Shell-crete

Shell-crete is the Ultimate deck for those who want to celebrate the calling to our beautiful Florida beaches.  Installed using white Portland cement, sand and shell that is mined here on the west coast, it evokes walking on the sand, but no sharp shells or sand between the toes.  Naturally cool surface that reflects the suns heat, it is a choice product for pool decks, patios, walks and even driveways.

Shellcrete has developed as both a decorative surface coating and as a way to use natural resources with less environmental impact. Concrete requires very high temperatures and creates a great deal of carbon dioxide during its manufacturing process. Lime-based materials like Shellcrete can be created using lower temperatures and less emissions. In addition, seashells are plentiful in many parts of the US, allowing manufacturers a readily available low-cost raw material for Shellcrete. An additional benefit of using lime-based materials is that calcium oxide will absorb carbon dioxide during the curing process as it returns to a limestone state.

To create a terrazzo look, pieces of shells are incorporated into the mixture to offer a range of different colors and styles. Once installed the floors are polished to create a smooth but very durable surface. As with all terrazzo materials, it can be used on floors, walls, stairs, and other surfaces.

Intra-State Terrazzo & Concrete ‘Signature’ topping is a decorative mix of concrete and shell often referred to as "shellcrete" or "shell concrete." It is used to create unique and aesthetically pleasing driveway, walkway, patio, and interior flooring surfaces. This combination involves embedding shells into a traditional concrete mix.

Benefits of Using Shell Topping:

Aesthetic Appeal

The embedded shells create a unique and elegant visually appealing surface with a natural, beach-like appearance. The white, ivory, and pearly hue colors of shells are intensified by a range of natural shades from pale to a slightly deeper hue exhibiting browns, tan, sandy and earthy vibrant notes. These shells are often smooth and glossy with distinct patterns and attractive metallic sheen. Their polished and shiny tone surface strikes iridescent array of brightness.

Durability

Crushed shells can enhance the durability of the concrete mix, making it resistant to wear, cracking, and erosion.

Traction

The textured surface provided by the shells can offer better traction, making it safer for walking and driving, especially in wet conditions.

Environmentally Friendly

Using seashells in the mix can be considered eco-friendly, as it repurposes natural materials and reduces the need for additional aggregates.

Cooling Effect

Shellcrete may reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat compared to traditional concrete, resulting in a cooler surface in hot weather.

Our Installation Process

Preparation

Substrate should be clean and free of cracks prior to installation. The surface should be prepared to increase adhesion by any of several means including chipping, scarifying, sandblasting to a minimum of 1/16 in. average depth. Alternatively, a new base slab should be finished with a coarse street broom.

Installation

ShellCrete topping is installed at a thickness of 5/8” to 3/4”. Intra-State recommends a minimum pitch of 1-1/2” in 10 feet. The matrix utilizes cement, sand, and shell and is placed within forms. The matrix is then seeded with additional shell which is floated just below the surface. Once setting begins, the top surface of the shell is exposed.

Control Joints

Control joints will be saw cut according to accepted industry standards. Joints in the existing substrate will be matched in the topping. Alternatively, metal stripping may be used as control joints to eliminate the saw kerf.

Finishing

After curing, the surface of the shell is lightly ground with a concrete wheel to remove sharp edges and burrs. It is normal to lose some of the surface shell during grinding due to vibration of the grinding wheel.

Cleaning

After grinding the surface is cleaned with a solution of muriatic acid and water to remove the cement film from the surface of the exposed shell.

Sealing

It is recommended to sealcoat the finished surface to help resist water and stains. A high solids solvent based acrylic sealer such as Conglaze, is the preferred product.

 

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