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Q. What is decorative concrete overlay?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifDecorative concrete overlay is a polymer modified cementitious overlayment. I know that doesn’t answer your question but it is a concrete like product that has polymers and proprietary additives added that enable this product to be overlaid or spread over other surfaces like wood, concrete, plaster, wallboard, cement-board, or urea foam. The additives, give the decorative concrete the ability to withstand high humidity and dampness, UV radiation, and freeze/thaw cycles without deteriorating. The product will mechanically bond and chemically bond with concrete. This assures that the product, once applied, will not delaminate. This product can be textured or smoothed to resemble any stone product like: marble, slate, flagstone, or field stones, in any colour imaginable.
Q. Is there a difference between stamped decorative concrete and decorative concrete overlay?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifThere is a difference, lets start with stamped decorative concrete, stamped decorative concrete is poured as a slab, like any white concrete. After the surface has set, it will be stamped by the contractor with special stamps that have the desired pattern moulded into to them. The surface then is coloured as desired by the customer. Sometimes the entire pour will be coloured. Decorative concrete overlay is spread as a thin layer over concrete or other compatible surfaces and is then stamped or smoothed and coloured or stained to give the customer the desired effect.
Q. I have a concrete side walk that has sunken in some spots and is a real eye sore, do I have to have it replaced?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifNot necessarily, this product can re-grade surfaces of 3 to 4 inches right to a feather edge. The cause of the heaving of the concrete base should be corrected first, particularly if it is caused by tree roots or a poor concrete installation.
Q. Where have decorative concrete flooring systems been installed?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifThese flooring systems have been installed in: casinos, shopping malls, offices, hotel lobbies, retail stores, residential homes, and anywhere in place of conventional tile, terrazzo, quarry, etc. This product does exceptionally well in high wear areas.
Q. I have a concrete surface that has spalded, and has large sections that have fallen away, can this be corrected?

http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifIn many cases the answer is YES, if there are no structural issues that need to be corrected. This determination should be made by a Structural Engineer or Certified Concrete Contractor.
Q. Is indoor concrete flooring difficult to maintain?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifNo, this flooring is no more difficult for the homeowner to maintain than a hardwood floor. It can be cleaned with any floor cleaning product like Mop. The floor can also have a wax finish applied if the homeowner wants. Overlays on wood surfaces are reinforced with metal lathe which is secured to the sub flooring with over 25 fasteners per square foot. This ensures that maintenance will be cosmetic, not structural.
Q. How resistant are decorative surfaces to stains and spills like oil or grease?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifOnce the floor or any surface is sealed by the contractor, depending upon the type of sealant used, the surface can be impervious to many chemicals including: salt, petrochemicals, UV radiation, and water. This makes decorative concrete flooring an excellent choice for driveways and garage floors.

Q. If I happen to damage a decorative surface how difficult is it fix?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifRepairing decorative surfaces is easy; the only difficult part is matching the colour. Damaging a decorative concrete overlay surface is tough because it can withstand 5,000 pounds per square inch of compressive strength. In many cases, the surface damage will be to the sealer and not to the polymer concrete.
Q. How long does it take to install a decorative concrete floor?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifThe typical installation is 3 to 4 days. The floor is safe for heavy traffic by day 4.
Q. I have an older home and I wanted to have tiles installed, but the tile contractor said he wouldn’t do it because the floors were too springy? Could I still get a decorative concrete floor?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifProbably, yes, it would depend upon the condition of the sub flooring and the flooring joist. Decorative concrete has give to it where other stone or ceramic products would crack or fail completely. If you have floors that rattle when your family’s cat runs by, then you should have the floors reinforced before installing any flooring product.
Q. I have a friend who had a tile floor installed in their kitchen, but now that floor is almost an inch higher than the rest of the floors in the house, will I have this problem with a decorative concrete floor?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifIt depends on the sub-floor material. If you have a concrete floor, then the overlay can be as thin as 1/8". If you have a wooden floor, you will see an increase in floor height, how much depends upon the condition of the sub-floor. A typical installation may see an increase of 1/4” to 3/8”. The other advantage is that any “valleys” you may have in your floors can be easily trowled out. If the floor needs to have a plywood underlayment, then this could add another 1/4” to the final height of the finished floor.
Q. Do I have to rip up my old linoleum floor before having decorative concrete flooring installed?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifNot normally. It depends upon how well the linoleum is adhered to the sub-flooring. If that is not a problem, then the decorative concrete floor can be installed right above the linoleum flooring. If height of the floor is a concern, then the linoleum will need to be removed.
Q. How long will my decorative concrete floor last?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifThe indoor applications will last for decades with minimal cleaning and maintenance.
Q. I would like to use this product over my existing driveway, is there anything I need to be concerned when my driveway is ploughed this winter?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifIt depends upon the texture of the finish. If the finish is like a slate or stone with a smooth finish and not many raised areas, then there is nothing to be concerned about. If the finish is similar to a cobble stone or similar finish with high and low areas then the plough or snow blower may damage the raised areas. You also should tell the plough operator not to scrape the driveway clean, but to leave a thin layer of snow. The sunshine after the storm should finish the job and this reduces the risk of damage to your driveway. You should also use sand, not rock salt or any other product to melt the snow.
Q. What is the average lead time before I can get interior decorative concrete installed?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifThe normal lead time is 2 weeks. This varies depending upon the time of year. In the summer months it could be up to 4 weeks, during the winter months it could be less than a week.
Q. What type of warranty or guarantee comes with a decorative concrete surface?

