Stamped concrete is unique among paving materials, thanks to its ability to mimic the appearance of natural paving materials while still providing the durability of concrete. Yet many homeowners fail to consider stamped concrete as an outdoor paving option simply because they don't understand enough about it. If you would like to improve your knowledge of this versatile technique, read on. This article will answer three common questions about stamped concrete.
What makes stamped concrete different from regular concrete?
Regular concrete isn't exactly known for its stunning good looks. For that reason, many people shy away from the idea of a stamped-concrete patio or walkway. Thus it is important to understand that stamped concrete looks nothing like its vanilla cousin. In fact, stamped concrete is so effective at mimicking other paving substances that many people don't even realize it is concrete at all.
When it comes to installation, stamped concrete pavement starts off in much the same way as regular concrete. First a flat, level surface must be prepared, with wooden forms to designate the outer edges. Then the concrete is carefully poured in. The difference is that while the surface of the concrete is still moist, it is imprinted in a way that makes it look like more expensive types of paving.
What kinds of substances can stamped concrete mimic?
Many people are surprised to learn that stamped concrete can mimic virtually any of the commonly encountered paving substances, from slate to brick, tile, and even wood. Once the fresh concrete has been poured into place, the substance known as color hardener is broadcast across its surface. This powdered material mixes with the moist concrete and lends it the desired shade.
Next a series of plastic mats will be arranged across the surface of the concrete. These are carefully pressed into place, thus lending the concrete the appearance of joints and other features of natural paving materials. Once a row of mats has left its imprint in the concrete, they are then taken up and reinstalled in an adjacent row. In this manner, the entire surface is given the desired appearance.
What are the non-aesthetic benefits of stamped concrete?
By now it should be fairly clear how versatile stamped concrete can be. Yet its benefits extend beyond simply its ability to mimic other paving materials. Perhaps its most attractive quality is its low price tag—especially compared to the substances it is designed to impersonate. Not only that, but stamped concrete represents a durable and long-lasting option. Because there are no joints, unlike with tile, slate, or brick paving, you will never have to worry about weeds marring the appearance of your patio.
Call a company like Crackerjack Mud Jacking Inc to get started with your installation.