This is a great question and has also been asked… ’who is the best concrete overlay company?”
There are a number of great companies to choose from when it comes to applying, laying or installing your concrete overlay…but the most critical information you need to know…is who “manufactured” the actual overlay mix the contractor is going to use on your project.
Why is this important? Basically…a great overlay mix has a scientifically balanced formula of polymers, additives and specific aggregates or sands that will make it easy to apply for a good contractor, and will make up for a mediocre contractors lack of skill.
You need to know where your mix came from and who created it. A badly formulated or unbalanced overlay mix will frustrate a good contractor because it will not react the way it should and becomes a chore and runs the risk of delaminating, being too grainy, cracking and a host of other issues…which are outside the contractors control. n the hands of a mediocre contractor…everything I just mentioned is magnified and may NOT give you the look you envisioned for your pool deck, patio, driveway, wall, etc.
Who is the manufacturer of the overlay mix?
This is important because you need to know that it was made by a reputable manufacturer who manufacturers their “OWN” mix and does not buy a private labeled mix or worse…has it “toll blended” at some unknown manufacturing facility.
Why is this important…because you need to know that quality controls are in place and that there is actually science in their blending of polymers, cement, the reactive agents and even the specific sand size…all of which is CRITICAL to having a smooth, beautiful overlay that does not crack, chip, delaminate, lose its color, and is “forgiving’ and easy to work with for the contractor.
Ask the contractor if they know if their product is manufactured by the company whose name is on the bag? If they do not know…that is not a good sign. If the contractor is mixing their own mix and using a recipe they made up and has “worked pretty good so far”…be careful. Most contractors go by feel and have no scientific background to justify the ingredient mixes they are using or how their overall long-term performance will be.
Is the Concrete Overlay Mix they are using a “just add water” all-in-one-bag mix or does the overlay need to have two components mixed together?
Let’s start with 2 part mixes verses “all-in-one-bag mixes”. Both work…but two part mixes are old technology though and really no longer work as well as all-in-one-bag mixes which have shown to outperform the 2 component mixes in workability and final look. If they are using 2 part mixes, they may be a good contractor but their technology is behind.
The BEST overlay mixes are all-in-one bag mixes that come in a 40 to 50 LB bag and have the scientifically formulated and “perfect” balance of fine aggregate sand to polymer, cement, and additives.
I personally witnessed both types of product being used at the Concrete Décor show in San Diego, 2016…and it really was night and day. So, even the best contractor cannot make up for a bad mix.
Has the Contractor had training or been certified by a manufacturer…or have they been in the concrete overlay and decorative concrete business for a few years or more?
I’ve seen great concrete overlay contractors who had no factory training just as I’ve seen horrible contractors who had factory training.
So, what is the best way to tell if the contractor you are going to use is a good one? Ask their past customers! Best way I’ve seen is by talking to their past customers and asking them how it went, did they get what was promised, was it quality work…are they happy?
I can’t vouch for all the contractors…but I can at least tell you who I believe has the best concrete overlay and decorative concrete.
Best I’ve seen work in side by side comparisons and overall final realistic look and ease of use…Stone Edge Surfaces, which is a division of Turley International, LLC.
I know that over the past nine years, Turley spent millions of dollars enhancing, testing, and improving every formulation, additive, the aggregates they use, and they’ve been buying and licensing quarries, and upgrading all of their processing facilities.
They also proved, including at the Concrete décor show, that their scientifically enhanced mixes, when combined with their high grade aggregate and proprietary pigments, all of which are only produced in their quarries and factories, are simply made and look better than anything else on the market.
Hope this gives you some insight or at least gets you pointed in the right direction to do a little digging and asking questions about your overlay mix being used on your project.