Plain Gray Concrete Transformed by Decorative Concrete Engraving
Finishing concrete floor surfaces, inside and outside, has dramatically grown in popularity and acceptance in recent years. More staining and sealing products are available and the processes have become increasingly user-friendly, allowing contractors to experience an improved dependability on return on investment with lower risk of job failures.
Among the fastest growing processes in decorative concrete is concrete engraving. The reasons for the growing acceptance of decorative concrete engraving are simplicity of process, lower materials cost, and, most importantly, a nearly infinite range of looks, colors and pattern/graphic reproduction that can be achieved.
Decorative Concrete Options Abound
Staining and sealing concrete surfaces are long-accepted processes. Adding texture to concrete surfaces is now what the market demands. Consumers and commercial enterprises are looking to replicate higher-cost building materials on or in concrete, and add relief in replication of graphical treatments and designs, such as corporate logos, corporate/city seals, emblems reflecting individual passions, or numbers and letters/initials. The more complex the look created, the higher the perceived value by the end customer.
Options for achieving such effects can be simplistically described as:
- Concrete Stamping – The process of stamping texture and designs into wet material with a rubber mold.
- Concrete Overlay – Adding a thin layer of cementituous/acrylic polymer coating to and existing concrete surface. Relief and designs are often achieved by applying pattern tape or stencils to the surface in advance, then removing the tape after the surface has hardened.
- Concrete Engraving – Using specially designed machines to cut patterns in existing plain or colored concrete which simulate grout lines of standard building materials. Other methods use tools and templates to precisely chip away sections of the concrete, revealing designs of exacting detail replicating any pattern or graphic.
Cost of Starting New or Adding to an Existing Business and Training
Depending on what business you are currently in and what tools and equipment you currently own, the cost of entering any of the decorative concrete business options will vary greatly. concreting sydney
Customized concrete engraving equipment varies in options and capability. It is possible for an entrepreneur to enter the business with a minimum investment of under $5000. Full turnkey business-on-wheels trailer packages are also available for under $60,000.
When evaluating the start-up costs and degrees of difficulty of offering decorative concrete services, do not forget to evaluate training and future technical support. There are numerous training options available that can be researched online. Possibly the most important question you should be asking is whether your trainer or supplier will be available to you in the future for technical support when you encounter a new circumstance on a job site.
How Hard Do You Want to Work?
The processes of concrete stamping and concrete overlay often requires the mixing of concrete or the mixing of bagged acrylic polymer material with application over existing concrete. Anyone who has mixed material will attest to the fact that this can only be described as back breaking labor. Beyond the physical demands, any outdoor application of these processes is extremely environmentally sensitive. Bad timing of rain can create havoc with the processes and leave the contractor with no options other than ripping up existing work. This uncontrollable scenario can destroy any profit margin left for the installer and makes scheduling of repair and delays of future commitments no less than a nightmare.