Frequently Asked Questions

Here at Concrete Design Masters we try to anticipate questions you might have about our service and provide the answers here.
For any additional information just email us:

Q: What is Concrete Design Masters’s Service?

A: Concrete Design Masters is the authorized installer of CTI products for Central Florida. CTI’s product is a color integrated, modified acrylic cement product made of Portland cement, silica sand, and a modified acrylic resin for its bonding agent.

Q: What warranty is involved?

A: Concrete Design Masters offers a 3-year limited material warranty against, dramatic fading, delamination, and general product failure.

Q: How thick is it?

A: We generally apply our systems on old concrete between 3/32″ to 1/8″. CTI’s systems are thin layered cements which depend on adhesion through the use of modified acrylics.

Q: What does it look like?

A: CTI’s systems achieve the look, texture, and color of any type of stone or look you require. A base coat is applied that fixes any imperfections in the original concrete. A design is then laid over it and a hopper gun shoots on a textured layer over that. A final clear coat is put over the system that is nonporous and protects it as well as makes it very easy to maintain. Mold, mildew, motor oil, etc. can be sprayed off with a regular garden hose. Common detergents can be used to remove tough or repetitive latencies.

Visit our Photo Gallery to see some examples!

Q: What colors does it come in?

A: We have a variety of standard colors to choose from.

Q: How long does it take to do a job?

A: An average job will take 3 to 4 days. Larger, more complex jobs may take longer. Clean foot traffic is usually allowed within the same day.

Q: Does my pool have to be drained before my deck is done ?

A: No, the pool should be full. If the pool were empty, the CTI system overspray would stain the plaster. Full, any small amount of overspray can be dealt with by allowing the overspray to settle to the bottom, shutting off the filter, then pumping the material to waste and bypassing all filters is recommended.

Q: How do you treat control or expansion joints?

A: All existing control joints should remain in the surface to allow for expansion and contraction of the original concrete. They are not coated with the CTI system and are masked off. We can, however, work to insure these joints match the rest of the look of the surfaces.

Q: Is it cool to walk on?

A: Here is how CTI’s systems compare to other coatings as far as heat retention:

10-40 degrees cooler than concrete
30%-40% cooler than epoxy stone
50% cooler than vinyl or urethane
40%-50% cooler than wood decks
Up to 40% cooler than carpet
50%-60% cooler than terrazzo
40%-50% cooler than tile
20%-30% cooler than brick

Q: Is it Kool Deck®?

A: No. Kool Deck® is a product that must be applied to freshly poured concrete within 5 hours in order to bond. CTI’s systems can be applied to new or old concrete. In addition, CTI’s systems are a three-coat system and are sealed with a finish coat, which makes it impervious to staining. Whereas Kool Deck® is a very porous, non-flexible product, that has a minimal life expectancy.

Q: Will pool water, chlorine, muriatic acid, or bleach stain the CTI system?

A: No, the sealer we apply to our system is not affected by most chemicals.

Q: Will CTI’s systems fade?

A: No, not dramatically, the CTI product has approximately a 2% fade factor over seven years, which is undetectable by the human eye; our warranty covers this.

Q: Can you correct drainage and low spots?

A: We can generally improve drainage; however, the degree of success is contingent upon the pitch of the concrete adjacent to the low spot. The low spot will have to be looked at personally by an authorized CTI dealer to let you know what you can expect.

Q: How do you treat cracks in the concrete prior to the CTI application?

A: Cracks are ground out with a cup grinder to produce a “V”. A two-part epoxy with pure silica sand is then introduced into the crack and will re-bond the crack.

Q: Will cracks reoccur?

A: Though we do everything possible to treat cracks and do eliminate 90% of them, it is possible they may reoccur. If they do, it is usually in the form of a hairline, which is not objectionable as it is largely hidden in the texture. However, if a crack becomes too objectionable, it is easy to repair. Proper placement of tension cuts greatly reduces the chance of the crack returning. Check cracking is a natural phenomenon that occurs in rock, dried-out mud flats, paint, and concrete and in ceramic coatings. Cracks in the concrete may be structural or surface cracks. Surface cracks are generally less than a few millimeters wide and deep. These are often called hairline or check cracks and may consist of single, thin cracks, or cracks in a craze/map-like pattern. A small number of surface or shrinkage cracks is common and does not usually cause any problems. Surface cracks can be caused by freezing and thawing, poor construction practices, and alkali-aggregate reactivity. Alkali-aggregate reactivity occurs when the aggregate reacts with the cement causing crazing or check cracks. Structural cracks in the concrete are usually larger than .1/8 inch in width. They extend deeper into the concrete and may extend all the way through a wall, slab, or another structural member. Structural cracks are often caused by settlement of the fill material supporting the concrete structure, or by loss of the fill support due to erosion. The structural cracks may worsen in severity due to the forces of weathering.

