The ability to achieve a variety of colors and patterns while specifying a durable material gives concrete the stamp of approval for Off Rodeo Drive retail stores. According to Kevin Young, construction manager for the retailer, the flooring system receives high marks for its wide range of possibilities. While it helped to capture and further the theme of the store, he says, the design also helped create a shopping experience reminiscent of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

"The colors, textures and designs in the floor [coax] the eye to follow the walkway just like the store's other architectural elements do," Young says, adding that, although a solid-color walk area is used in the company's Ontario Mills store, the retailer has experimented with patterns and textures in other flooring jobs. For example, the Grapevine Mills store has a patterned floor, and the Arizona Mills location features a multi-colored square and star flooring pattern.

While the concrete flooring enhanced the theme of the store, Young says, it also provided a durable surface. "We needed a product that could withstand high traffic," he says, adding that because a sealer is applied to the surface, maintenance is not a big concern.

Arte Povera MWS topping system from Escondido, Calif.-based Progressive Concrete Inc. is a topical material designed to go over new or existing concrete or other hard surfaces. Its application on concrete surfaces creates an irregular, mottled patina finish that varies from area to area and can be either subtle or dramatic.

Frank LaMaskey, vice president of project development for Progressive Concrete, says durability is one of the product's key advantages. "It will last as long as the substrate material," he says. But, he adds, "you can go back and recover it if you decide you don't like the colors you've chosen."

LaMaskey also points out that the coloration system can be applied over an existing floor without additional elevation preparation. "Foundation concrete can be used, and there is no additional cost involved to level up the floor," he says.

Nevertheless, according to both LaMaskey and Young, the biggest advantage the coloration system has is its ability to add different colors, textures and designs to a concrete floor. "Imagination is the limit," says Young.

LaMaskey agrees, adding that the system's breadth of design possibilities allowed the product manufacturer to deliver more on the floor. "We could create color palettes and the patterned look that Off Rodeo Drive was trying to achieve," he says. "The product complements the theme of what the designer and owner were trying to accomplish."