Proper placing and finishing of decorative concrete requires specialized skills using decorative concrete products and techniques not required for most concrete placements. These skills are in addition to the proper placing, finishing, and curing skills needed for routine concrete placements that are covered by existing flatwork finisher resources and programs.
The decorative concrete industry is growing fast. As a result, there is a need for education and information from credible sources. The standards of quality for this growing industry must be maintained and increased. This document was produced with the intent of raising the quality of education for the decorative concrete industry. Quality of construction will progress by continually improving the level of craftsmanship.
Many of the skills associated with decorative concrete flatwork are not presently covered in existing concrete flatwork resources. This document supplements existing resources by providing knowledge of the materials, equipment, and techniques required to successfully install decorative concrete flatwork. Knowledge of traditional concrete flatwork techniques is recommended for full understanding of this document. Decorative concrete topics covered herein include:
- Mixture design for decorative concrete mixtures;
- The use of integral color and dry shake color hardeners;
- The identification and uses of decorative finishing tools and equipment (such as stamping mats and stencils);
- The use of surface retarders and set-retarding admixtures to produce exposed aggregate surfaces;
- Stamping and texturing concrete;
- Seeding fresh concrete surfaces with decorative aggregate;
- Decorative treatments for stair treads and risers; and
- Cleaning and sealing methods for decorative concrete.
- This document also covers topics that are universal to concrete flatwork construction:
- Jobsite and personal safety;
- Ensuring the design adheres to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines;
- Preplacement site preparation; and Identification and uses of concrete finishing tools.
Additionally, two chapters of texture samples and project examples are included. Architectural cast-in-place walls, chemical stains, decorative overlays, decorative scoring, and other topical finishes are not included in this document.