Award-winning Decorative Stamping Projects

The results of the Fourth Annual Decorative Concrete Awards contest through L.M. Scofield Company included three decorative concrete stamping projects — the grand prize winner and two runners up. The winners were chosen from 42 nationwide entries. The contest is open to any contractor, architect or designer who uses or specifies Scofield Systems.

Museum of Discovery & Science

High-profile, challenging decorative concrete projects are nothing new for Homestead Paving, Homestead, Fla., but that doesn’t mean a job is ever easy. At the Museum of Discovery & Science in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Homestead crews utilized patience, a high level of craftsmanship and sawgrass cuttings from the Everglades to create functional, artful, and uniquely Florida walkways and outdoor areas for the local museum. The project was awarded the Grand Prize in L.M. Scofield’s 2011 Decorative Concrete Awards.

President Mike Rhodes’ father started Homestead Paving with two partners in 1974. In the 1980s, the company diversified its concrete paving and flatwork business to include decorative concrete. Rhodes has been involved in the company since 1999, and in 2008 gained full ownership. The company has 95 employees and typically performs large-scale, high-end decorative concrete installations in addition to its concrete flatwork and heavy-highway paving operations.

The 20,000-square-foot decorative concrete remodel project at the Museum of Discovery & Science consisted of walkways with exposed black granite aggregate, an ADA ramp with an etched “paint splash” design that was filled with Scofield Texturetop in ADA yellow, and a patio area consisting of alternating bands of two shades of integrally colored gray concrete textured with sawgrass cut from the Everglades.

The raised patio stamping process was time consuming and required a great amount of craftsmanship. The bands were created with integrally colored concrete in Cool Gray and French Gray from Scofield’s Chromix line. One set of bands was poured one day and stamped; the other color of bands was poured the following day and stamped.

The impression process started with the finishers applying a powder release agent to the sawgrass. Then they lay the sawgrass down on the slab and used a magnesium hand trowel to tap the vegetation into the surface and work it just enough to leave an impression. To finish the process, they slowly removed the sawgrass from the surface.

“This was a very delicate process,” Rhodes says. Four of the seven crew members on this project had worked with imprinting concrete with leaves and other fauna on previous projects. “The experience of the finishers was very important. They had to know exactly when the concrete was ready to accept that type of pattern impression.”

Hidden Oasis

When Greystone Masonry, Inc., Stafford, Va., started on this backyard pool project, the company had no idea the job would transform into a multi-installation backyard oasis complete with an outdoor kitchen with a copper roof cabana and a koi pond, let alone an award-winning project that won recognition in decorative concrete contests from both L.M. Scofield Company and the American Society of Concrete Contractors. But the job continued to grow as the homeowner added more elements to the project. Greystone saw it as an opportunity to express its expertise in all facets of decorative concrete.

Greystone Masonry Vice President Luisa Dittmann says the company has been in the decorative concrete market for 14 years, and before that it was involved in installing concrete foundations and slabs. The family-owned business has 50+ employees and typically runs six production crews. The company’s background in both concrete construction and decorative concrete allowed it to meet the demands of this project, including excavating and pouring a backyard swimming pool and terraced pool deck, stamping and staining more than 4,000 square feet of decorative concrete, and installing retaining walls, a koi pond, volleyball court, stone-veneer fireplace, fire pit, backyard kitchen complete with concrete countertops, and multiple walkways throughout the property.

The Hidden Oasis project was on a very challenging site. The sloped backyard was surrounded by a wooded area, making equipment access difficult. It also necessitated retaining walls and terraced slabs.

The stamping process took place after the pool deck area was poured. Greystone crews used two colors of L.M. Scofield’s Lithochrome color hardeners and the Arizona Flagstone stamp pattern from Stampcrete International. Crews then neutralized and cleaned the area.

Greystone then went back to complete detail work. The crew corrected rough seams and edges and highlighted random stone patterns throughout the project with three colors from L.M. Scofield’s Lithochrome Chemstain Classic line. Dittmann says acid stain detailing is a multi-step process since after staining and neutralizing, it can take up to 30 days before the project can be powerwashed and sealed. But the result was a one-of-a-kind backyard retreat that incorporates multiple decorative concrete applications.

Dittmann says decorative concrete is not an easy trade to succeed in, but her company does because they are always open to new ideas and systems and are constantly striving for perfection. “We have a passion for what we do, and we take pride in our installations,” she says. “We are still tweaking and mastering our application process. Every week we have company meetings where we look at photos of our completed projects, challenge ourselves to find imperfections and come up with ideas on how we can do better next time.”

Highland Hills

WinSol Groundworks, Rancho Cordova, Calif., specializes in landscaping and decorative concrete. Last year, a new homeowner of a formerly foreclosed property came to the company with 8,000 square feet of decorative concrete in desperate need of a facelift. WinSol COO Nicholas Winn says the project was a great candidate for Scofield’s Revive Color Refresher, which allowed the company to give the homeowner a new look without the expense of a tear-out and replace.

Winn says the concrete substrate was in good shape, but the color was horrendous. “It was ‘Miami Vice’-era ugly,” he says, referencing the 1980s TV show’s now out-of-date style. “It was three different shades of pink with three different surface textures — stamped, light broom and heavy broom.”

The multiple colors and textures added a challenge for the WinSol crew in achieving an even tone throughout the project. But the end result was a successful makeover, with main portions of the concrete transformed with Revive in Sombrero Buff and borders done in Western Brown.

Winn says his company has completed Revive Color Refresher projects for homeowners and commercial clients alike. “Even when it’s an application on plain gray concrete, our clients love it because it offers a fresh look for their project,” Winn adds.

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