In the area of Rome Italy there are numerous dormant volcanos. That's where the best ash comes from. When ash is mixed with Lime and water concrete is made. Ash needs to have been cooked at a high temperature. The ash byproduct from volcanos was cooked at a high temperature and makes for hard concrete.
The Romans figured this out and used the product to create buildings that still stand today. They created cities that without concrete would not have been possible. They used concrete to create aqueducts to transport water into Rome from 40 miles away. The combination of concrete, labor and smart architects created an infrastructure that enabled the culture to flourish.
After the fall of the Roman Empire concrete was little used for centuries. There were some developments in concrete fabrication that started again in the 1800's. However, use of concrete was in most cases for function like foundations, dams, bridges. Though there were exceptions where some creative architects and artisans have used concrete for design in addition to function.
After 1800 years of drab concrete the internet enabled contractors, artisans and manufacturers to showcase function plus design uses of concrete. Hence a new world of concrete was born.
Though concrete stamping has been around, it's only in the past few years that it has seriously taken off. Who would have known about it if they never saw it. New products for concrete resurfacing is saving the day for a lot of construction and real estate issues. Not only has stamping evolved into a highly decorative application but there are new concrete overlays, stains, dyes, sealers tools that are being created everyday.
Restaurants, retail stores, office building, residential homes are eating it up. In fact decorative concrete as become a critical part of restaurant floor plans and interior design. The quality of information and exposure to the new world of concrete is increasing daily.
Even up until a year ago concrete overlays, stains and dyes were only applied by contractors who had to travel by plane to workshops to learn. Now technology is providing for online education enabling Do It Yourselfers, artisans and contractors to learn for a fraction of the cost with better training. Plus now you can watch a training program over and over in case you forgot something.
As the internet and technology make it possible to bring products and application methods into your home larger companies and new technologies are creating better products that are easier to use and find.
The awareness by consumers is opening up more uses for concrete resurfacing products and creating new markets. Whereas even a year ago artisans and contractors had to travel for projects, now in many areas consumer awareness and demand is making it possible to do more applications in smaller markets. The result is better customer service and finished products.
I am also seeing applicators becoming more tech savy. They are creating great web sites, blogs and other tools to communicate more effectively with their customers, architects, designers and general contractors.
Though still a cottage industry, decorative concrete is turning into a serious industry with massive upside. Considering the amount of concrete on the planet I'd say we have a long way to go. Thanks to the internet and new technology massive opportunities are developing.
Finally, it's only taken 1800 years to get here.
Edward Winslow http:http://www.decorativeconcretekits.com
Concrete Resurfacing Made Simple - Concrete resurfacing products and solutions