Global Concrete Solutions provides products and training for the Australian decorative concrete industry.

Global Concrete Solutions is a concrete products and training company that operates out of Victoria, Australia. Craig Clarke was kind enough to answer some questions we had about decorative concrete in Australia. His passion for his work and the industry are evident in his responses.

1. Briefly describe the decorative concrete industry in your area.

This concrete was engraved and stained during a Global Concrete Solutions training class.

In my opinion, the decorative concrete field is on the verge of becoming one of the quickest growing industries in Australia. Consumers here are only now discovering the amazing array of decorative functional finishes available to them. Polished concrete is going into more and more homes every day and shopping centers are using it in place of tiles. Epoxies, urethanes, and metallics are also being used to great effect. Concrete dyes and acid stains are becoming more popular as consumers realize they exist and what can be achieved with them.

The Australian public on the whole is yet to discover the endless possibilities in decorative concrete. But as they are, they are embracing it, and the industry is set explode. We are really pleased to be playing our part in introducing the best of what decorative concrete has to offer. We supply products and training to the Australian public and contractors. We are the distributors for a number of well known American companies such as Concrete Solutions, Engrave-A-Crete, CDC Larure and more.

I see decorative concrete replacing other traditional concrete coverings like carpet, tiles and hardwood flooring more and more each day. I predict that in five years decorative concrete will be a consideration in every project just as these other treatments are now. With a lot more contractors entering this field everyday, the exposure to architects, interior designers, builders and the general public is expanding rapidly. Cost effectiveness, durability and endless possibilities in design are major contributing factors to the success of the industry. It is not surprising to see the growth we are seeing now and I'm sure it will continue in the future.

Another project completed in a training class, created using a quarter inch stamp and dyes.

2. What is the most popular decorative concrete application in your area?

Currently, I would say that polished concrete is the most popular system, followed by epoxies and urethane finishes. However, other systems are making ground on them as the Australian public discovers what else is available. Many decorative concrete installers are starting to incorporate other applications such as dyes and engraving.

3. How many years have you been in the decorative concrete business?

I personally have been in the flooring industry for over twenty three years. I got into the decorative side originally through installing polished concrete and epoxy floors. I offered them as an alternative to hardwood flooring, which at the time was my main line of business. Often it wasn't practical to put in hardwood floors because of in slab heating, or sometimes the customers just wanted something different. I saw an opportunity to bring something new to them. It has grown from there to the point where I am now instructing and passing on what I have learned and helping others grow their decorative concrete businesses.

Clarke still finds time to do his own concrete work. This is a photo of his showroom floor.

4. Tell us more about the trainings you offer.

We hold six different training classes and often have leading trainers from America come down to Australia to instruct in these classes. So far we have had Bart Sadleir from Concrete Solutions come Down Under, in May we are fortunate to have Brandon Adamson from Engrave-A-Crete coming down, and in June Jeff Girard from the Concrete Countertop Institute will hold a countertop and GFRC class. Later in the year Mike Meredith of Arizona Falls LV will also be here to hold a faux rock and waterfall class. We are firm believers in providing the best available training to our students as well as great products.

  • Decorative Concrete
  • Acid stains, Dyes and Polished Concrete
  • Engrave-A-Crete
  • Concrete Countertops
  • Faux Rock and Waterfalls

At our training facility we have accommodations on site so interstate or overseas travelers don't need to worry about getting to the training each day. Every room has a queen sized bed with a LCD TV and DVD player. There's a fully appointed kitchen and laundry, there's even a spa bath, and for entertainment there's billiards and air hockey tables.

5. Being so busy providing products and trainings, do you still find time to do your own decorative concrete work?

Yes! I still have my contracting company, Connollys, through which we provide pretty much all the decorative concrete flooring options (polishing, stains, overlays, epoxy, and more).

Thanks Craig for letting us know what's happening in Australia. We look forward to an update.

Global Concrete Solutions
135 Bakers Rd
Coburg, Victoria, Australia3058
+613 9354 3333