Concrete Under the Sun: Mastering Summer Casting and More

This week on The Concrete Podcast, we're tackling the challenges of summer and how it affects your concrete casting. We'll share essential strategies to keep your projects cool and stress-free. We'll also uncover top tips for setting concrete tiles, ensuring they stay flat and fabulous. Curious about the safe span for your concrete tables? We've got you covered. Plus, we discuss how to cast-in-place concrete countertops over existing laminate and the discontinuation of ICT PRIME. Finally, we'll wrap up with the lowdown on proper acid-etching techniques before sealing your masterpiece. Join us for a smooth ride through the world of concrete craftsmanship.


#ConcreteCraft #SummerCasting #ConcreteTiles #ConcreteTables #ConcreteCountertops #ICTPRIME #AcidEtching #ConcreteTips #ConcreteDesign #CraftsmenCommunity


Hello, Jon Schuler.

Hello, Brandon Gore.

How are you doing today?

I'm doing awesome, man.

I'm doing awesome.

How about yourself?

I'm doing good.

I spent Sunday and Monday dealing with the clogged drain.

It's the joys of owning a 100-year-old house.

There you go.

Yeah, yeah.

Buy a house, they said.

It'll be fun, they said.

It'll be a great investment, they said.

Yeah, so it's always something.

But, you know, it's taken care of.

But I spent all day Sunday, essentially, snaking the drain from different locations and pulling out a nasty snake that smelled horrible and taking it outside and washing it and scrubbing it and then going and, ugh, it was just gross, gross.

And then finally, I had to throw in a towel and call in the professional, and he spent like two hours, and he thought that it had probably never been cleaned in 100 years, that drain.

He said it was a battle to like get the drain cleaned, but they did.

But anyways, the point is, these are the joys of having a 100 year old house.

But anyways, that was my weekend.

How was your weekend?

Ah, things are going great, man.

Over here, it's, we've been on this for a while now, so we're actually leaving this afternoon for Vegas for the national championships.

And we've literally been spending this summer so far, focused on that and training and whatever.

Well, you say national championships for what?

You didn't finish that.

For your son.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

So yeah, so it's been great, man.

And we've been focused on, I don't know what you're gonna, you know, whatever someone wants to call it.

So, you know, we've been working out, we've been focused on other things for self-improvement, and it's actually been really cool, man.

It's really cool.

That's awesome.

Challenging, but it's cool.

Yeah, that's kind of, that's been our focus, and it's going pretty good.

Well, I'm glad to hear.

You ready to do this podcast?

I'm ready.


So I got a list of questions here, and they all come from either the Concrete Countertop, Concrete Sink, Concrete Furniture, and Concrete Tile Facebook group, or they come from the Kodiak Pro Product Discussion Facebook group.

So there's been some good questions in the last week.

The first one is from Brendan Gibb in Australia.

I think he's in Australia.

The reason I think he's in Australia is because he starts his question with Hey Legends, which I love.

I love being called a legend.

You know, Australia is just like, hey guys, and they call everybody legends.

But you know, whatever.

It makes me feel good.

It makes me feel good about myself.

So I'm assuming he's Australian just based on that.

But he says, Hey Legends, trying to find an answer for this can't find it.

I want to form a concrete countertop cast in place on top of a laminate existing countertop.

And he's having questions about that.

Now I'm a cast in place novice.

I don't do it.

I'm not the person to ask about cast in place.

You are much more experienced in it.

But I gave him my answer just based on my thoughts.

And that is if the laminate countertop that's existing is structurally sound, it's supported well, meaning there's not like large unsupported areas where the concrete would make it bow.

And it's in good shape.

I would think it'd be okay.

But my question to you, Jon, is a couple of questions.

Number one, is there any issues with casting on top of the laminate and having curling of the cast in place?

That's question number one.

So are there curling concerns?

And if so, how do you mitigate that?

And question number two is, my thought with cast in place has always been this, is it smart to build it so you can remove the deck or the substrate or whatever you're gonna call what you're casting on top of?

Is it smart to build it in such a way that you can remove that after the concrete is cured so then the concrete can breathe evenly, which is when we do pre-cast, we just put the concrete directly on top of the cabinets with no deck or substrate so the concrete can breathe.

Because if you put concrete on top of something and one side is in contact with the material and the other side is not, it will want to curl as humidity changes, temperature changes.

And so that's something I've learned over the years is just put it directly on top of a cabinet and let it breathe.

Yeah, let air get around it.

Yeah, so is it smart to build in such a way that you can then remove the deck or do you find that's not necessary with cast in place?

No, it's not necessary and there's a couple tricks.

But let me address the laminate for a minute.

The answer, I mean, the simple answer is say, no problem.

You can certainly cast on top of laminate.

The question's gonna be how thick, you know, are you doing an inch, inch and a quarter, inch and a half?

I don't know what that is in Australian millimeters, but let's go back to the basics.

Because that is an important part that I forgot of the question, and you just brought that up, is he said he's wanting to cast an inch and a half, but he's wanting to use, at least per his question, a store bought, like essentially a quickcrete bagged mix at inch and a half, which I think is too thin.

If you're going to do like a traditional concrete mix, you really need to be two to three inches minimum, is my thought.

By the time you put reinforcement in there.

Yeah, he's going to risk cracking.


So if you went with a fiber reinforced mix, whether that's GFRC or UHPC with glass fiber, then you can go inch and a half, and you're totally fine.

Yeah, inch and inch, yes.

Yeah, inch, inch and a half.

Let's say my comfort zone for cast-in-place for a variety of reasons, which I'll go into, is inch is my minimum.

And so that could be in the field, right?

Any place, as we're describing now, what I'm going to say, on the top of the deck.

Deck meaning, I'll talk about that in a second.

And then inch and a quarter to inch and a half as your ultimate thickness, at least visually around your edges if you do a dropped edge of some sort.

Because one inch on top of cabinets, depending on your cabinet faces, I don't know, man, it just looks chintzy.

I mean, it certainly will hold up your coffee pot, but it just looks cheap, you know what I mean?

It just looks cheap, but looks flimsy.

All right, so let's talk about the deck for a minute.

The reality is, whatever material, plywood, whatever you're using for your deck, and whether that's a recessed deck into the cabinets so it's flush with the cabinet frame tops or sitting on top of, all of that really depends on what the final height of the countertops are gonna be.

So I think typical is what, 35?


To maybe max of 38 inches, unless you're in a tall family, and maybe you go taller than that.

But so if it's in that zone and everybody's comfortable, that's great.

But if you have a wife or a girlfriend or, maybe five, five foot one, 38 inch countertop height is gonna be tough to deal with.

So my personal is 36 inches.

I look for 36 inches somewhere in there.

So where am I going with this?

Ultimately, regardless of what deck you use, you still have to make it watertight, right?

Some guys use that red guard or plastic to float the whole thing with plastic.

Or in this case, could it be laminate?

Absolutely, no problem, except laminate usually sits on top of the cabinet.

So we're back to the countertop height issue.

But certainly any of that can be used, not an issue whatsoever.

Now addressing what you were just saying about the curl.

So here's just something I've always done.

You're absolutely right.

There really is no way to remove the deck regardless.

Even if it's a recessed deck, there's no way of removing it post install or casting.

So here we're calling the install casting.

So what do I do?

To help that, I put screws randomly throughout the deck, setting and making sure the head of that screw is sticking up, let's say, a quarter inch, no more than three-eighths.

And the only reason I don't go higher is because when you're placing the concrete, you don't want to end up catching those on your gloves.

You know what I mean?

So you just bring them up enough to lock the concrete around it.

And that helps prevent all of this.

But the key is to use screws and not nails.

And the reason for that is, mindfully, the idea is you want the concrete countertop to, let's say, be as independent as possible from your cabinets, right?

Because wood, everything's gonna swell and move at different rates.

So screws shear and break.

So if something does move, whatever, there's water leak or heat or whatever the case may be, the screws, and I'm just talking to your basic sheetrock screws, they shear and break easily compared to a nail.

A nail is going to bend and grab.

Those will end up causing cracking or potential cracking issues down the road where your screws will shear off and break.

