Several years in the making, The Book of Decorative Concrete Coatings (www.thecoatingsbook.com) took Arizona-based coatings manufacturer, Veron Coating Systems, on an eye-opening journey of discovery. What started out as a simple how-to book for applying various coatings to beautify concrete wound up being much more.
"Being a coatings manufacturer, we knew all about how to produce high quality concrete coatings," says Veron President and CEO, Joseph Hook. "What we quickly realized was that to produce a book of this magnitude required a little more effort than just skimming off a tech data sheet and an MSDS."
Hook employed Ted Uram, a technical writer with several years of experience both as a trade magazine editor and systems trainer, to plot the outline for the book. Hook provided Uram with a vast store of technical information, but raw facts alone were simply not enough.
"We both knew right away that we had to do more than just put together a book that talked about the basic steps and showed some pretty pictures," says Uram. "There are already plenty of books like that. If we really wanted to succeed, we had to get our hands dirty."
Uram spent an entire year working with various contractors, both as a laborer and photographer. Beneath the blazing Arizona sun, he worked side-by-side with several of the industry's leading applicators. "Most of the time I just took a lot of pictures," Uram admits. "But I actually got pretty good at applying the coatings as well."
Uram isn't kidding when he says he took a lot of pictures. Hook says he hasn't actually counted, but he estimates the book contains as many as three hundred color photos.
"What's interesting about all the photos is they're all pictures of actual jobs, really detailed stuff. There's just no way you can stage these kinds of photos." Hook says the photos document step-by-step applications for epoxy and urethane floors, broadcast chips, polymer overlays, acid stains, pattern systems, color quartz, and much more.
"We took the whole concept of a how-to book and really pushed it to the limits," Hook added. In addition to the step-by-step processes documented, the book also contains a goldmine of vital information on everything from surface prep to how to inspect concrete for flaws. Numerous charts and detailed diagrams aid in the presentation of information, which was purposefully written with ease-of-understanding in mind.
"You can get really technical with all this information," Uram says. "And that stuff is in there. But when you're talking about how to actually do these coatings you don't want to get mired in a lot of fancy talk."
Hook, Uram and a staff of volunteer employees and contractors spent months editing and trimming the book until it took on a tone they felt best represented the overall concept of what they were hoping to achieve.
"We're really proud of what we accomplished," Hook says. "It took a long time, but it was worth it."