Concrete Decor October 2019
WR Meadows Decra Seal Natural Product
WR Meadows Decra Seal Natural Product
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Bent O. Mikkelsen
(877) 935-8906 x201
Stacey Enesey Klemenc
(757) 427-6355
Creative Director:
Bill Simpson
(877) 935-8906 x203
Karen Keyes
Chris Mayo
Cory Olson
Matt Sambol
Jason Spangler
Tyler Stephens
Chris Sullivan
Business Manager:
Sheri Mikkelsen
(877) 935-8906 x205
Meg Webb
(877) 935-8906 x200
Bent O. Mikkelsen
(877) 935-8906 x201
Subscriber Services:
(877) 935-8906 x200
Fax: (541) 228-9972
Mailing Address:
Professional Trade
Publications Inc.
27495 2nd Place
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Concrete Decor™ is published eight times a year by Professional Trade Publications Inc. Bulk rate postage paid at Lebanon Junction, Kentucky, and additional mailing offices.

ISSN 1542-1597

© 2019 Professional Trade Publications Inc. All rights reserved. Acceptance of advertising in this magazine and mention of specific products or services in editorial content does not imply endorsement of the product or service by Concrete Decor. No part of this publication or its website may be reproduced without written permission of Professional Trade Publications Inc.

Publisher’s Letter
Bent Mikkelsen Headshot
Dear Readers,
If you’re a Concrete Decor subscriber, you’ll receive an entirely new online version of the magazine this month. We’re really pumped about the new online magazine because it creates an improved reader experience, one that complements the printed version. In fact, in some ways it’s even better!
Bent Mikkelsen Headshot
The online magazine now scrolls through content and responds to the device you’re using to read it. Hold your smart phone vertically and it appears one way. Turn it horizontally and both ads and content will adjust. With the new format, you can enjoy the magazine’s content without having to zoom in and out.

There’s a Preview of each new issue appearing in the top left corner of for the general public but subscribers will receive the full version in their inbox before it’s available to anybody else. For those who subscribe to the print magazine, no worries! You’ll continue receiving this great magazine curbside.

On the cover: As part of a polished concrete class taught at the Decorative Concrete Institute in Temple, Georgia, student David Chambers of Obsidian Concrete LLC and instructor Lee Ann Harris color a 3-D Venetian design in the facility’s new warehouse.
Photo courtesy of Bob and Lee Ann Harris
Concrete Decor logo
Vol. 19, No. 7
October 2019
2020 Decorative Concrete Training Guide
The Broadcast
The debate is a draw
by Karen Keyes
Sell clean-and-seal as an alternative to epoxy coatings, acid staining or polishing
by Tyler Stephens
Coated interior concrete floor
Concrete Questions
New facility emulates Old World beauty
by Stacey Enesey Klemenc
by Matt Sambol
Build a stone-veneer monument mailbox in 5 easy steps
by Cory Olson
Floor emulating old world style
Building a mailbox
Project Profile

Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center
Arlington, Texas
by Stacey Enesey Klemenc

New stamps draw contractors in
by Chris Mayo

Karen Keyes headshot

As the owner of The Art of Concrete LLC out of Denver, Colorado, Karen Keyes has found her niche in the industry exploring the creative side of building and designing with concrete. She helps owners, architects and landscape architects design decorative concrete palettes to enhance space and its community. Reach her at See Karen’s article on page12.

Cory Olson headshot

Cory Olson, senior vice president of Sakrete North America, leads the company’s national product mix, independent sales and brand initiatives. He has worked for nearly 30 years in the building materials space, the last 20 with Oldcastle in various leadership roles. Questions should be directed to Sakrete’s technical team at (866) 725-7383. See Cory’s article on page 37.

Matt Sambol headshot

Matt Sambol, manager of flooring and polymer systems at CTS Cement, has been with the company since 2002. He oversees product development, testing and field support for the Rapid Set Tru Flooring System, which includes the polishable self-leveling overlayment products. He can be reached at See Matt’s article on page 34.

