Rick Smith, senior consultant and vice president of operations, Structural Services Inc
Bryan Haraway/Getty Images Rick Smith, senior consultant and vice president of operations, Structural Services Inc

About 170 people attended the Concrete Polishing Luncheon & Forum, Tuesday, Feb. 2. Rick Smith, senior consultant and vice president of operations, Structural Services Inc., Richardson, Texas, was one of the speakers at the event.

Education and communication were major themes that were repeated at the Concrete Polishing Luncheon & Forum at World of Concrete on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

These were key ideas mainly because of the speed at which the concrete polishing industry has grown. "There is a need to always educate, especially since the industry is only starting its second decade and is evolving in a real-time basis," said Peter Wagner, of Portland, and one of the first concrete polishers in the Northwest U.S.

About 170 people attended the event, which was sponsored by organizers of the International Concrete Polishing & Staining Conference.

"Honest communication and fair dealings are good ideas," added Lendall Mains, an architect with 3W Studio in Las Vegas. Mains added that concrete floor polishers should seek to learn from all of their work. "No matter how good you are, you can learn from every project. You're not done when you're through," he said.

Mains added that all involved in the process, including polishing contractors, architects, designers, and specifiers, should work together. "You have to get out there and educate people," he said. "As a designer, I don't know it all."

The polished concrete industry's strong growth the last decade has taken on a life of its own. "If we don't self-police ourselves, our major clients are going to go away," said Rick Smith, senior consultant and vice president of operations at Structural Services Inc., Richardson, Texas.

The speakers also urged the audience to thoroughly understand the concrete they are about to polish, including the material's mix design and flatness characteristics.

The industry's growth has caused a lot of confusion, prompting Smith to suggest, "make sure requirements are clearly specified."