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Planning Your Concrete Stain: DIY vs. Professional Concrete Contractors

Planning Your Concrete Stain concrete contractor

Many home DIY (do-it-yourself) enthusiasts can’t wait to pick up a roller or brush and something with color and we don’t blame you!  Color is the part about our job we love the most, but when it comes to something permanent like concrete stain, knowing the pros and cons of DIY concrete stain vs. the application of concrete stains by professional concrete contractors will save you a lot of heartache.

Water-Based Stain vs. Acid-Based Stain

To start with, there are two categories of concrete stain: acid stain and water-based stain.  Most home DIY stores are going to sell you the water-based variety which will fill the pores of the concrete and coat it rather than react and penetrate it.  Most pictures you see online with the translucent and mottled look are done with an acid stain which chemically reacts to the concrete and multiple colors can be used to achieve the faux stone, wood grain, leather, or marble look. We would never recommend someone without the proper training work with an acid formula and much rather you call up a professional concrete contractor for something like this.

Preparing for Concrete Staining

When planning a concrete stain project, there is also a lot of prep work to think about.  As we mentioned before, the water-based stain is something that is closer to paint because it fills-in the pores of the concrete.  If the concrete was not properly prepared for the stain and was harboring dust and debris before the application, there could be chipping or flaking of your stain in the future.  Professional concrete contractors will use professional-grade equipment to prepare the concrete flooring inside or outside of your home, office, restaurant, or other business and ensure it is ready (this may include grinding down a weaker layer of concrete paste from the surface to reveal the stronger concrete layer underneath and polish it for industrial applications to prevent future cracking).  Once an acid stain is applied, it chemically bonds to the concrete itself and will not flake any product.  After that, it can be sealed and waxed for extra shine, preservation of color, and ease of cleaning (a simple dust mop will work for daily cleaning which is so much easier than most flooring materials!).  A home DIY-er is not going to have access to the heavy concrete grinders and polishers used to thoroughly prepare a floor for a proper staining that will ensure this future easy-up-keep outcome.

Designing the Concrete Stain

If you love to DIY, we do want you to help plan the design for your concrete stain!  Looking at concrete stain chips are not as helpful as house paint chips, so we like to encourage you to go through our gallery and the Internet for inspiration. Would you like a compass rose stained into your concrete?  We’ve done that as well as other designs that work well at patios, wine tasting rooms, and hotel swimming pools:

Business logos are another frequent request we can achieve with concrete stain.  Think about the crests you’ve walked across at a City Hall or a police station.  Restaurants, and here in Paso Robles the wineries and tasting rooms again love to have their logo in the patio.  Here is the crest at the Santa Maria Police Station we were the concrete contractors for, completed with concrete stain:

 

 

Simple textures with acid stain give dimension and class to your concrete, transforming your home or businesses from the floor, up.  Visit our gallery for other samples and then call us to schedule a consultation.  We would love to look at pictures with your ideas and talk about colors with you.  We work with home owners and business owners for commercial and industrial projects between Santa Barbara and Monterey on the central coast of California.

 

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Brewery and Winery Flooring: Why They Choose Concrete

brewery and winery flooring concrete

Paso Robles has become well known for its wine and brewing industries.  The American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Paso Robles and Greater San Luis Obispo County published the wine and wine grape industries had an economic impact of $1.9 billion to the regional economy in 2015.  And these industries hire people (as in 13,627 employees) who stand on something when not in the fields with the grapes.  What’s the winery flooring of choice?  Concrete.

The magazine Wines & Vines took notice of concrete for winery flooring back in 2010 (Mitham, J.) noting that North American wineries were using concrete and concrete coatings more than tile like they do in Europe.  They cited concrete’s durability and the coatings’ anti-slip qualities and resistance to drops/breaks as part of the reason for the favoritism here.

Breweries and Wineries Have Agricultural Flooring Needs

Brewing and fermenting, using fruits and hops, boiling sugars, adding waters, drips, spills, and cleanups…  brewery and winery flooring is subjected to the demands of the agricultural business with the sanitation needs of a hospital.  And in a room that might be kept cool year-round, sudden boiling water could break some flooring solutions.  Breweries and winery floorings also have to deal with acids which might spill from the products themselves; we all know red wine stains.  Concrete flooring for breweries and wineries offers solutions to these agricultural and sanitation demands.

