Get the look of stone or brick pavement with stamped concrete
According to Wikipedia:
“Stamped concrete is concrete that is patterned and / or textured or embossed to resemble brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile, wood, and various other patterns and textures.”
It is perfect for pool decks, entrance ways, patios, walkways, and courtyards. It gives these areas the upscale look of paving stones or brick without the higher costs associated with them. It was first used in the 1950s and gained popularity in the 70s. Now, it is even starting to be used in interiors.
Stamped concrete provides design flexibility
The product’s ability to be colored makes it a standout building material. Natural, bright, pastel or artificial colors are possibilities. There is more flexibility to pull a building and its surrounding environment together with colored concrete that natural paving stones or slate.
It works well with these natural materials when used for fountains and steps. And it complements them at a lower cost. It also provides for a quicker installation.
Stamped concrete works beautifully with other decorative concrete elements. These can include exposed aggregate or acid staining. Brick, hexagonal tile, worn rock or stone are common patterns.
How is stamped concrete poured?
The process of installing stamped concrete involves three procedures. They are: adding the base color, adding the accent color (if desired), and stamping the pattern.
Adding base color
The base color often imitates the color of natural building materials. It is produced by adding a color hardener to the concrete. This hardener is a powder pigment that dyes the concrete the desired color.
There are two ways of applying it. They are integral color or cast-on color.
With integral color, the entire volume of concrete is dyed the base color. It is integrated with the concrete. Adding the color hardener to the concrete truck allows all the concrete in the truck to be dyed.
Cast-on color is where the surface of the concrete is dyed. The top of the concrete is colored by spreading the color hardener onto the wet face of the concrete. The powder is “floated” into the top layer.
Adding accent color
An accent color is used to produce texture and imitate other materials like grout. Color release is applied to the concrete. It fulfills two purposes. It colors the concrete while preventing the concrete stamps from sticking.
It can be applied in powdered form or a light aromatic-based solvent. The first is where powder color release is spread on the surface of the concrete before stamping. With the second, liquid color release is sprayed on the bottom of the concrete stamps before the concrete is stamped.
A stamped concrete project profile
CAM Contracting recently completed a stamped concrete project in the Old Town Theme Park. It involved providing their new South Entertainment Area with colored stamped concrete. The scope of the project included:
- Demoing the existing brick pavers, asphalt, trees, and electrical wiring.
- Forming and pouring 800 yards of red tinted 3000 PSI Concrete with a 6” depth.
- Hand stamping the Old Theme Park Logo throughout the entire area of stamped bricks.
- Sealing the entire area.
The project provided a unique challenge because the area had an existing grade and CAM Contracting had to create a new grade to match multiple elevations. The solution involved creating a high enough pitch to allow good water flow and prevent standing water or “ponding”. Concrete flumes for water diversion were built through the landscape areas. The entire slab does not hold water and drains perfectly.
As you can see stamped concrete is a product that can provide added value to your property with less cost than natural building materials.
The key is to getting stamping done right is choosing a trustworthy general contractor. It is important to have someone who can understand you and your business or property. You want someone you can count on to provide quality, safety, and value as well as preventing problems in the future.
When it comes time to think about stamped concrete, choose CAM Contracting.
Stampedconcrete.org is an excellent resource for learning more about this innovative and flexible construction material.