http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifThe product is guaranteed against defects in labour and material. The length of the guarantee depends upon where the product is installed.

Q. Is there any maintenance required that I can’t do myself?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifLike the finish on a hardwood floor the protective sealant can be worn down in high traffic areas. In these instances, the decorative concrete surface should be resealed by a certified decorative concrete installer depending upon the type of sealant used. If a polyurethane sealant was used then a new coat of polyurethane could be applied. It is recommended that you check with the contractor or with the care guide given to you by the contractor. IDCD has a maintenance program that addresses this issue. Please visit that page or use this link Maintenance Program to learn more.
Q. Is there any limit to the size of the area that can be covered?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifSimple stated NO. It would depend upon the contractor’s ability to perform the work. If the area in question is a large vertical surface, where special scaffolding would be required, then you need to contact a contractor who has done this type of architectural surfacing.
Q. What advantages are there of decorative concrete over something like pavers.
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifThe best way to show the advantages is to use the table below:
Q. Is stamped concrete slippery?
Depending on the finish stamped concrete can be slippery just like any other natural stone might be slippery. To reduce, if not eliminate slipperiness we apply a non slip-additive in the sealer and recommend a non-slip sealer be used in all future treatments.

Problem/Issue or Concern


Decorative Concrete

Product Selection

Usually most distributors only carry about a half dozen styles in stock and need to special order anything else. Shipping charges may also be added to the cost of the job.

Only limited by the imagination. Find a finish you like and it usually can be simulated.

Weed resistance

Weeds will grow in-between the pavers after the first season and will require the constant use of dangerous herbicides to remove.

The decorative concrete surface is solid and continuous; weeds have no place to get a foothold and spread.

Sink Holes

Sink holes or depressions can form after just two seasons. This can be caused by frost heaves and the activities of animals and insects. This creates a dangerous tripping hazard. The only way to repair this is to lift the pavers replace the missing base material and replace the pavers.

The decorative concrete surface is solid and continuous. It is resistant to freeze/thaw cycles and water runs off the surface. Dangerous formations of sink holes do not occur.

Q. Can decorative concrete be applied over counter tops?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifNo, not over, but you can have a concrete countertop that can be made to look like almost any stone material. Depending upon the look the customer wants, the countertops can be made on site or in shop and installed. The reason for doing the countertops in shop is because of curing time and sanding of the surface. It is important for the concrete to cure before use. Some finishes may require grinding of the surface to expose the aggregate just below the surface and the dust needs to be contained.
Q. Is the surface of a concrete countertop safe for food preparation?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifYes, there are sealants that have FDA approval; the only problem is that these sealants aren’t as wear resistant as the sealants used for floors. It is not recommended to use a knife for cutting directly on a concrete counter top.
Q. Can Decorative Concrete be applied over an asphalt surface?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifNo, this is the only surface that can’t be coated. This has to do the expansion rate of asphalt and its ductility when it gets hot. The two materials are just not compatible.
Q. What happens if I don’t like the colour or I change my mind and want a different colour?
http://www.icrete.biz/images/spacer.gifThat depends where in the process you make this decision. Before we begin any job you will be give a “Process Sheet”. This sheet shows you each of the steps involved. One of its benefits is it will show where changes can be made at little or no cost. In the case of colour, if the decorative concrete surface has not been sealed then the colour can be lightened or darkened. The colour can also be bleached out if necessary depending upon which process is being used.

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