Z-counterform-photo-contest

Concrete Countertop Solutions Offering Contest for Photo Uploads

At Concrete Countertop Solutions, we enjoy seeing the great results that our products give customers. That is why we offer an annual photo contest that gives people who have used our Z Counterform products a chance to show off their hard work and the finished results. Every contestant has the chance to upload as many photos as he or she wants as long as they are within the same category.

Categories

There are two main categories for entries in the photo upload contest. The DIY, or do-it-yourself, category is for people who completed the entire project themselves without any professional assistance. The Professional category is for those who are concrete professionals or contractors, or had help from one of these people while installing the Z Counterform.

Prizes

All photos entered into the contest will be entered into a raffle. The prize is an Apple iPad Mini 3 Wi-Fi 16GB. In addition to this random prize, judges will also work to determine the top three winners in each category, DIY and Professional. In the DIY category, the first-place prize is a Makita XT248M 18V LXT Cordless Lithium-Ion Brushless Hammer Drill-Driver and Impact Driver Combo Kit. This prize has a value of $399. For professionals, first place receives a Makita BSS610 18V LXT Lithium-ion 6-½” Circular Saw Kit, also valued at $399. In either category, second place receives a $250 store credit, third place receives a $125 store credit, and honorable mentions get a $50 store credit.

Picking the Winners

Everyone can vote on the photos on the Concrete Countertop Solutions website through Aug. 12. Each person can vote once per photo. The votes won’t be the only deciding factor in picking a winner, but the judges will take them into consideration. The judges will pay attention to aesthetic appeal, complexity, and quality of work

Wood Finish Concrete by Jeff Kudrick - JM Lifestyles

Unique Uses for Concrete in the Kitchen

When most people picture their ideal kitchen, it is filled with gorgeous tiles and stainless steel appliances. Although concrete doesn’t necessarily come to mind right away, it deserves a place in any kitchen. Concrete is incredibly easy to maintain and lets you create a classy appearance that mimics more expensive materials through texturing, decorative inlays, and stains. While concrete countertops may be the most popular use of concrete in your kitchen, there are also plenty of unique ways you can incorporate it into this space.

Where to Put Concrete

Opting for concrete countertops is the simplest way to use this versatile material in your kitchen. You can use stains and dyes so it isn’t boring gray and even get creative with such things as wood effects. The floor is another great area to use concrete; use stamps or other patterns to mimic tiles but with a fraction of the maintenance. Concrete doesn’t have gaps between pieces like tile, so you don’t have to worry about dirt and dust getting in hard-to-reach areas. Instead, you can simply sweep and mop the floor and be done; no scrubbing required. Adding concrete to your kitchen will also be an affordable option, as it tends to less expensive than many other materials and lasts longer, so you won’t need to spend money on replacement or repairs for a long time.

Concrete Wood

If you want to use concrete in unique ways in your kitchen, then consider Woodform concrete from JM Lifestyles. This is perfect for countertops, tables, and even floors, and the experts who create it have worked hard to mimic real wood. In fact, most people will have no idea your countertop isn’t made of wood unless they take a very close look and touch the surface. This means you can get the easy maintenance, durability, and affordability of concrete with the stylish appearance of wood.

Sundek Concrete Systems

Why Selecting the Right Decorative Concrete System Matters

Selecting the right decorative concrete system is about more than simply picking a random products or a number of products and then applying it. Whether you are a contractor making a recommendation for a client or a homeowner or business owner looking to update your property, you need to put time into making this decision. The right system will enhance the space, add to the value of the property, and last a long time. Selecting the wrong one may lead to an unattractive landscape or, worse, a decorative concrete system that doesn’t function.

Your Preferences

One of the biggest reasons that choosing the right decorative concrete system is important is because you will have to live with your decision every day. If, for example, you choose any random product to mimic the appearance of limestone but then decide you wanted something with a European flair, you could regret your decision. At this point, you would either have to replace the entire system, spending more money, or live with a concrete surface that you only like as opposed to love.

Application and Durability

While aesthetics and personal preference are important, functionality is the biggest factor when choosing a professional concrete system for your space. Not all decorative concrete products will be compatible with all types of flooring, and if they are not, you will notice a decrease in durability. This is where a Sundek approved contractor can be helpful, as he or she will have the training necessary to know whether the products will work in a given situation. They can guide you as to the benefits and uses for each Sundek system. You also need to carefully consider the decorative concrete system based on how the area is used. If, for example, the system is for a pool deck, an overlay system like Sundek Classic Texture will provide slip-resistance and UV protection. SunSplash, on the other hand, is ideal for areas with a great deal of foot traffic.

