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concrete glossary

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Calcium Chloride Vapor-Emission Test

Created by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), this test is used to measure the amount of moisture vapor emitted by a concrete slab over a 24-hour period. This test is generally available at most flooring retailers.

Cast In Place

The act of laying and finishing concrete at the site of installation.

Cement Replacement

Any material that is used to replace Portland cement. Sometimes used to improve design, these materials can include fly ash, granulated blast furnace slag, pozzolans, and so on.


A term used to describe materials that are cement like or are made with Portland cement.


A powdery material which is the result of the deterioration of a concrete flooring surface.

Chemical Staining

A process by which a staining solution that contains inorganic salts is applied to concrete. These inorganic salts react with the lime in concrete to create colors that bond to the surface. Chemical staining can be difficult to apply, but when done correctly can create rich colors, patterns and textures that can mimic natural stones such as marble and granite.

Coating System

The process of applying several applications of primers and coating materials at different intervals to allow each coat to dry thoroughly.

Color Chips

Small colored plastic chips that are broadcast onto uncured epoxy resin flooring systems to produce a color or mixture of colors.

Color Layering

The process of using layers of color to achieve a variety of finish effects such as antiquing or marbleizing.

Colored Concrete

Concrete that has been colored either by mixing in a coloring product during manufacturing or by applying a coloring product to the surface during or after installation.

Colored Hardener

A product that's broadcast over wet cement to help draw in moisture. The colored hardener activates upon contact, helping to bind the concrete together to create a very strong and dense floor. A colored hardener can increase the amount of pressure a concrete floor can handle up to 7,500 pounds per square inch (PSI).

Colored Release Agents

A powder or liquid used with a pattern stamp to ensure that the stamp does not stick to the cement. These colored release agents must be sealed or protected by a wax finish.

Colored Surface Overlay Material

A colored layer of cement that's applied over a concrete subfloor to help create a level, flat surface. A colored surface overlay material can be up to an inch thick.

Compressive Strength

A measurement of the amount of compression concrete or cement can take without breaking. Measured in pounds per square inch or PSI.

Concrete Countertops

Countertops made from concrete that are either manufactured to your specifications in the factory or custom built on site.

Concrete Field

Fields refer to the larger areas of concrete located inside the concrete bands.

Concrete Stamping

The act of imprinting patterns into wet concrete to mimic stone, tile, wood planks, and so on.

Concrete Surface Profile (CSP)

The degree of roughness or texture on the surface of concrete.


A word used to describe the thickness of concrete or its ability to flow.

Control/Contraction Joint

A groove cut in a slab of concrete which helps to control cracking.

Coverage Rate

A measurement that describes the square feet of surface area a gallon of product will cover.

Crack Chasing

The act of cleaning out and routing concrete cracks with a concrete filler (prior to filling).

Crack Stitching

A concrete crack repair method that involves drilling a hole on each side of the crack and grouting in wire or metal strips to fill the crack.

Cracks (Moving)

Concrete cracks that go completely through the concrete slab and are still moving.

Cracks (Static)

Concrete cracks that are only on the surface of concrete and do not extend all the way down through the slab.

Craze Cracks

Cracks in concrete that are tiny and random; these are caused by the surface mortar shrinking.


A problem that occurs when the surface of concrete dries too fast - often from exposure to sunlight, heat, or wind - causing the appearance of crust or cracks on the surface.


A curative is a compound that has the ability to bond molecules together and create a polymer reaction.


A term that is used when properties of an adhesive or cement are changed by a chemical reaction, allowing it to reach its maximum strength. This is generally done by condensation, heat, or another catalyst.

Curing Compound

A protective layer applied to the surface of concrete to help prevent water evaporation.