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3 Decorative Concrete Techniques: Stamped Concrete, Concrete Overlay, Filling Cracks

Have you taken the time lately to notice the new home construction in your area? If you do, you will more than likely notice that the builders are incorporating decorative designs into the concrete driveways and walkways. Not only that, but if you step indoors, you’ll find an increased number of concrete floors and countertops. Concrete is an amazing product. In addition to working hard as a foundational support in so many situations, concrete can also be decorative. Here are a few unique techniques that you can incorporate into your project to create a truly eye-catching design.

  • Stamped Concrete-stamped concrete is intended to imitate the appearance of other materials such as natural stone, brick, wood or tile. It can be used on driveways, pathways, stairs, patios, entryways, and even for flooring within a home. The look is achieved by first pouring the wet cement, then stamping it with a patterned mold. Different colors can be achieved either by mixing pigments into the wet cement, or staining the dried concrete with acid stains.
  • Concrete Overlay-concrete overlays cover the existing concrete with some form of decorative finish. There are many different types of overlays to choose from. Stamped overlays are made to duplicate the appearance of real stamped concrete. Overlays, normally made from either cement or polymer-modified mixtures, are poured on top of the existing slab, and then stamped or stained the desired design. Microtoppings and skimcoats are much thinner than concrete or polymer overlays, and are applied using a trowel or squeegee. Spray-down overlays are similar to drywall texture. They can be sprayed onto the concrete into stencils or molds and then knocked-down to create a rougher, more slip-resistant surface.
  • Filling Cracks-concrete is very prone to cracking over time. Whereas this isn’t a concern, it is still a good idea to fill those cracks whenever possible. Use either an epoxy or polyurethane foam to fill the cracks, and be sure the material fills the space completely. After the cracks are filled, you can stain or add an overlay to make the concrete more attractive

Removing concrete is a time-consuming, labor intensive process. Sometimes, it is more practical to simply give it a face-lift. Whether this is the case for you, or you are installing new concrete, these decorative techniques can go a long way for you. Not only will it give your house a classy and modern touch, but it will provide a maintenance-free surface for years to come. Request free estimates from prescreened concrete contractors in your area.

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