Grey pool edge

Tips for Avoiding Issues with Swimming Pool Deck Edge Forms

When installing or building a new swimming pool, you need to keep numerous factors in mind, including the pool deck and the swimming pool deck edge forms. You will use these forms along with edge coping to create a beautiful edge along your pool that makes sure the pool ends right where the deck begins. With advancing technologies, it is now possible to customize your pool deck edge using a range of straight and bendable Z Poolform products from Concrete Countertop Solutions. These let you give your new pool straight edges throughout, a completely curved pattern, or some combination of the two, offering limitless shapes and patterns for your new pool.

Anytime a contractor works on an existing or new pool, there is a risk of problems. Some will lead to visual imperfections that are simply annoying but don’t affect the function of the pool while others will open the pool edging up to structural damage or other major issues. Experienced contractors know the following tricks to avoid any potential issues with swimming pool deck edge forms.

Avoiding Cracks

Concrete is an incredibly durable product, but eventually it becomes prone to cracking. This can occur sooner if it is not installed properly or other conditions aren’t met. To help prevent cracks from occurring, you should understand that concrete shrinks about ⅛ inch for each 15 feet, and this is one of the most common reasons these gaps occur. To avoid these cracks, you simply need to use control joints or perforations, which are made within the concrete and force cracking to occur in that area. This method ensures that your coping and edge forms are highly durable and visually appealing.

Avoiding Color Issues

Concrete can very easily be poured and dry into two different colors even if it is from the same mix. In fact, there can be a fairly significant difference between batches of the same mix that won’t be noticeable until the cement has completely dried. Careful mixing is one way to avoid this problem. For a top quality installation always select the highest-quality concrete and do your best to make sure it comes from the same load. You can also add a gray color into the concrete to help improve the consistency of the color.

Concrete Solutions Concrete Countertop Edge

DIY Concrete Countertops Can Be Easier Than You Think

For many homeowners, the prospect of installing their own DIY concrete countertops is a truly daunting thought. It is likely that without countertop experience you don’t know where to begin, what concrete to use, or what other materials you will need. A little bit of knowledge and some supplies from Concrete Countertop Solutions are all it takes to turn a complicated task into a DIY project that is easier than you think.

Creating the Template

The planning stage is perhaps the most important part of installing your DIY concrete countertops. You want to make sure that your template is perfect so take all measurements twice and leave spots for drains and other fixtures. You will want to use something sturdy, such as cardboard, for the template so it will be flexible as well as strong.

Take Time with the Mold

Don’t rush the process of creating your mold, either. You can create your own box mold using melamine, as the smoothness of this material will add a nice finish to the countertop. If you go this route, screw the melamine together, as it is simple to take apart when done. Another alternative is to make your mold from foam, rubber, or polyurethane, particularly if you want to add intricate edges or designs. If it is your first project, consider sticking to something simple, like a Square Edge Countertop Form. Remember to rely on your template so the mold is the perfect shape and size. To make sure your mold is watertight, consider using silicone on the inner corners of the form.

Tips for Mixing the Concrete

For the best results, select a quality concrete, such as Z Liqui-Crete or a White Countertop Mix from Concrete Countertop Solutions. Using a product designed for countertops will ensure the best results and make your job simple. Carefully follow the instructions on the package until you get the consistency of lumpy oatmeal. You should be able to easily pass the mixed concrete between your hands, and it shouldn’t run through your fingers.

Wait for It to Cure and Dry

DIY concrete countertops require a great deal of patience, so pay close attention to the times for curing and drying and don’t rush. Follow the exact instructions for adding the seal and polish as well, making sure you wait the directed amount of time before applying these elements. The countertop project will take a significant amount of time and patience, but it will be worth it to produce a beautiful countertop you will be proud of.

Cantilvered pool edge tools

The The Right Pool Coping Tools Make a Significant Difference in Building a Quality Pool

Cantilvered pool edge tools

Cantilvered pool edge tools

Pool coping separates the majority of the pool deck from the waters edge itself, making it a key component of any pool area. While it is possible to install coping with a range of products, the results are significantly better when proper tools and supplies are used. Perhaps the most important of these pool coping products are the edge forms and the concrete itself, but others are also crucial.

Strength of Forms

Creating a quality pool requires coping forms that are durable enough to withstand the pressure exerted by the concrete. This particular type of tool must stay firmly in place from the time the concrete is poured to when it sets. Older type forms were typically supported with lumber or bricks every few inches to feet to hold them in place, but if you invest in a quality item that is strong and requires no added support it would make the installation much easier.   PVC forms, such as Bendable Z Poolforms from Concrete Countertop Solutions, are a good choice as they are sturdy enough to stay in place and strong enough to be reused in the future.

