Natural Stone Hearths

There is little doubt that natural stone makes a beautiful hearth for any home’s fireplace. Grit stone, limestone, travertine, sandstone and fossil limestone are all common natural stones that hearths can be made from.

Commonly natural stones are machine cut to manageable common sizes and sold for this purpose and other similar ones. Often, the same companies that cut the stone for your hearth can also cut thinner natural stone tiles to go on window sills and other accents around the home to compliment your natural stone hearth.

Different Natural Stone Looks

Stamped Concrete Driveways

Concrete Driveway InstallationStamped concrete involves the process of imprinting wet concrete with a special stamp made to create the appearance of a variety of patterns. These stamps can be made of rubber, wood or metal. Anything that will create an impression can be used. Carved wood blocks or even wrought iron decorations can be used.

Polymer Concrete

Polymer concrete is a type of concrete that uses a synthetic organic polymer instead of cement as a binder. Similar types include polymer-impregnated concrete and polymer-Portland-cement concrete.

Since using a polymer rather than Portland cement creates a considerably more costly material, polymer concretes are used only in applications where its higher cost is offset, for instance by it’s properties, lower labor cost or lower energy expenditures in processing and handling. Construction engineers and architects, therefore, need to be aware of its capabilities and limitations when considering polymer concrete for specific applications.

Cement Slab Finishing Techniques

If you are pouring your own concrete the following cement slab finishing techniques should be helpful. The idea is to produce a progressively smoother, more even surface with each progression. You will use a different tool for each step in the process.

Unfortunately it is not common to make a concrete slab to use just for practice. So start small, maybe with a trash can slab. Over time as you master the techniques through experience you will be able to produce professional results.

Architectural Concrete

Exterior of Chancellor HouseArchitectural concrete is precast or cast-in-place concrete which will be permanently exposed to view in a building. When using it as a construction technique, special care is needed in selecting the concrete materials, method of forming, location and finishing, to achieve the required architectural appearance.