A rock salt finish is one of the easiest and least labor-intensive decorative surfaces to produce. But the technique still requires scattering and rolling in the salt, and then washing it off later. The following tools speed up the process by eliminating two of these steps—salt application and washing. They also tend to produce more consistent pattern effects.
What it is: A paint-like roller with randomly spaced nubs that create salt-sized indentations in the concrete surface.
Where to get it: One option is the Salt Roller, an all-steel tool that allows you to vary the pattern and imprint depth depending on the firmness of the concrete at the time of rolling and the number of passes made with the tool. It can also be used to imprint decorative concrete overlays, as long as they are at least 1/8 inch thick. The tool comes in two lengths: a 15-inch model for fast imprinting of large surface areas and a 7-inch margin roller that can work close to walls, steps and form edges. Both models adapt to snap-on or screw-on handles.
For even greater versatility, Artcrete sells a roller with interchangeable texture sleeves available in over a dozen different patterns, including a rock salt finish. The sleeves come in two sizes—a 22 ½-inch length that slips onto on an extension roller and a smaller 6-inch sleeve that fits onto a hand roller.
ROCK SALT EMBOSSING SKIN
What it is: A polyurethane texturing skin with a rock salt pattern.
Where to get it: L.M. Scofield offers a rock salt skin in three different dimensions to accommodate various slab sizes. It's used just like any other pattern stamp or skin, and requires the application of a release agent to prevent sticking to the wet concrete.
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