Logo in black
In this issue...
North Carolina Ride
Baby Gretchen Ellerbee
Interesting Projects around the DCI Facility
Mara on Baby Cam
Cardone Family Visit - NYC
Kemiko Stain Class
Our Next Annual Getting Started Class
About Us
News from
The Decorative Concrete Institute

September 2007
Dear Bob,

Are you looking to break into the decorative concrete world? Or, perhaps, are you a seasoned
veteran of the business looking for new ideas and to sharpen your skills? We have training opportunities available for everyone! We've just added several new classes.

Be sure to
check out the training available on our website:
Decorative Concrete Institute

Bob Harris
North Carolina Ride
August 3-4

Here we go.  If you can believe it, this is the first newsletter that we were not actually ridiculously slammed.  Go figure? The month started off on the third with what we thought was going to be a visit with our friends Jeff and Lane of The Concrete Countertop Institute in Raleigh North Carolina.  We figured this would be a great opportunity for a nice road trip on the Bikes and Lee Ann's first legitimate big ride. The ride was awesome after clocking over 300 miles the first day through the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and ending up in Asheville for the night and a couple of celebratory cold beverages. 

When we woke up the next morning to complete our journey we found out some not so good news about Lee Ann's baby sister Lisha.  Many of our students and customers have met Lisha and realize that she had some major complications with here second pregnancy.  So here is a little note from Lisha and the Ellerbee family. . .
A few words of gratitude . . .

We want to thank our extended family at DCI. Over the past 12 weeks our family has been struggling with my health issues due to my pregnancy. Many of you were taking classes at DCI during these 12 weeks and came to know my condition, my family, and my sister in a new light. Over the weeks, Sissy has passed on to me how many of you were calling, praying and sending warm wishes.  Well Gretchen is here safe and sound a month early! 

However, Jim and I would like to thank you for your support and prayers during this time.

All our love,

The Ellerbee Family

Needless to say Lee Ann and I high tailed it back from North Carolina to be with Lisha, Jim and Isabella during this trying time.  We are so happy with the outcome and by the way Lish, you don't look like you just had a baby, you look awesome!

Interesting Projects around the DCI Facility
Week of August 20th

The week of the 20th finds us on some fun and interesting projects around the DCI facility.   Who says base boards have to be out of wood or some other type of product.  Why not cast them out of concrete?


This is exactly what we did to compliment our beautiful Italian plastered walls.  We simply pre-cast them on melamine board (just like a countertop) and then cut them in to two-foot pieces. The texture was obtained on a finish I used to use frequently while living in Florida.  We made up a paste of baking soda and randomly applied it to the molds.  After the concrete has been poured and cured, the pieces are then stripped from the molds and washed.  Where the baking soda was applied, it just simply washes away leaving behind an incredible texture that resembles travertine.Try it some time, you will love the texture! 

In addition, we poured our shower bench out of the same concrete as the baseboards.  The next step is to vertically stamp the walls of the shower with FossilCrete's stamp mix.

Finished shower bench ----------------->

In preparation for a stamp overlay installation in our hallway I became very frustrated trying to locate transition strips that would accommodate the height needed for this unique application.  After calling my terrazzo distributor and visiting countless tile stores trying to find transition strips " tall, we decided to cast them out of "You guessed it", concrete!  They came out awesome and more importantly, served its purpose. 


Here is the hallway I just referred to.  We started off by grinding the floor to obtain the proper concrete surface profile. 

Once the profile was obtained we used foam knockouts for what would become the veins similar to a creek bed.  After two coats of primer we then installed stamp overlay " thick. 

Just prior to stamping we applied small drifts of crushed glass and decorative aggregate.  Several days later we then stained it with Kemiko's acid stain. 

Once the residue was cleaned and neutralized and the surface was dry, we had our resident rock heads (Lee Ann and daughter Mara) install decorative pebbles into a bed of epoxy. 

This floor came out way cool!

Baby Cam
My God, all these babies everywhere!

Baby cam on daughter Mara. . .

Visit with the Cardone Family
August 24-26

Lee Ann and I were fortunate to visit our friends the Cardone family in New York.  We started our visit with a spur of the moment visit to Dom's shop while he was having a mixed group session.  In attendance was Doug Groninger of Groninger Concrete in Colorado, John Evans of Evans Construction Services in Pennsylvania, Mike Teelstra of Brooks Construction Services in South Dakota and Greg Hryniewicz of Hyde Concrete in Maryland.  

By the way Dom, your shop floor looks awesome!

Having never actually spent time in Manhattan before, this trip was an eye opening experience.  We witnessed some incredible sites during our visit ranging from the Statue of Liberty, Time Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, and even a Coney Island Nathan's dog as well as virtually everything in between these points of interest.


I have to admit, visiting ground zero and paying our respects was probably one of the most humbling experiences we have ever had.  With the anniversary of 9/11 coming up may we remind everyone, you are not forgotten and may God Bless the countless families that suffered tragic losses during this horrible tragedy.

Dom, Janine and family, thanks again.  You guys are the best! P.S. what a Lobster dinner that night!

Kemiko Stain Class
August 30-31

What a great class it was!  Once again we were fortunate to have Barb and Sarge of Kemiko participating during this class.  As the students mentioned, it says a lot that you both attend these classes and it also means a great deal to us as well.  Thanks for all of your help. This class across the board was a true joy to work with and train! 

The entire group was eager to learn and had such a positive attitude.  Many topics were covered such as surface preparation, design layout and saw cutting, proper application of acid stain using a pump sprayer as well many faux techniques. 

This group really got in to engraving both in the traditional since and free form as well creating some very cool textures combined with acid staining.  Hats off to you guys and thank you for the kind comments.  It really does mean a lot to Lee Ann and I!

Our Next Annual Getting Started Class
Week of March 17, 2008

It's official!  We have established dates for the next annual Getting Started Class here at DCI.  It will be held the week of March the 17th.  Guest speakers will be announced soon and believe me, you will not want to miss this one!

Good luck with your decorative concrete!

Click Here for Training Information!

About Us

The Decorative Concrete Institute continues to provide consulting, education, installation and training to marketplaces across the United States and Internationally. DCI places its focus on Architects, Artists, Concrete Finishers, Faux Finishers, General Contractors, Interior Designers, Ready Mix Producers, etc. to bring them knowledge and offer advice on the demands of Interior and Exterior Architectural Design.

DCI has worked with and continues to work with a diverse range of industry professionals catering to the individual needs of each project focusing on products and designs that are conducive to the particular environment they are working in. DCI consults with on-the-job applications and installations and provides the technical expertise to complete jobs successfully.

phone: 770-562-1441
The Decorative Concrete Institute | www.bobharrisguides.com | www.decorativeconcreteinstitute.com | 251 Villa Rosa Road | Temple | GA | 30179