silver-Tuscanundek stamp overlay system I see being used today is the use of a low profile texture mat such a slate that is used in combination with a hand carved or taped pattern. The final color effect is often a soft blend of Sundek acrylic stains protected by the Sundek clear finish coat. This is a very clean look and will be a pleasure to enjoy for many years to come.The Sundek stamped overlay has also been adapted to the Custom Score line Effect, making it an excellent choice even for cracked concrete. Sundek stamped overlays can also be saw cut into any combination of patterns and designs – mostly in a tile or diamond pattern. This look is very cost effective and offers a high end look to any project.


logosundekExisting Customers  I see many of my previous Sundek customers calling to have us retrofit their Sundek Classic Texture jobs that were done years ago and installing the Sundek stamped overlay on the patio, walkways and driveway areas. I recommend the stamped overlays for pool deck areas with the use of a slip resistant material in the clear coat.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sundek stamped overlays can provide the elegant look of high dollar stamped concrete on most existing plain, ordinary, gray concrete. Check with you local Sundek Dealer and have them give you a bid on your next project.



In the next part of our Sundek overlays series on we will look at the very cool look of the Sundek Tuscan Texture Effect!


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Summer is Here!!! Have You Finished Your Spring Cleaning?

For Your Decorative Concrete Areas… YOU can do it!

With the beginning of summer here, the birds chirping and blue skies are here! Yeah! If you haven’t already, it’s time to get out in the yard and get ready for some good ol’ summertime fun. But Yowl – has Nature has left debris on your beautiful Sundek surfaces all winter and spring? No worries!! With just a few easy steps, you’ll look out at your pool deck, backyard oasis, patio, walkways and see summer fun waiting to happen. Let’s get started….


Because of the awesome Sundek Sealers and Finish Coats – Spring cleaning should be a snap! Let’s take a look at some of Mother Nature’s “winter and spring left overs” and talk about how to deal with them.


Let’s start with the basics – the debris that has been collecting on your deck surface since last Fall. I recommend doing a “deep cleaning” to prepare for your summertime fun. Here’s a quick checklist to get your deck ready for summer in seven easy steps!


1) Sweep or blow off all the obvious stuff such as leaves and dirt.

2) Hose down the deck with a high pressure hose nozzle to get rid of the next layer of surface grime. This can also be done with a pressure washer, but if you don’t own one a normal garden hose and your thumb should suffice.


3) Basic Cleaning – While the surface is still wet, you can use a number of very basic household cleaners to really get that Sundek texture sparkling clean. This list includes but is not limited to:   Simple Green, TSP, and Oxyclean. I try to avoid is using detergents and soaps like Tide. These products can leave a soapy film that can make the surface slippery and be a magnet for future contaminants.  Note: Sundeck Products also has a complete line of concrete cleaning products that are specifically designed for this job and can be purchased from your local Sundek Dealer.


4) Nooks & Crannies Cleanout – This next part of the “deep cleaning” project requires a little bit of elbow grease. Use a stiff bristled broom and working the cleaning solution into all those Sundek texture nooks and crannies. Let the solution sit for a few minutes but do not let it dry.


5) Hose down the deck again. Thoroughly hose off using a good spray nozzle and rinse again. You can also use your pressure washer in this step too which will really dig in and remove a lot of embedded material.  Word of caution with the pressure washer- avoids hitting wood decks and other surfaces with high pressure. If you want to rinse or lightly clean other fragile surfaces, turn the air pressure down low and be careful as you go. The Sundek surface can handle much higher pressures.


6) Mildew and mold Treatment – You can treat your deck with “off the shelf” products that are specific for mildew and mold removal. As an alternative, you can also use 3 parts water to one part pool chlorine mix. It’s not a bad idea to let the solution soak on the mildew area for five or ten minutes before removing with a broom or water pressure. Heavy build ups may require repeated applications. Note: Always use caution when working with any chemicals including proper storage and disposal.


7) Hard water and vegetation stains – These are the most difficult to deal with when cleaning. There are a number of stain removal products on the market that do a pretty decent job. My recommendation is to follow the manufacturer’s directions for those retail cleaning products. Always use personal safety caution and be mindful of surrounding vegetation in the process.


This should get you all spruced up for summer time enjoyment!


(Yes, just like Lowe’s, Sundek is standing by!)


The Bottom Line: You can do spring cleaning yourself, but if you just don’t have the time, your local Sundek Dealer is standing by to give you an estimate to clean your Sundek and any other concrete needing attention. If you have an older Sundek installation, consider getting a free quote for an Extended Warranty and get your Sundek looking brand new for years to come!


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Create a Durable, New Look with Concrete Rejuvenation

concrete overlay sundek

Concrete rejuvenation makes an old floor look new again. It increases the livability and value of your house, and can be done indoors and out. Fixing concrete is more than just patching cracks or chips. Using coatings will give your floor a great look at a price that could be much lower than removing and replacing concrete, or in covering it with another type of flooring.