Ultimately, if something happens, then the countertop is independent of the cabinets.

Which, one more little thing, I think it's something often people forget, is all the way around the cabinet faces, make sure you put something that creates a gap.

So I use like that, I don't know, I call it foam wrap, but so I tape a piece of foam.

What's that?

Seal, seal.

Is that what you're talking about?

The thin foam that rolls out, you put underneath your plate when you're doing framing?

No, no, no.

Well, maybe that's what it is.

I don't know.

I just know a lot of guys in plumbing use it where you wrap the OSB or whatever it is, you wrap it with something prior to backfilling.

Yeah, so like it comes in pink or blue.

It's literally like an eighth of an inch.

Yeah, seal, seal.

That's what I'm talking about.

Okay, yeah.

So anyway, yeah, wrap that all around your cabinet faces so that the concrete is, so you're creating a minimum of about an eighth of an inch gap around all the way.

So these little things are what's preventing what you're talking about.

It's the shrinkage, which would create the curl or a crack, or the movement, et cetera, et cetera.

But yeah, sorry.

To answer the question, you could certainly use the laminate.

Pay attention to the ultimate height, however thick you're gonna make those.

I agree with you.

If he's using something like a saccharite with a pea gravel or something in it, no, man, you gotta go thicker.

So get yourself a mix that could handle, say, one inch.

And if you want it to look thicker, do a drop face, these kinds of things.

That's what you wanna pay attention to.

Well, you said two things, or really one thing that I wanna point out is the screws you wanna use are drywall screws because they're brittle, they'll break.


Don't get construction screws.

You and I were talking about this earlier because we were talking about nails, and you were saying nails are used for framing because they bend, they don't shear off, and screws shear.

And I'm like, well, construction screws don't shear.

It's a different grade of steel.

So you don't wanna use construction screws made for construction.

You don't wanna use those.

Those are structural screws.

You wanna use the black drywall screws that are very brittle and break easily.

So they will break off.


If there's movement and it needs to move, you want it to break.

Yeah, you want that.

But you wanna leave that potential for the shear off and snap, absolutely.

The other thing is what I told him in my response is if he goes with a fiber-reinforced mix, typically, at least this is when we're doing upright cast, you wanna fill it with the fiber mix, you know, whether you're using Maker Mix or some other mix that's gonna be fiber-reinforced, you wanna fill the form up to close to the top.

So a quarter inch, which in millimeters is about six millimeters, about a quarter inch from the top, you wanna stop, and then you wanna fill that remaining bit with mix that doesn't have any fibers in it.

So when you trowel it, you're not dragging fibers around, unless that's a look you want.

Sometimes it is.

Some of the looks you do, you actually intentionally have the fibers create the look.

But I'm saying, you know, normally, like when Joe, when we do upright cast at his place, they'll do the last little bit without fibers, so when you trowel it, there's no fibers.

So that's something you want to be aware of.

Yeah, which we often refer to as a reverse GFRC.

Exactly, yeah.

Yeah, yeah.

And he actually does use a fiber, but minimal.

And I would say the same thing, because I get these questions a lot when people are in different ends of the troweling process.

So if you're going to go for a trowel burn, which I can't, wasn't it, we were doing one of the workshops and I finally had someone do it.

It was King, right?

Yeah, George King.

George King, remember?


And we had 15s in the mix.

And he's like, well, I want to go do a real burn trowel.

And I'm like, well, you certainly can, man, but this is what's going to happen.

But it's back to the whole thing is the way we do workshops.

We let him do it, like, dude, do it.

And the only way you're going to get to where you want to see what happens isn't me explaining it, do it.

And sure enough, remember, he did it to a real, what he thought was just a brilliant trowel, and it was very, very nice.

And then the next day when we were cleaning it and so forth, all those PVA-15 fibers went right there at the surface and they looked like, ended up looking like kind of microcracks everywhere, remember?

Which if that's what you're going for, that's great.

But if it's not, that's what a burn trowel, like taking a burn trowel with PVA-15s is gonna do, even to agree with 7s.

So just be aware of that.

And what I try to tell people is, yeah, don't go to a full burn trowel because you really don't need it, unless you are doing a mix with very little to no fiber, which would be what we refer to as a reverse GFRC.


So me, I try to, and people who trowel, I say go to a soft steel trowel, very soft, and then sand it, after it's cured, you sand it to more of your quote unquote burn trowel look.

And then you can keep all your fiber and all that stuff on board without creating the, I don't know, I'm gonna call it the fiber crackle look.

Which can be a look, if that's what you're going for.

But typically it's not.



No, to me, yeah.

Because it doesn't look like, I don't know, anybody who's done it, anybody listening, try it, see what you think.

But you know, I actually enjoy the look of microcracks when they're, how would I say, you know, when they're there and done naturally.

But the fiber, no.

See, it doesn't give a natural look to microcracking.

Yeah, it doesn't create the crazy, like the old porcelain plate, which happens from too much water.

You know, a funny thing, how that happened, we had that happen in the very first Upright Cast Post-Tension Workshop at Joe's.

And the reason it happened was we were doing an upright cast table, like whatever that was, 13 feet or however long that thing was.

And then we were spraying a bright yellow GFRC face coat for the legs on the inside of the legs.

And, you know, we were spraying it and we were taking turns or letting attendees spray and, you know, they never sprayed, so they were spraying wildly, up in the air, left, right.

People were ducking.

I mean, you know, it was going everywhere.

And the yellow face coat was landing on top of the table that they had just troweled, which was beautiful.

It was perfect.

The table was done.

And we look at it and there's yellow splatter all the way down the table.

So Carlos, which is Joe's right hand, and Carlos, you know, goes back over, starts hitting it.

But as you're troweling it, it's just kind of smearing the yellow.

So he keeps adding water, spraying it with water, troweling, spraying it with water, troweling, spraying the water, and just kind of diluting it and troweling it to get rid of it.

And he did, he got rid of it.

But in the process, he introduced a ton of water to the surface that shouldn't have been there.

And the only reason that was done was because of all the face coat that was sprayed by accident on top of the table.

But the result of that was crazing.

It wasn't intentional.

I mean, it was done because Carlos was trying to get rid of the yellow.

But in the end, it was a cool thing to see because if you want that look, that's how you do it.

You just keep misting it with water and troweling, misting it with water and troweling, and you will create that kind of cracked porcelain plate effect.

It's not structural.

It looks beautiful.

If that's what you're going for, sometimes that is a look that you're going for.

So that's how you do it.

I don't think we do enough of it because I think during the days of the first GFRC, which was a mixed weakness because of some of the materials companies were putting, typically it was too much silica fume or something like that.

So it was desiccating the mix or sucking all the water out of it.

So we all looked at that as a problem instead of a decorative technique.

I think more people now are seeing it as a decorative technique because that cracked porcelain, it's beautiful.

It's absolutely stunning.

Well, I have a story.

I did a job for, I told the story before on the podcast, but it's been a long time.

But I did a project for an architect, Luis Salazar in Phoenix.

He was, he still is a phenomenal architect.

I loved his work and he hired me.

This is when I first started my company.

So this was 2004.

He hired me to make his countertops for his house.

Buddy Rhodes Products, back when it was owned by Buddy Rhodes the man, before it changed hands a couple of times.

But back then, I bought the very first palette of Buddy Rhodes Mix.

True story.

I'm customer number one.

I bought the first palette of the mix and it was a sh** show.

But I bought the first palette and I want to say that palette was used to make Luis Salazar's kitchen.

But back then, Buddy didn't have any instructions on how much water to use.

There was no instructions.

There was no, it was definitely not done by weight.

I remember when I asked Buddy how much water he put in, he was spraying with a hose into the mixer.

Pshhh, that much?

I'm like, but how much is that Buddy?

And he sprays some more, pshhh, looks about right.

But is that like a gallon?

Is that a quart?

Like how much?

Pshhh, right there.

I'm like, oh man, this is gonna be tough, you know, because the bag didn't have any instructions.

The website didn't have any instructions.

Buddy wasn't given any instructions.

So it was just all done by feel.

