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Absorption is the amount of water absorbed under specific conditions. Absorption is usually expressed as a percentage of the dry weight of the material.


Aggregate is a mixture of sand, rock, crushed stone or particles which are typically composed of 75% of concrete by volume. This mixture improves the formation and flow of cement pasted and the concrete’s structural performance.

American Concrete Institute (ACI)

ACI is an international organization dedicated to providing knowledge and information for the best uses of concrete.


Asphalt is a black petroleum residue which can be anywhere from solid to semi-sold in consistency. When heated, the mixture is at a consistency for pouring. Asphalt is used for a variety of applications including roofs, roads, lining of walls, water-retaining structures like pools and in floor tiles.


A layer of material of specified thickness constructed on the subgrade or sub-base of a pavement. A base can serve as one or more functions like distributing loads and providing drainage.


Bond is the adhesion of cement paste to aggregate and/or the rebar.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is a combination of calcium carbonate and aluminates which have been thermally fused or sintered and ground to make cement.


Cement is a material composed of fine ground powders which harden when mixed with water. Cement is only one component of concrete.


Concrete is a combination of a mineral like sand, gravel or crushed stone, a binding agent, chemical additives and water. When properly mixed, concrete should harden and become a material used in a variety of applications.


When concrete starts to separate, this is called cracking. Cracks can be moving or static and are caused from a number of factors. One factor in particular is water. When concrete gets wet is expands thus causing movement. Overtime this constant shifting will cause the concrete to eventually crack.


Curing maintains favorable moisture and temperature conditions of freshly placed concrete during a defined period of time following placement. Curing helps to ensure adequate hydration and proper hardening.

Concrete Finishing

Concrete finishing is the process of leveling, smoothing, compacting or treating the surface of freshly poured concrete. Finishing can also be a concrete overlay to produce the desired appearance.


Grout is a creamy mixture of cement materials and water utilized to define joints in decorative concrete slabs or walls. Grout is commonly used with stone, brick and tile patterns.

Polished Concrete

Polished concrete is a high-gloss finish which is attained by using special floor polishers fitted with diamond-impregnated abrasive disks which grind down the top surface to a desired level of shine and smoothness. Polished concrete is very low-maintenance and can be stained to replicate the look of polished stone.

Ready-Mixed Concrete

Ready-mix concrete is concrete that is manufactured by a factory according to a set recipe and usually delivered to a work site. A ready-mix concrete results in a precise mixture.

Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced concrete is when steel is embedded into the concrete before the concrete sets. The steel allows the two materials to act together in resisting forces. Reinforcement can come in a rod, bar or mesh form.

Concrete Setting

Setting of concrete occurs when the elements of concrete are brought together and the cement and water chemically react forming a hard mass which adheres to and binds the aggregates forming the concrete.


Texturing concrete gives concrete or overlay surfaces a texture without leaving deep pattern lines.

Water-Cement Ratio

The ratio of the amount of water to the amount of cement used to make concrete mixture. In producing high-quality decorative concrete, the water-cement ratio should remain as low as possible.

Wet Polishing

Wet Polishing is a method utilized for polished concrete which uses water to cool the diamond abrasives and eliminate grinding dust.

Dry Polishing

Dry polishing is the method used to achieve polished concrete. Dry polishing requires no water, instead a machine equipped with a dust-containment system to eliminate dust.

Epoxy Injections

An epoxy injection is a method utilized for sealing and repairing cracks in concrete. The crack is sealed with a low pressure injection of epoxy adhesive.

Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy coating is a decorative flooring option comprised of both resins and hardeners. When combined, these two components create a strong, firm surface resistant to heavy wear and tear.

Exposed Aggregate

Exposed aggregate is a type of decorative concrete formed by removing the surface mortar from a concrete slab exposing the underlying aggregates.


Finishing is one of the final steps in a concrete installation. Finishing involves leveling, smoothing, compacting and otherwise treating the surface of a newly poured concrete or concrete overlay.

Flexural Strength

Flexural strength is the ability of hardened concrete or an overlay to resist failure in bending.

Hard-Troweled Finish

A hard-troweled finish is a concrete finishing process achieved by using a trowel. You can create various effects. Inconsistent troweling is the most common cause of texture while controlling the application will result in a smooth, uniformed finish.

High-Pressure Water Blasting

Using a high-pressure water blaster is commonly used on concrete for cleaning or roughening concrete surfaces.


Hydration is the chemical reaction between cement and water. This reaction causes concrete and other cement-based materials to harden.


Laitance is a thin layer of loosely bonded particles on the surface of fresh concrete caused by an upward movement of water. Laitance must be removed before a decorative coating is applied.

Feather Edge

Feather edge is to smoothly and seamlessly blend the edge of a concrete topping or repair material into your existing concrete.


