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Decorate Your Concrete: Ideas for the Do-It-Yourselfer

Decorate Your Concrete: Ideas for the Do-It-Yourselfer-columbus-ohio

Decorate Your Concrete: Ideas for the Do-It-Yourselfer : decorate your home’s concrete surfaces and give your patio, porch, garage, driveway, etc. a customized and refreshing new look. Acid stains, water based stains and epoxy paints are available for do-it-yourself projects.

You can enhance your home’s existing concrete surfaces using acid stains, water based stains, epoxy paints, and scoring techniques.

If you’re tired of looking at dull gray concrete, there are some fairly easy projects for the serious do-it-yourselfer to give your concrete a refreshing new look. Or perhaps you plan to have some new concrete installed but you don’t want plain gray concrete. Decorative concrete work costs double to triple that of regular concrete and many people simply can’t afford it. There are inexpensive ways to decorate concrete after it has cured without having to pay skilled tradesmen.

Acid based concrete stains are becoming more and more popular for coloring concrete surfaces.

They chemically react with the cementitious material to produce permanent color with variegated or mottled appearance like that of marble. This results in a natural, elegant looking surface. Acid stains are available in 8-10 different colors, mainly brown, green, and reddish earth tones. The cost is normally $60-$70 per gallon which covers 300-400 square feet. A coat of clear concrete sealer when you’re finished really brings out the colors and beauty of acid stains.

Water based concrete stains are an alternative to acid stains and are much more user friendly because they’re much less toxic.

These stains don’t chemically react with the concrete; they are absorbed into the surface pores and act like a dye. The big advantage of water based stains is the wide array of colors available. You can find just about any color in the spectrum and create a more vibrant and consistent appearance. They also normally cost about $60-$70 per gallon which covers 300-400 square feet.

If you want to venture beyond the basic staining of concrete, consider using some scoring techniques to create patterns on the surface. You can make your concrete look like a tile floor for example. It’s up to your imagination. An angle grinder with a 4 inch grinding or cutting wheel is the ideal tool for this. The important thing to remember when scoring is to draw the pattern on the concrete first and make sure you’re satisfied with the way it looks because scoring is irreversible. Most people don’t own an angle grinder but you can rent one at almost any tool rental shop.

Epoxy paints make an excellent coating for garage floors and basement floors.

Many commercial floors have epoxy coatings because of their durability and resistance to chemical spills as well as their appearance. In recent years, however, it has become very popular for residential use with an increasing availability of different colors. This is not a difficult project, but the key to successful application is surface preparation. Epoxy paints have also become available in a water based form making it safe for the do-it-yourselfer and ideal for indoor applications. They cost a little more than stains. For a 400 square foot garage, you’ll spend about $200 for the materials needed for this project.

Decorate Your Concrete: Ideas for the Do-It-Yourselfer by Concrete contractors Columbus Ohio

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Concrete Concrete Contractors

Why You Should Consider Staining Your Concrete Floor

Why You Should Consider Staining Your Concrete Floor contractor dallas tx

Why You Should Consider Staining Your Concrete Floor – If you’re not familiar with it, concrete stain isn’t a paint or finish coat. It involves a chemical reaction on cement materials.

Acid staining can make a common concrete floor into look like expensive natural stone flooring.

Not only is it a fraction of the price, but for people allergic to carpeting materials it’s a godsend. Another great application is in houses with radiant floor heating. Radiant heating is at its most efficient when insulating floor coverings like tile or carpet are minimized.

The process of staining a concrete floor, while not overly complex, can be tough to get the results you want from. Most folks are probably better off hiring a professional contractor. It’s a risky project for the do-it-yourselfer.

If you’re not familiar with it, concrete stain isn’t a paint or finish coat.

It involves a chemical reaction on cement materials. Typically a water-based solution of hydrochloric acid and inorganic salts, the stain reacts with minerals and lime in the concrete aggregate, and the result of the reaction is coloring. It works on new or old concrete, and is fairly durable if you maintain it with sealer or wax, since it won’t stain or chip. It can also be applied to both interiors and exterior floors. Walkways, bathrooms, entrances, driveways, living rooms and patios are all fair game.

When it’s finished, stained concrete looks a little like marble, but more dappled and less uniform. The concrete will mostly be earthy brown tones, with hints of red and green. It’s possible to make your own tint stain by mixing colors, or applying at dissimilar rates. When you stain a concrete floor, though, don’t expect the stain to be uniform or have an even tone. Plan your room décor and color scheme accordingly, because you’ll get dissimilar reactions from different areas of the concrete, and even a seasoned pro will be hard pressed to predict what the final result will be.

