One of the hottest trends among landscapers and property owners is stamped concrete. Below is a description of how it differs from standard concrete, and why adding it to your property will boost curb appeal.
How Does Stamped Concrete Differ From Regular Concrete?
This type of concrete is processed in such a way where it has a distinct texture or pattern. Visually, it resembles stone or tile, but is far more cost effective. It is perfect around ponds, pools, patios or decks, since it is aesthetically pleasing and reduces the likelihood of slipping and falling. Those that already have a patio or path that don’t desire a total replacement can choose stamped concrete as an overlay.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost will depend on the finish, area and grade that you intend to cover. The most cost effective option is to use a single color with an aggregate that is exposed. Any additional customization will drive up the cost. Stamped concrete can be used in the walkway, driveway, patio, pond, and pool deck.
How Is Stamped Concrete Produced?
Stamped concrete is not a project that should be done DIY; it takes significant skill and expertise. You will first need to speak with a masonry expert who specializes in this type of work. The most important aspect of the project is positioning the concrete where you want it to go. The surface then has to be leveled perfectly so the concrete can be stamped.
Color will need to be added, and there are a number of ways in which this can be done. The most popular options for coloration are through powder or liquid. If the stamp you choose is pre-designed, then the contractors will finish the pattern prior to the concrete drying. Once the concrete has dried, it must be sealed so that the pattern and design is complete.
What Type of Patterns Are Used?
While the most popular patterns are rectangles or cobblestone, the options available are infinite. Many property owners like stamped concrete that looks like brick, which is actually more affordable then true brick. The best thing about stamped concrete is it allows you to give your property even greater distinction, a style that no other building in the world has or will ever have.
How To Care For Your Stamped Concrete
While concrete is durable and will last many years, it is not impervious to wear. The biggest damage that it can sustain is cracks, which are very unsightly once they appear. The good news is that there are many market products which can be used to easily patch them, the most popular of which are invisible epoxy. Another issue that landscapers might run into is color fading. However this can be resolved through resealing. Great care must be taken during winter, since this is when the stamped concrete is most vulnerable to damage. Do not put salt on it, especially within the first 12 months of installation, and avoid using shovels since the metal can scratch the concrete finish.