At Stoney’s Rockin’ Country, the motto is “where country lives in Las Vegas.” Live music, line dancing, and mechanical bull riding are all part of the ambience, as are the impressive bar tops adorned with a rendering of the flag of the state of Texas. These concrete bar tops are certainly a focal point of the establishment and were painstakingly poured, coated, stained, and sealed by the four-man Genesis Concrete Concepts crew.
“There are three bar tops, and the longest stretch of the main bar is about 100-feet [30.5 m] long. In total, the job was about 650 feet [198.1 m],” said Allen Maynard of Genesis Concrete Concepts. According to Maynard, when he originally bid the job, he worked off the assumption that the bar tops would be precast in the shop; however, the owners of Stoney’s Rockin’ Country preferred that the bar tops be poured in place. Maynard and his team adjusted their bid and project strategy accordingly, and they got to work.
Ready for the Pour
To prepare for the concrete pour, the Genesis team set up lumber forms. “The tops were offset, sitting on a 6-inch [15.2 cm] masonry wall with an 18-inch [45.7 cm] cantilever on one side of the wall. The setup and steel placement was challenging, as was setting the depressions in the bar on the working side for drinks, bottles, etc.,” explained Maynard.
The crew poured Sierra Ready Mix concrete as stiff as they possibly could. Maynard admits that they were a bit worried about the concrete cracking after it had cured. “As a part of the cowboy theme of the restaurant, [servers] get up on the bars and line dance. We wanted the bar tops to be durable and also have slip resistance. We kept the water-to-cement ratio under 0.30,” said Maynard. Using a wheelbarrow and shovel the crew poured the concrete by hand, as it wasn’t feasible to pump the material into the building.
After one week, the forms were removed from the bar tops. The new concrete was allowed to cure for 28 days before the crew returned for the next stage of the job.
After the Cure
Once the bar tops were fully cured, the crew examined all surfaces for any hairline cracks and imperfections. “Because of the cantilever and length of each bar section, there were a few hairline cracks that needed to be repaired,” stated Maynard. In these areas, the crew used a Makita seven-inch (17.8 cm) grinder with a fine metal cup wheel to lightly grind the substrate and open up the cracks. The team then filled the cracks with Epoxy 500, a material manufactured by Concrete Solutions by Rhino Linings. (All coatings, stains, and sealants used on the job were manufactured by Concrete Solutions by Rhino Linings.)
After the Epoxy 500 was applied, the crew installed Elastomeric Basecoat and embedded four-inch (10.2 cm) fabric into the wet coating. Another layer of Elastomeric Basecoat was then applied. “After the application of these materials, a layer of Ready Mix Resurfacer was installed. This product is designed to smooth out the repaired areas and give them the necessary flexibility without the risk of cracking,” said Maynard. He is quick to point out that the same strategies and procedures that are used on concrete floors can be used on pretty much any concrete surface, including bar tops in a honky-tonk!
With all cracks repaired and the substrate smoothed out, the crew was ready to apply Spray Top to the bar tops. “Using a Graco airless sprayer, we laid down 1/16 inch [1.6 mm] of Spray Top. This material is an off-white color that cleaned the palette, so to speak, of the concrete. Although the owner of Stoney’s wanted the bar tops to look rustic, we didn’t want to have to fight the natural gray color of the concrete when we stained the Texas flag design on the surface,” explained Maynard.
The crew then trowel applied Trowel Top at a thickness of 1/16-inch (1.6 mm). To achieve a weathered look, the crew used round trowels and circular motions to burnish the material and give it a texture.
A Salute to Texas
It was now time for the Genesis team to lay out the design of the flag of the Lone Star State on the bar tops. Using string, tape, and paper cutouts, they carefully planned out the design before any stain was applied. “The stars on each bar top were tricky, as was achieving the ‘draping’ effect over the side of the bar tops,” said Maynard. The crew applied Acetone Dye one color at a time to stain the different sections of the flag. A high volume, low pressure (HVLP) sprayer was used for optimum control during the process.
Once the design and stain work was completed, the crew applied W.B. Epoxy at 4–6 mils (101.6–152.4 microns) wet film thickness (WFT). After allowing the epoxy to cure for four to six hours, the crew installed 4–6 mils (101.6–152.4 microns) WFT of W.B. Urethane as the final coating on the bar tops. Both the epoxy and urethane products were spray applied using a Graco airless sprayer. The bar tops were now ready for action!
Containment and Construction Work-Arounds
Although the project was a huge success, the Genesis crew definitely had their work cut out for them during the 45-day duration of the job. Maynard is quick to point out that the actual working days totaled 15 — the crew patiently waited for the concrete to cure before they could resume work during the remaining 28 days.
The crew had to do most of their work at night to avoid the other trades that were working onsite. “We wanted a clean working area for the staining and sealing. Doing our work during the off hours helped with that, as well as with the ease of putting up visqueen walls to contain any overspray,” stated Maynard.
Throughout the application of the coatings, stains, and sealants, the crew wore safety glasses, gloves, and respirators at all times and Tyvek suits when necessary. Air scrubbers were also continuously running during the application process to keep dust and overspray off the finished bar tops.
Cocktail for Success
Overall, Maynard and the owners of Stoney’s Rockin’ Country are very pleased with the outcome of the coated concrete. “The bar tops contribute to the overall country feel of Stoney’s and are really a focal point of the establishment,” said Maynard. He is also proud of the way he and his team transformed gray concrete into a work of art. “Concrete doesn’t have to just look like the sidewalk — it can have color, designs, and look almost any way you can imagine,” stated Maynard.