Cement Mixers: Trends In Modern Architecture

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Cement mixers are powerful tools that are used to combine concrete efficiently. You would find one on any modern day construction site. Mixers are able to produce the perfect texture for modern sleek designs. The elegance of concrete in modern design provides smooth surfaces, clean edges and appealing lines.


In this article, we outline that concrete has become a popular choice in design which is largely attributed to its sustainability. Further, we go on to explore the various ways that concrete can be used to achieve unique surfaces in various spaces. Finally, we go through some examples of how concrete can better your space. If this is something that interests you, continue reading to find out more!


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Sustainable Designs And Practices


Concrete is a fundamental building material; it has been used by humanity for centuries in various constructions dating all the way back to the Roman Empire. In modern times, concrete is still essential for building practices.


As time has moved, the world has made a conscious effort to be more sustainable. Cement mixers allow for recyclable materials to be mixed in with cement without compromising the integrity of the product. Using mixers on site also allows contractors to minimise waste as you can control exactly how much concrete you may need for a project. Having sustainable building practices goes hand-in-hand with sustainable architectural designs.


Naturally, concrete has thermal mass properties. This means the material is able to absorb, store and release heat. Because concrete is able to absorb and store heat, it means that during colder seasons indoor temperatures will be well regulated which reduces the need for heaters. In the warmer season, heat can be released when a natural air flow navigates the space, meaning that indoors won’t be as hot.


It is for these reasons that buildings designed with large windows and beautiful exposed concrete have become popular in modern sustainable architecture. These kinds of buildings, such as homes, office spaces and shopping malls have a reduced carbon footprint as the need for artificial heating and cooling is significantly reduced. For contractors to achieve the sleek and smooth concrete needed in these designs, they would have to use cement mixers to make the perfect batch of concrete.


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Different Kinds Of Concrete Finishes


In modern architecture, a concrete finish refers to the sleek and smooth finishing of dried cement on surfaces. Concrete finishes have become popular in landscaping, patios and as a choice of flooring in all parts of the home including kitchens, bathrooms, dining areas and garages. The technique is achieved with cement mixers which make perfectly even batches of concrete to be poured.


Once the concrete is poured, power trowels are used to level out the surface to achieve an even exterior. Next, a thin layer of screed – a mixture of cement and sand – is evenly applied to achieve an aesthetically pleasing and durable finish. The concrete surface is then left to air dry.


There is a wide range of benefits with concrete finishes in construction. Here, we outline seven major benefits for the design choice:


1. Concrete as a material is incredibly durable. Well-made concrete, which can be achieved with cement mixers, will result in a high-quality concrete finish which will outlast other kinds of surface finishes made with less sturdy materials.


2. The hardened structural element of concrete means that the surface will be able to handle heavy pressure from large loads without impacting the integrity of the smoothness. Deformations in your flooring because of heavy impacts such as large items falling or scuff marks from furniture will be a thing of the past.


3. As explained previously, concrete has a high thermal mass meaning the material is energy efficient. The interior of buildings with concrete finishes will be far more comfortable in temperature which will reduce your desire for heating or cooling devices.


4. With concrete mixers, concrete can be produced relatively quickly, meaning the rate of construction will be quick and easy when it comes to concrete finishes.


5. It is easy to maintain surfaces with a well-made concrete finish. Cleaning your space will be easier than ever before.


6. Hardened concrete does not absorb water, making it damp resistant. This makes a concrete finish damp resistant making it perfect for sleek outdoor areas and cosy interiors.


7. There is a major safety benefit inherent in concrete finishes – concrete is non-combustible making concrete finishes fire resistant. This makes it ideal for kitchens where there is a risk of fire and in living rooms with fireplaces.


From the benefits listed above, you may have noticed that concrete finishes are incredibly versatile. They can fit many different kinds of aesthetics depending on the feel of the space they are in. There are also different kinds of concrete finishes that you can achieve with the help of power trowels and screed beams – all of which can be found in the BS Power products catalogue.


