What concoction do you create when you start with a floor in a Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant, add a Google search, blend with natural artistic ability, stir in lots of hard work and add a dash of Facebook?
It’s the recipe for success for Keefe Duhon and his nine-year-old decorative concrete company, Concrete Revolution, LLC, located in New Iberia.
The company is now known for its artistic dynamism, its unusual use of concrete and its high quality of work, leading to local, national and international recognition. It received the 2013 Greater Iberia Chamber of Commerce Business Innovation Award while Duhon himself won first place in individual and team competitions at the 2015 Concrete Decor Show. He came in second at the 2016 show.
It’s no wonder that Duhon’s ability to create out of concrete a life-like cypress swamp setting is earning awards and leading to requests to train others in seminars around the country. “No one else is doing this around the country,” Vice President Wess Robison explained about Duhon. “He’s constantly booked.”
But it all started during a family vacation trip to Destin, Fla., about ten years ago. Duhon said that he became fascinated by the floor in a Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant while waiting to be seated. The floor appeared to be stamped, but he couldn’t figure out how the design was created. Even before the family was seated, he was doing a Google search to learn more about the decorative concrete floor, continuing his self-education while sitting on the beach during that vacation week.
Back home in New Iberia, Keefe bought some material from a local supplier and started experimenting in his backyard. When he posted examples of his work on Facebook, he got a lot of positive comments and “likes.” Eventually, he was encouraged enough to quit his job as a machinist in the oil fields and start his company in 2008, although his decision made his wife nervous because of the loss of steady income and insurance.
His first office was his pick-up truck for several years as he built the business. Although he now has a crew of 10 employees that he’s personally trained, he’s in the field every day, bouncing from job to job, seeing to the final details of each job. “I put my eye on everything. I’m a perfectionist. My crew knows how I am, and they go the extra mile because they don’t want to work harder at the end of the job (if they have to fix a mistake),” Keefe said.
However, both Duhon and Robison said that they learn from mistakes. Although they don’t want to repeat mistakes, they said they have been able to capitalize on some mistakes, making them ten times better. The CR-Heritage Collection is an example of turning a mistake into a solution when the colors in a stain job didn’t work out the way Keefe expected. He tried an overlay, which created a natural rock finish. “It came out phenomenal!” according to Keefe. It’s now a unique product line of Concrete Revolution.
“I try to keep ahead of the game; I’m always trying new things, bringing new things to the table,” noted Keefe.
Because Concrete Revolution’ crew is able to make concrete look like wood, they get a lot of requests to create bathroom and kitchen floors that emulate wood planking. “These are all customizable; we can do them in any color,” Robison said. “Each is unique; none is going to be the same,” Duhon added.
According to the company website, www.concreterevolutionllc.com, Concrete Revolution’s stains will enhance the natural feel of concrete while providing lively colors and varying shades of highs and lows. Layers of darker colors can be applied on top of lighter colors, providing unique blending and shades that add depth and variation to a floor. The company also has the ability to create borders, scoring patterns and unique tones that provide customized floors.
“We can also put decorative concrete that looks like brick or pavers on top of standing concrete” to create a new “canvas” for a drive or sidewalk, Duhon noted. Because the old concrete does not have to be demolished, decorative concrete can be used to cover cracks or blemishes, which makes it a favorite for both new construction and remodeling contractors “because things can go wrong,” explained Robison.
Concrete Revolution also uses concrete vertically because the crews don’t have to use standard wooden forms or pour the concrete. Instead, the crew applies it with sprayers in micro-thin layers and finishes it with trowels so it can be used to form or cover existing walls, stairs, mantels and fireplaces. It is popular in bathrooms for shower walls and countertops because it’s easy to clean and maintain. It can even be customized to include a seamless concrete sink.
Concrete countertops can be a conversation piece, Keefe said. “It’s not Formica or granite. It’s unique and different because it’s 100 percent custom. You can select your preferred thickness, the edging, color and other options.”
CR-Liquid Marble is one of the unique applications a customer may choose. “People really react to it. ‘This is concrete?!’ They question if it is marble,” Robison, the vice president, said.
When people walked into a Parade of Homes show house with triple-crown ceilings and white “marble” concrete floors, everyone’s eyes went to the floors instead of the ceilings, Keefe explained. “Wow! What is this?” was the reaction.
“We’re seeing decorative concrete in all different types of homes,” from traditional to rustic and contemporary, Wess said. “It’s a beautiful floor that looks like you paid a fortune for it at a fraction of the cost, which is a cost-savings solution for the contractor,” Keefe noted. “It’s a natural product that lasts forever. You can go 30 years plus without polishing it. That’s why you find it in Lowe’s, Home Depot and restaurants.”
Concrete Revolution also offers acid and water-based stained floors, scoring, epoxy floor coatings, flake floors, textured overlays, pool decks and more. Its CR-Heritage Collection and CR-Liquid Marble products are both installed and sold for distribution.
Despite national acclaim, Keefe Duhon expects to keep his company in his hometown of New Iberia. “He’s a local businessman and a local business doing his thing on a national level, which is a testament to how good he is,” Robison boasted.
And he’s still using that original pick-up truck in his business.
You may contact Concrete Revolution, LLC, at 7609 Sugar Oaks Road, New Iberia, LA 70563 or 337-256-3486 or [email protected]