Stamped concrete is one of the home design trends that is growing the most quickly. This inexpensive outside finishing service looks great and modern, and it can be a great choice for people who want to spend as little money as possible to make a nice area that fits in with the rest of their neighborhood. But there are also a lot of mistakes that come with using stamped concrete as the main building material for the outside of a house. Before you make this decision and start planning your stamped concrete project, it’s important to know a few things about this type of home improvement.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about stamped concrete patios and driveways:
What’s Stamped Concrete?
Stamped concrete is a type of concrete that has been pressed to make decorative patterns.
When the concrete is pressed and then heated, the design is transferred to the item. Most stamped concrete is made of decorative pavers, which have a surface that looks like natural stone. Walkways, patios, driveways, and retaining walls are some other examples.
A “stamping” or “imprinting” device presses colored concrete onto a mesh or fabric to make the stamped pattern. The mesh can be put into the concrete to make a pattern that is raised above the surface. When the concrete is dry, the pattern will be a permanent part of the surface.
How Do You Install Stamped Concrete?
Stamped concrete is put down the same way regular concrete is. A portable tool called a “dry setter” is the most common way to set up stamped concrete. This machine is usually a truck with a horizontal, truck-mounted concrete form. The form has a special grid on the bottom that grabs the wet concrete while the machine presses the concrete into the shape of the imprinted design.
This step is called “dry setting.”
Other ways to set up stamped concrete include batching, where the concrete is mixed in a dry mixer and then poured into a truck-mounted form, and continuous-form construction, where a continuous-form device makes the stamped concrete surface.
Stamped Concrete’s Pros and Cons:
Now that you know what’s involved in installing stamped concrete, here are some pros and cons to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to use this finishing option.
As the name suggests, one of the benefits of using stamped concrete is that the concrete is marked or imprinted with a tool. This means you won’t have to sand, which takes a long time and can change the look of your stamped concrete project.
Cost is another benefit of using stamped concrete. Depending on the style you choose, this finishing option can be less expensive than other choices.
But keep in mind that marking is more expensive than spraying or rolling paint, so homeowners who choose this option will likely spend more per square foot than those who choose other types of concrete finishing methods.
There are also downsides to stamping. For example, this option for finishing is only reliable when used on dry concrete. It’s not a great choice for areas with groundwater, and it’s not recommended for sloped or sloping surfaces.
Why use stamped concrete for a patio or driveway?
The most common reason why people choose stamped concrete is because it looks nice, is strong, and lasts for a long time. As the name suggests, stamped concrete looks like natural stone. It can stand up to the weather and is sometimes recycled without changing its look.
This finishing choice is also strong, which makes it great for outdoor spaces like patios, walkways, driveways, and retaining walls.
It can handle moderate foot traffic and heavy things, like landscaping tools, without splitting or breaking.
Stamped concrete has become more popular in the last few years as an affordable way to keep the outside of a building in good shape. To decide if this is the right finishing choice for your house, you need to know what makes stamped concrete attractive and what its pros and cons are.
When choosing stamped concrete as a finishing service, you should think about how you want to install it and how much it will cost.