You devote a lot of time and energy to making your home look great and keeping it that way. It takes a lot to get things how you like them, both indoors and out And there’s no reason to exclude your driveway, sidewalks and patio surface from your beautification efforts.
It’s easy to think that you’re stuck with a simple concrete slab and that your landscaping has to make up for its drabness. However, many practical surfaces can also look fantastic. Pavers, natural stone, gravel, and others all make great alternatives. Another example is stamped concrete. It’s popular and yet many people are still not familiar with it. This material offers beauty and durability in one – and it won’t break the bank!
What Is Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete is also known as imprinted concrete, especially in the UK. You might not have heard of it, even if you’ve walked across it dozens of times. That’s because it’s the chameleon of concrete. It takes on the appearance of other surfaces while offering better durability and affordability.
The short definition is that stamped concrete is concrete that is coloured and has a design imprinted into it. It can look like other materials like brick, cobblestone, or hewn stone, among other materials.
Regular concrete is mixed to start the project. A dye is added to it to give it a base colour for your surface. Sometimes the dye is added before the concrete is poured, although you usually get better colour if the dye is cast onto the concrete after it’s poured.
While the new concrete is still wet, large stamps are used to imprint designs. Many designs are available; they’re made so that you end up with a surface that has the appearance and texture of the real thing.
Additional dyes can be used for highlights, such as simulating grout between “bricks” or “stones.”
Ideas For Using Stamped Concrete
With the variety of designs available, there are a lot of great ways you can use it on your property. Let’s look at just a few good ideas!
A Modern Path To Your Front Door
A stacked bond pattern features small blocks arranged in straight lines. There’s no overlap between them. It creates an ordered, crisp appearance that reflects modern architecture’s preference for straight lines.
This type of pattern can create a feeling of “direction” and purpose. That makes it great for a path to your front door where you want to lead your visitors.
A Relaxed Walk Through the Garden
Stacked bond may create a sense of urgency, but this hewn stone appearance whispers, “Relax and stay a while!” The irregular edges don’t point you in any specific direction. That’s what makes this so great for areas you’d like to enjoy at your leisure.
A stroll through the garden will feel relaxed and unrushed with this type of design. The path looks like it was just cut in the quarry and each stone carefully chosen and placed by a master stonemason!
A Wooden Swimming Pool Deck
Yes, you read that right! Stamped concrete can even look like wood planks. This design does a great job of appearing to be the real thing, right down to the grain and some knots! And with the many dyes that can be used, you can have the look of anything from a freshly-cut softwood to a well-aged piece of timber.
Wood looks great beside a pool. It connects us to the outdoors and helps us feel secluded from the rush of city streets. But genuine wood is hard to maintain. And you always have to worry about splinters! That’s what makes this concrete alternative so attractive.
A Cobblestone Driveway
Do you love the style of old European streets? Then this fanned cobblestone could be perfect for you! It creates a nostalgic and somewhat formal feeling for the driveway that leads to your home.
Real cobblestone is hard to come by and usually bears an exorbitant price tag. Fortunately, it’s hard to tell the difference between stamped concrete and the actual stone. Also, while cobblestone is durable, individual stones tend to work loose over time, creating a tripping hazard. You won’t have to worry about that with concrete!
A Patio With Larger Tiles
When you have a larger space to cover, you don’t want it to seem too busy. At the same time, it will be more attractive with something to break it up a bit. Larger squares can do a great job here!
About the Author
Bill Michaels works for Patterned Concrete as a media outreach specialist. The company is an expert and pioneer in stamped concrete since 1972. It has grown from its Toronto-area roots to have franchises across North America.