And the problem with that was I was putting too much water in.

And this board plasticizer, Buddy didn't use plasticizer, and plasticizer wasn't something that you get at Ace or Home Depot.

And at that point, I didn't know about Grace Chemicals or CECA or BASF or any of these companies.

I didn't have any of that experience yet with these other chemical material, these concrete chemical material companies out there that made plasticizers.

So all you do is add water.

And so I kept adding water, adding water, adding water to get it to a flowable mix that I could actually use to pour.

And Buddy didn't really use the mix that way.

He used it for the pressed finish, which was a very thick mix.

But for me, I was going more for cast smooth.

You know, I didn't really like the pressed look.

That wasn't my thing.

So I was going for cast.

So I added a lot of water, which is really the only way to make that mix flow.

And in doing so, I created crazing, crackling in the surface.

So I made the kitchen for Louis Salazar.

It was a charcoal color.

I sealed it.

And again, this was back in the Buddy Rhodes days.

So the sealer was like an acrylic, a water-based acrylic, and a wax.

You would wax it, and the wax only made it look worse because the wax soaked in all the cracks and really popped the cracks, made them stand out all the crazing.

And I was just like, oh my God, I hated it.

But I called, Louis was like, hitting me up.

I gotta get my kitchen.

Gotta get my kitchen because he just had plywood in his kitchen.

So I called him and I said, hey, I'm gonna install the kitchen temporarily.

I'm gonna redo it.

So I'm gonna put it in.

I'm not gonna seam anything.

I'm not gonna put any silicone in the seams, but I'll install it and I'll remake it.

And he's like, all right.

So I installed it at his house.

He was there and he loved it.

He's like, oh my God, I love it.

I'm like, no, Louis, this is, and he's an architect that brings his clients to his house to show them.

And I was like, I do not want anybody to see this.

This isn't what I want people to think of concrete.

And Concrete at that point, I was one of the very first people in Phoenix to do concrete.

So it was a very new thing.

You don't want to put bad work out there.

I didn't want to put bad work out there.

And I felt this was bad work.

So I told him, no, no, no, I'm going to remake this.

This is not as good as I can do.

I can do better.

So what I did is I went to Lowe's and I got Quickcrete 5000 and I recast it at Quickcrete 5000.

And this is two inch thick.

And when I used Buddy Rhodes mix, it was two inch thick.

So I cast it two inch thick with like welded wire fabric.

And I de-molded it and it's full of air holes, you know, again, I'm not using any plasticizer.

So I slurry it, I water polish it.

I slurry it, I water polish it.

I slurry it, I water polish it.

I mean, for days, it's a nonstop.

Anybody that's ever gone down this road, you know how it's just never ending.

But I finally, after six, seven, eight times of slurring and water polishing, got it dead smooth.

Perfect, perfect, and I sealed it, and I waxed it, and I buffed it with a polisher, and I called up Luis, and I said, hey, I got your countertops.

They're great, they're perfect.

I'm very happy with them.

He said, great, I'm not there.

Here's the key code to get in.

Just go ahead and go install them.

So I go to his house, I pull out the old countertops.

I destroy it.

When I took them out, instead of like putting them back on the A-frame on my trailer, I just broke them up and threw them into the back of my trailer, because I'm going to dispose of them in a dumpster when I get back to my shop.

So why go to the hassle of putting them back on A-frame?

So I broke them in pieces, put it in my trailer, installed a new countertop, shimmed it, silicone it.

It was perfect, perfect.

I was psyched on it.

And I left and he called me.

He got home that afternoon.

He called me.

He said, hey, I hate these countertops.

I'm like, what do you mean you hate these countertops?

He's like, it doesn't look like concrete.

It actually did look like concrete.

I mean, today, what I did back then, it was quick-create, it was diamond polish.

It was exposing bits of pea gravel and sand.

So it was kind of like the terrazzo look of today, but not a deep terrazzo, just a very light terrazzo.

But what he didn't like was how perfect it was.

He didn't like that.

He liked the crazing.

So anyways, he's like, I want my old countertops.

I'm like, dude, I don't have them.

I broke them up and threw them in a dumpster.

He's like, well, I don't like these ones.

I'm like, I don't want to tell you, that's concrete.

Like that's perfect.

So anyways, my point with this whole story is, sometimes people do want that.

And that is a look that if that's what you want to do, there's ways to get there.

But yeah, back in the day, we got there by doing things the wrong way.



Well, see, again, as I was listening to your story, anyway, let's finish with your questions, because I'm going to say, that just brings up a whole nother thing about, those people who strive and maybe for you at that point, good could have been good enough.

That's the hard part, but that's a whole different conversation.

Well, I mean, we can have that conversation.

I don't mind segues.

I like segues.

Jon, this is our podcast.

We can talk about whatever we want to talk about.

And if people don't want to listen, they can turn it off.

But let's talk about, what do you want to talk about?

Well, it's funny as we started this, right?

And I was saying how, I guess it's been about six weeks now since summer started, and Jay and I have been, and anyway, AIM as well, family on this whole kind of self-improvement thing.

And when I say self-improvement, I mean across the board.

And this is what I found, continue to find interesting in how I correlate personal life with business and et cetera, et cetera, is that during this period of time, I've had quite a few videos keep coming up, ones that you shared with me and then I shared back with you, just because I like you so much, about how, again, surrounding yourself with people that aspire and what percentages of people don't aspire, how many people try to aspire and then how many people tried or actually have the whatever, the willingness to do their best, whatever that means.

And when I say the best and I say whatever that means, I don't mean the person that, you know, I see some of them, people's dailies videos, you see what they're doing and you're like, eh, like, come on, man.

Like, if that's the best you can do, and I know that probably sounds really crappy of me, you know, like legitimately crappy of me, but it's the truth, it's the truth.

And I think we've talked about this in the past and there's a lot of individuals out there celebrating the mediocre in their own mediocre.

And at that point in your life, when you made that and you felt that that was mediocre, that's not you.

You know what I mean?

Like, yeah, sorry, man.

I mean, you know, I really, you know, I keep my foot on the gas pedal and that's the way it is, which can really anger some people in this case, you know, maybe it did him, but anyway, that's what I was talking about.

What's your thoughts on that?

Well, I think you're right.

There's definitely, there's a group of people in this industry that are content with good enough.

Good enough is good enough for them.

They don't strive for greatness.

They don't care about greatness.

I see companies pop up on my Facebook, they're making ping pong tables or cornhole boards using just crappy concrete with steel reinforcement, cast it in steel forms.

The finish is horrible, the design is horrible, but they sell a ton of them.

And for them, good enough is good enough.

They're making a great living.

Who am I to say they're wrong?

But that is for them, good enough.

That's all they wanna do.

Hey, great, keep doing it.

You make a living, keep going down that road.

But then there's a smaller percentage that strives for greatness.

They strive to be the best.

Those are the people I wanna surround myself with.

With Kodiak, that's something that for you and I, it's super important, we wanna be the best.

And I don't want people to misconstrue what I'm saying.

I'm not saying we're the best, or I'm the best, or anything like that.

But we're striving to be the best.

There's a difference.

There's a difference between peacocking around and saying, I'm the best, you know?

Or saying, I strive to be the best, and I really try hard to be the best at everything I can do.

And we try hard to make the best materials we can.

We strive for that daily.

It's never done.

It never ends.

We're always striving.

And the people that are our customers are the people that value that type of dedication to quality and craftsmanship, and they strive to be the best.

And I want to be around people that are always striving to do better.

So anyways, in my opinion, that's our customer.

And the people that talk trash on Facebook and Instagram and want to diminish and whatever, those people will never be our customer because they're content with good enough.

And there's a place for good enough, but that place is gonna be in a 15 mile radius of where they live.

And they're never gonna do anything beyond that.

There's never gonna be somebody across the country or across the world that contacts them and says, I want you to do my project.

Why would they?

They can get good enough locally.

They want greatness.

And if you want to be the person that somebody across the planet reaches out to you and says, I saw on a blog or a magazine or a book something you made and I have to have this in my house, that wasn't because you were good enough.

