Stephen Perrera, Owner Of Top Floor Installation Co. and native Tucsonan since 1955 has been in the flooring trade for over thirty-two years. He is licensed, bonded and an insured state of Arizona Flooring Contractor and detailed troubleshooter who performs moisture testing and floor failure analysis, installing a variety of floor coverings. Top
Getting Rid Of the Grey
I am getting a little grey on the head but this is not about hair color. Rather, it is about concrete overlays and staining. A couple weeks ago a younger person asking me if I wanted to come to a seminar about decorative concrete cold called me.
At first, I was apprehensive about it. I get tons of calls all day long from people wanting me to buy into everything under the sun. I do get a few calls about overlays and staining concrete so I asked he email me something. I have always wanted to get over to the Ardex facility back east. Pennsylvania is a long way to travel just to learn about decorative concrete so I never did do it.
As it turns out Bruce, the owner, was the new Elite Crete distributor in town, small outfit trying to vie into the growing decorative concrete market here. I do get these calls every so often from people and never really gave it any mind. I am the guy who is usually trying to talk people out of the cold concrete and into some wood or cork, something warm and cozy. I've seen a few overlays in houses and was not super impressed. I've even covered a few up in my time as the people complained about not being able to clean them effectively due to the rough texture. I learned a few tricks about that though.
After checking out the company website, www.elitecrete.com I decided to give it a shot. What do I have to lose... I could gain some more business, and busier is always better. As an installer of many types of flooring products, I believe that helps me stay busy because I am not stuck on one type of floor covering.
I met Bruce Noble at his place of business and he had several stations set up on plywood platforms with panels of concrete backer board on top to simulate a concrete slab. This was a 2-day seminar. First day was to prep several of the mock-ups and the next to finish them. The first day went well, we did some concrete stamping, learned about the various kinds of products used for overlays, learned about stains, acid and dye and epoxy coatings. This was very informative and Bruce was an excellent teacher who could answer any question put to him.
The second day was when I realized I had been missing out on a product well suited to my market. I live in the land of concrete out here in the southwest. I could not believe how easy it was. If you have ever skim coated concrete or have experience in using self-leveling compound, this is right up your alley.
There is a slight learning curve as to mixing up the base colors and all the methods used in creating these floors. Big plus is I already have a huge amount of experience involving concrete substrates and moisture testing. This is like the icing on the cake, literally! You're only limited by your imagination. One of the best things is my tech person is Bruce, and he is right here in town if I need assistance or have questions to ask. Elite Crete even has a forum for help, and as most of my colleagues around the country know, I do love forums!
Only a few weeks ago one of my clients asked if I did anything artistic as she thought I would make a good painter. What a coincidence this fell right into my lap the following week.
Now I am off to create some art, the concrete slab is my canvas. Just goes to show you, can teach an old dog new tricks.
Edited by Admin 1/24/2012
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