An attendee examines a slab at the Concrete Polishing Demonstration Area.
Bryan Haraway/Getty Images An attendee examines a slab at the Concrete Polishing Demonstration Area.

The Concrete Surfaces & Decorative Pavilion at World of Concrete 2012 proved to be the ideal place for contractors who coat, repair, and polish concrete to learn about the latest industry developments.

Located outside the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall, the area was packed with attendees who also watched the Artistry in Decorative Concrete demonstrations (turn to page 48 to read details of each demo), Contractor Clinics, and more. A total of 52,088 people attended the show, an increase over the previous year.

Many people gathered at the Concrete Polishing Demonstration Area. Members of the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA) were discussing logo placement, applying densifiers, the relationship between abrasives and the concrete surface, and demonstrating the BOT 3000 tribomoter that measures slip resistance.

People are changing their views of polished concrete, said Brad Burns, CPAA interim executive director. “There is a much higher level of education among consumers and contractors.”

Brian Wilson, president and CEO of WerkMaster, a manufacturer of flooring and grinding machines based in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, found “a lot of people are starting to understand a little bit more about the value of decorative and polished concrete.” WerkMaster demonstrated its machines in the same area.

Still, much work remains for polished concrete to take the next step forward. “How does the industry define polished concrete in a better way,” Wilson said. “How do we define a standard we can all work toward?” Also, “stronger” contractors visited the WerkMaster booth, he added. Many had a focus they were trying to strengthen, such as how to get deeper into dyeing and staining.

Scratching the surface

The week kicked off with the Concrete Polishing Luncheon & Forum, sponsored by the International Concrete Polishing & Staining Conference.

“Documentation, through the use of instrumentation, will help polishing contractors understand and evaluate problems and costs for polished concrete to reach its full potential prior to, during, and after project completion,” said Harry Grassette, vice president of Polished Solutions Inc. of Sarasota, Fla. Contractors who are not familiar with a slab’s mix design should seek advice from a consultant so they could properly grind the surface, he advised.

James McArdle, lead development specialist at 3M’s Abrasive Systems Division, Minneapolis, and Donald Landin, 3M technical senior specialist, urged contractors to understand surface scratches and other imperfections.