Q: What if something happens to my deck after the warranty?

A: The material is repairable to its original state. We service all decks past warranty.

Q: Can you apply the CTI system over painted concrete?

A: Yes, though it generally will need to be sacrificed or sandblasted to remove the paint enough to where our product will bond with the original concrete.

Q: Can the CTI system be applied to steps?

A: Yes, CTI’s systems can be applied to concrete steps including risers and treads.

Q: Can the CTI system be applied to walls?

A: Yes, however, multiple spray coats are needed to reduce rebound, or waste.

Q: Do you apply the material to cantilever faces and coping stones?

A: We do apply CTI’s systems to cantilever faces and coping stones. Though application over coping stones is a matter of personal preference, it is often advisable to coat the stones unless they are exceptionally new. If not coated, they tend to look old and dirty after the CTI installation is complete. In addition, the older copings which have deep lips can be filled in so the coping stones are level with the deck giving a modern cantilevered look.

Q: If the coping stones are not covered, will the CTI system be higher?

A: No, CTI’s systems are feathered very thin at the joint edge so the coping and decking will be level.

Q: How long has this product been in use?

A: Acrylic decking has been in use since the early ’70s. Our manufacturing facility has been producing coatings since 1968.

Q: Can you level heaved concrete?

A: Yes, quite easily.

Q: How does the price of CTI’s systems compare with removing and replacing old concrete?

A: The cost of the CTI system is normally 20%-25% less than the cost of removing cement and pouring new and is much better looking and much easier to maintain than the original cement.

Q: What is the cost per square foot?

A: The price depends on a number of factors, such as the condition of the original concrete, the patterns chosen, etc.

Q: How do I clean the CTI surfaces?

A: Usually, normal washing with a hose is all that is needed. For stubborn stains, a brush with laundry detergent is all that is needed.

Q: I know concrete is strong and durable, but how do CTI’s systems compare?

A: CTI’s systems are harder than concrete. Most concrete has a compressive strength of 2000-2500 psi rating.CTI’s system has a 7000 psi rating.

Q: Is decorative concrete flooring maintenance-free?

A: While concrete floors are relatively easy to maintain, compared with other types of floor surfaces, they aren’t completely maintenance-free. How much maintenance your floor will need largely depends on the amount of traffic it receives. The maintenance needs of a residential floor will be much different than those for a floor in a high-traffic commercial or retail environment.  In most cases, residential floors experience light foot traffic, and a simple cleaning regimen of occasional sweeping and damp mopping will keep concrete floors looking like new for many years. Protecting concrete floors with a good sealer and a coat of floor finish or wax will make them even more resistant to stains, chemicals, and abrasion. In areas of heavy traffic, such as entrances and foyers, you can reduce maintenance and wear and tear by using floor mats, both inside and outside of the entryways.

Q: Are decorative concrete floors expensive?

A: When compared with high-end floor coverings, such as ceramic tile, slate, and marble, decorative concrete is often an economical alternative. Plus, skilled concrete artisans can duplicate the look of these pricier materials. The life expectancy of a concrete floor will also far surpass that of low- to mid-priced floor coverings, such as carpeting, vinyl tile, and wood laminates. That means, in the long run, you can save money because you’ll never need to rip out and replace worn or damaged flooring.

Q: Are concrete floors loud and hard on the feet?

A: Concrete is a hard material, so it won’t cushion or “give” under bare feet. But concrete’s hardness is also what contributes to its durability and abrasion resistance. In a commercial or warehouse setting, hard is good. You need a hard surface that can stand up to forklift traffic and heavy foot traffic. For a residential floor, you can help cushion concrete with area rugs, which are easier to clean than wall-to-wall carpet. While concrete may be hard, it’s not abrasive to the feet, especially if it’s polished or has a smooth finish.

Q: What is a Decorative Concrete Overlay?

A: A concrete overlay is a thin color concrete cement-based product that goes over existing concrete for repair or decorative reasons. Overlays can be applied as thin as a feather finish up to in most cases 3/4″ depending on the desired finish. Concrete overlays, however, are only as good as the substrate it is being applied to. For example, if the concrete is cracked or coming up, the overlay will also break and come up and replace the concrete should be your option.