Visions-N-Crete Flagstone | Decorative Concrete Profile

Visions N Crete flagstone with deer prints 3Flagstone is a popular decorative concrete pattern around the world. The amazing thing is that no two flagstone jobs turn out exactly the same.

Color choice, shading, layout, grout line size…the list of differences goes on and on, making each installation one of a kind.

Brian Houghton of Visions-N-Crete with the Engrave-A-Crete Shark.

Brian Houghton of Visions-N-Crete with the Engrave-A-Crete Shark.

 

 

Brian Houghton of Visions-n-Crete, Keene, NH has learned that personalizing a flagstone pattern results in a beautiful installation and one the customer will love.

 

 

 

Visions N Crete plain concrete

 

A plain gray concrete walkway and front porch in Swanzey, NH served as a blank palette for Brian on this job.

 

 

Visions N Crete decorative concrete stain

After consulting with the customer, he applied Concrete Resurrection Mountain Road and Honey Oak Reactive Acid Chemical Stains to transform the concrete into an attractive surface.

 

Visions N Crete decorative concrete flagstone deer

 

While a simple flagstone pattern would have been beautiful, Brian added an engraved deer head pattern, using an Engrave-A-Crete template and the KaleidoCrete tools to up the “Wow!” factor.

 

Visions N Crete decorative concrete flagstoneThe remainder of the walk and porch were engraved with a flagstone pattern, again using Engrave-A-Crete templates.

The result was eye catching and outstanding.

 

Visions N Crete flagsone with deer hoof prints

But Brian wasn’t done. Next he engraved deer hoof prints meandering naturally along the walkway.

Can we say unique? And beautiful? Absolutely!

 

Visions N Crete flagstone decorative concrete finished

Outstanding work, Brian! We love seeing your installations that are a notch above the ordinary.

 

To see more of Brian’s impressive work, visit and Like his Visions-n-Crete Facebook page, or go to his website at http://www.visionsncrete.com.

To learn more about the KaleidoCrete system that Brian uses for his engraving, visit our website at http://engraveacrete.com/kaleidocrete.

You can view our template gallery here and learn more about Concrete Resurrection Reactive Acid Chemical stains here.

Down by the River | A Decorative Concrete Transformation

Concrete Revival Jared Huber flagstone 2Now and then some really great before-and-after pictures of a decorative concrete transformation come along. Such is the case with this project by Jared Huber and Derek Farley of Concrete Revival, Irene, South Dakota.

Round concrete pad cracked and ugly

 

 

Jared and Derek were faced with a customer’s ugly, extremely cracked, circular concrete pad.

 

 

Cracked and ugly concrete slab.

 

Situated near the Vermillion River and sporting a fantastic view complete with some great staging items, the concrete literally begged for a makeover equal to its beautiful surroundings.

 

Concrete ready for decorative concrete makeover

 

Cracked and rough concrete and an outdoor setting are perfect candidates for a flagstone pattern, so Derek and Jared got busy.

 

 

 

Concrete stained with Concrete Resurrection RAC stain

 

Rather than repairing the cracks, the guys decided to use them, and to draw in even more in a natural looking flagstone design. Grout lines were hand stained with a brush to make the design pop.

Decorative concrete flagstone

 

 

Jared and Derek applied Concrete Resurrection RAC stains in Western Saddle, Brownstone and Black Walnut to get the lovely shades of brown that give the stones look a realistic look.

 

 

Concrete Revival decorative concrete slab

 

The customers were well pleased, and it’s easy to understand why when viewing photos of the finished job.

 

 

 

Flagstone pattern on concrete

 

 

Engrave-A-Crete salutes you, Derek and Jared, for excellent work in the decorative concrete industry!

 

To see more awesome projects by Concrete Revival, visit and like their Facebook page.

To learn more about Concrete Resurrection stains, sealers and products, go to http://engraveacrete.com/shop/stains.html

Concrete Revival posted this response to this blog post:

Always a pleasure seeing our work posted to the Engrave-A-Crete Facebook page! We are truly grateful to be showcased on their site. The project featured in their latest blog “Down by the River” was a unique project for us. This exhausted slab was formerly the base pad for a grain bin and had seen better days. The concrete had some major cracks and distressed features that lent themselves to a flagstone appearance. Our clients were very happy with the end product and planned to use it as a patio space. Thanks for being such strong supporters of Concrete Revival; we wouldn’t here here with out Engrave-A-Crete!

 

What to do? Decorative Concrete Flagstone Part 2

Wes Fitzpatrick driveway cropLast week we showed you this battered driveway and gave suggestions for transforming it into a decorative concrete surface the owner can be proud of.

Darrel Adamson, our CEO, has more suggestions about how to make sure the job turns out well, pleases the customer, and earns you a profit without a lot of headaches in the future.

“First of all,” Adamson says, “make your customer aware that the job will be a challenge. They need to know their concrete is marginal and that issues may come up in the future. Make clear the limitation of your responsibility for future repairs.”

Educating your customer about the condition of the concrete, the process for staining and engraving it, proper care for the job once it’s finished, and responsibility for repairs can eliminate misunderstandings that eat up time, profit and good will.

