By Fabian Sandler
It has been a busy several months for Concrete Craft. People are still dealing with recovering from Hurricane Harvey. “We have seen many customers after the flood,” says owner Josue Mata. “People don’t want to go back with wood, carpet, laminate, or tile. Hopefully, it won’t happen again. We have done a number of homes’ interiors with putting in a hard floor alternative, which is stained concrete.”
Josue elaborates, stating that the concrete is real rough when one removes wood or tile flooring. “You can’t just stain it like that because it’ll look really bad. What we do is we prepare the floor by removing all residues of coatings like glue or tile grout. Then we patch holes, dents and cracks. We install a thin layer of overlay which covers the entire floor and creates a clean canvas for the stain. That makes for a seamless, water-resistant floor. The only seams will be along the walls.” If a flood does occur again, the floor can simply be pressure-washed.
Josue says that he was seeing about a dozen customers a week wrought by flooding from Hurricane Harvey. He still responds to a few a week.
Josue and his wife, Nancy, are risk takers. Both believe that in order to get ahead in life, to achieve their dreams, they had to make things happen. They chose to leave their native Mexico in 1995, three months after they married, and migrate to the United States, with the ultimate goal of opening their own business.
“We are the true example of the American dream,” Josue says proudly. “When we came, we slept in borrowed sleeping bags. When I came as an engineer, I didn’t speak the language, I started working as a laborer pushing a broom at Shell Refinery.” Josue worked his way up through the ranks at Shell and other companies as he gained experience.
“We know about hard work,” Josue admits. “We know about having to go to Burger King when we had a chance and share a hamburger and one drink and an order of fries.”
Josue and Nancy have three children, Alan, who is attending college, Grace and Johan. Josue is a civil engineer, working in the engineering and construction industries since 1988. He has managed hundreds of multimillion dollar projects. “I’ve always wanted to do something for myself and for my family, for my kids,” Josue explains, “so they could continue something, to have something for when they grow up. That is the main reason why I wanted to have a business, why I chose concrete. I know construction, I know engineering, and I know customer service. I’ve always been a service provider, so it was natural for me to follow business that would be into the service and construction industry and apply my knowledge and experience.”
He was a general manager for a construction company in Mexico, building roads and bridges. He did that for seven years, starting when he was still in high school.
“We had everything in Mexico,” Nancy states.
Nancy owned a restaurant in Mexico, but the country was in the middle of a recession. She now handles administrative and accounting functions, as well as payroll, for the business. “She signs my checks,” Josue smiles.
The owner states that resurfacing concrete is not much more expensive than buying inexpensive tile and springing for the labor to install it. “Cheap tile will break under your feet,” Josue cautions. “Ours won’t break. People see specials for a ninety-nine cent tile, but you can actually break that with your hands. People will try to do it on their own. It’s not rocket science, but it is really easy to mess up if you don’t use the right product or do the right preparation, and commercial available products are really low quality. Our products are made for us. We have proprietary formulas that nobody else can get, and we are a national company. We’re not the most expensive, but we’re not the cheapest either. We’re right where we need to be price-wise.”
Concrete Craft, established thirteen years ago, is a franchise, specializing in stamping, resurfacing and staining. Their territory includes Houston, Atascocita, Baytown, Clear Lake, Crosby, Dayton, Deer Park, Friendswood, Humble, Kingwood, Manvel, Mont Belvieu, Pasadena, Pearland and Webster.
Josue takes pride in owning a premier decorative concrete company that provides his customers with custom resurfaced overlays at half the cost of other, more expensive materials.
Concrete is a great alternative to hard floors. Tile and concrete are both interior floors, but they’re not in the same category. Concrete is more durable, and when there is a flood and water sits for days in a flooded home, the water gets beneath the tile through the grout, which can lead to mold issues. A concrete floor is basically seamless, except at the walls, so water will not get through the top, making it really difficult for water to damage the concrete floor.
Stamped overlays are also a great alternative to hard floors, requiring low maintenance. It is commonly referred to as patterned concrete or imprinted concrete, uses rubber stamps designed from “real stone” molds to imprint the concrete to resemble natural brick, slate, stone, tile, and even wood planks. Stamp patterns can be applied as an overlay that goes over existing concrete slab, or can be imprinted into freshly poured concrete before it hardens. Either way, Concrete Craft is able to mimic these more expensive materials beautifully to enhance the look of the home’s exterior patio, pool deck, driveway, walkways and interior floors for both commercial and residential applications.
The colors and patterns that are used look natural and authentic and can be designed to easily blend with any existing stone, tile, or patterned concrete. Highlighting and antiquing products utilize the latest UV technology to resist fading and, in combination with top-of-the-line sealers, the home owner will be able to enjoy low-maintenance, easy-to-clean, living spaces that are an affordable alternative to natural stone for many years to come.
With resurfaced concrete, commonly referred to as a concrete overlay, decorative overlay, or coating, Concrete Craft can give interior floors, patios, walkways, driveways, retaining walls, accent walls, fireplaces and more, a full makeover at a much lower cost than removal and replacement. Resurfaced concrete can save the customer a great deal of money when compared to the cost of demolition and replacement of his or her existing concrete floors.
“We can transform ordinary concrete to extraordinary beauty,” Josue attests, stating their company’s slogan. “We can make it look like wood, or like flagstone, or tile.”
Vertical concrete overlays can be applied over wood, drywall, brick, and concrete to create a beautiful faux stone siding for your fireplace, chimney, retaining wall, and more. The fiber-enriched coarse sand overlay mix creates a realistic surface that requires minimal upkeep.
“Staining is a great alternative for indoors and outdoors,” Josue says. “It’s more economical than overlay. It’s mainly for existing concrete. It’s a great alternative over carpet for allergies since it doesn’t hold the dust.”
Stained concrete cost is one of the most reasonable options available, especially when considering the low maintenance and longevity of the material. Concrete floors are very invincible to tearing, gouging, molding and water damage. Unlike alternative flooring, such as carpet, tile and hardwood, the work can last for decades to come and rarely needs replacement.
Stamping, resurfacing and staining concrete services can be used on patios, driveways, walkways, pool decks and basements, while stamping and resurfacing may be used on walls and fireplaces, seat walls and firepits. All services come with a two-year warranty.
Concrete Craft is currently offering a special, a $250 gift card or amount off the price when four hundred square feet of an overlay is purchased, or a $500 gift card for a thousand or more square feet. The initial home consultation and estimate is free.
Roberto is the supervisor of Concrete Craft’s crew. “He’s a superstar,” Josue volunteers.
Concrete Craft’s phone number is 281-990-3035. Josue’s email is email@example.com. The comprehensive website, www.concretecraft.com, lists testimonials. Concrete Craft ® is a trademark of American Decorative Coatings, LLC and Home Franchise Concepts brand. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. A second slogan they like to use is, “We fix ugly concrete.”
To Josue and Nancy, reputation means everything. The road they have taken to get to where they are has given them a unique perspective. Compassion and caring for their customers’ needs are uppermost in their minds.
“We really want to help people,” Nancy volunteers. “It’s not about getting rich. It’s about helping people love their house.”
“We’re Christians,” Josue asserts. “We have no interest or desire to make a buck by deceiving anybody. That sets us apart from many contractors. From the company side, we are a national brand. We are here to stay.”
Having left their country in making their mark in the land of opportunity, Josue and Nancy are quite committed in providing to their customers the best service and product possible.