Jason Spangler headshot

Jason Spangler, Wagner Meters’ flooring division manager, has more than 25 years’ experience in sales and sales management. He has successfully launched various products to the market, including the original Rapid RH concrete moisture test and the new Rapid RH L6 Smart Sensors. He can be reached at (800) 634-9961. See Jason’s article on page 16.

Tyler Stephens headshot

Tyler Stephens is president of Stephens Concrete Sealing, a surface restoration, cleaning and sealing company in Indianapolis, Indiana. The family-owned company, founded in 2009, services both homeowners and businesses. Tyler can be reached at (317) 264-9781 or See Tyler’s article on page 18.

Chris Sullivan headshot

Chris Sullivan is vice president of sales and marketing with ChemSystems Inc. and a member of the Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame. He has led seminars and product demonstrations throughout North America. Reach him at See Chris’ article on page 28.


For information from any of these advertisers, go to

Training Index

his Training Guide helps you find training opportunities that fit the specific needs of decorative concrete experts, beginners and everyone in between.

The Training Index lists training opportunities offered by various service providers. Find the type of training you need in the tables below and click on the company name for more information.

The online Training & Events Calendar at tells you when and where classes are being held. Online calendar information is updated daily. Have questions? Give Concrete Decor a call at (877) 935-8906.

2020 Decorative Concrete Training Guide Company Index logo
Butterfield Color A Sika Brand Logo Image
Butterfield Color Inc.

625 W Illinois Ave.
Aurora, Ill. 60506
(800) 282-3388

Butterfield Color Inc. manufactures a complete line of decorative concrete products for the treatment of new and existing concrete including integral colors, color hardeners, stains, antiquing and release agents, overlays, sealers, stamping tools, form liners and countertop mix.

See our ad on page 29

Kingdom Products Logo Image
Kingdom Products

45 Underwood Rd.
Throop, Pa. 18512
(570) 489-6025

The royal family of decorative concrete and engineered cements – high-performance, industrial grade, premium quality product manufacturing. Kingdom Products specializes in manufacturing premium quality dry powder, cement-based materials. Color hardeners, antique release agents, concrete repair and restoration materials, standard and stampable overlays, vertical wall mix and custom packaged integral pigments are only a small sample of the products available under the Kingdom Products brand. Private label and toll blending services are also available.

See our ad on page 35

Trinic Logo Image
Trinic LLC

40 Grosset Dr., Ste. 200
Kirkwood, N.Y. 13795
(607) 775-1948

Expert training offered monthly. We feel that as manufacturers of cutting edge products combined with 40 years of experience, sharing our knowledge with you will help you expand your decorative concrete business without unnecessarily high training fees. Your success is our goal. If we help you grow, you will help us grow. Come learn new techniques that will advance your skills and abilities.

See our ad on page 13

Product News
Laticrete NXT Level SP
Polishable overlay can serve as underlayment or wear surface

Laticrete, a leading manufacturer of construction solutions for the building industry, has introduced Nxt Level SP, a coarse-sanded, polishable, cementitious self-leveling concrete overlay designed to function as a high-strength wear surface or underlayment.

With its ability to be pourable and pumpable, the overlay is ideal for new construction and repairs to polished slabs in malls, department stores, supermarkets, hotels, apartment buildings, car dealerships and other high-traffic areas that need a durable, low-maintenance wear surface. 

The Broadcast
Safety is scrutinized more closely in a commercial project than with a residential job, and organization is paramount to help with its success.
Photos courtesy of The Art of Concrete LLC
Pros and Cons of Commercial vs. Residential Construction
The debate is a draw
by Karen Keyes

bout a week after having my fourth child, I received several kind comments and gestures from people across our industry. But two in particular stuck out. The first involved a residential client and the second was from a commercial general contractor. The interactions made me ponder the pros and cons of residential construction versus commercial.

A residential review
When I was about eight months pregnant, I took on a small residential project, not because I like residential work, but because I had given a presentation to a group of landscape architects and one of them asked me to help out with mismatched concrete in a basement of one of his new-build residential projects.

