For those of you that don't know me, my current job has taken me around the world and back again training, installing and manufacturing decorative concrete product. Every country brings with it a unique feel that local contractors have built their portfolio of decorative concrete work around. During my travels I have had a chance to see many amazing decorative concrete installations that rivals the decorative work installed in the States. Don't get me wrong, I believe that the United States is and will be the clear leader in cutting edge decorative concrete work for now and in the future, but international contractors are thriving and mixing it up "pun intended" in their own styles. I must admit that when I started traveling I had my set ideas of what certain countries and cities would be like. My preconceived notions for the most part have been blown out of the water. There is top notch decorative concrete work happening all over the globe.

Photo 1: Cementitious topping installed by a contractor in Argentina. Photo 2: A cementitious topping was applied to vertical surfaces in this bathroom, also in Argentina.

MicrotoppingsOn a recent trip to Argentina I found some of the most progressive Microtop floors I have ever seen. These two pictures are projects installed by Guillermo Camarero from Cordoba, Argentina.

In photo 1 a cementitious topping was used to transform this floor into a clean modern living space.

In photo 2 a cementitious topping was used on vertical and horizontal surfaces to create a look that is not only aesthetically pleasing but waterproof and durable.

Imprinted ConcreteImprinted concrete is king in our industry and it seems to me that as time goes on architects are looking for alternative solutions for exterior hardscape work. That being said take a look at these pictures, I find it hard to imagine that your local architect or homeowner would not want this work on their project.

Photo 3: Imprinted concrete in Montenegro. Photo 4: Imprinted concrete in Saudi Arabia.

Photo # 3 was a project in Montenegro using traditional imprinted concrete with a design that suited the local culture and area.

Photo # 4 was in Saudi Arabia. I love designs like this where varying mediums are used on a hardscape surface. Mixing this traditional random stone pattern with decorative tiles finished this job off.

Photo # 5 this picture was taken in the heart of Mexico City. This work installed by Pablo Aviles of Concrete and Pigments shows how durable and beautiful decorative concrete can be. Pablo did a nice job of using decorative concrete products to conform to the style and culture of Mexico City.

Photo # 6 this is one of my favorite imprinted concrete projects which happens to be in one of my favorite places in the world, Malaysia. I love the mixing of color and texture on this project. The contractor JoAnne Ong Tan has been installing decorative concrete for over 30 years in Malaysia, almost as long as I have been alive.

Photo 5: Imprinted concrete in Mexico City. Photo 6: Imprinted concrete in Malaysia.

Stained ConcreteWe see chemically stained floors, imprinted vertical surfaces, pervious concrete systems, polished floors, precast work and exposed projects all over the world.

Photo 7: Stained concrete in the Middle East.

In picture # 7 we see the use of chemical stain on the entry way to this Green House for a large Middle East Concrete and Landscape company called Rabya Jeddah.

Places like Argentina, Brazil, India and China have more work than they know what to do with. Many international contractors have installed quality decorative concrete work for over 20 years and are seeing the fruits of their labors. As quality work continues to be installed architects and builders continue to turn to decorative concrete when looking for durable lasting surfaces. All I can say is that if someone decides to open a theme park showcasing all the different cultures of the world decorative concrete contractors would have it covered.

Author Brian Farnsworth, BGI Technical Services