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- Decorative Concrete
Decorative Concrete of Maryland: Maryland's Rising Star
Located in Olney, Maryland, Decorative Concrete of Maryland, Inc. serves the areas in and around the Montgomery County region. Owner Daniel Mahlmann, who has a master certificate in decorative concrete applications from the 2005 World of Concrete in Las Vegas, also offers his clients concrete sealer applications, surface cleaning and light touch-up repairs to keep their decorative surfaces looking beautiful year after year.
The company specializes in concrete flat and stamped work, sealing and resealing concrete, cleaning concrete, vertical wall faux stone work, interior overlay concrete floors, concrete patios, pool decking, concrete resurfacing and staining, water features, concrete polishing and resurfacing countertops.
Mahlmann credits networking with much of his success so far in the industry. "When I started in this industry, I didn't have a lot of networking or sales experience," he says, "but I came to a realization that there were others out there like me I should reach out to."
One such person was a man Mahlmann says he saw driving a truck that had the words "concrete work" on it and a phone number that Mahlmann says he called.
"He said he was interested in decorative concrete, but a lack of training stopped him," recalls Mahlmann. "We talked and seemed to connect, as we shared our enthusiasm for the decorative possibilities of concrete. He seemed genuine about his desire to produce quality work. We lost touch, and I knew I also needed to learn more about decorative concrete, so over the next year and a half I continued training and doing small jobs. One day I saw him again, and we've been working together ever since. It's a mutually beneficial relationship. We both had trust issues at first but now we've done so much together. It's great...I've grown through networking, both personally and professionally."
Mahlmann says he took it a step further by contacting local contractors though The Concrete Network. "I contacted a lot who were like me—small and optimistic," he explains. "We see The Concrete Network as a great place to do advertising, exchange ideas and processes with each other as well as establishing relationships through the network as well. I'm also fortunate enough to have access to one of Maryland's most experienced decorative concrete polishers for the innovative ideas that I want to try out."
Networking also led Decorative Concrete of Maryland to the Faux House, a national project featuring 10 concrete treatments with proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity. It all started with a little down time and stencils.
Late last year, Mahlmann took advantage of a slow time to experiment with Modellos. He emailed a stencil artisan in Washington state, and through her found some faux artisans in his neck of the woods and started emailing them to offer the techniques he had learned. One of them emailed him back about the Faux House, and then invited Decorative Concrete of Maryland to join in the effort.
"I got involved once I knew the caliber of work and what was being done," Mahlmann says of The House That Faux Built project and book. "Networking that sprung from attending seminars paid off. I contacted an exquisite faux finisher I met at a 'Pure Texture' seminar. It gave me the opportunity to work with someone with many years of experience working with paints, colors and textures. His talents were pretty obvious to everyone. Together, we created some awesome work and had a great time doing it."
The house includes 10 different concrete treatments on floors, countertops and walkways and will be featured on HGTV. Over 50 renowned artisans and 30 national and local sponsors worked diligently donating their talents, creativity and innovative products to transform a house in the D.C. area and a church and rectory in Chicago.
Expensive home renovation methods were shunned in favor of transforming a small, dated 1940s brick colonial, using primarily creativity, paint, plaster and other techniques few even know exist. The Arlington House is open to the public for one month and 100 percent of the ticket proceeds were contributed to Habitat for Humanity to build a house in New Orleans (for this reason the project is dubbed "The House That Faux Built").
Previous projects the company has crafted include a walkway done in ashlar slate in pewter and gray, a counter-bar top stained in black with a highlighted texture under two-part epoxy, an entry comprised of a stencil in black granite overlay with faux woodgrain planks with a sandstone inlay modello, and an interior basement in old world large tile for a new wine cellar.
Among the popular requests of Decorative Concrete of Maryland is the Eurostone System, troweled concrete overlayment replicating slate, tile or flagstone at ¼ inch or less. This system offers the look and feel of natural stone, combined with easy maintenance, durability, and simplicity of installation, providing charm, easy elegance, and natural warmth. "The decorative applications are enormous with products such as the polymer overlays," notes Mahlmann.
Decorative Concrete of Maryland's stampless concrete overlays, replicating natural stone looks, offer numerous textures and colors. They're perfect for driveways, patios, pool surrounds, paths and porches, offering an innovative way to improve the look and feel of traditional surfaces, as well as add visual appeal and value.
For existing concrete, Decorative Concrete of Maryland offers overlay finishes in Slate, Brick, Flagstone, Tile and Random Stone patterns. Clients are offered an alternative to granite and stone flooring, with equal quality at a more reasonable price.
The company also offers synthetic rock building systems to create water features for pools, spas, ponds, waterfalls, planters, garden walls and outdoor grills. Decorative Concrete of Maryland creates faux rocks with lifelike realism that are made specifically to fit their client's needs.
To date, Mahlmann says his most rewarding decorative concrete application achievement is his involvement with the Faux House. "It's been a highlight so far for me in the industry," he notes.
"I'm right where I'm supposed to be at this point in time," Mahlmann explains, noting that as business picks up he'll be looking to bring more talent to the company and his clients.
"I started out learning decorative applications with concrete," he concludes. "I didn't imagine having a company to do it. I now know that the right people are out there who are perfect for the company. It's a matter of when and how we come across each other".