Concrete isn't just for floors and countertops anymore. Vertical systems are also growing in popularity for projects like retaining walls, foundation walls, sound barriers and siding for new buildings. The potential for vertical systems is huge, especially in the housing market, since they give contractors yet another option to offer their customers.
FossilCrete has developed a system that can be applied to any surface, including insulated concrete forms and steel buildings. For smaller applications, the company's Vertical Stamp Mix can be applied with a trowel. Larger projects can be sprayed on using FossilCrete's own shotcrete machine called QuikShot.
Stan Pace, president of FossilCrete, was a decorative concrete contractor for 15 years. About three years ago he decided to bring the vertical mix and stamps he used for so long to other contractors through FossilCrete.
"We manufacture stamps specifically for doing a certain type of stone on a wall, or a stamp for doing tree bark," Pace says. "In the past we would stamp something with a flat work stamp and then hand carve around it. Now we have specific stamps that give us really good relief and detail. We do still touch up carving or drought lines, but what it allows us to do is make a stamp that addresses the difficulties of stamping on a vertical surface – in other words, fighting gravity. We've got stamps that are more than an inch deep. And also in that we can take the best parts of any stone that we like or any sets of stones and incorporate those into our stamps and leave out the undesirable parts."
FossilCrete has a stamp called the Ashler pattern tool, which simulates diamond cut stone. Pace explains that true diamond cut stone is very expensive, but contractors can replicate it and other patterns with the FossilCrete system with several benefits to their customers.
"We have the ability to be able to duplicate any application, from brick to cobblestones," Pace says. "We can duplicate it with a far superior strength, a lot less cost to the contractor and 100 percent control of color and shape. And on that note, we have some very unique stuff, like the Shanghai stone wall set, which was molded in Shanghai, China. In July, we're coming out with our production stamp of the Great Wall of China, which we pulled off the Great Wall ourselves."
Increte specializes in a different type of vertical decorative concrete called Stonecrete, which is a form liner created specifically for cast in place walls. They offer 10 patterns that attach to a standard concrete form.
"Stonecrete is a cast-in-place system that has obvious aesthetic beauty, but it also has the structural capacity as well, so it is the best of both worlds. For bridge abutments, retaining walls and foundations, it's great," says Mike Lowe Jr., director of marketing at Increte. "We don't change any rules or codes on how these guys are pouring their walls, we just attach a liner to the inside of their forms."