Every day someone in the construction market asks, “What can we do that’s new or different with concrete?” Stamped concrete may not be new to the industry, but new and exciting patterns and techniques can add variety not available a few years ago.
Stamped concrete can give the appearance of tile, slate, brick, cobblestone or random stone in either smooth or textured finish. Integral or dust on color offers the designer a wide range of options to choose from, all with the durability of long lasting concrete.
Stamped concrete can be used any place you would use concrete. Driveways, patios, sidewalks, swimming pool decks and entry ways to homes or businesses are ideal sites for stamped concrete. Recently, some cities have replaced grass in street medians with stamped concrete, saving water and maintenance.
Mix requirements for stamped concrete vary depending on the depth of the stamp pattern. When an area is subject to vehicular traffic, or if grooves are to be grouted, stamp penetration may be as deep as ¾ inch. In areas where penetration is more than ¼ inch, use of 3⁄8 inch aggregate makes the stamp process easier and more uniform. A six sack mix is recommended for all applications.
Coloring methods for stamped concrete are the same as for any conventional concrete. Manufacturer recommendations for integral or dust-on-color are the key to even, uniform color. Remember, the same slump on all colored concrete is the secret to a good color job.
The use of stamped concrete is on the increase, and it is limited only by the designer’s imagination. Whether it is a house slab stamped to imitate a tile floor, or a driveway stamped to look like cobblestone, concrete will give you a durable, long lasting and attractive finished product.