Honestly, I cringed going into it. Throughout my career, I’ve been warned many times not to go “fix” other concrete contractor’s mistakes because it only leads to trouble. The concrete contractor who placed the basement floor did a great job. However, like in most construction, something got missed and additional plumbing had to be run through the floor. So, a portion of the floor was removed and replaced.

Keeping tabs just got better
How Does Moisture Move Through Concrete?
by Jason Spangler

nderstanding how moisture moves through concrete is critical to successful flooring. It helps you reduce the risk for future moisture-related flooring failure during installation. It also helps you identify and assess the cause of moisture-related issues that have already occurred.

Dynamics of moisture movement
Despite its outward appearance, concrete isn’t solid. It’s filled with air pockets and veins. When poured, the concrete slab contains the batch water from the mix. As it sets, water begins to evaporate, and the air pockets and veins begin to form within the slab. These veins are called capillaries. As concrete hardens, batch water and vapor get pulled into these air pockets. This process is called “capillary action.”
Interior Concrete Floors title
Sell clean-and-seal as an alternative to epoxy coatings, acid staining or polishing
After two coats of sealer, the concrete will shine and show imperfections similar to the look you get with acid staining.
Photos courtesy of Stephens Concrete Sealing
by Tyler Stephens

hen someone calls us for a quote about sealing their concrete, it’s usually a driveway, sidewalk, patio or pool deck. Sealing exterior concrete surfaces that get exposed to Mother Nature 24/7/365 with her summer heat and winter snow and ice makes sense to customers and contractors alike.

However, when it comes to garage floors, most clients lean toward epoxy flake flooring, while for basements they typically request epoxy or acid stained floors. Many suffer from sticker shock when they find out how expensive epoxy is and few realize how strong an odor it emits.

Show Guide
2019 Concrete Decor Show
Oct. 28-31, Arlington, Texas
Time to Power Up for the Possibilities!

elcome to the ninth installment of the Concrete Decor Show, a now biennial event put on by the folks from Professional Trade Publications. It’s being held Monday through Thursday, Oct. 28-31, at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas, with lodging accommodations at the nearby Arlington Sheraton Hotel.

The show — dedicated wholly to those whose livelihood centers on the business of decorative concrete — begins at 7 a.m. Monday with a presentation titled “Safety Comes First” at the center’s Show Floor Four.

Moderated by Chris Sullivan, the decorative concrete specialist for the American Society of Concrete Contractors/Decorative Concrete Council and a regular columnist for Concrete Decor, the early morning tailgater will address how you can build a job site environment that’s safe and free of hazards while winning the support of your co-workers. Doughnuts and coffee will be served.

Four men to be inducted into Hall of Fame

his year, four men will join the ranks of those honored in the Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony and dinner held Oct. 28 at the 2019 Concrete Decor Show in Arlington, Texas. They are:

Marshall Barabasch Sr.
Currently head of Shaw & Sons Special Project Division, Barabasch has more than 40 years of themed, stamped and architectural concrete experience under his trowel. His specialty is themed concrete and he is well-known and highly respected in the Southern California theme park circuit. He has probably placed more concrete for the Disney resorts in California than anybody else in his 30+ years of doing business with the Mouse. Barabasch has also done work for the Disney resorts in Florida, China and Japan.
Marshall Barabasch Sr. headshot
Workshops title
The Sky’s the Limit with Vertical Carved Concrete

8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28 & Tuesday, Oct. 29
Area: Show Floor One
Trainers: Troy Lemon of Cornerstone Decorative Concrete and Emil Gera of Emil J Gera Concrete Contractor Inc.
Workshop assistants: Danny Carillo of Graco and Matt Sampson of Matthew Buckley Sampson Inc.

This workshop for intermediate to advanced applicators will focus on productively using the latest products, tools and equipment to turn vertical concrete carving applications into one of your company’s most lucrative services. Participants will learn valuable techniques that will fool anyone into believing stone, brick and modern plaster veneers — along with carved steps and other custom finishes — are the real deal.

Boost Profits with Engraving and Stencils

8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28 & Tuesday, Oct. 29
Area: Show Floor Two
Trainers: Rick Lobdell of Concrete Mystique Engraving and Debbie Ohland of Engrave-A-Crete
In this workshop participants will learn multiple ways to not only use engraving to their advantage, but also methods to incorporate stencils for added details.

