Stamped concrete is beautiful way to mimic the texture of rock, brick and even wood in and around your home. This material can be modified to suit any and all aesthetic tastes. If you want to install this malleable design material, you will need to be familiar with these following key terms.
Acid Stain – This is essential if you want a decorative finished product. It is a combination of water, hydrochloric acid and metallic salts that chemically react with the hydrated lime in the material. It slowly etches the surface allowing the metallic salts to penetrate and provide color. It becomes a part of the material and won’t flake or chip off.
Stamp – This is the process of imprinting the image or pattern you would like onto the wet surface of the material. Leather, wood, brick and slate are all common patterns.
Polish – This is actually a multi-step process that allows you to determine the level of sheen you would like on the surface, from satin to a mirror-like gloss. This is usually done with the aid of polishing machines that are equipped with diamond-encrusted disks.
Seal – When this material is laid down, it is prone to cracking from shrinkage and color fading. A sealant is used to increase durability and to enhance color. Coatings are thicker and are recommended for countertops.
Resurface – Rather than digging up your cracked or stained driveway, you can install a stamped, polymer-modified overlay. This is a layer of concrete that is poured over the existing material and decoratively shaped to create a new pattern. This is a cheap option and it can be modified to whatever pattern suits your needs.
Decorative concrete is a form of concrete that features decorative accents such as stamps, stains, designs, and stencils. More elaborate than standard slabs or blocks of concrete, decorative concrete is ideal for use on patios, walkways, curbs, and decks. It may feature a coating or finish to give a glossy or matte look on the surface, for example. It may also feature variations of colors just for that extra touch, such as for kitchen countertops. Concrete contractors are the professionals who can install these items, whether they use molds, stamps, coatings, overlays, or finishes to achieve the look their clients want. They may provide services like resurfacing, sealing, repair, installation, and edging. Contractors typically purchase their precast concrete slabs from decorative concrete distributors. These dealers may offer a bulk discount on large purchases, and they may also offer custom molds. Contractors often use a variety of techniques to do their jobs including acid staining, painting, stamping, and polishing. Sometimes, these contractors are hired to remove unwanted stains from existing concrete patios and decks. They may also put sealants on their finished products to keep the decorative concrete looking as good as new over the years. Concrete has been around in many forms for centuries. In the 1700s, the first modern concrete was introduced through the addition of pebbles as a coarse aggregate. Today, concrete is used to build houses, foundations, walls, bridges, and anything else that needs durability to withstand elements and time. It can take the form of a liquid mixture, poured into molds and hardened, or it can come in hard blocks or slabs. Decorative concrete distributors are easy to find by viewing local listings online or visiting a home improvement store.