That's because you're great.

And that's what you didn't want to be striving for.

And so in my opinion, that's what we're always working for.

And those are the people, what is it?

The top five people you surround yourself with or who influenced you.

Yeah, whatever that quote is.

But the Kodiak Pro crew, the team, the tribe, whatever you want to call it, these guys and gals really are at the top level of the industry.

They're all doing-

Or they're striving for it.

That's what I mean.

Yeah, when I-

Again, don't misconstrue.

And anybody listen, don't misconstrue.

But they're all driven.

They're driven for greatness.

That's what they're driven for.

I talked about this in a previous podcast.

I cut it out because I thought it was too much lecturing and I don't want to lecture people.

Like I gave this whole like 20 minute spiel about failure is part of the process.

And I was like, eh, I'm gonna cut that out.

But it is-

But no, it's super important.

And I guess my point with that is, you can do bad work.

It doesn't mean you're not striving for greatness.

As long as you're on the path of trying to be better, then you're heading in the right direction and you're the kind of people that we want to surround ourselves with.

It doesn't matter if you've gotten to where you want to get and nobody's really everywhere they want to be.

Like that's part of the process, is you're always trying to get to the top of the mountain and the mountain peak is always moving.

Like you're never there.

So you're always moving towards a moving target.

It's never stationary.

And so you might feel like you're new to concrete and you're like, oh man, you know, these guys, they're doing this kind of stuff and I'm just doing this.

Hey, that's fine.

We all, there was a day one for every one of us.

There was a year one.

We've all been there.

And that's just part of the process.

And you might not be doing what you want to do yet because your skillset hasn't caught up with your ambition, but that's part of the process.

And you're going to do bad pieces and you're going to have failure.

You're going to have things fall apart.

You're going to make things that you thought were going to be amazing, and you demold it, and it's a total hot turd, and that's okay.

As long as you are honest with yourself and you evaluate what went wrong and what went wrong with the design or the creation of the piece, and you learn from that, then it was a success.

And if you don't make that mistake twice, and again, I said in the last podcast, sometimes I make a mistake 20, 30, 40 times.

Again, that's part of it.

But you try not to make the same mistake twice.

That's the goal.

And you just keep moving forward.

And so if you're, again, in that group, that 20%, 30%, whatever it is of the market that strives for greatness, then you're part of our tribe.

That's the people we want to surround ourselves with.

Well, definitely, yeah, the mentality.

And that's what's exciting.

And yeah, that's what I'm saying.

So there's been all these videos that pop up in my various timelines.

I don't do enough Instagram, but it'll pop up, and that's what it'll be.

Like 60% of people, and maybe I'm messing up the, because I'm paraphrasing the percentages, 60% of the people, mediocre.

And mediocre's mediocre.

And they go through their whole life, mediocre.

They take a job, mediocre.

They get through their day, mediocre.

Their relationships, whatever the case may be.

And for whatever reason, that's just where they stop, and they don't go for anything else.

And then another percentage, again, I don't know, let's say 30%, yeah, they put a little more effort, but you know, it's, and then they'll be this like victimhoodish mentality of why they're not achieving their goals.

And then there's always a set of people, and we see them.

See them out there without their, you know, whatever they might be doing.

And they often get some hate because of envy, but you know, for whatever reason, they've disciplined themselves, or it's just in their nature to strive, to continue to strive.

And it was a conversation literally, I was just having with Surgho, because he was asking me some questions about some stuff going on in the industry.

Happened to be, in this case, materials, but I won't say who the materials are.

And he's like, hey, what do you think about this?

And I'm like, well, here's my thing, man.

If so-and-so comes out with one more bag mix or one more sealer on top of whatever, here's what it shows me.

And some people are gonna support that.

I got no issues with it.

Support what you want to support.

But see, when I look at that based on my point of view, I'm like, well, why didn't this person just fix the flaws that he knows exists in the other materials?

Why did we have to come up with another material on top of another material?

And then the answer, both of us, actually, he answered, not me.

And he's like, well, because he doesn't use the materials.

I'm like, well, exactly.

So now, what was, right?

I think Apple, Steve Jobs, right?

It talked about mistakes.

His first early mistakes was to create the technology and then try to find the customer to fit that technology.

But he went the other direction, and let's say the onset of some of the early Apple stuff is instead went to his customer base, including himself, and then built the technology around that.

And I think we even talked about this a little in the podcast, but this happened to be the conversation.

That's the part I don't understand.

I don't understand, and that ultimately probably makes me the bad person.

I don't understand someone who takes that point of view and then fills the gap, doesn't really...

As you just know, say this is where I start rambling, I just got done discontinuing the prime, emulsion chemistry, discontinuing a material that has only been in existence two and a half years, two and a half years.

But now that's old.

To me, it's old.

Well, it's not even old, it's just unnecessary.

A lot of distributors of products would keep it on the shelf because it's something else to sell.

Why would you stop selling something you can sell?

If somebody wants to buy it, let them buy it.

But our point is, it serves no purpose.

At this point, it's redundant.

You don't need it.

So we're doing you a disservice by selling you something you don't need.

Why would we sell you something you don't need?

And all of that at that time was, and I'm going to say not just me because I don't think it's just me.

I think it's who I surround us.

Senator Jones says, you, Jess Warren, Joe Bates.

I mean, I could make that like, now Caleb Lawson.

I mean, you know, guys, Sergo that I'm talking to, I mean, these are people in a circle that are striving and contriving, both in self-improvement, their business, the materials they use, you know, that vanity that Sergo made with the Ramcrete.

I mean, watching Kyle Davis.

I mean, I could keep spitting out names, man.

It's amazing to me.

And then you can't stop, you know, being part of, you know, like I said, right, if you want to be a millionaire, surround yourself with millionaires.

You want to be a billionaire, surround yourself with billionaires, whatever.

There's a million things that go with that.

But now coming back, yeah, once I started striving to create that into a single component, because that should make it better, and it did, well, then yeah, we just keep moving forward.

Now we reach this plateau, boom, I'm already, you know, seeing where I can go with where we're going next.


It makes for an amazing ride.

Well, there is an interesting correlation to this, what you're talking about, and what you're talking about about products being introduced to the industry from materials companies that don't really fit a need.

They're just making something and kind of throwing it out there and, hey, we got a new product.

And you're like, well, who's this for?

I hope this is what you were looking for.


And that's what happens when somebody that doesn't do it, that's not a professional concrete artisan, tries to sell a product to professional concrete artisans.

They don't know.

But you were telling me about what happened with you at Blue Concrete slash Buddy Rhodes Products.

So back in the day, Buddy Rhodes Products had a...

They brought in an in-house chemist.

This is way a long time ago.

But they brought an in-house chemist in.


Jeb, yeah, to develop a sealer.

And can I just give a brief rundown of how that went?

Well, it was actually funny, and I've talked about it before, but I'll get the short version.

So here we get a 30-year chemist working with coding technologies and so forth and so on.

So they brought him in.

This is going to be great, and he was going to make something.

Incredibly intelligent person.

Don't get me wrong.


I happened to walk into the lab one day, and he had all these concrete samples out, and he sealed them all, and they all just, they were atrocious.

They were just, anybody who's done this, we all know, like, yeah, no, that's, you can't sell anybody on that.

And then he literally looked at me, and then I goes, well, I don't use this stuff, Jon.

I mean, I don't know how to apply it.

And I just, right then, I just looked at him, I said, okay, so you get the chemistry, right?

Yeah, I mean, you could fit the A's and the B's and the this and how much solids percentage and so forth and so on.

I said, but you don't use any of it, which tells you, you don't actually know what you're making.

I mean, you understand the chemistry, but you're not understanding the use.

And so if you don't use it, so in his case, I mean, man, everything from bro strokes, roller marks, thick, thick films, it was just, you know, they were all just ugly, just just horrible.

And that's what I see out there.

And afterwards, I think I told you afterwards, and I'm like, yeah, whatever, man, you know, do your thing, good luck to you, yada, yada, yada.

It ended up not going anywhere for Buddy Road's products, but that's like, hey, you know, let's get together.

