After announcing our fifth annual Polished Concrete Award winners, some of you wondered why some judges weren’t swept away by the Readers’ Choice winner. I don’t know what to say except that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The owner of a ready-mix concrete supplier in Texas wanted his new administrative building to reflect his love of the outdoors. To that end, Mark Womack of Monster Constructors used sand, aggregate, and stain to create a river motif that weaves through two-thirds of the 8,500-square-foot space. On his hands and knees, he ensured that the exposed aggregate layers and color detail remained level once finished.

Like many others, I think the result is stunning. But that’s just our opinion. In the end, the only opinion that matters is the client’s.

I think the client was happy. So was a woman who booked the contractor for her kitchen floor. She wrote me to say, “He takes each project personally and adds beautiful details and elements.”

The entries all prove contractors are becoming more and more creative with polishing products and processes to deliver projects beyond industrial and warehouse floors.

Some contractors have won in previous years; others are first-time recipients. We’ll publish the winners in our January 2016 issue and you can find them here.

Speaking of polishing ...

Does this sound familiar? The flatwork contractor provides the slab the architect specifies. But when it’s your turn, you’re faced with a slab that’s difficult to polish, whether it’s curled at the joints, not the expected hardness, or has the wrong surface finish.

Rather than assign blame, a better approach would be everyone understanding what the polishing contractor needs to do and what should be specified to result in the best possible finished floor. On Feb. 2, an architect, concrete contractor, ready-mix producer, and polishing contractor will discuss how to accomplish that at the 2016 Polishing Luncheon at World of Concrete.

Sponsored by this magazine and the Concrete Polishing Association of America, the discussion is open to anyone. Register here.