Surface prep for acid staining concrete depends on what condition your slab is in.

Newly poured concrete only needs is be allowed time for curing- three weeks after pouring- then some rinsing and scrubbing. Older concrete is a different story. Thorough cleaning is required because any dirt, grease, paint, sealer or even curing agent will keep the stain from penetrating and reacting as it should. Do a little test area to make sure it’s ready.

Newer poured concrete will require less stain than older floors, but in general, a gallon of water added to one gallon of stain will cover around 400 square feet. Apply the stain with a non-metallic brush or broom, working in the cooler morning or evening hours, rather than in the heat of the day. Be careful to protect yourself from spillage, drips and fumes from the acid stain, and follow the manufacturer’s precautions.

After application, you need to cleanup by sweeping away any leftover stain and residue with a broom. When the floor is thoroughly dry, it is a good idea to apply a sealer agent and then wax it.

If you are in the market for natural stone flooring, a new look for your basement or patio, or just looking for new remodeling ideas, stained concrete is something you should look into.

Why You Should Consider Staining Your Concrete Floor by Concrete contractors Dallas TX

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Concrete Concrete Contractors

Asphalt versus Concrete Driveways – Which is Best

Asphalt versus Concrete Driveways – Which is Best contractors portland oregon

Asphalt versus Concrete Driveways – Which is Best – Asphalt and concrete are the most popular types of material for paving driveways. Asphalt driveways and concrete driveways both have their unique advantages. If you live in a cold climate and are considering a concrete driveway you need to make sure the base for the driveway is heavily laid with gravel and it is compacted first. Otherwise the driveway will run the risk of cracking due to frost heaves. In addition, concrete is susceptible to salt damage, a material frequently used on roads in cold weather parts of the country. On the other hand, if you live in a warm or hot climate and are considering asphalt paving, then you need to consider the fact that asphalt can become soft in the hot sun and is therefore susceptible to ruts.

Asphalt paved driveways are typically cheaper to install than concrete paved driveways.

However, asphalt paved driveways need significant more care over time to protect them. Asphalt paved driveways need to be sealed at least once every 3-5 years. Each sealing, though easily completed by a do it yourself homeowner, costs money and time. In addition, the sealer needs typically 2-3 days to dry before you can park a vehicle on it. Also, a newly asphalt paved driveway should not be sealed for at least 6-9 months, as the light oils associated with the asphalt need to evaporate first. If an asphalt driveway is sealed too soon it will remain soft forever.

Asphalt driveways do not need to be always black and concrete driveways do not always need to be off-white. Both asphalt and concrete driveways can be tinted to various colors. Check with your prospective paving contractors first to see what color options there are for your driveway project.

Asphalt driveways, if maintained can typically last 25-30 years. Concrete driveways can last even longer.

However, both require a solid foundation to be laid on. If not laid on a solid foundation both will crack over time, especially in colder weather climates. Asphalt cracks are easier to repair than concrete driveway cracks.

Consideration for the slope of the driveway should also be considered when contemplating concrete driveways. Over time, concrete driveways can shear off of the foundation they are poured on which can lead to unwanted cracks.

If you are planning a new asphalt driveway and need help on how to hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet. The Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your driveway is paved correctly and you get the finished driveway you are looking for. In addition, it will help to ensure that the installation of your driveway will be accomplished on time and on budget!

Concrete contractors portland oregon

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Concrete Concrete Contractors

Concrete Floor Paint And Vital Preparation

Concrete Floor Paint And Vital Preparation contractor okcConcrete Floor Paint And Vital Preparation : preparation is important when applying floor paint. You can only expect a surface to stay in place, if its substrate is permanent. If the substrate crumbles or moves, your surface and floor paint will move with it. After 40 years of application practice, flooring experts have developed application preparation procedures that minimize the risk of substrates moving. Floors that are new are especially vulnerable and require extra preparation before painting the floor. While a new concrete floor is dusty for the first couple of years while the latent of concrete on the surface are kicked, walked, or driven off. The latent must be removed before quality topcoats are applied; or the topcoats will move with the latent as they break free from the substrate.

Cleaning first with a high pH or alkaline degreaser attacks oil and grease contaminants while moving the floor pH higher will do wonders for the floor paint finish.

And afterwards you put on a low pH acidic cleaner that attacks minerals, rust and other particles. That makes your pH jump 10 points or better to shock contaminants loose from substrates. An acidic cleaner should have detergents, rinse agents and water softeners blended into it so that it is formulated to do the best job possible. It is very important to bring the pH back to normal 6.5 or 7 pH after cleaning, using a scrub rinse.