Hey, what you're doing, is it proprietary?

And I'm like, well, it is, it is to me, but the difference is I'm trying, I'm chasing solutions based on what I'm perceiving on problems based on my own use.

Yeah, somebody that does this for a living.

These are the problems you face.

Yeah, the next install into a client's home, what did I call backup out?

Or how was I applying at this temperature in summertime and wintertime?

I mean, what are all these challenges that I have faced and to find the solutions around those challenges?

I'm sorry, I'm just going to put it out there.

Materials providers that have no clue about any of that stuff, again, to anybody, you support who you feel you need to support, and that's great, and I'm not going to chastise it.

But I am going to say that will continue to always be a problem because that person will put a product together, trying to solve a problem that he doesn't even know exists.

Maybe he heard about it, but the reality is he's got no clue.

He's got no clue.

Well, I'll put it out there.

We're the only company selling materials that were actually working professional concrete artisans.

There's no other company in this space, in the decorative concrete industry, where the owners and the designers of the products are actual working professional concrete artisans.

They might say, well, I used to.

Well, okay, you used to.

You don't need more.

Yeah, what does that mean?


What does that mean?

Well, back in the day, the way I used to do it in my factory.

Well, you don't do it.

And I'm going to call bullsh** on the whole factory thing, too.

No, that's the person that then has to find his own validation by pointing to picture frames hanging on the wall.


Well, I'm not even talking about that.

I'm not even talking about that.

I'm just talking about, in general, just the truth of the matter is Kodiak Pro is the only company that's owned, operated, and the products are developed by actual working, professional concrete artisans that do this every day, not just develop and sell materials, but actually use those materials for real client projects that they use to provide income for their family.

And that's a very, very important distinction, and that's what makes these products different.

Well, I'll take it another step further, because I agree with what you're saying.

Let's wrap it up.

Well, I'm just saying, since we already upset some people.

The other thing is, it's currently being used by people who continue to strive for improvement.

They'll continue, they'll hit me, hey Jon, what about this?

Maybe we can make some adjustments, and we're continuing to strive for excellence.

Yep, 100%.

Maybe, but might never reach it.

We'll never be satisfied, but we're 99% there.

We're 99% there, and that last 1% is what keeps us up at night.

It's what keeps us moving forward.

But that's also what we enjoy.

We enjoy the process of improvement.

And anybody that does this for more than a few years, you have to love the process.

You have to love learning and growing and becoming better.

And it's, you know, that's concrete, that's woodworking, that's metalworking.

Anybody I know in any other trade that's at the top of their game are people that love the process, and they always strive to be better.

Those are the people that stay with it.

The people that get in for a minute, they try to make a quick buck, they think it's going to be easy money.

They're not in it for the right reasons.

They're not going to last.

You know, it's a high turnover.

But the people that are in here for a long time, that do it for a long time, they're always striving for greatness.

So anyways, that's my point.

Let's go to the next thing here, because we spent way too long on that.

Here's a question from Jason Rogers.

Not even a question.

This is a point, but it's a good point, because we're right in the middle of summer, and this whole heat wave hitting the United States, it's a big deal.

And he posted a reminder.

He mixed 500 pounds.

He only added 25% ice, which wasn't enough.

After Slake, it was a solid block in my barrel mixer.

Check the temp of the concrete, and it was 80 degrees.

Whoa, 80 degrees is bad.

He could feel the heat radiating out of it.

He got it back to have a little bit of flow, started casting as fast as he could, but it got stiff again within minutes of casting.

So his barrel mixer, he said part of the problem was the barrel mixer was 90 degrees when he started, and that overwhelmed the ice, essentially melted the ice immediately.

And so he just redid it, and he used 100% ice, and it was 50 degrees after mixing.

So anyways, the point is, and a lot of people commented on this, this is on the Kodiak Pro discussion group, but Gabriel commented, Phil Courtney commented, let me see here, because there's a lot of good comments, Jerry Maurer, Josh Bradshaw, RD.

Hollenbeck, they all have a lot of good input, but essentially, it's cast early in the morning, like that's what Jerry says, they only pour in the morning, and they pre-ice the barrel.

They put a couple bags of ice in, they spin it for a while, they get the barrel, yeah, let it get nice ice cold before, and then you dump that out, and you actually add your ice and water and your concrete, or your bag mix.

But what you don't want to do is have your bag mix out in the sun, your bag mix are getting to 120, you don't have the barrel mixer out in the sun, like what happened here with Jason and it was cooking, because there's no way to control the exotherm, and it's just going to be a runaway train, which is what happened to him.

So if you're going to be working in that type of situation, work early.

When I lived in Phoenix, there was a time where, well, every summer, where I would only cast early, early in the morning, when it was 80, 85 degrees, versus 110, 115 in the afternoon, right?

85 was nice and cool.

Hey, let's do one that's nice and cool.

So we'd be out there right when the sun was coming up, mixing and casting.

But if I tried to cast at five in the afternoon, when my shop was 115, forget about it.

There's no good way to accomplish that.

So yeah, you have to have a strategy when you're working in the summer.

What are your thoughts?

Well, I agree with you 100%.

The mixer, the mix, that's all part of it.

The next, I would encourage anybody under that to add some amount of cream of tartar, or at least maybe a gram of sugar, two grams of sugar per bag.

Sugar has to go in the water first, though.

The reason for that is not for the mixing time, because if you use enough ice, one of the beauties about specifically make-or-mix materials is if you get that temperature down, it'll hold that temperature masterfully.

I mean, it'll sit there at 55, 60 degrees for...

You remember when we went out to Heroes Quest, and BB, we were talking with him, and he was struggling.

And so we mixed up one at the proper temperature, and we put some in a bucket.

And 30, 45 minutes later, I come back over, I'm like, hey, BB, and I kicked the bucket, right?

And it was still all this super cold and jelly.

I go, is this what you're struggling with?

And of course, they got mad at me, but I love BB.

But one of his struggles, so if you can get it down, it holds great.

The reason for adding a little bit of cream of tartar or sugar is because once you get it out of that mixer, your forms are going to be that temp.

You know what I mean?

So you can almost create this heat shell reaction that happens when you place that material.

So get a little bit of retarder in there just to slow that reaction down, because I think we've talked about this.

I talked about like when you go to bed, why do you go to bed?

Is it cold?

And then it's your exothermic coming off your body, finally radiating back out of your sheets or whatever the case may be.

Same thing's going to happen to your forms.

The heat from your forms is going to draw right into the concrete, the coolness of the concrete being sucked right into the forms, and it's a potential hazard waiting to happen.

So a little bit of retarder would be my recommendation under these conditions as well.

That's a good point.

Something that you do doesn't help the form, Tim, but you do have a deep freeze in your shop that you preload the day before with all your bagged materials and chill them so they're nice and cold on top of the ice.

Yeah, on top of the ice.

That just helps.


So we did, again, a small vanity, but day...

What's today?

What is today?


Yep, Tuesday.

Yeah, so it was Friday.

Yeah, man.

You know, I was, what, 104 degrees, 105 degrees, something like that.

And I'm sorry.

For me, anyway, if I had not pulled three...

So we did a four-bag mix.

So three of those bags came out of the freezer.

One was at 100-some-odd degrees.

And yeah, I'm still using 60% ice, which led to an end temperature of, I think it was 57 degrees, as I remember.

And I call that my casting temperature.

I like to pull it out of the mixer a little bit cooler, knowing full well during that slake period, I'm going to gain some, but again, because it's sucking some of the heat out of the bucket and so forth and so on.

But yeah, man, that's the only way, in my opinion.

And a chest freezer, at least they used to be, are pretty inexpensive.

Well, dude, if you can pick them up on Facebook Marketplace, super cheap.

I look at them.

I was looking to do one on for an ice bath because my buddy Case at the fire department, they picked up one off, I'm going to say Facebook, for like $100.

They made it into an ice bath.

They just ran like the thing, so it cycles, it never completely freezes, it turns it on and off, and keeps it like at 40 degrees or whatever.

And it worked great, and they still use it.

But it's like $100 on Facebook.

So yeah, you can pick up one on Facebook for pretty cheap.

