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Getting Vivid Colors and Marble-Like Floors with Concrete OverlaysCanadian Company Finds Success with Specific Techniques and Products for Concrete Floors
In recent years, decorative concrete has become incredibly popular for commercial and residential projects alike and concrete has been used in innovative ways in countries all around the world. Canada is a great example of a country that is jumping on board the decorative concrete train. There are many successful and incredibly talented decorative concrete contractors in Canada who are making quite a mark on the industry.
One such mark-making company is Art sur Béton, located near Montreal. According to Simon Gareau, director of training and technical support at Art sur Béton, they are the "distributor and trainer for Elite Crete Systems products in Eastern Canada, and have been in the business for five years." Don't let the fact that they are a young company fool you, this group has loads of talent that can be seen in two very unique projects.
Project 1 - Vivid Colors
First is a floor which Art sur Béton transformed for Loomes Art Store. The owner of the art store approached Art sur Béton with a vision of how they wanted the floor to look. Simon said he helped them finalize their vision by "showing them samples of each color, and even taking a plane to another jobsite so they could see some more of our work." From then on the two worked closely to create the 10,000 square foot, colorful and vibrant floor.
Amazingly, this floor began as a plain, grey concrete slab, providing a blank canvas for Simon and his workers. Hydra-Stone dye, as well as Chem-Stone acid stain, from Elite Crete was used to give the floor its rich colors. The Hydra-Stone was applied directly to the grey concrete. Art sur Béton used a variety of colors which they diluted to get the perfect shades. These colors include Lemon Yellow, Leather Tan and Chocolate Brown.
The blue section of the floor was created using Thin-Finish, Synthetic Primary Pigments (SYPP) and Ultra-Stone Stain. Thin-Finish is a polymer modified cement overlay, which was applied in a single layer, then blue SYPP was added and finally the area was finished by applying the Ultra-Stone Stain, giving the area a marbled look. The entire floor, complete with all its colors, was then sealed with Elite Crete PT-1 Clear Epoxy.
Certain parts of this job proved to be challenging for Art sur Béton, but they definitely rose to the occasion. Simon said that "the most difficult part of the job was doing the curves because they were hard to draw and engrave and were done completely by hand using a diamond blade and 4-inch grinder." Another challenge was keeping the colors from spilling out of their specified areas. Fiber tape and masking paper were used to cover the area where two colors met. Then the workers came back in and carefully finished those sections.
Appropriately, the artistic talent of Art sur Béton can be seen in this one-of-a-kind floor which they created for Loomes Art Store. Thanks to Simon and his crew, the store no longer simply sells art supplies; it now has a floor that is a work of art itself.
Project 2 — Marbled Floor
The second project is another beautifully colored floor that takes on a completely different look than the first. This floor was created for a day spa that was in need of a spruced up atmosphere that would be welcoming to its clients. Art sur Béton applied and colored a 1,500 square foot concrete overlay for this project.
First, workers applied a skim coat of Thin-Finish with a magic trowel, then they applied a second coat of Thin-Finish with a steel trowel, and finally a coat of Micro-Finish was applied, also with a steel trowel. The second coat was applied roughly, leaving trowel marks that would help to create the desired marbled look. After all three layers were applied they were sanded with a Clark vibrating sander.
The process of coloring is where this project got interesting. Simon explained the first step of this process by saying, "We literally flooded the floor with water, there were puddles everywhere, and the workers had to wear plastic bags over their shoes so they didn't get wet." Next, each person took a container of acid stain and sprayed it randomly into the pools of water, "this allowed the stain to variegate naturally." The stains used on this particular project were Chem-Stone Stains from Elite Crete Systems in Antique Blue, Antique Green and Antique Black.
After the stain had enough time to react, the crew had to do a careful and thorough clean-up followed by sealer application. First, the acid was neutralized with ammonia and then the floor was vacuumed and rinsed to remove all remaining residue. The finishing touch was put on this beautiful marbled floor by applying a single coat of Elite Crete's PT-1 epoxy.
Art sur Béton offers monthly training classes that are designed to help people become successful in the decorative concrete industry. Simon describes their course as being "hands-on, divided into 70% practice and 30% theory." He also said that "each attendee receives a 1 inch binder with all the instructions as well as some marketing tips and all the technical data. The samples that we make during the class are cut into pieces after the seminar and each student takes some samples home and is ready to sell jobs and make profit."
The first day of the training covers procedures such as thin-stamp overlays, thin-trowel finishes, splatter textures and micro-finishes. The second day deals with colors, sealers, dyes, chemtone stain and ultra tone stain. Art sur Béton's training classes are held at their 2,000 square foot showroom which is located near Montreal. The cost of the training is $250.00 for both days and includes lunch. Classes are offered in both French and English, and a class schedule can be found on their website.
Art sur Béton is helping lead the decorative concrete industry in Canada in a great direction. They put creativity into every project and have developed techniques that achieve a one-of-a-kind look. It can truly be said that they produce quality concrete art, and as their website claims, they really do "give concrete a new dimension."
Art sur Béton Inc.
5474, Montée Saint-Hubert
Saint-Hubert, Qc, J3Y 1V9
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