If you are minimalist, you may opt for float and trowel finishes. Before the invention of powerful machinery, a floated finish was achieved with the help of a wooden or metal tool designed to flatten concrete by hand. In modern times, power tools are used to flatten the surface. Power floating produces a slightly textured circular pattern on the surface. You can choose to leave the pattern as is if it suits the design of your space or you can use a power trowel to achieve a perfectly flat and smooth surface.


Traditionally, trowelling follows floating to produce a smooth and dense surface which can make a beautiful slab surface area. It can be done in indoor or outdoor areas. It is a popular design choice to have a trowelled finish in the kitchen paired with exposed brick and subway tiling. You can decorate with luscious plants, copper hardware and natural wooden cabinets.


Another smooth finish that can be done with concrete is a polished finish. After the concrete has been mixed it will be poured. Next the poured concrete will be levelled utilising a grinder that have abrasives to polish the surface to achieve a glossy look. The kind of abrasive used and the amount of grinding done will determine the kind of shine the surface has.


For example, a minimal exposure finish is produced with a light grind to the surface which exposes small amounts of stone resulting in a smooth salt and pepper like surface. This is a much-loved industrial look. On the other spectrum, the concrete grinder achieves a high gloss polished finish with diamond abrasive pads. The result is a beautiful glossy and reflective surface. It is a popular choice for high end homes and spaces. It can pair with large windows which allow light to pour in and bounce off the floors to brighten the space. You can also get a matte finish if high gloss is not to your taste. This creates a rustic look to the surface and is easily maintainable. It’s popular in restaurants and in chic industrial homes.


For outdoor areas such as driveways and pavements, it is common to see a broom concrete finish. After concrete is poured the surface is spread with a broom leaving a slightly textured surface to dry. The thickness of the broom bristles will affect the imprint left on the surface. If you want a simple finish a broom with fine bristles should be used, but if you are going for a textured feel, you should use a broom with thick bristles. This kind of finish can be done in outdoor playing areas and back yards.


Another popular concrete finish for outdoor areas is the salt finish. This is a technique which is done for areas that may get wet, like around pools, ponds and in landscaping. While the concrete is curing, rock salt is applied to the surface. When the concrete is completely dry, the salt is washed away to reveal small pits in the surface which makes it a slip resistant surface. This is perfect for a modern pool, where you can suntan on the surface.


Concrete can be made in a variety of ways, but the founding ingredients are cement, water and aggregate which is mixed with cement mixers. Some designs call for an exposed aggregate concrete finish. You can mix a range of aggregates such as seashells, stones, coloured glass, or pieces of granite in your mixture. The concrete is laid with the pieces of aggregate and before it is fully hardened the top layer is washed off to expose the beautiful aggregate on the surface. It is then sealed with a sealant to ensure the pieces stay in place. This is an attractive concept that is functional in its traction and desirable in its aesthetic.


You can also show off the aggregate in concrete with a full exposure polished finish. This is a technique where cement with aggregate combined is ground down to a polish. Once the concrete is poured it is smoothed out and will cure. Next, the surface is heavily ground down until it is smooth. The stones in the cement mixture will be exposed on the surface in a unique and decorative look. It can be pictured in stunning bathrooms and gorgeous retail stores. The kind of aggregate used will impact the finished look of the surface.


The concrete finish you choose will impact the way that your space feels. Concrete is versatile and it can add immense character to your space. It is important to do your research to understand what can work for you and your aesthetic.


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Concrete In Interior Design


Concrete surfaces are not only for floors. There are many different ways that concrete can be incorporated in interior design. There are a range of different places where concrete can be introduced to your space to give it an edgy, modern and chic feel.


The structure of concrete makes it perfect for decorative items in the kitchen. A concrete spoon holder can be made with a mould to the shape of a spoon which can sit on your counter top while you are cooking. You could also have a polished concrete cutting board placed on your counter.


You can incorporate concrete in furniture. For example, an indoor bench can be coated with cement and smoothed out to have an even surface. You could also have an exposed aggregate table top for a unique design.


The possibilities for concrete in architecture are limitless. There is nothing you can’t try.


BS Power And Innovation


At BS Power, we support innovation and new ways of thinking about construction and design. If you are working on a project and need reliable cement mixers, power trowels and more, visit our store to find out how we can help you today.