Flatwork is concrete work that is mostly flat-surfaced and commonly used for sidewalks, driveways, basements and floors.

Fresh Concrete

Fresh concrete, also known as plastic concrete is when the concrete condition is freshly mixed and readily workable with ample content of cement and fines.


Grade is the ground level or elevation of a site. Above grade, on grade or below grade are terms used to categorize construction levels.


Grading is the distribution of particles of granular material and is usually expressed in terms of cumulative percentages larger or smaller than each of a series of sizes. Well-graded aggregate has a large variety of particle sizes and fills a space well while poorly graded aggregate usually has sizes missing.

Gravel Mix

Gravel mix is a concrete mix which utilizes pea gravel or larger and smoother gravel as its course aggregate. This particular mix is common for exposed aggregate finishes.


Inlay is any selected material or object that is integrated into concrete. Shells, broken glass, stones and metal pieces are all common inlays used to provide a higher quality and more unique concrete finish.

Internal Curing

Internal curing is when water is supplied throughout a freshly placed cement mixture using reservoirs which release water as needed for hydration or to replace moisture loss through evaporation.

Isolation Joint

If a concrete slab is connected to something like a wall or column, an isolation joint will isolate the concrete from it. Typically upon the settling of concrete there is restraint which usually causes cracking. An isolation joint allows movement in three different directions to avoid cracking from occurring.

Light Weight Aggregate

Light weight aggregate is low-density aggregate used to produce lightweight concrete. Light weight aggregate is used in many forms including expanded clay, slate, natural pumice, tuff or industrial cinders.


Limestone is a sedimentary rock which is mainly composed of calcite aragonite. Most limestone is composed of skeletal fragments of marine organisms like coral. Throughout history, limestone has been recognized for hardness, durability and availability and often used in cement.

Mesh Reinforcement

A concrete reinforcing mesh is a welded wire fabric, prefabricated steel reinforcement material. Typically consists of a square or rectangular grid pattern and produced in flat sheets. A mesh reinforcement is used to reinforce concrete floor slabs.

Mixing Time

The mixing time is the period for which the cement mixer combines the ingredients for a batch of concrete.

Natural Aggregate

Natural aggregate is aggregate resulting from the natural disintegration and abrasion of both sand and gravel and crushed stone.


Overlay is a technique which applies a new material layer onto an existing pavement surface.


Over-wet is when the consistency of concrete contains more mixing water and is of a greater slump than required for ready consolidation.

Pattern Cracking

Pattern cracking results from a decrease in volume of the material near the surface and an increase in volume of material below the surface consequently creating fine openings on concrete surfaces in the form of a pattern.

Pervious Concrete

Pervious concrete, also known as porous concrete is a type of concrete with a high porosity and is used for concrete flatwork applications. Pervious concrete permits rain and storm water runoff to percolate through it rather than flood surrounding areas or storm drains.


The pitch is the amount of angle or slope used in concrete flatwork to disperse water.

Portland Cement

Portland cement is a commercial product and the most common type of cement used worldwide for general use and is the basic ingredient of concrete. Concrete is formed when Portland cement creates a paste with water binding sand and rock to harden.


Resurfacing is the addition of a new material layer onto an existing concrete surface. This concrete finishing technique can be used for concrete repair.

Rich Mixture

A rich mixture of concrete is a concrete mixture containing a large amount of cement.


Concrete sealer is a liquid-based material used to protect and enhance the appearance of concrete.


Segregation, also known as separation can be of two types. The first type is when coarse aggregate may separate from the main mass of concrete in its plastic state and the second type is when grout (cement and paste) may separate from the mix. Separation of the grout and mix usually occurs if a concrete is too wet.


Anti-microbial refers to any material which stops the growth of bacterial microorganisms, like epoxy floor coatings.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The BBB uses consumer reports and customer feedback to rate businesses across the United States, Canada, and Mexico on a scale of A+ to F in order to promote better business practices.


Clarity is how “clear” the finished epoxy surface appears when cured. Some thicker epoxies may appear cloudy if not applied correctly.


Coating refers to the layers are added to a surface to improve the strength, durability, or appearance. Different surfaces may need multiple coatings to achieve the desired results.

Dwelling Contractor Certification

In the state of Wisconsin, Dwelling Contractor Certification is required for businesses who work on residential properties. To obtain a license, there is a 12 hours educational course and exam which must be passed.

Machine Base Foundation

Machine base foundations are the reinforced concrete bases used to support machinery. A base can serve as one or more functions like distributing loads and providing drainage.


Short for “reinforcing bar”, rebar is any bar or mesh used to provide reinforcement during construction. This is especially useful for machine base foundation and concrete reinforcing.