Creating Smooth Edges

Many pool builders like to create a custom pool edge with a smooth surface, and in order to do so, they must use a quality form liner that works with the coping form. Selecting a quality tool, like the Bullnose Form Liner, will ensure that the edges are smooth and perfect. The bullnose liner can be easily removed to leave the dried concrete in perfect shape, without any patches sticking to it. If the goal is a patterned edge, then an option such as a Chiseled Slate Form Liner or Bullnose Travertine Form Liner will be the easiest way to create the desired pattern in a uniformed method while ensuring the liner is easily removed without damaging the concrete.

Ease of Use and Durability

When selecting pool coping tools, it is always worth it to pay extra for a better product. Generally speaking, the higher-quality tools will make it easier to install pool edging that appears professional. This allows for smooth lines around the edges and only the desired patterns. As a general rule, a superb installation will also last longer, making the investment in tools worth the extra upfront cost. Quality pools will have smooth lines and extreme durability, both of which are more easily accomplished when using the right tools for the project.

Duraamen decorative concrete and resinous flooring systems

Step-by-Step Guide for Contractors for Using Decorative Concrete Products

 

post courtesy of:

Duraamen decorative concrete and resinous flooring systems

Duraamen decorative concrete and resinous flooring systems

 

 

 

Contractors who stain and install decorative concrete products for commercial, retail, high-end residential, and industrial applications want to use only the best products available. Düraamen is a leader in the industry, offering such systems as the Kwortz Flooring System that outperforms in both esthetics and functionality.
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pool-coping-replacement

Most Common Reasons for Replacing a Pool Coping Edge

When it comes to in-ground pools, concrete repairs can be very costly, not to mention difficult to perform. If the pool coping edge around your pool has seen better days, you may want to consider replacing it entirely rather than going through the hassle of making tricky repairs.

What Is the Pool Coping Edge?

The pool coping is the material used to finish the edge of your pool. Pool coping can be made from a variety of materials, including flagstone, but one of the easiest options to work with is cement. In order to create a concrete pool coping edge, you will need to install a pool coping form. Once you pour the concrete and let it set, you then remove the form to reveal a flawless cantilevered pool coping edge. Continue reading

Concrete Countertop Edge Forms

How to Make Concrete Countertops

When it comes to making custom countertops, concrete is one of the best materials to use because it is so versatile. In addition to being easy to customize, concrete countertops are much less expensive than other materials, and they are very durable. If you are considering DIY countertops, take the time to learn how to make concrete countertops.

Preparing Your Countertop Mold

The first step in making concrete countertops is to create a countertop mold – you will pour the concrete into the mold to actually make your countertops. The traditional way of making a countertop mold involves cutting a piece of melamine to the dimensions of your countertop and then cutting additional melamine strips to use as the edges. If you want to achieve a customized look for your countertops, however, you may want to consider using concrete countertop forms instead. These forms come in a variety of styles, and they can be cut to size for your individual countertops. With these forms, you can create a flawless edge that looks professional.

Adding Reinforcement and Pouring Concrete

After creating your concrete countertop form, your next step is to add reinforcement. If your countertops are going to be very thick, reinforcement may not be necessary, but it is always a good idea. When it comes to reinforcement materials, you can choose from fiber mesh, steel mesh, or steel rebar – the material you choose may depend on the thickness of your countertops as well as the shape. Mesh is easier to cut to size, and it is usually the best option for irregularly shaped countertops. After you’ve cut and installed your reinforcement material, all that is left is to mix and pour your concrete.

Making the Finishing Touches

After pouring your concrete, you need to use a float to spread it evenly in the mold and to level it off. Once you’ve done that, you then need to let the concrete cure – the curing period will vary in length depending on the size of your counters, their thickness, and the type of concrete you used. After the concrete has cured, you have the option to customize the surface using stains, pigments, or stamps. The final touch for your concrete counters is to add a layer of sealant to protect them against scratches and stains.

For all of your concrete tools and materials, come to Concrete Countertop Solutions. We offer a wide variety of concrete countertop molds as well as several options for reinforcement, stains, and sealants. We can even give you tips on how to make concrete countertops. Before you get started with your DIY countertop project, stop in to see us.

pool-coping

Avoiding Problems with Swimming Pool Deck Edge Forms

When building a swimming pool, there are numerous things to consider. One of these is deck edge forms. These forms are used in conjunction with coping to finish the pool’s edge so it comes up flush with the decking. Although bull-nose brick edge with precast concrete coping has long been the industry standard, innovative designs are now available that completely change a pool’s aesthetics. Continue reading

Using Concrete for Landscaping and Interiors