And it'd be a cheap thing.

The other thing I want to say is, the thing that I wish I would have done a long time ago was I put a mini-split here in my shop.

I did a three-ton mini-split.

I did it myself.

I want to say it was $2,000 or less.

$1,500, $2,000 on Amazon.

It was Sinville was the brand.

And it was DIY.

I did it myself.

And it was the best investment I've made.

It's a heat pump.

It heats my shop in the winter.

It cools my shop in the summer.

In my shop right now, I have it set at 80, just to keep electric down.

But it's, you know, 100 degrees outside.

It's 80 in my shop right now.

And I can turn it down to 65, and within an hour, it's pretty darn cool back there.


So it's one of those things that, if it keeps you from having to redo one project, and I bought the big, the three-ton, but if you have a smaller space, you can get a smaller one.

It's 600 bucks, 800 bucks.

But if it keeps you from recasting one project by controlling your mix environment, your shop environment, it was money well spent.

On top of that, it's just nice.

It's nice to not be in your shop dying because it's blazing hot.

Well, yeah, it's adding to everything you're just describing here with Jason.

I mean, I'm laughing because now we're talking about it.

But if that would have saved 500-pound batch, I can only imagine what was going through his head when the match, when it's heating up, it's in his barrel mech, it's getting clunky, you're turning around like, what the hell, what am I going to do with this stuff?

You've got your forms all set up, and now you're thinking like, oh my God, where am I going to dump this?

I mean, yeah, you don't want it to set up in your mixer.

Like that would be a catastrophe.

My point being is all that stress, that mad season happening there for who knows how long.

Yeah, yeah, it's just, yeah, I wouldn't, I don't ever want to go.

It reminds me of the time with Jason Robertson when he used to tell me all the time how he felt like he was, you know, home alone, frantic, running around with his arms above his head in his shop.

And I sent him this video of the day I was casting.

He's like, man, how do you keep so calm?

See, that's the way I have to cast.

I don't want the craziness.

I want to be in there, doodly-doo, you know, music playing, you know, at my own pace, not having to worry and freak.

So yeah, having 500-patch go sideways on me would be, you know, more than the catastrophe of the 500 pounds.

What am I doing with this stuff?

Well, and he said he got in his forms.

That means you're going to be cleaning out your forms, rebuilding your forms potentially.

It's just a whole lot of everything where, again, I'm not telling you what to do, but I'm just saying something I wish I would have done a lot sooner because I didn't was invest in HVAC, specifically mini-split because they're so cost effective.

The only thing if you do it, the other thing I would recommend is get on YouTube and look up mini-split, wood shop, space, whatever.

I can't remember what I looked for, but I'd seen it before.

But essentially, you just make a filter box that goes above your mini-split so the air intake on top, you're filtering that air so when you're mixing concrete and you have all the dust in the air, it's not sucking into your mini-split because that will ruin your mini-split.

So you need to have a filter box for the air intake.

So I built that out of plywood, and I just have standard filters on it.

But that's the only modification you have to do to have it in your shop space, but it was a great investment, and I'd highly encourage anybody to think about it, look into it, because it will make your shop space a lot more predictable.

It'll make your casting more consistent.

If you can keep the window of temperature and humidity in your shop within a certain range, you're not fighting the wild swings of hot and cold and humid and dry, you know, if you can just maintain.

Once you get to a space where it's consistent, then you can dial your mix, and you know what to expect.

You have everything dialed.

But when it's wild ranges, it's much more difficult to, you know, it's a moving target.

You don't know TBP, humidity, how that's factoring into it, form temp, bagged mix temp, water temp, everything's playing into it, your mixer temp.

So those are things that if you can control.

Dusty has a forced air HVAC on his shop.

It is nice.

He has duct work and he has, you know, like three or four big forced air HVAC systems on his.

And that's great, but it's expensive.

It's an expensive way to go, where mini-split's much cheaper.

I just, my tenant next door, he wanted a mini-split on his shop space.

And for that, I actually hired a company to come do it.

And they put it, essentially, the exact same system I have on mine.

But it was $6,700 for them to do it.

Where I did it myself for, I want to say, like, $1,500 to $2,000.

I can't remember what I paid, but somewhere right around there.

You know, it was a day in my life, but I saved a lot of money to do it myself.

So anyways, there's that.

Yeah, I still need to do that.

Yep, all right, so that's that question.

Next question, Jon.

Michael Shelton, he was in a class.

He was asking on the Kodiak Pro page, what span is achievable with MakerMix SEC GFRC at one inch thick for a coffee table that's 24 inches wide and 60 inches long?

Is there an easy answer or a spec sheet with load bearing data that can answer this?

And no, there's not.

There are several reasons why there's not just a chart you can refer to to determine what you should do.

There's so many things, and this is my response to him, is there so many things that factor into it?

Is that coffee table?

So in my shop, I have a coffee table class made.

I have a sofa right next to it.

I have two chairs right in front of it.

I have other chairs here in my front showroom.

When I teach classes, people inevitably sit on the coffee table.

When there's a sofa and there's two chairs right next to it, they sit on the coffee table.


I don't know.

But people will sit on it.

So that's question number one.

Is there a potential for somebody to sit or stand on the table?

That's going to change the calculus on strength and what you need to do.

The second thing is the span.

You say it's 60 inches by 24.

Does it have integral legs?

Are the legs on the ends where it's a 60-inch unsupported span?

Or are they on the sides where it's a 24-inch unsupported span?

That, again, is a very big difference.

And that's going to change what thickness I would feel comfortable going with.

You know, a lot of times I do coffee tables like at my house, where it's a steel base, but I have mounts that attach to the concrete.

But by doing that, I essentially am able to choose where the concrete's supported, and I can more evenly distribute the forces.

So if somebody sits or stands on it, it's not a big unsupported span.

It's supported much more evenly that way.

So again, there's so much criteria that goes into determining this.

A lot of it just comes from experience.

And when in doubt, make it a little thicker.

Or when in doubt, create a vertical rib on the underside to create a beam, essentially.

So if your concrete is one inch thick, on the underside, you could have a vertical rib, you know, concrete rib that's three inches thick, that runs the length.

And so that way, there's a four inch, essentially a four inch beam, vertical beam, running on the underside that's, you know, unless you get on the ground, you can't see it, but that's going to give you a lot of strength.

And that works like an I-beam in a way.

So there's things you can do if you're worried to help lessen any chances for problems.


No, I agree with you.

And I think there are some calculators out, you know, beam load calculators and these kind of things that I guess could help with all that.

But there's still the reality per everything you're saying.

So regardless for me, if I look at a piece like that, there's a couple of things that are going to happen.

Number one, I'm going to do my mid-range, and this would be a glass fiber, right?

Glass fiber, not a PVA.

Two, I don't care, even if it was one inch thick, I'm going to put a couple pieces of glass rebar in there as well to mitigate potentials because you call it a coffee table, and per what you just said, okay, it's a coffee table.

What happens when someone stands on it?

Or sits on it?

Or I don't know, you just don't know the life of this thing.

So for me, I'll always go a little bit more.

That would probably be my 2.5% AR glass load, put a couple pieces of inexpensive, cheap insurance glass rebar, and call it good.

But if you're looking for something that says, well, I need to have some numbers, whether or not those numbers do you any good, that's the question, then you could probably go to something like a beam calculator or some sort and pick that up from somebody.

I look more for opportunities in the design itself to create strength.

So like I was saying, the channel or the underside of the piece, instead of being flat across the bottom, it Vs down, so in the middle it's thicker, but it angles from the edge to the middle and then back up again.

So it's very imperceptible from anybody looking at it.

It still has the edge thickness, whatever that is, 1 inch, 3 quarters of an inch, whatever.

And I did this, I did a desk a long time ago called the Foil Desk.

It was designed by an architecture firm, but the edge was 3 quarters of an inch thick, but the middle was 3 inches thick, but it was a very gradual curve.

And looking at it, I mean, it looked like a 3 quarter inch thick piece of concrete, but the inside curved in to be thick, and that 3 inches thick gave it plenty of strength.

