At Stone Edge Surfaces we’ve seen many contractors, builders, and Do-it-yourselfers come through our training and demonstrations over the years and it’s amazing how many tips, tools and techniques we learn from our students. That’s right…The Master sometimes becomes the student! I like to collect these new techniques, practice with them myself, and then pass them on to you during our training or in my blog posts.
Smoother & Funny Trowel
When it comes to finishing or smoothing, we find that particular tools used for smoothing our Stone Edge Surfaces overlays, like the Midwest Rake “concrete smoother” with rounded corners, allow you to get off your knees and stand upright, alleviating having to bend at the waist.
Another effective tool that has been discussed and proven to be worthy for the smoothing process would be the Funny Trowel, which has a swivel handle, and allows you to move from left to right while standing upright while leaving minimal to no lines before stamping.
Tamping or No Tamping…That is the Question?
Tamping or No Tamping…With the open time for stamping provided by Stone Edge Surfaces Stamp, and Trowel mix, we teach that tamping Stone Edge Surfaces overlays is never recommended!
Using a tamper on Stone Edge Surfaces products is not needed and may in fact shatter and de-laminate the product that is only ¼”-3/8” thick and is still trying to bond to the substrate.
Some contractors do use tampers to reach out further onto the surface but typically are using the tamping tool as a “stamping assist tool” and use it in moderation to save their body or merely reach back out and stamp with the tamper rather than have to place their whole body weight back out onto the project.
I guess if you invested in a Tamping tool for a competitors’ mix…it seems like a good way to justify the cost of the tool when using Stone Edge Surfaces products!
Honoring Control Joints: When honoring control joints, there a ton of different techniques out there from marking the outside of the slab and using a margin trowel, painter’s knife, etc. to cut through the still green mix and follow the existing control joint. There is also the weather stripping technique that is used on wide control joints where you put down the weather strip over the joint then apply the mix up the edges of the tape and pull the tape when its set enough to do so. One technique that is quite unique, yet very effective, is filling the control joint with fishing line and then pulling it through the still green mix and creating a clean, that may or may not need to be re-cut…but if it does, you have a straight line to follow.
When “cutting” your control joints: We found, and tested, the perfect light weight and very easy to use cutting machine!
It’s called “Perfect Trac” it tracks amazingly well, delivers straight cuts, has a 2” depth capability, is dust free with a lower center of gravity, and has very affordable replacement blades and accessories.
The Perfect Trac is capable of a completely straight cuts without chipping and has a self-adjusting safe-guard as well for easy mobility throughout the cutting process. I know it sounds like a commercial…but when we find a good piece of equipment…like when we told you about the dust mitigation vacuum to capture all the mix dust when dumping into your containers…we like to pass it along.
If you want more info on this great saw, let us know and we can send you their contact info and where to buy them.
Tips on Using Pro Bond: Stone Edge Surfaces Pro Bond has literally taken the market by storm! It’s been on the market for almost 10 years, but it wasn’t until we transferred it from our pool division into our concrete overlay division that we truly found out how versatile and amazing this underlayment truly is! Pro Bond has “extreme” bonding capabilities and sticks to almost everything, so as an underlayment, deep fill, repair and refurbish product it is unmatched.
Pro Bond creates an incredible physical and chemical bond with all Stone Edge products when it’s still green, and doesn’t need any additional primer. Once Pro Bond is hard and has become a cured concrete surface, if applied as a scratch coat with a rough surface and nodules like you get with a loop roller, our heavy polymer overlays like Spray and MicroTop don’t require any additional Primer, and Stamp and Trowel typically do fine because they have the extra nodules and rough spots to bond to.
When Pro Bond is applied with a trowel or magic trowel to create a more uniform consistent flat surface for further application, because this can close the pores and create a smooth slick surfaces, we always recommend applying a coat of Primer 100 to add the extra physical and chemical bond a Stamp or Trowel mix can use if there are no open pores, ridges or nodules to hold onto.
Pro Bond is so versatile, we have contractors tell us about new uses they’ve found for it all the time! One of our contractors, in August 2019, mixed our Pro Bond with our MicroTop mix to create a “blacktop” resurfacing material that they put down over a 30-year-old (no oils left) 25,000 sqft parking lot…and it has held up well.
“Obviously Stone Edge Surfaces (and the contractor knows this) can’t warranty any mixes put over blacktop”, but they tested it, made it work, painted lines on it, and swear that the parking lot is even 20 to 30 degrees cooler as well. Again…can’t confirm this or warranty it…but the customer is ecstatic and loves it as well. That is about as extreme as you can get!
Spiked and Flat Shoe-Ins: Stone Edge Surfaces promotes the use of both the spike and flat no spike Shoe-Ins for the application of concrete overlay as well as stamping. In one class we were introduced to a new shoe-in type that some are using that have a texture mat attached for further weight dispersion as well as added texture if stepping off the texture mats themselves (a great tool for stamping).
Thanks for reading my post and may all of your Stone Edge Surfaces experiences and applications be successful and rewarding.
I’m here for you…so please remember to always email [email protected] with any questions that you may have at any time about Stone Edge Surfaces products and application procedures.
VP Training and Technical Support
Stone Edge Surfaces