One of the most affordable ways of transforming the exterior look and feel of your home is applying stamped concrete.
This form of concreting involves pouring concrete in patios, walkways, and driveways among other such exterior spaces, followed by impressing it with decorative textures and patterns before drying up.
Stamped concrete has always been perceived to duplicate patterns. However, today’s stamped concrete comes with textures that can duplicate several surfaces like pavers, seashells, brick, wood, and cobblestones among others. Besides, a pigment is often added to enhance the overall look of stamped concrete patterns.
Why is stamped concrete better than original surfaces?
Although cobbles, pavers, and brick look great, they’re prone to surface changes that occur beneath them. They also suffer from frost-heave. This is because they’re made of several interlocking pieces. Although they’re ideal for covering uneven surfaces, they often conform to underlying surface changes.
If your compound has a leveled surface, you may want to add a flat layer of concrete. You can strengthen and tie the concrete pavement together by reinforcing it with rods.
Also, cobbles, pavers, and bricks allow for algae, weed, and mold to grow through cracks. Stamped concrete features a continuous, solid surface, making it hard for anything to grow through it. The cracks you see in a stamped concrete surface are actually impressions created during stamping and don’t go deep into the concrete.
Is stamped concrete as great as pavers, cobbles, and brick?
Stamped concrete is aesthetically pleasing. You can actually apply stamped concrete to resemble wood flooring. Although duplicated patterns look great, you shouldn’t confuse them for the actual materials. Thus, you can try to choose an option that doesn’t struggle to duplicate a certain material. Luckily, you can choose from several textures, colors, and patterns of stamped concrete for a more unique effect.
Can you install stamped concrete by yourself?
It’s not recommended to install stamped concrete by yourself. Doing it the right way is beyond basic DIY skills. Working with stamped concrete can be quite challenging. It’s like an art that requires specialized skills and tools. Besides, it requires as many as four people to get the job done right. Thus, avoid wasting your time, money, and effort and get a reputable concrete contractor for professional concreting.
What’s the general process used to lay stamped concrete on a driveway?
The process used is as follows:
Step 1: Placing the concrete- The laid concrete should have a thickness of at least 100mm.
Step 2: Adding color- Color is added when mixing concrete or after laying concrete. The process of adding color when mixing concrete is known as integral coloring. On the other hand, adding color to the concrete after laying it is known as surface or broadcast coloring. Broadcast coloring involves spreading dry color evenly on the concrete surface.
Step 3: Applying a release agent- A release agent is applied to assist in removing the mats to be used in texturizing without damaging the fresh concrete.
Step 4: Laying mats- At this point, the contractor lays texturizing mats in one after the other. Since the mats may not cover a large area, they’re moved and applied to other areas until the entire area is stamped.
Step 5: The stamped concrete is allowed to dry for at least 24 hours.
Step 6: The applied release agent is washed off using pressurized water.
Step 7- The sealing is cleared.