So there's opportunities in design to introduce strength to the piece, make it part of the design, build it into the reform, and that will help mitigate any issues.

So there's...

Yeah, I've seen a lot of those, some really cool benches that Gabe made like that.

So there's your answer, Michael Shelton.

And let's see, the last question here was from Harvest Leisure, and he cast some large thin tiles that were 3 foot by 4 foot, 5 eighths of an inch thick.

They were sealed on the face with ICT, and they used Schluter All-Set Thin Set, and after 24 hours, the edges of the tiles started to curl about 3 sixteenths, and he was wondering what could be done.

So here was my experience, and then I'll let you tell yours.

I did pretty much the same size tiles at my house in my kitchen, and I talked to Jon ahead of time, and I did mine a little bit thinner.

I did mine a half inch thick, but I talked to Jon and I said, you know, what are your thoughts?

He said, well, just seal both sides with ICT.

And so I did.

I sealed the top and I sealed the bottom with ICT, and I went through all the steps, top and bottom.

So they're both sealed evenly.

So that's number one.

So the bottom wouldn't absorb moisture, it would be sealed.

But I also posted this question on this page, Kodiak Pro Discussion page, and somebody over in Europe that does a lot of tile recommended I use a fast set, thin set, so the moisture wouldn't have time to create any curling issues.

So I did.

I thought, well, that's a good idea.

The other option would be an epoxy.

That's what Joe Bates does.

Yeah, Joe Bates, yeah.

So he buys an epoxy.

I looked into epoxy.

For my kitchen alone is going to be like 5,000 bucks in materials.

Joe was telling me he does tiles, and it's something like 5,000 to 10,000 per tile in epoxy is what the materials cost is, because they're huge tiles and the epoxy is super expensive.

Anyways, but his clients are billionaires, and for them, it's peanuts.

But anyways, so I used a fast set, thin set, and literally, it would set within about 2 to 3 minutes of mixing, like rock hard.

So we would mix.

I would apply it to the back of the tile.

I'd apply it to the Schluter, whatever that stuff is called that you put down first, that waffle stuff, that, what is that stuff called?

You know what I'm talking about?

It's like orange.

Yeah, I don't know what it's called, but I know what you're talking about.

Yeah, anyways.

But anyways, applied that, set the tile, and I could just barely get clips on one side to level it, and it would be done.

I couldn't adjust it.

And that was the downside of it was, you know, there was like some lippage in my kitchen because the tiles would set before I could adjust them, before I could get them fine-tuned, and it drove me nuts.

So hindsight's 20-20.

Had I do it over again, I would seal the top and bottom of the ICT, and I'd use a regular polymer-modified thin set, and I would just do it that way.

I think sealing the underside is the critical part.

But also polymer-modified, I think, is important as well.

Yeah, I think, and see, again, that's the situation.

Yeah, I would say the same thing.

Some polymer would, that's the situation where it would be good to have some polymer.


From people I talk to that are tile experts, which I'm not, they also use polymer-modified, but seal the underside, seal the underside.

That's the critical part.

Had I done just the sealing and the polymer-modified, I think I would have been perfectly fine.

Zero issues.

I didn't have any issues with mine.

Mine is, you know, as far as curling, I didn't have any curling whatsoever, but I was fine.

You were just doing a lot of small batches.

And I had a ton of buckets that I couldn't get it cleaned in time.

So I literally had like 20 buckets out in my backyard that had a half inch of thinset in the bottom that was rock hard, then I'm just like, screw it.

So I had a huge pile of buckets I had to throw away.

It was just high stress.

And I was using all ice, 100% ice when I was mixing it, but it was just miserable.

It was a miserable, miserable way to go.

So I wouldn't do that again.

But anyways, what are your thoughts?


I don't do enough of this stuff.

So actually, while you were talking, I'm looking at the Schutler Systems, specialized rapid set, modifying thinset mortar, but I'm not really reading on these things about like what the working times are.

So I mean, per what you're saying, man, if something's only like a few minutes to try to set a tile and level it, that would be a nightmare to me.

It was.

And yeah, same thing.

There was no information on the SDS, the website, the bag that gave a working time.

It was just, here's how much water to add, and I was using 100% ice.

The first couple we mixed with the cold water, that wasn't doing it.

So we went to 100% ice, and we were still fighting it the entire time.

It was just, it was the Hurt Locker, man.

We were like defusing the bomb with every single tile.

Red wire, white wire, you know, black wire, I don't know.

It was crazy.

It was crazy.

Yeah, that would not make for a nice afternoon.

But yeah, that's weird.

That's why I just, I just wanted to see if the, and then I thought, well, typical me, like is there like a slow set, mid set, fast set, you know?

Well, you can probably throw cream of tartar in there or sugar in there to slow it down a little bit, you know?

Yeah, it all depends if they're using an illuminate.

I mean, you know, so much depends on what's being used.

Like this rapid set offer some version of a thin set.

I don't even know.

I don't know.

I don't know.

But that was my experience.

So my experience is sealed the underside of the ICT and then just use a polymer modified.

And, you know, maybe test it ahead of time.

Do one tile in your shop.

Make sure it's not going to curl on you.

But I think that's going to be the best bet.

So that's my advice.

So while we were talking, Caleb Lawson sent me a text, Jon.



Well, first of all, he wanted to tell me that I was the most handsome man that's ever existed and the greatest concrete artisan.

Oh, dude, he's buttering you.

He didn't say anything.

We all know better than that.

He didn't say any of that.

I'm just kidding.

No, what he said is he had a question about acid etching.

He said, to clarify your acid etch technique, when you say completely saturated, are you saying standing water or simply very recently wet?

He's had a lot of issues with acid etching, with runs on verticals, it's stressful.

And so anyways, let me just go over that really quickly.

My process.

So my process is I mix up five parts water to one part muratic acid in a big pump up sprayer, like a garden sprayer.

You get it at Lowe's Home Depot, two gallon garden sprayer, five parts water, one part acid.

That's what I do.

So when I de-mold my piece, I usually, I don't try to assetch it right away.

I let it set for a few hours, maybe even next day.

You know, that's just my own personal preference.

But I'll clean it with simple green.

That's number one, simple green degreaser, any degreaser.

So can I use purple power?

Use purple power, use, you know, if you're in Australia, whatever degreaser that's readily available, use that.

And all that's going to do is strip off any oils, any wax.

If you waxed your form for your sink mold or whatever, that can sometimes absorb it in the concrete and create resistance for the acid.

It'll make it not want to etch evenly.

So it strips all that off.

So clean it with simple green, rinse it off.

I will then diamond hand polish all my roundovers.

I use a handheld diamond pad with water.

So I diamond hand polish all my roundovers.

I get those all perfect.

Everything perfect, perfect.

And then at that point, I rinse it again with water.

And while the concrete is wet, wet, soaking wet, not kind of wet.

I mean, it's covered in water.

I take the pump up sprayer, pump it up, and I just start hosing it down.

And I just hose it down.

And you'll see it bubbling.

Not aggressively bubbling, but if you look at it, it's like little fizz bubbles coming up.

And I just keep walking around the piece.

I never let it dry.

I'm spraying the sides.

I'm spraying inside the sink.

I'm spraying the top.

And it's just nonstop.

But it's low stress because I'm not chasing it.

Like back in the day when I used to use a hand pad, like a Scotch-Brite, and I was doing it that way, it'd be running down the edge, but it would dry before I'd see it.

I'm like, oh, God, I'm over here trying to scrub it.

And over here, it's drying.

I'm like, oh, damn, I'm over there.

With this, you can do a huge piece because you're just walking around it.

You're just doing laps.

You have this two gallons of mix, and you're just walking around, just walking around.

And I'm doing it for a certain amount of time, usually about a minute, 90 seconds.

I usually have a nitrile glove on.

I'll just feel the surface.

When it feels like 220 grit sandpaper, I can feel it.

That's when I stop, and I take a hose, and I immediately wash it off, rinse it off immediately.

Don't let it just sit there.

If it dries, you're screwed.

That's the thing with an acid wash.

If you let it dry anywhere, it's going to stain the surface.