Show Schedule
Monday, Oct. 28
8 am
ICFs Answer the Call for an Energy-Minded Society
Glen Klassen
Champions I
1 pm
The Secrets of a Decorative Concrete Entrepreneur
Karen Keyes
Champions I
Designing and Specifying Decorative Concrete
Chris Klemaske and Byron Klemaske
Champions I
Carpentry for Concrete Forming (Day 1)
Rich Robertson
Show Floor Four
The Sky’s the Limit with Vertical Carved Concrete (Day 1)
Troy Lemon and Emil Gera
Show Floor One
Boost Profits with Engraving and Stencils (Day 1)
Rick Lobdell and Debbie Ohland
Show Floor Two
Harder, Thicker, Longer … Concrete Countertops (Day 1)
Jake Brady
Show Floor Zero
7:00 a.m. Tailgater Meeting, Show Floor Four, Chris Sullivan (open to all show attendees, mandatory for trainers and product demonstrators)
7:00 p.m. Hall of Fame Dinner, Plaza on the Hill (Sheraton Arlington Hotel)
Floor Plan
Arlington Convention Center
2019 Concrete Decor Show Floor Plan
Exhibitor Directory

5637 LaRibera St., Livermore, CA 94550
(800) 350-6021 ·

Ardex Engineered Cements Inc.

400 Ardex Park Dr., Aliquippa, PA 15001
(724) 203-5000 ·

Barnsco Decorative Concrete Supply

13880 N Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75234
(214) 352-9091 ·

EZ Polish

9328 Wheatlands Rd., #A, Santee, CA 92071
(844) 376-5474 ·
EZ Polish System allows its users to create beautifully polished floors faster than the traditional polishing method.

FloorMaps Inc.

810 Northwest 3rd St., Unit A, Bentonville, AR 72712
(832) 329-3648 ·
Incorporated in 2009 by Rachel Knigge Bruce, FloorMaps specializes in producing vinyl stencils and also provides consulting, support, training classes and artists for more complex works.

SealBoss logo

1669 E Wilshire Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705
SealBoss Corp. offers specialty construction products, systems and equipment for infrastructure and geotechnical applications.

Concrete Questions
Concrete Decor Show: I’ll be there … will you?
by Chris Sullivan

s there value in having a dedicated trade show for the decorative concrete industry? The short answer is yes. There’s tremendous value in having an industry-focused show. While there are decorative-devoted pavilions at other shows, they are just that — areas within other events.

I get that money talks. As a small business owner, I understand return on investment and the ability to recoup expenses are critical. My company has exhibited in three of the eight shows to date, and we will have a booth at the upcoming ninth show in Arlington, Texas. We make the decision to attend based primarily on where the show is located and the “bang for the buck” we anticipate.

Venetian-inspired saw-cut and colored floors image

Lee Ann and Bob Harris (pictured below) decided the time was right to dazzle their students with Venetian-inspired saw-cut and colored floors in their new DCI training center in Temple, Georgia. The floor pictured above is in the warehouse.

Fantastic Floor
New facility emulates Old World beauty
by Stacey Enesey Klemenc

ob Harris had wanted to tackle replicating the breathtaking floors of the Santa Maria della Salute, commonly known as La Salute, ever since he first laid eyes on them. The founder of the Decorative Concrete Institute and senior decorative concrete consultant for Structural Services Inc. had visited the Catholic basilica in Venice seven or eight times and had studied the cut marble floors in detail. He thought how cool it would be to pay homage to the 15th-century Venetians by recreating their artwork in his own backyard.

La Salute inspires

n his and his wife’s many visits to Venice, Italy, Bob Harris was always in awe of one Catholic church near the entrance of the Grand Canal. In particular, the concrete floor specialist marveled at the precision involved with the hand-cut marble pieces that formed the unforgettable floors of the Santa Maria della Salute (Saint Mary of Health). After all, they were built centuries ago — from 1631-87 to be precise.