Concrete can Hold Heavy Beer and Wine Loads

Breweries and wineries need flooring that can withstand heavy tanks and barrels when full of beer or wine.  Concrete can be reinforced to handle this burden and strengthened even further with diamond polishing or epoxy coatings depending on the specific need.  Have you ever seen a tank (military, not brewing this time) on display at a museum?  It will be on a highly polished concrete surface or one reinforced with epoxy for its high compressive strength.  If it can handle that tank, it can handle your brewing tank.

Brewery and Winery Floorings Need Anti-Slip Properties

Concrete coatings are available for winery floors, as mentioned earlier, which also provide anti-slip qualities for staff in wet conditions.  Epoxy coatings are very popular for brewery and winery floorings in particular because the epoxy provides a moisture resistant barrier which prevents bacteria from growing in the cracks of bare concrete and is easier to clean, but the biggest benefit to the staff is the anti-slip properties of the epoxy coating.  If you give tours of your brewery or winery, this is often of particular importance.

Decorative Flooring Options Are Available with Concrete

It’s also important for breweries and wineries to have a complete package with their flooring that includes its aesthetics.  Nearly all wineries offer tours of the winery itself, even if just to the wine club members or during special events like the Paso Robles Wine Festival, which means that the appearance is important.  People notice the floors.  With polished concrete, staining is available to create a decorative finish that is impressive while still easy to maintain, and epoxy coatings come in a variety of color combinations and flake grits (including metallic) enabling even a marbled or water-like appearance.  Wineries never need to sacrifice safety and convenience for beauty with concrete flooring, making it the perfect flooring choice for breweries and wineries.  (By the way, olive oil is taking off in Paso Robles, too, and olive oil farms and processors can gain the same benefits from concrete as winery flooring does, in case you’re wondering.)

Tasting Rooms Benefit from Concrete Flooring, Too

Like the “behind-the-scenes” rooms of breweries and wineries such as barrel rooms and fermentation rooms, flooring that can withstand sudden temperature shifts during cleaning, the dropping of equipment, and the acid of wine, and remain impenetrable to bacteria are all important features for the tasting room.  And in the hospitality industry, color is an important feature.  We suggest using concrete flooring as your #1 asset in the tasting room (after your wine, of course!), to bring color into the room.  You can opt to bring nature inside with earthen and oak tones, as many do in our area, or in Santa Barbara the color choices are often more terra-cotta and desert shades compared to the colors we see in Monterey which prefers the coastal rocky colors.  Or, you could go against the grain of nature with your colors; our epoxy coatings even come in glitter and pearlescent leaving the limits of color only up to your imagination.  Stamped concrete is also popular with wine tasting rooms and winery patios.  Your tasting room branding will leave a lasting impression on your customers by utilizing every square inch of the canvas your tasting room gives you, starting with the floors.

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5 Reasons to Choose Epoxy Flooring for Your Industrial Flooring

epoxy flooring, concrete contractor, industrial flooringAs concrete contractors servicing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey Counties, our clients often ask us why we suggest various flooring systems for their projects.  These are always great questions!  If you are considering a new flooring system for your industrial concrete floor, we want to share with you our five reasons why we choose epoxy flooring (when we do choose epoxy flooring) for industrial flooring systems.

One: Epoxy Flooring can be Stronger than the Flooring Beneath  

Yes, you read that right.  An epoxy coating can be stronger than the concrete flooring beneath it.  In some industrial flooring installations, we want to add strength, so we will want to choose epoxy flooring.  If your industrial flooring is going to see heavy traffic, heavy loads, or potentially heavy impacts, and you already have existing concrete, the epoxy will bond to this concrete and can be built up in layers.  A concrete contractor will need to review your existing concrete to determine the condition of it and if epoxy coating will be enough (just how big is your tank again?).  Most epoxy flooring has a compressive strength value of 10,000 psi, though there are stronger epoxies out there.

 

Two: Epoxy Flooring is Moisture and Stain Resistant

We’re located in Paso Robles, California – wine country.  We see a lot of agricultural installations of epoxy flooring for wineries because red wine spills and stains everything during production.  When coating concrete flooring with epoxy, it creates a barrier which prevents moisture from going through it down into the concrete below (or up if you are concerned about moisture coming into a barrel storage room).  In industrial applications where there will be water or moisture or the need to sanitize, such as wineries, hospitals, and kitchens, we strongly encourage the use of epoxy flooring.  But it isn’t stain proof, so that red wine will need to be wiped up as soon as possible.

 

Three: Restoration with Epoxy Flooring

Industrial floors that have seen a lot of abuse without any maintenance from a concrete contractor over the years can often be restored with epoxy coatings.  Chips, cracks, and stains can be forgotten about thanks to the self-leveling qualities of professional epoxy flooring systems.  This may seem like an “out of sight, out of mind” technique, but remember that epoxy flooring is often stronger than the concrete substrate underneath, so once the epoxy is bonded to the concrete, the restoration job of those damages is as-strong or stronger-than any other type of concrete-on-concrete repair.

 

Four: Epoxy Flooring is Slip-Resistant

If the location of the flooring is in a high traffic area or an area where it will receive both foot traffic and moisture, we frequently recommend epoxy flooring due to its slip-resistant quality.  Even when wet, epoxy flooring offers better traction under foot and under tire.  Many garages, hospitals, agricultural plants, breweries, wineries, and kitchens opt for epoxy flooring for this reason above everything else.

 

Five: Epoxy Flooring is Decorative

Epoxy flooring is not always gray with black and white flecks.  In fact, that stuff you see at the home DIY store might even be water-based and nothing like what a concrete contractor will install.  We offer artistic epoxy flooring options, even for industrial flooring applications.  These can be beneficial for Aerotech applications, museums, and other light-industrial installations where patrons will also be seeing the floor.  High gloss finishes are always available, as are pearlescent and metallic flakes.  Patterns and shapes can also be created using epoxy.

 

If you are considering a new flooring system for you industrial, commercial, or residential floor, contact us for more information about epoxy flooring and our other concrete flooring systems.  Pristine Concrete is a decorative concrete contractor serving the central coast of California.

 

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3 Industrial Concrete Flooring Options with Decorative Concrete

industrial concrete flooring Industrial flooring systems have different needs than residential or even commercial concrete flooring systems.  Often times, industrial concrete flooring systems demand higher performance from the concrete – but that doesn’t stop it from having a decorative finish.  There are high performance decorative solutions for industrial concrete flooring that can meet the needs of any industry.

Industry Uses of Decorative Concrete Flooring

We’re often asked which industries are a “good fit” for industrial concrete flooring systems.  Many people first think of a warehouse when they think of industrial concrete flooring, but when decorative applications are factored in, taking high performance concrete with pristine design and color combinations, the industries which can benefit from these concrete flooring systems are nearly endless!

  • Aerospace and Aviation hangars
  • Agricultural processing plants, distilleries, and wineries
  • Automotive factories, service departments, and showrooms
  • Education campuses and student housing
  • Healthcare facilities, hospitals, and laboratories
  • Hospitality patios, facilities, and pools
  • Entertainment theme parks, water parks, and wintery tasting rooms
  • Warehouses, barrel storage rooms, and garages

Types of Decorative Concrete

In industrial concrete applications, we have three decorative concrete choices we suggest the most often: polished concrete, stained concrete, and epoxy flooring.  These three decorative concrete solutions offer a variety of color choices including mixed-in color and additional flake in some cases (see our gallery here) without losing the high performance integrity of the concrete.  And if you have existing concrete you are looking to restore and apply a decorative finish to, these decorative finishes can still be an option.

Polished Concrete for Industrial Applications

Existing concrete flooring can be brought back to life and improved to meet the high performance demands of industrial flooring through polishing.  HTC Superfloor™ is an economical, environmentally friendly, and durable concrete polishing system we use which mechanically strips away the concrete paste on the surface to expose the stronger layer beneath.  This stronger concrete layer is then polished to a beautiful, easy to maintain shine (no wax needed).  HTC Superfloor concrete polishing has been used on the museum flooring underneath massive tanks. In very large-scale industrial applications with existing concrete, concrete polishing can provide a better appearance and more durability.

We also use RetroPlate™ systems for concrete polishing.  Some industries will find their system offers a better benefit for the job.  Like HTC Superfloor, Retroplate will strip away the top surface of concrete paste to expose the lower, stronger layer of concrete, but RetroPlate uses mechanical and chemical components getting deeper into the existing concrete flooring for a deeper restoration process.  RetroPlate also meets OSHA and ADA SCOF standards and qualifies for use on LEED projects which may be important in your industrial application.

Stained Concrete for Industrial Applications

In many polished concrete flooring applications, the final product remains gray although it will have a beautiful glossy shine.  Enter concrete stain.  Acid staining concrete becomes a permanent part of the concrete and won’t face, chip, or peel away like paint, which is what makes stained concrete a perfect decorative solution for industrial concrete applications. Acid staining concrete is where the creativity and uniqueness of your industry comes into play as the color choices and designs are endless.  Custom walking paths can be etched with acid stain into a large polished walkway at an aquarium without breaking apart any existing concrete slab.  Branded colors and logos can be put into flooring like a seal at the center of a business or at an entryway to greet employees or customers.  But it is important to know that stained concrete is not as strong as unstained polished concrete and does require some care and maintenance to maintain the vivid colors once complete.  We recommend using a sealer over stained concrete.  The frequency depends on the location: UV exposure, foot traffic, chemical spills like wine, etc.

Epoxy Flooring for Industrial Applications

In industrial flooring environments where heavy objects might be dropped, oils might spill, and acidic compounds might stain, our clients often choose epoxy flooring.  Epoxy flooring has a high compressive strength while also resisting drops and spills, which is why we install it in commercial and industrial garages, hospitals, kitchens, and agricultural plants (especially for wineries here in Paso Robles).  Epoxy flooring offers singular flat colors with a high gloss shine, or they can be mixed with large or fine-grit flakes in a spectrum of colors, including pearlescent and metallic, which opens up a world of color design in epoxy flooring.

Industrial Concrete Flooring Doesn’t Have to be Dull!

We’ve just gone over our three most common solutions for providing decorative concrete flooring in industrial applications.  These are relatively quick jobs, even on the large-scale of an industrial job, so there is no reason why your business needs to suffer from dull flooring that is difficult to maintain, chips under pressure, and maybe even needs maintenance for cracks.  Industrial flooring has the highest demands of any concrete flooring and shouldn’t be neglected.  It carries the heaviest load of any system in your business!

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Epoxy Flooring Protects Commercial Kitchen Floors for Staff and Customers

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When transforming a commercial kitchen into a soon-to-be five-star restaurant, it is important to work from the ground up.  We suggest epoxy flooring for the best start!

Commercial kitchens in California have very high expectations placed on them to produce some of the most amazing food in the country.  Here on the central coast of California, we see so many amazing restaurants between Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey Counties that it would take a lifetime to try them all.  Unfortunately, not all of them make it before everyone gets to try it as there is a lot to consider when opening a commercial kitchen.  Something often overlooked is the kitchen flooring.  Bare concrete flooring is porous and can harbor bacteria; the smallest crack in the concrete flooring can create a safe haven for food particles to grow mold and fester.  And wet, untreated concrete?  Let’s not talk about how many slip and fall accidents happen in commercial kitchens each year.

Epoxy Flooring for Food Safety

By coating the concrete flooring with an epoxy, all of the cracks and crevices are sealed and a moisture-resistant barrier is created to prevent bacteria from having a place to hide and grow.  This protects the patrons and staff of the restaurant from an accidental case of food poisoning (did you know the CDC estimates 48 million people get sick and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases each year?).  The epoxy flooring is also easier to clean from drips and spills with this new barrier, partly from removing those deviations from the smooth surface and also by creating the moisture-resistant barrier which spills will not seep through or cling to.  The epoxy flooring can be sanitized.

Epoxy Flooring for Staff Safety

The other major health risk of the commercial kitchen next to food-borne illness is the slip/fall accident.  But don’t worry about adding extra slips with this new epoxy coating – you’ll be removing them.  Another reason epoxy flooring is great for commercial kitchens is the added benefit of its anti-slip surface – even when wet. Commercial kitchen floors see a lot of water, intentionally or not, and epoxy flooring can handle it, which protects your staff from taking a tumble.

Epoxy flooring can also handle drops.  No commercial kitchen likes the idea of a pot being dropped on the floor, but if it does happen, you don’t have to worry about scratching the floor.  The epoxy coating is often used in garages where tools are frequently dropped, which means it can handle the ladle hitting the floor, too.  This protects your investment over time, making epoxy flooring a great choice for the busy commercial kitchens we see here in California.

Epoxy Flooring is Decorative

And don’t worry, epoxy flooring can be installed in even the most luxurious of restaurants of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey.  Epoxy flooring comes in a variety of colors and glosses, including pearlescent and metallic flakes.  Would you like your floor to look like a bronze platter?  We can do that!  Singular colors and color mixes with large or high-grit flakes can produce a wide variety of patterns and color blends.  Check out our gallery for ideas.

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What the Wine Industry Needs to Know About Stamped Concrete

stamped concrete wineryStamped Concrete is possibly the most common form of decorative concrete in use, which means if you own or manage a wine tasting room, you likely have a slab of stamped concrete around.  If so, do you know how to properly maintain it?  And if you’re looking at adding new flooring in or around your wine tasting room, is stamped concrete a good option for you?  The experts at Pristine Concrete are here to help!  We’re located in the heart of wine country: Paso Robles, California, so we understand the needs of wine tasting rooms and we’re experts on concrete.

 

What is Stamped Concrete?

Let’s start with the basics: what is stamped concrete?  Stamped concrete is a poured concrete that has been custom fit into a slab of any shape your tasting room needed, indoors or outside.  Then, a stamp was used to morph the concrete into a woodgrain, slate, brick, tile, cobblestone, river rock, plank, or other (usually Earthen) shape.  The concrete was probably colored when it was poured and given extra coloring when it was stamped.  This gives it a beautiful appearance when complete that tends to blend right in with its surroundings.  As many tasting rooms like to go with a natural look in Paso Robles that is in harmony with the vines and Oak trees, stamped concrete is very popular here.

 

If I Already Have Stamped Concrete, Does it Need Maintenance?

The short answer: probably, yes.  When was the last time you sealed your concrete?  If you do not know the answer to this, then the answer is definitely yes.  Decorative concretes are sealed when they are first finished.  Depending on U.V. exposure and foot traffic, they may need to be re-sealed more than once per year or as infrequently as once every five years.  This will preserve the color of the concrete and prevent staining (spilled red wine, perhaps?).  Some sealants are also slip resistant, which is good for your patrons, and water/spill resistant (to really keep that red wine out of your porous concrete).  We offer concrete maintenance – if you would like to have an estimate for sealant, simply contact us for an estimate.

 

Is Stamped Concrete Good for the Environment?

Yes.  We believe in being environmentally friendly with decorative concrete.  If you are considering re-doing the flooring inside your tasting room or the winery itself, know that concrete flooring is more energy efficient, has lower maintenance needs, and keeps waste out of the landfill.  You can also prevent fumes from flooring installation upsetting the wine tasting experience by switching to concrete flooring.

 

So to sum it up, if you’re in the wine industry, stamped concrete is a great thing to have: it’s beautiful and will compliment your tasting room; it’s environmentally friendly and won’t offend noses; and it can repel stains if you keep up on its maintenance.   Take a look around your wine tasting room (or the next one you visit) and leave a comment if you spot some stamped concrete.  You might see our decorative concrete at places like:

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Being Environmentally Friendly with Decorative Concrete

decorative concrete is environmentally friendlyDid you know decorative concrete is the environmentally friendly flooring solution for your home or office?  If that surprises you, you’re not alone.  Concrete isn’t the first thing people think of when they hear “environmentally friendly flooring,” but it really should be.  After all, when you envision environmentally friendly flooring, you’re probably thinking of something earthen, green, and growing and that just wouldn’t work in a house – or even worse, at a hospital!  Here are the top three reasons why more and more people in San Luis Obispo County are turning to decorative concrete flooring to be more environmentally friendly:

3.  Concrete floors are more energy efficient because they keep a consistent temperature. Concrete is slower to heat up and slower to cool down.  So in the summer, your home or office will take longer to heat up which will save you money on air conditioning in addition to saving the environment from the burden of that extra electricity, fuel, and/or water you’re using to keep cool.  And the reverse is true in the winter.  If you’re worried about cold feet when you step out of bed, don’t be!  You can always add a few decorative area rugs, but concrete doesn’t get as cold as tile (or poorly installed faux wood or laminate for that matter) and holds its temperature rather than being frigid each morning and fluctuating throughout the rest of the day.

2.  Concrete floors also have lower maintenance needs than carpet, wood, tile, or laminate. This keeps harmful chemicals out of your daily environment and, being a local company, we know how important this is to the people of San Luis Obispo County. Have you ever read the ingredient list on the back of a bottle of carpet shampoo or specialty wooden-floor cleanser?  Yikes!  And of course, being based out of Paso Robles, we understand how much our friends and neighbors love wine, especially our regional red blends.  If your glass slips or your dog catches the bottle on the table with his tail, you don’t have to worry about it with properly sealed or polished decorative concrete.  Are you willing to test that against grouted tile, wood, or carpet?  Even laminates aren’t all waterproof and can stain, which requires completely removing those pieces and replacing them.  If you spill a bit of Paso Robles Red Blend on your concrete floor, it wipes right up with a damp cloth or paper towel.  No problem.

1.  And if you really care about keeping our planet green, concrete floors are the best option to avoid overburdening our landfills. Wood, carpet, tile, and laminate all need to be replaced, creating a cycle of waste which all goes to the landfill again and again. With our decorative concrete options, you can actually just stain, polish, and/or seal the slab that’s already under your house – no new concrete required (unless you have a raised foundation, then contact us and we’ll look at your options with you) – so break the cycle of waste once and for all!  How’s that for going green and saving some green at the same time?!

Clients across San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Barbara Counties love our decorative concrete.  We’ve done projects that look like faux leather, marble, stone, sea life, tribal art, logos, badges, and more.  View our gallery here for some of our favorite past projects or join us on Facebook to see the newest projects as they happen.

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Bring the Beauty of the Central Coast Inside with Concrete Staining

concrete staining monterey countyHave you ever thought about bringing the beauty of our surrounding central coast indoors?  As a local company in Paso Robles of San Luis Obispo County, we get to see the beauty of our region daily as we drive from one job site to another between Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties.  But if you work in an office all day or spend a lot of your time in your home, you may have thought already tried to bring in some of the colors, materials, and textures of the central coast with plants and decorative pillows.  But what about your flooring?  We at Pristine Concrete consider ourselves to me more than mere concrete contractors – we’re concrete artists!  And we can bring the beauty of smooth river stones, twisted vines, gnarled oak bark, and tanned rodeo leather right to your concrete using a process of concrete staining with acid.

The concrete acid stain lightly etches the concrete to let the color of the stain penetrate it.  This adds color to the concrete permanently, making it a great solution to beautify high traffic areas in a home or office, or areas exposed to the elements like a pool deck.  We can acid stain concrete that is already there, or add it to new concrete if you’re thinking about adding a patio, walkway, garage, or more.

For existing concrete staining, it’s important to keep in mind that the acid stain penetrates the concrete by about 1/32”, so weak concrete that is already cracking and chipping may need to be reinforced first.  Also, natural color variations are normal, especially in older concrete that may have been previously stained by oil.  This happens because concrete acid stains are translucent.  For new concrete, it’s necessary to wait 14-28 days to let the concrete cure before staining it, but on the plus side the acid stain in new concrete tends to be more vibrant in color.

As the decorative concrete experts of the central coast, we’re proud of our designs and we welcome a challenge!  We’ve created sea life, flames, tribal art with 3-dimentional shading, logos, faux granite, a police badge, faux leather… we could keep the list going, but we’d rather just show you.  View our some of our favorite acid concrete staining projects below and in our gallery.  We also post pictures on Facebook, so be sure to follow us there if you’re looking for more creative concrete inspiration.

 

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Wax On or Wax Off? When Was The Last Time You Used Concrete Wax?

san luis obispo concrete waxDo you have ‘wax on’?

Did you know concrete floors that aren’t mechanically polished need to be waxed?  It’s true.  Even if you know there was a concrete sealant put on your floor, it still needs a topical application of floor wax to preserve that sealant.  The only exception to the rule of ‘wax on’ is concrete flooring that has been polished with something like HTC Superfloor™ or the RetroPlate Concrete Polishing System®.  These polishing systems will grind away the top layer of concrete with a diamond tooling system and instead of a wax or sealer will use a densifier to harden and gloss the surface instead.

So when was the last time you waxed your floors?  Concrete is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason, but all too often we’ve seen home and business owners with sealed concrete in need of help – and most of them were never told that they needed to wax it.

What happens if you go with ‘wax off’?

If you don’t wax your concrete flooring, you may soon find that your concrete is becoming discolored in high-traffic areas and that the floor is losing its luster.  Wax protects the sealant and the sealant protects the color, so without wax, the color will be damaged, darkened, stained, or lifted.  It’s damage that’s completely avoidable.  By regularly waxing your concrete and not letting the concrete sealant get damaged, you’ll save yourself a lot of money in repairs.

Concrete waxing tips:

Don’t skimp. Higher-grade waxes tend to last longer without peeling and more coats (especially in high-traffic areas) can last longer when applied properly.

Clean before you wax. Removing the layers of wax that are peeling and flaking before putting down a fresh coat will give you a better finish.

Do less more often.  A big question everyone asks is: “How often should I wax my concrete floor?” but this is unique to every situation based on traffic, wax quality, number of wax coats applied, and the quality of the work done when it was applied.  The rule of thumb with wax flooring is to do it more often so that you’re doing less – taking off fewer layers of wax and not having to completely re-do the concrete sealant.  The goal of waxing your floor is to preserve the sealant you already have.

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How To Choose The Best Concrete Contractor

Mike the Concrete Contractor

Mike the Concrete Contractor in Action

Let’s first address an elephant in this digital “room” – we aren’t the only concrete contractor servicing San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbra, and Monterey Counties.  We know that and we’re OK with it.  Why?  Because everyone has their own criterion for selecting someone they consider to be the “best;” it’s impossible for us to be the best concrete contractor in San Luis Obispo County for everyone.  Maybe someone doesn’t like blue trucks because they got in an accident with one as a teenager.  We’d be out of the running immediately.  But idiosyncrasies aside, there are a few ways to choose the best concrete contractor for your job that we would like to share them with you.

  1. They return your phone call. Nearly all contractors in San Luis Obispo County seem to have a problem picking up the phone anymore.  They may be highly recommended by your friend or neighbor, but if they aren’t responsible enough to call you back to bring you on as a new customer, are they going to call you back when you have a problem and need help?
  2. They have reviews and/or references to share with you. These days, anyone can (and does) have a website.  So owning a website does not make a concrete contractor a legitimate business.  Make sure you can read recommendations or talk to a reference or two before you commit.  It’s also a good idea to run an Internet search of the concrete contractor’s name (and/or company name) with the word “reviews” and make sure there aren’t other reviews out there they didn’t want you to see.
  3. They provide a transparent estimate.  Not everyone provides a free estimate as some estimates can take 4-5 hours to prepare (especially if there is a long drive involved), but an estimate should clearly identify where your money is going.
  4. You can see samples of their work. Most portfolios are online now, and there are usually even more images on Facebook.  Ask where you can find some samples of their work and make sure you like what you see.
  5. Ask them questions over the phone or in person. This is my personal favorite – by asking questions on the spot, you’ll get a feel for their personality.  You aren’t just giving this concrete contractor a lot of money, you’re also going to be spending a lot of time around them and their team.  Do they laugh?  Are they friendly?  Chances are, they have hired people that are also fun and friendly.  If they are more dry and direct, you can expect a team that keeps their noses down and on task, but may feel a little cold at times.  Choosing a personality is a personal decision, but make sure it’s on your list of qualifications when selecting the best concrete contractor for you.  Mike is certainly one of the fun concrete contractors of San Luis Obispo County.

As for Pristine Concrete, we will return your call as soon as we possibly can and will often provide the owner’s cell phone number to clients to make sure you get the service you need.  Our reviews are on our website and all over the Internet – all positive.  We always provide a transparent estimate and we’re currently working on incorporating better software to give you an even easier to read estimate.  And we take great pride in the beauty of our work, so you’ll find pictures of it everywhere – our website, Facebook Page, Google+ Page, and more.  We would love to talk to you.  Fill out our estimate request form on our website or Give us a call at 805-237-9221!

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