Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lake Effect Project Finished

I finally got to go up to Osceola today to see the final product or our lake effect polishing project. I posted pictures below. It looks great! The lake is vibrant and portrays motion, the rock in the path jumps out at you, and the stampable overlay of the woodplank looks great. Check it out!

Concrete Arts

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Polished Concrete - Lake effect

I wanted to share with you a job that we are doing up in Osceola, WI for an Airport Hanger. It's a really neat polishing job. When most people think of our concrete polishing service, they think of plain gray, commercial, and boring. What they don’t' know is the many advantages. It's extremely durable and versatile with ease of maintenance. You get the look of the different levels of rock exposure and can add in virtually any color.

We are in the process of completing the job. I wanted to give you some before pictures and then in a couple days I'll post the after shots.


What our client is looking for is a decorative space to give the illusion of his plane landing on water next to his cabin. To give that creative look, we polished the main water area to an exposure level 2 which shows a light sand look and blended two dye colors to give the illusion of water. From the Airport Hanger door to the Cabin door, we polished a path to an exposure level four which shows a heavy rock look. We used one dye, malt brown, on the path. Around his cabin we did a stampable overlay. The overlays used our wood plank stamp which was later stained to give a mottled look.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Countertops - The Only Limit is Your Imagination

Endless Possibilities

Concrete Countertops has been the topic of the past few posts. I personally love exploring the many options with the countertops. There are endless possiblities, the only limit is your imagination. To show you the versatility and creativity, I've posted a posterboard of a few of all the different types of countertops you can do. Later we'll venture into other options with concrete such as flooring, staining, polishing, furniture, etc.


Concrete Arts

Monday, February 16, 2009

FAQs - Look and Care For Concrete

The Look and Care For Concrete

This is the last of the three posts on the frequently asked questions for Concrete Countertops!

How do I clean my concrete?
For daily cleaning we recommend soap and water, avoid acidic cleaners and avoid lime removers. For monthly and before entertaining we recommend a cleaning with Gel Gloss it is available at most home improvement stores. Gel Gloss cleans and protects the surface with a fine layer of wax.

Can I place hot pans and cut on my concrete?
Concrete is very durable surface, but in order to protect it from stains we use sealers, these sealers penetrate and form on the surface, therefore to protect the sealers we do not recommend placing hot items on or cutting on your tops.

What about imperfections in the concrete?
Part of the allure of concrete is the hand crafting that is involved. Concrete by nature has “air” in it. The air shows up as small bubble holes. Larger bubbles are slurried in and smaller holes are filled and protected by sealer. Concrete counters are hand polished and not polished by large machines like granites and marbles. You concrete will have a hand crafted look which will add to its character.

Will there be seams in my concrete?
In order to make the concrete tops manageable we try and limit the length of the tops to 8’. Tops can be poured longer and wider but access and staging concerns need to be addressed, most granite tops are 8’ long. Seams are filled with a color matching epoxy to help minimize the seam.

Concrete Arts

Friday, February 13, 2009

More FAQs on Decorative Concrete

Do I need to re-enforce my cabinets?
As long as the concrete top are in the 1-1/2" to 2” thick no additional cabinet support is needed.

What is the thickness of the concrete top?
Tops are generally 1-1/2” thick although 2” is also common. Depending on the size and layout 1-1/4” is possible. If you would desire a thicker top, a drop face can be integrated to give the appearance of a solid, thick concrete countertop. As for a wish for a thinner concrete top, special considerations and possible reinforcements are needed.

Do you pour the countertops over my existing tops?
No, all of our countertops are precast off site and then brought to your home and installed in about a day. There is a little mess with this application. Your old tops will need to be removed.

What if my concrete scratches?
Concrete tops depending on the exposure can be polished to remove any deep scratches. Most scratches can be burnished out as they are most likely in the sealer surface.

The list 4 FAQs will come Monday!

Carly Freiborg
Concrete Arts

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Concrete Countertops - FAQs

Concrete countertops are one of the most versatile materials available today. Concrete gives you the ability to design your top with few limitations. It’s the perfect solution to create the natural handcrafted look that you can’t find with manufactured stones. Concrete counters have been around for several years and have gone through several evolutions. Today we can create some of the most artistic pieces imaginable. There are always questions with concrete, so I will address the most common ones in the next few posts.

Will my concrete countertop crack?
Just like granites and marbles concrete countertops have the potential to develop hairline cracks. Unlike granite or marble a concrete mix, like the ones Concrete Arts uses, can be heavily loaded with polyethylene fibers to prevent surfaces cracking and increase the tensile strength of the top. If a piece does develop a crack the fibers will bond and piece together.

Will concrete stain?
Concrete in its natural unsealed state will stain. So after the fabrication sealers are applied to resist stains and allow time for cleanup. Just as the granites and marbles, we recommend the sealing of your concrete tops to extend the stain resistance. This process should be done every couple of years or as needed depending on use. This is a simple process and can be done in a day.

Can my concrete be repaired?
Concrete counters can be repaired; depending on the surface finish, the repair can even be undetectable when fixed. The “Dry Pack” method is the easiest to repair and fixes are almost unnoticeable. Full exposure is easily fixed, minimal exposure and fine exposure tops do allow for the shadowing of a repair.

More FAQs in tomorrow’s post

Concrete Arts

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Polishing - Floor Restoration

YMCA Floor Restoration
We Build Strong Flooring,
Smart Solutions, and Great Results.

The YMCA carpets were worn-out and had visible stains and water damage which hindered the overall appeal of the building. A custom polished floor deemed the best solution for the YMCA due to its durability and ability to save on maintenance costs.

During the preparation of the floor, we found many challenges once the carpet was removed. There were uneven heights in the flooring due to separate foundation floors and random cracking. To fix this base problem, cracks were routed out and filled with Polymer modified grouts and structural cracks were filled with Epoxy to bond slabs back together.

To enhance the appeal of the flooring, faux joints were cut in and grouted to simulate an ashlar slate pattern in the flooring and individual ashlar squares were custom stained to add dimension. The YMCA now has a durable floor that looks great and it’s easier to maintain.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Concrete Art Announces Merger

Concrete Arts Announces Merger with Graf Concrete

I am pleased to inform you that Graf Concrete has merged with Concrete Arts and are now officially operating as one. Together the company is uniquely positioned to offer a wide variety of concrete services from traditional flatwork and poured work that Graf Concrete specialized in to Concrete Art’s Decorative Stamping, Staining, PreCast and Polishing.

What does this mean for you? Convenience. Everything is now simplified under one name, Concrete Arts. We now offer commitment to innovation to each of our
Services. Our goal is to continue as one company providing you high quality, customizable products and services.

Over the years our company has ventured into many different avenues and explored many new options with concrete. We have enjoyed working with all of you and would like to thank you for your loyalty and support.

Sincerely ,
Tom Graf