Prior to the Salute’s construction, the plague had ravaged the city in 1630-31 and wiped out about a third of the population. The Venetian Senate prayed to the virgin mother to intervene on Venice’s behalf and stop the pestilence from claiming more lives. The epidemic was stemmed and in return for prayers answered a magnificent Catholic basilica was to be erected in Mary’s honor — with no expense or effort spared.

ASTM C348 Test performed at the CTS laboratory
The downward force from the top causes the bottom of the prism to fail in tension during this ASTM C348 Test performed at the CTS laboratory.
This office lobby in Austin, Texas, is finished with Rapid Set Tru SP. The high-performance, self-leveling architectural topping has undergone extensive testing of its comprehensive, tensile and flexural strengths to provide a more comprehensive analysis of its overall performance when it comes to cracking.
Photos courtesy of CTS Cement
When choosing an overlayment, consider the benefits of
Tensile and Flexural Strength
by Matt Sambol

ompressive strength — the ability of a material to withstand being compressed or pushed together — is often used to determine mortar and concrete’s quality. This makes sense for floors and overlayments as the primary forces applied to them are downward, compressive loads from traffic, equipment or anything affected by the force of gravity.

However, when it comes to decorative overlayments, which are typically installed between 3/8 and 1/2 inch thick, crack resistance is also critical. When addressing cracking concerns, it’s important to understand how cracks result and how different types of strength can contribute to crack resistance and durability.

You've Got Mail title
Build a stone-veneer monument mailbox in 5 easy steps
by Cory Olson

s clients look to increase their home’s curb appeal, they often overlook transforming the mundane mailbox. Considering a home’s curb appeal encompasses everything from the sidewalk to the front door, a monument mailbox can quickly and easily make a big impact in improving a home’s first impression. Here’s what you need to create a monument mailbox and how to do it:

Photos courtesy of Sakrete North America
Project Profile
F-rated floors repaired to achieve A+ status
Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center
Arlington, Texas
by Stacey Enesey Klemenc

exas-based VLK Architects is no stranger to being recognized for its outstanding accomplishments when it comes to designing public schools such as the monumental and expressive Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center.

“I’d give it an A for sure,” says Sloan Harris, a partner with VLK Architects, about the sprawling 165,000-square-foot CTC that’s being heralded as the flagship campus for the Arlington Independent School District.

CTC Recognized for Excellence

exas-based VLK Architects has earned numerous recognitions for its work with public schools, including notable rankings by Architectural Record, ENR and Building Design + Construction.

In 2018, Building Design + Construction ranked VLK Architects eighth among 150 U.S. architecture firms for its K-12 work in 2017, which included the Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center (CTC) in Arlington, Texas. It also was ranked 49th overall among the largest 149 participating U.S. architecture firms.

Accolades given to the CTC in Arlington include:

• The Fort Worth Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture’s Honor Award, the organization’s highest recognition for building design. All Design Award entries are evaluated for design excellence regardless of size, budget or project type.

• School Planning & Management’s 2018 Education Design Showcase Honorable Mention, which honors projects providing excellent learning environments for students at all levels of education.

• Selected as a finalist for the 2018-19 Caudill Class of the Exhibit of School Architecture competition by the Texas Association of School Administrators and Texas Association of School Boards. To be considered for these groups’ highest recognition, a project must receive at least four stars from six areas of distinction: Design, Value, Community, Planning, School Transformation and Sustainability. The Dipert Center received five.

New stamps draw contractors in
by Chris Mayo

magine you own a company that supplies concrete contractors with the tools for their trade. You offer a product that has been the industry standard for decades and is essential to most contractors in your industry. Your company sells a lot of them and they are a good source of income. Your company is a recognized industry leader as a provider of the product.

Photo by Concrete Decor staff
Photo by Concrete Decor staff
New stamps draw contractors in
by Chris Mayo

magine you own a company that supplies concrete contractors with the tools for their trade. You offer a product that has been the industry standard for decades and is essential to most contractors in your industry. Your company sells a lot of them and they are a good source of income. Your company is a recognized industry leader as a provider of the product.

Concrete Decor logo
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