Abstract Concrete LLC
ABSTRACT IDEAS... CONCRETE RESULTS.
Below is some technical information on the products we use and the procedures we employ while installing concrete overlays, stained concrete, and epoxy flooring here in Austin. There are also some links you might find useful, including info on the products we use as well as color charts for all of our products. We are constantly updating these as the decorative concrete industry is growing rapidly!
80% of the interior remodels we do involve overlays. These engineered cement based decorative concrete products were designed to cover and add a new topping or surface to an otherwise damaged, or out of date finish. These systems can be troweled, squeegee finished, self leveled, sprayed and more.
Decorative concrete overlays are comprised of many different chemical additives but generally use basic elements like, cement, aggregate (usually in the form of sand, silica, or calcium carbonate) and a polymer.
The polymer is the secret. Polymers can come in dry or liquid form. Dry polymers are often blended and already in the package when purchased, whereas liquid polymers must be added as an ingredient at the time of blending or mixing on site. Polymers are simply an acrylic type glue that helps these thin resurfacing systems bond to their substrate, giving them added strength, flexibility and generally improving their performance. Here's a few overlays that we specialize in:
Spray Top Overlay:
Our revolutionary new spray-able overlay allows us to spray cement like paint in any color! It can then be colored further and antiqued by using acid stains, acetone or alcohol-based dyes, and other treatments which creates a limitless color palette. Here's Spray Top, from Concrete Solutions!
Here's the standard base color chart for Spray Top.
Sometimes there's no better way to finish an overlay than to get down on your hands and knees and go to town with a trowel. Not only do the imperfections of a hand-troweled floor have artistic merit in their own right (a concrete artisan's trowel marks are as unique as an artist's brush strokes), but they will cause stains and tinted sealers to react with the coating unevenly, resulting in marbled or mottled looks. Here's some products we use:
Self-leveling overlay systems for concrete floors offer numerous advantages. They can correct uneven floors, repair damaged concrete, and provide a smooth and durable new surface for decorative treatments. These flowable polymer-modified toppings have the ability to self level without troweling, making them a quick solution for smoothing and leveling worn or uneven concrete. In many cases, self-leveling toppings serve a purely utilitarian purpose, such as correcting uneven or damaged floors or serving as an underlayment for tile, carpet, or other floor coverings. But you can also use self-leveling overlays for decorative purposes, by adding integral color to the self-leveling system or by enhancing the overlay using stains and dyes. The overlay can be left seamless (except at control joints) or used as a canvas for saw cut or engraved designs. Or you can incorporate decorative inlays, such as strips of wood or metal, by adhering them to the base concrete and then pouring the overlay to the level of the inlay. Feel free to research these self-leveling overlays we normally use:
Metallic Epoxy Coatings:
Metallic epoxy is a unique product capable of producing custom one of a kind floors. Its metallic appearance can be enhanced by several application techniques for a special look not to be duplicated. Several colors are available from bright blues and reds to many shades of grey and copper.
Acid Stains are not a paint or coating or a sealer. Acid stained concrete is a coloring process involving a chemical reaction on a cementitious material. A solution made with water, acid and inorganic salts reacts with minerals already present in the concrete. Acid stains are made from hydrochloric acid, wetting agents and metallic ions. When this solution is placed on concrete it colors the concrete by chemically combining the metallic ions with the particles in the concrete to form oxides. The result of this reaction is color. Chemical stains can be applied to new or old, plain or colored concrete surfaces. Although they are often called acid stains, acid is not the ingredient that colors the concrete. Metallic salts in an acidic, water-based solution react with hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) in hardened concrete to yield insoluble, colored compounds that become a permanent part of the concrete. Got all of that? Good!
Here's a few of the brands we use:
Alcohol Based Dyes:
One of my favorite products to use is an alcohol-based dye from Miracote. It's a dye mixed into a polymer base that lays down beautifully and can be hand mixed by us to achieve one of a kind results. Brilliant product!
Acetone Based Dyes:
Dyes are the latest buzz in the decorative concrete community. Their ease of use, extensive palette, and vibrancy of color (which can be more intense than chemical stains) are creating a wave of popularity that is gaining momentum. Unlike stains, which react chemically with the calcium hydroxide in concrete, dyes are nonreactive and impart color by penetrating concrete or other porous cementitious surfaces. Dyes are much smaller in particle size than chemical stains or acrylic stains, thus allowing for easier penetration and color saturation while leaving less residue on the surface. A good analogy for comparing the color intensity and penetration of dyes to stains is that you can fit a lot more marbles than bowling balls into the same size container. The small dye particles fill the pores of the concrete and are very hard to remove, making dyes nearly as permanent as stains. Because there is virtually no residue, minimal cleanup is required, greatly speeding the application process. Here's the color charts for a few brands we regularly use: