World of Concrete 2015 – Las Vegas, NV

The World of Concrete 2015 was busier than ever this year. Proline’s booth was hopping and I got to meet several of my customers as well as create bonds with new customers. It was also great seeing those of you I’ve met in past years.  Several of you took advantage of our yearly 20% off sale during the month of February for the World of Concrete attendees. There were some fantastic savings for those of you that saved up and purchased the large quantities. One customer saved $2500.

Some new items were introduced at the Wold of Concrete.  Most popular was the new reclaimed wood series. Proline introduced the new 16″ wide by 8′ long reclaimed wood stamps as well as a reclaimed wood bench mold (16″ x 5′) and table top molds in two different sizes (52 x 37 in. and 72 x 37 in.)

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We Got A New Sign

new sign-400The mother ship, Concrete Accessories, Inc., got a new sign!  Our store has been in the same spot on Meade Avenue in Las Vegas for almost as long as I can remember.  My dad, Jack Sr., established Concrete Accessories in 1971.  I remember a small office with shag carpet on the walls that my twin sister and I thought was really cool. We were around 5 years old.  (Remember, it was the early 70s if you are wondering about that carpet on the wall.)

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Established in 1971

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Jack “Tapper” Christiansen Jr.

Later my dad bought some land and built the warehouse that is in this picture.  He took pictures of the construction progress from start to finish. He was proud and so were we.  The thing that really amazes  me is that my dad had the guts to go out on his own and start his own business with three very young kids and one on the way. My dad was the sole provider in our family. That took nerve.    I think about that often. I have just one child to support and I don’t think I would have the guts to start a business with all of the uncertainties.  It certainly wasn’t easy for my dad.  In the early 80s things got tough and the Vegas economy (especially construction) tanked.  The store was open half days and my dad had to let most of his employees go. I think he just had one other guy besides himself.  The stress of that with kids to support must have been incredible. He persevered though, and the late 80s proved to be good times for the construction industry.  My little brother began working full time for the business after college and soon after was running the store. I began working for the company managing the website when I had a baby and wanted to be at home. I’d hoped to do it for five years until my son started school. Amazingly, both my brother, his wife, and myself are all employed by the company my dad started.  It’s been 12 years for me. When I attend the concrete shows I hear a lot about second and third generation concrete.  My brother and I are second generation concrete. My niece (she’s the boss) is now third generation concrete. Thanks Dad!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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My niece, already working for the company, third generation concrete.

Stamped Concrete Job of the Month – October

Compass Medallion used as a table top

4′ Compass Medallion (MD7401) used as a table top

This creative job was done by Premiere Concrete Design out of Wilson, NC. (www.premierconcretedesign-llc.com)

They used our 4′ Compass Medallion (MD7401).  The designs that you can create are endless when using our concrete medallions, border art  and accent pieces. You can create bars, backsplashes, benches, tables in addition to unique concrete patios that will set your work apart.

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Grapevine Corner Piece with Hammered Edge (BAC1100HE)

Coloring is easy with water-based EZ-Tique and Ez-Accent.  There is no hurry. Let the concrete dry and apply the color at your convenience.

Below you will find links to all of these fantastic products.

 

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Stamped Concrete Job of the Month – September 2014

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Compass Medallion 4′ Diameter (MD7401)

This stamped concrete patio was created by John’s Cement out of Milford, Michigan. John’s website address is www.johnscement.com. The 4′ diameter Compass Rose Medallion (MD7401) was used along with the New England Ashlar Slate concrete stamps (AS100-P). This project could be colored with Adobe Beige Color Hardener (CH-602) and Antique Release Saddle Soap (AR-632). The different colors in the Compass and on the Ashlar stones can be achieved using acid stain or water-based coloring such as Ez-Accent (Cimarron, Mission Brown, Sandstone and Pinto) as well as Ez-Tique in Saddle Soap. All of our Ez-Tique, Color Hardener and Antique Release products are available in the same colors.   A separate color chart is available for the Ez-Accent. (I provided a link below for the color charts.) A good rule to remember, Ez-Accent must be applied before the Ez-Tique. It will not hold if applied on top of the Ez-Tique. Don’t hold back on trying the water-based colors to jazz up your jobs. You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy and quickly they are applied as well as the fabulous presentation they help to create. Continue reading

I Hate Stinky Asphalt and So Should You

I was having lunch yesterday with a friend and we wanted to sit outside to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, but we couldn’t. The parking lot was being resurfaced and it was foul smelling.  Here in Colorado that asphalt stink lasts once the snow melts until it starts snowing again in a mad rush to replace and repair roads and parking lots damaged by the winter conditions. Let’s call it “Stinky Asphalt Season.” Not only was I unhappy I had to sit inside (because we’ve had a lot of rain and it was sunny for once this summer) but I was unhappy because I knew the product the contractor was using was Eco-Unfriendly and was just one more reason we are dependent on oil in this country. I wondered why was this contractor still using the noxious, oil-based asphalt resurfacer of the past. Frankly, I don’t think he knew that there are alternatives available that not only don’t smell unpleasant, and aren’t oil-based, but last a long, long time.  Let me show you an example of an ugly, damaged parking lot and what the parking lot looks like now. Here you go:

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Pave Top Asphalt Resurfacer Before and After

This is certainly an ugly parking lot. It really looks like it should have been completely torn up and replaced, but that’s pricey.  This contractor, Joe Wadkins Consulting out of Las Vegas, NV, used some Calico Quick Patch to repair those giant cracks and then used Calico Pave Top and Calico Liquid Emulsion to resurface this unsightly lot without the stink and without sending more money to some unstable, oil rich country overseas.

There are some real benefits to using this product.  It’s unaffected by ultraviolet rays, water, auto fluids, oil, and gas. It requires LESS maintenance than typical asphalt coatings and contains NO OIL. It has a 20 year life span.  This Continue reading

CONCRETE STAMPING MISTAKES TO AVOID

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Avoid Mistakes!

 I can match that color!

No, you can’t. Color is tricky business and photographs of concrete stamp jobs will look only as accurate as your computer or phone allows and still may not be that accurate.   Do not guarantee that a color will come out exactly the same as a picture. Let your customer know that what looks like a soft beige in a picture on a website may in fact be nothing close to a soft beige. If you are unfamiliar with a color combination, make a sample and show your customer ahead of time.

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Stamped Concrete Job of the Month

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This pool deck was done by Baltz and Sons out of Memphis, TN (http://baltz-concrete.com). Our popular concrete stamp Arizona Flagstone (RS300) pattern was used and each stone was colored uniquely with acid stain. Taking the time to ensure that the stones look different sets this job apart. This look can be achieved by selecting a color hardener such as Arizona Buff, an antique release such as Mission Beige and then using acid stain or water based stains such as Ez-Accent and Ez-Tique to add that special touch to the stones.

To Seal or Not to Seal

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Slipping on Sealer can be Avoided with Non-Slip Additives

Any surface can become slick when exposed to water or ice, not just concrete. However, if you want to maintain the color of your concrete, and all of the other benefits of sealed concrete, you need to seal it. You should plan to seal your concrete every 2 years (sooner if concrete is exposed to extreme weather conditions.) Sealing concrete enriches the color intensity whether the color is integral, a stain or dye, or from color hardener. Sealers can add sheen to the concrete such as a high gloss or no sheen like a matte. Concrete sealers block the penetration of dirt, oil, grease and chemicals and make the concrete surface much easier to clean. Concrete sealers also help to prevent wear and tear from high foot and auto traffic areas.