How does it work?
There are several stages of our process that will transform your existing concrete into a beautiful new appearance. We use a deep penetrating chemical/acid stain or polymer surface stain to change the color; then we can engrave a permanent pattern into the concrete to give the look of natural stone, marble, tile, etc. Lastly, a sealer is applied for long lasting protection of your investment.
What does the finished job look like?
We can take ordinary concrete and remodel it to look like brick, tile, polished marble, flagstone, ashlar slate, cobblestone, etc. Or we can engrave classic circular brick, logos and/or custom patterns into the existing concrete. If you can dream it, we can engrave it!
Where can this process be used?
Interior and exterior floors, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, pool decks and patios…almost any concrete surface. Many homes, office buildings, restaurants, stores and showrooms are using this process inside and out.
How long will an engraving job usually last?
The pattern is cut into the concrete therefore the stone, brick or marble patterns will never come loose. This process will last as long as the life of the concrete. With periodic maintenance the surface will look similar many years after installation. With no maintenance, over time, engraved bricks or tiles naturally take on an antique or used brick appearance. Most people find this to be a very desirable look.
How thick is it?
There is no thickness added. The engraving process cuts INTO the concrete to give the appearance of a grout line or a mortar joint; this gives the look of depth and texture.
How long does it take to complete the staining and engraving process?
The concrete transformation process will take several days to complete depending upon the size of the job and weather conditions. Cleaning and the preparation of the concrete surface is very important for the longevity of the project. However, most projects with staining and sealant only, are completed in 2 to 4 days.
What kind of mess should I expect when acid staining?
We carefully mask up to 2 or more feet to protect the sheetrock and surrounding areas. If acid staining a project near grass or plants, please know that there is a chance of the grass turning yellow for a short time. As for engraving, our tools and machines are connected to a vacuum to cut down on concrete dust. We strive to keep surrounding area clean and untouched.
Does any concrete need to be poured or replaced?
Most of the time, no. If there is severe cracking or if the concrete surface is unstable then replacement would be highly recommended.
What about small cracks in the concrete?
If they are not too large they can be easily disguised with little or no repair. For the most part, when the stain is applied and the engraving is complete most minor cracks are not noticeable. Extensive concrete damage may need to be replaced.
How deep are the engraved cuts?
This is determined by the pattern selected and the desired look you want to achieve. The end result is to simulate a mortar joint or grout line, normally the cut is approximately 1/16″ to 3/8″ deep. The width of the cut is determined as well.
How many colors are there?
Acid Stains are basically earth tone colors since it reacts with the lime in the concrete. You will get browns, tans, gold, reds, blues and greens. As for polymer stains there are well over 100 colors to choose from. Just about any color that you would want is available or can be mixed.
Will the colors fade with time?
There could be very little fading over a period of 10 to 20 years. Periodic maintenance is recommended to prevent fading.
What kind of guarantee is there on concrete engraving?
The concrete engraving work is guaranteed for the life of the concrete. As long as the quality of the concrete was good at the time of the application your engraving will last. Engraving will not cause cracks that you might normally get during settling.
How many different designs are there?
With this process the designs are virtually unlimited. We have many popular designs to choose from or we can custom design an idea that you might have. We will work with you to determine what design, logo or medallion will give you a show piece that you will enjoy and treasure.
How does weather affect this kind of work?
The concrete temperature needs to be between 40 and 100 degrees for the staining. For engraving, the concrete needs to be fairly dry and to apply the sealant, it must be completely dry.
If the concrete is covered with carpet, paint or tile can it be stained and engraved?
Yes, sometimes the mastic and/or paint must be mechanically removed with a grinder/polisher; however, there are times when we can remove the mastic and/or paint with a liquid solution. This will be determined and discussed before the application begins.
Is this process like stamping or overlay?
No! We chose this process because of the realistic resemblance it has to natural stone, tile and marble. It is not an overlay, therefore we do not add a surface that could one day peel or break off. Stamping can look like a mold and most of the time does not give a clean grout line that you would have when using real stone or tile. Staining and engraving is the new preferred process because of the price, low maintenance, and realistic appearance. Although sometimes when needed, an overlay may be used to give a fresh new surface to stain upon. This can be incredibly efficient to change a surface texture, i.e. from broom finish to smooth. Our overlay is a polymer based product that allows for flexibility and surface durability without sacrificing aesthetics.