Checking for Delamination and/or Voids

It can be tricky to tell what’s under the surface, but it’s important to know where there are possible voids or delamination of the patches since they are problems that must be dealt with.

“One good way to check is by dragging and lightly whipping a 1/4” to 3/8” chain over the surface,” Adamson says. “Voids/delamination will definitely sound different, with a hollow or ‘tinny’ sound.”

This method works well for large areas. If you suspect a problem in a limited area, give this a try.

“For quick void checks around a small area,” Adamson says, “I use my folded pocket knife or multi-tool. Use the butt end of the knife as a small hammer. Tapping around the slab, you’ll hear any hollows. Voids beneath the slab (not on the surface) will sound more drum-like with more ‘ring.’ If the slab is setting solidly on the base gravel, it will be quieter.

“There are other methods, but these have worked for me.”

Protection from Moisture

Moisture from below the surface is the enemy of decorative concrete stains and sealers, so it’s important to keep it out of the concrete.

“Build your grout lines off the cracks that are there,” Adamson says.  “That means you’re disguising the cracks by incorporating them in the design, while providing yourself with an opportunity to fill them. Use a limestone-colored, sanded/textured caulk so it doesn’t show.”

A crack that is filled with caulking and protected by a sealer is much less likely to collect moisture that may expand/contract with the weather and necessitate a repair.

How-To

According to Adamson, here are the abbreviated steps he would follow on this job:

1. Discuss the condition of the concrete with the property owner.

2. Pressure-wash the surface thoroughly.

3. Check for and repair delamination and voids.

4. Color (using proper methods according to the type of stain used.) Clean and neutralize if using acid stain.

(4a.) Wave and smile to pedestrians and drivers who slow to see what you’re doing. Great PR for you.

5. Lightly seal to protect the color.

6. Engrave

(6a.) Pause to explain the decorative concrete process to passersby who stop to watch. They might be your next customers.

7. Clean

8. Add additional highlights with Water Reducible Concentrate stain (WRC.)

(8a.) Continue to greet people. Great marketing practice.

9. Seal

10. Caulk the cracks

11. Collect your check

For more helpful hints on staining and engraving concrete, check our Groov-E-News blog and the Tips of the Trade section of our website.

Grout Line Choices – Keep Your Customer Happy

Picture this: You’ve beautifully stained and engraved a flagstone pattern on your customer’s walkway.  The color is perfect and the grout lines are a lovely light shade of gray. Decorative concrete at its best.

Then you apply the sealer.

Yikes! Gone are the good-looking grout lines, only to be replaced by dark gray (your customer calls them horrid and unsightly) grout lines.

How can you avoid this nightmare?

According to Chris Mirabal, Senior Tech Advisor at Engrave-A-Crete, there are two methods for dealing with grout lines when installing a flagstone pattern.

Method A

  1. Prep surface and apply decorative concrete stain using correct procedures.
  2. Apply the sealer as directed.
  3. Engrave the grout lines.

Advantages: The grout lines show up a nice, light gray.

Disadvantages: (1) All the stones will be the same color. You won’t be able to apply a contrasting stain to individual stones because you won’t know where they are until you engrave and you can’t stain over the sealer that’s already been applied.

(2) The grout lines are now unsealed making them susceptible to stains from the environment such as oil, leaf stain, etc.

 

Method B

  1. Prep the surface and apply stain to the entire surface using correct procedures.
  2. Engrave the grout lines.
  3. Use a contrasting color(s) to highlight random stones.  (If you get a bit of stain in the grout line, touch it up with your engraving tool.)
  4. Apply the sealer as directed.

Advantages: Individual stones can be highlighted for a more interesting and natural looking pattern.

Disadvantages: The grout lines will be dark.

Be sure to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both methods with your customer before you begin the job.

By letting him make the decision about which method you use, you will eliminate the ugly surprise of grout lines that don’t live up to expectations.

Art Meets Practical Need | Decorative Concrete Stars Shine in Texas

When a customer came to David Larsen with ugly but necessary driveway patches, David’s artistic talent came to the rescue.

The patches were transformed into random flagstone, something unusual in the world of engraving flagstone onto concrete. He added lines and facets to make a parchment effect and put a bright Texas star on each one. When that homeowner looks out on his driveway, there are no more patches. The stars are shining against the bold, darker solid color of the driveway. He may be looking for some more places to get patches!

David and Heather of Advance Concrete Staining have a show room in New Braunfels, Texas where their customers can get a look at David’s art first hand. Then the customer chooses what would work well for their project. David and Heather have Engrave-A-Crete tools handy to accomplish each artistic project. They’ve been known to start with a color description and have the customer exceptionally pleased because the work was exactly what was envisioned.

They’ve learned the value of using a Facebook fan page for their business. Their customers can post a review, add images and leave a note on the wall for them.

Rob Krajeck gave them five stars and left this comment at his review.

“David and Heather are very professional. David is a perfectionist and can bring to life your visions. I had our patio stained for my wife’s Mother’s Day present. She is ecstatic and couldn’t be happier. If you need experienced professional artists…these are the people. Thanks so much for going beyond everything you promised.”

Advanced Concrete Staining
960 IH 35 S
New Braunfels, Texas 78130
830-643-5933
“Making Your Home What You’ve Always Dreamed”