If you have ever tried to run your fingers across your car after pressure washing it;

you know that it still has a thin layer of road film on it. That is because surface tension holds even high pressure from penetrating the road film. You must break the surface tension with contact during all three steps of cleaning. The more aggressive the contact the better for removing concrete latent, small particles of concrete that are ready to break of to become that endless dust coming off unquoted concrete floors.

You should be careful relying on retail store clerks alone, to help you with a floor that will be used for the next 10 to 20 years. Now a day’s factory-direct kit of materials including step-by-step instructions and a 24/7 online help are now on hand. With these resources, you can put quality floor paint down in your garage that will last for many years. Like with a car finish, you may get some scratches and marks, but likewise a car finish, a little touching up can keep the floor paint looking good for many years.

Concrete Floor Paint And Vital Preparation by Concrete contractors OKC

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A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home's Profile jacksonville fl

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile : increasingly, homeowners looking for an inexpensive way to make their home more livable and increase curb appeal with an eye toward resale are embracing the nationwide trend of creating outdoor living spaces.

These areas usually feature spaces for entertaining friends and family while grilling, dining, eating and relaxing.

That often means room for a patio, a grill, a sink or a fireplace. Some think of it as adding a family room without the roof.

For many, the building technique of choice when creating these spaces calls for using segmental concrete paving. This technique employs interlocking units-called concrete pavers-that are strong, durable and are growing in popularity worldwide. In Germany, for instance, there are 15 square feet of pavers installed per person annually. In the Netherlands, most of the streets and sidewalks are made of pavers.

Often used in walkways, patios, plazas and historic restoration projects, pavers are manufactured in a variety of shapes, textures and colors and can be easily removed and reinstalled.

One kind of home-improvement project where pavers are increasingly being used is a raised patio.

These patios are known for their durability and can create a new sense of space in a yard, particularly when extended to meet an existing deck. Such spaces can be used as an outdoor entertainment area, complete with hot tub or barbeque pit.

There are a number of reasons why pavers have become popular in projects such as these:

• Their uniform size and quality allow them to fit tightly together for a strong, interlocking surface.

• Paver joints allow for a small amount of movement without cracking. That means they won’t crack like asphalt or poured-in-place concrete.

• Their design makes them easy to install and repair

• They’re available in a wide variety of shapes, colors and textures.

• And they can be installed by either a professional or a skilled do-it-yourselfer.

One of the newest styles offers the high-end look of stone for a more modest price. Called “tumbled” or “antiqued” pavers, they can be used to add a stately look to a walkway, patio or driveway.

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile by Concrete contractors jacksonville fl

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Landscaping Tips: Concrete Pond Construction

Landscaping Tips: Concrete Pond Construction chicago

Landscaping Tips: Concrete Pond Construction : good concrete pond construction means not taking shortcuts. Improper methods can lead to more money spent on maintenance, repairs, or replacement than on the cost of the initial construction. Since good concrete pond construction equates to having one that lasts a lifetime or longer, follow these rules of thumb to get it right – the first time!

Keep in mind that for suitable concrete pond construction, you need to pour the concrete to a thickness of four to six inches.

After deciding on the dimensions and outlining the area, all soil (and rocks!) should then be dug out. Forms then need to be built and placed where concrete is to be poured, along with the proper placement of cut-to-fit reinforcement bars (rebar).

For digging out the area for concrete pond construction, you will need shovels, picks, a crowbar, and, of course, a wheelbarrow. Some other necessary items include a carpenter’s level, string, stakes, sheets of plastic, and a long two-by-four.

Pouring the cement in concrete pond construction should be done in one day, unless the pond is very large, and then it must be poured in sections. Pour cement in the bottom of the pool first, then the sides. If shelves have been dug out, pour cement there, next. Finally, pour cement for the top of the pond and for any coping that may be involved.

After you have completed these first steps of your concrete pond construction project, you need to let the cement cure for several days under plastic.

Treating with muriatic acid at this stage helps prevent high pH levels in water later, which benefits fish and plants. After the acid treatment, apply several coats of paint made for pools or masonry sealant, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.

Concrete pond construction can be a true learning experience. It’s best to start with a smaller pond, then if you meet with success, you can then move on to a larger project. But once you get the hang of concrete pond construction, there’s no limit to where you can go from there. So learn, build, and then build some more!

Landscaping Tips: Concrete Pond Construction by Concrete contractors chicago