So I immediately take the hose, rinse it off.

Rinse off all the muratic acid, and this will stop the reaction.

People are like, well, do I need to neutralize it?

Brother, the concrete's neutralizing it.

I mean, it's neutralizing it as it sits there, but if you rinse it off really well with water, it's done.

Then I take a new Scotchbrite.

Somebody in the last class asked, why do you use a new Scotchbrite?

Why does it have to be a new one?

The reason is if you have once it in your shop, it probably has sand in it, gravel in it.

You start scrubbing with it, you're going to put scratches all in your surface.

So get a new one.

They're cheap, right?

Get a new green Scotchbrite pad, brand new, get it wet, and scrub that whole surface, all the concrete.

At that point, that's when you're going to remove that soft cream layer that softened up with the muretic acid.

That's what the muretic acid is doing, is softening that top layer.

So you scrub it really good.

Scrub it, scrub it, scrub it.

Get every nook and cranny, scrub it, go over the whole thing, rinse it with water.

A lot of times I'll scrub it again because it's really easy to miss a spot.

So I'll do it again, scrub it again, rinse it again, squeegee off all the water.

I have a rubber squeegee, squeegee off all the excess water.

Don't let water just sit there and dry because it can create a stain where it dries.

Squeegee off all the water.

I take a microfiber towel, I dry it off.

And at that point, I look at it, if there's any spots I missed with the scrubbing at the end, I'll hit it again right then.

Because you can see a spot.

It'll be like, you know, if I'm doing white concrete, it'll be an area where it's like a brighter white patch where I missed it.

So I'll get it wet again, I'll scrub that area, squeegee it off, and then let it dry.

And at that point, I let it dry, you know, you can seal the same day, but I usually let it dry overnight, and the next day, I'll do my sealing process.

But that is the way I acid-etch, and I get a very consistent etch.

No issues, no streaking, it's low stress, and it's extremely, extremely consistent.

You know, the edges are the same as the top, it's the same as the inside of the sink.

Everything is the same etch.

There's no splotchiness to it or anything like that.

Any thoughts?

No, you're exactly right.

The only difference is you're using the greens, and I use the browns.

And I was just trying to look up, I think there's 744Bs or something.

Of course you are.

I just order them by the case off Amazon.

Of course you are.

You know, the reason I use the green ones, Jon, is when I go to Lowe's, if you go into the paint section, they typically have the green ones in bulk, the big ones.

They're like 6 inches by 4 inches, and they'll be like a pack of 6 or 10 of them, and they're cheap.

They're like 4 bucks for a huge pack.

If you buy the little ones that are pre-cut, already small, they're really expensive, but you can buy the big pack of the green ones in the paint area, and for me, they're like the medium ones, but they work great for this.

And I'll just cut them in half, and you know, I get a lot of use out of that pack, and they're cheap, so that's why I use the green ones.

And I haven't had any issues, no scratching, no anything like that, so for me, it works fine.

It's all that matters, man.

It's all that matters.

But I would say, get the 7440Bs.

You know, you should try.

You should try.

So I've had a few people hit me up, Jon, on the furniture workshop.

What is a furniture workshop?

Why do I want to take it?

Actually, the guy hit me up that wants to do consulting on furniture, and I'm going to send the link for this.

The furniture workshop is a design workshop.

It's for anybody that's interested in getting into furniture.

You're a concrete artisan.

You want to make furniture.

You don't know where to start.

You don't know what the process is.

You don't know what goes into it.

This class is for you.

So this workshop is August 16th and 18th here in Wichita, Kansas.

You can go to to read about it and to register.

But if you're interested in getting into furniture design, you want to make pieces, this is a great thing that will save you a ton of time and mistakes and heartache and ultimately expense.

So it will save you money.

So check that out.

And then we also have a basics class.

This is a fundamental class.

This is going to be September 28th and 29th, again here in Wichita.

And the fundamental class is for anybody that's interested in concrete.

You're a little bit scared to just jump in, you know, head first.

You want to learn the basics.

You want to learn how to mix, you know, the whole process as far as the basics.

And that's what the fundamentals class is for.

And again, you can go to to read and register for that.

So there's that.

Last thing, Jon, things that we love.

What do you want to talk about for things that we love?

Well, I want to go back to that ice cream maker, but I'm going to stay away from it, because again, I introduce you some tips and tricks.

So we actually started this podcast earlier, but Jon's audio is bad.

So we had to restart it.

He had to restart his computer.

But when I started the podcast, I was giving Jon some shit, because what Jon does, he has his tendency.

I will send Jon videos of things that I think he'll enjoy.

And I send him videos on how to use this Ninja Creamy ice cream maker we talked about last week.

I send these videos and they show you how to properly mix and what the process is.

So Jon is blowing me up Sunday and Monday.

And his question was, dude, how do you mix with this thing?

And I'm like, I sent you like five videos.

He's like, nah, I don't watch any of those videos.

Well, I sent them to you.

He's like, yeah, I don't watch it.

I said, well, here's what they...

I thought they were recipes.

Well, they are recipes, but they show you the right process too.

And so I said, well, here's the right way to do it.

He's like, well, that's what I did.

I was going to tell you how to do it.

I'm like, I sent you five videos telling you that.

He's like, yeah, but I already figured it out.

We got to start over.

I got a tip for you.

I got a really cool way to use the Ninja Creamy.

I send Jon inspirational videos of things that I love, you know, whether it's like Goggins or whatever.

And then Jon will send me the same video a week later as if he just saw it for the first time.

I'm like, dude, I just sent you that video.

Are you f***ing with me right now?

What is going on, Jon?

Is this, are you trying to be funny?

I can never get a straight answer if this is like comedy or what's going on.

But yeah, anyways.

Well, here's one though.

And I think you actually said it, but I'm going to say it again.

The little handheld frother.

I think it's called a frother, right?

The thing that you use to mix your coffee with.

Yeah, man, I love that thing.

I love that thing.

Of all the little tools that I have in my little quote unquote coffee bar after all these years, opposed to the spin coffee maker that I really like, that little frother, I wish I had gotten that so long ago.

You know, you set it in there.

It just mixes whatever you want in so easily, especially if it's a powder, like, you know, a scoop of cocoa or whatever.

Yeah, dude, that thing's amazing.

Everybody should have one of those little frothers.

I think it's called the frother.

Yeah, no, I love it as well.

My thing, Jon, that I love, and it's something we've talked about before, is gonna be the Gion Quartz Cure Matte Hydrophobic Silica Based Ceramic Spray Top Coating.

Could they make that any longer?

Could they make that any longer?

This is a Jon Schuler title right here for a product.

Jesus, Jesus.

Let me say that again for anybody that missed it.

The Gion Quartz Cure Matte Hydrophobic Silica Base Ceramic Spray Top Coating.

Anyways, get on Amazon.

It's a great product.

I installed this sink in the bathroom here in the studio.

The bathroom is done, by the way.

It is done, done, done.

I posted some photos on the Kodiak Pro discussion page, but it is great.

The class did a phenomenal job on the sink, but I have everything in.

I have the paper towel dispenser, the toilet paper holder, everything's done.

The mirror's hung, it's all done.

It's great, I love it.

But I applied this to the sink, and it's just such a nice final step.

But it's 40 bucks on Amazon, and it's a great maintenance product that you can give to your clients, or you can send them a link to buy, and have them apply it once a month, to just keep that ceramic coating active, to where it's always wanting to repel water.

So that's something I love, I think something that concrete artisans out there, everybody would benefit if you're using ICT, and you're using the Gion Evo Mose Ceramic, which is what we're using, to use this as the maintenance product on top of that for the customer.

Yeah, excellent, man.

I just got some in, by the way.

Yep, it looks like they just changed their packaging.

I just pulled it up on Amazon, and the bottle is now black, which looks way cooler than my bottle.

So, even better.

Yeah, well, this one's black.

Looks cool, looks very cool.

So anyways, that's that.

That's my item of the week that I love.

Anything else you want to hit before we wrap this up?

No, no, no, I'm good.

All right, buddy, well, until next week.


Adios, amigo.