If you've been remodeling your home to give it a modern, fresh appearance, you don't want to forget about your concrete slab. If it's old, it may be cracked, stained, and unattractive. If so, consider having it stamped. Decorative concrete is popular for both interior and exterior use.
An option you might want to consider is stamping the concrete to look like wood planks. That gives you the look of a wood deck without all the maintenance needed. Here's how this decorative concrete method works and some other options in case you prefer something besides wood planks.
Why Stamped Concrete Is A Good Choice
When your old patio is worn out, you might consider having it replaced, but that's disruptive and expensive. Instead, you can completely change the look of the patio by having it stamped and colored. The concrete will still be durable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain.
Simply repairing cracks might not improve the appearance of the concrete since the repaired cracks have a different color and are visible. Putting a topcoat on the patio might make the concrete shiny, but it still looks like a concrete slab. Stamping makes your patio look like it's made of a different material. In the case of wood planks, the concrete is stamped with plank shapes that have grain patterns and realistic colors.
How Concrete Stamping Is Done
Stamping is done in wet concrete. It can be the final step in a new patio installation, but if you already have a patio, a thin layer of new concrete is added to the top of it.
While the new concrete overlay is still wet, the contractor places stamping molds on it in the shape of wood planks. The grain patterns and wood ridges are also stamped in. When the molds are removed, the contractor can touch up the design if necessary so the plank shapes are as perfect as possible.
The contractor adds color to the overlay and uses multiple colors and techniques that simulate the multiple shades of brown in real wood. Once the overlay is dry, your concrete slab looks more like a wood deck.
The final step is to apply a topcoat. The coating protects the color of the overlay from UV fading. It also gives the patio a glossy sheen that makes it more attractive.
What Other Options Are Available
If wood planks don't go with your home decor, you might want other shapes stamped on the patio. You have many choices. You might want brick shapes colored red, stone shapes in a gray or light blue color, irregular tan or brown stones, or fan shapes. A decorative concrete contractor has several molds to choose from and a variety of colors so you can create a customized look for your patio if you want.