Taking Concrete Surfaces To A Whole New Level

When you think of decorative concrete, you probably picture standard applications, like flooring, outdoor patios, and pool decks. The beauty of concrete, however, is that it is so versatile – it can even be installed vertically to create three-dimensional concrete surfaces. If you are thinking about using vertical concrete, take a moment to learn a little bit more about the application and about the potential for customization options reviewed below.

You are probably familiar with the more traditional uses of decorative, but did you know that decorative concrete can also be used to create things like interior walls, fireplaces, and more? Just as you can create a custom look for flooring using decorative concrete, so can you use it to create a custom look for interior or exterior walls – it all depends on the products you choose.

The concrete used for vertical applications is a little different from that used for horizontal applications. For one thing, it is very lightweight and designed not to sag or drip. This material can generally be spread directly on top of any existing surface, such as plaster, drywall, wood, cement board, and even insulating concrete forms. Vertical concrete is designed to be applied in either a thick or thin layer without sagging, giving you the ability to shape it and texture it as you please. You can use vertical concrete to mimic the appearance of premium materials, like stone, wood, brick, and rock. 

One of the latest trends is hand-carved vertical overlays. Similar to hand-troweled horizontal decorative concrete applications, hand-carved vertical concrete overlays can be used to create a custom, one-of-a-kind appearance. This kind of application is much more customizable than things like stick-on rock, brick, or real stone. Vertical concrete can also be customized using stamps and texturing skins, just like horizontal concrete. Just keep in mind that applying concrete on walls correctly requires a certain depth of experience – it is something best left to the experts.

Business parks are unique places that require special planning, as they need to be relaxing and beautiful while retaining a professional atmosphere. Using decorative concrete can make it significantly easier to maintain this delicate balance by offering unlimited possibilities. There are neutral tones that are perfect for the traditional business park, or you can select a slightly more vibrant option to give the park some character without sacrificing professionalism.


Mimic Any Material on a Budget

In many cases, people tend to believe that creating a professional look requires expensive materials. In reality, these materials can add to the business-like atmosphere but are not necessary. Any surface that is well-organized and maintained can look professional, including concrete. Best of all, decorative concrete is versatile enough to mimic any type of material you would like to see in a business park without going over budget. For example, SunStamp can mimic a range of natural stones since it works with stones or free-form carving.


Match the Building’s Decor

The incredible range of stains and dyes also to ensure that there is a color palette available regardless of the building’s theme and whether you want a professional, neutrally colored space or one that is unique. Between SunAcid, SunH20, SunDye, and SunChip, there are numerous choices available. Many of these will even add to the durability of the surface, allowing you to save money on the business park over time. To better create a professional and safe appearance, you can also add SunSplash, which is textured and perfect for walking paths in business parks. When Masonry Effects and Aggregate Effects are added, the business space can look exactly how you want.


Where to Use Decorative Concrete


When considering the decorative concrete to use in their business parks, most companies tend to focus only on the sidewalk or pathways. These are important, but they are not the only locations where you can take advantage of this visually appealing and professional option. Most Sundek products will also work on vertical surfaces, which allows you to add decorative concrete to the exterior walls surrounding the park, extending the theme. You can also use various products to decorate items such as planters. Consider balancing out a purely professional appearance on the walkways with vibrant textures or colors on the planters throughout the park. This will liven up the park’s aesthetics without sacrificing professionalism in the process.

There is an old saying in the concrete business that proclaims: Concrete comes with three rock solid guarantees


1) If you leave it alone in downtown Detroit City no one is going to steal it.

2) It won’t burn.

3) It WILL crack!


The iconic Will Rogers even mentioned concrete cracks in his epic quote: “All you need to grow fine, vigorous grass is a crack in your sidewalk.”


Even though well placed concrete has great hardness (compressive strength), it does not have good elasticity (tensile strength) which is the ability to stretch and bend very far. This results in cracks. Having cracks in a beautiful concrete patio or pool deck is like having ants at a picnic – they are not very welcome! 

So what are your options as a homeowner or property owner to repair or fix this unsightly concrete? Hire Sundek! We take cracks very seriously. When we are getting ready to have a Sundek concrete coating installed and know you don’t want to see those nasty cracks again. We take do a mini-root cause analysis of each crack which includes identifying the source of each crack and what your expectations are for future crack re-occurrence. 


Option One – You can remove and replace the cracked concrete areas. The new concrete must be provided with proper soil compaction and expansion joints. This option can get a bit pricey but in some cases this is the must-do best option. We are good, but we cannot hurdle poorly placed concrete in some cases. Thus not every chunk of concrete can be restored with Sundek and we’ll advise you if the deck needs to be torn out and replaced – with no warranty against cracking –again. This option can run you anywhere from $8-$12 a square foot depending on your local market and the job conditions. (Yikes!) 

Option Two– You can saw cut the concrete at the cracks and epoxy weld the structural cracks. This option is again pricey and not fool proof. You might call this the “Cut and Paste” option. It can be difficult to find someone who does this type of work and usually it has a very limited warranty. Pricing can run as high as $20-$30 a lineal foot. 

Option Three– Sundek Custom Scoreline Effects. This technique was invented and perfected by Sundek dealers over 40 years ago. The idea is to think of the concrete cracks as “Mother Nature’s Expansion Joints”- they are just doing their job in controlling the natural expansion and contraction movement of the concrete as it heats and cools. With the typical Sundek application when Custom Scoreline Effect is needed you add only 50- to 60 cents a square foot to the price of the job and you get a two-year warranty that if another crack returns, the local Sundek Dealer will come back and create a new scoreline with the new crack.


Compare that to the other two options – This is a Pretty Easy Choice!!


The creation of a beautiful – eye catching Custom Scoreline Effect is a real skill that the Sundek installers have perfected to an art-form. Each “stone” pattern is indeed “Custom”.  Here is what to expect if you choose the custom scoreline option:

Each crack is carefully opened with a grinder wheel and then an extended Custom Scoreline pattern is designed and developed by further grinding.

The existing scored crack is then filled with a urethane sealant to prevent water and debris intrusion. This also helps blend in the original crack with the new custom score lines.

The project is then completed with the Sundek acrylic color Finish Coat of the customer’s color choice. Now the moving cracks –Mother Nature’s expansion joints- can do their job without looking like a nasty old crack.

The Custom Score line Effect can be incorporated into most any other Sundek Effect but it is most often used with the Classic Sundek Texture Effect. #418 Custom Scoreline Cut Sheet


If you already have a Sundek installation that has developed cracks in the concrete and it was not originally crafted with a Custom Scoreline Effect, now would be a great time to give your local Sundek Dealer a call and get an estimate on making those nasty cracks turn into a thing of beauty! 

Maybe you are considering a decorative concrete coating but weren’t sure about the cracking issues and nobody else has a good solution – your answer in just a phone call away to your local Sundek Dealer.

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