Concrete is one of the most common and toughest building materials today. However, it looks cold and bleak on its own and works best if you want an industrial or distressed look. However, this is not always the case. If you want to use concrete but want to tie it in with your d├ęcor or theme, you can do stamped concrete instead.

It is patterned concrete to make it look like brick, slate, wood, cobblestone, and other materials. It is an affordable way to improve visual appeal and more practical than pavers. According to concrete contractor Miami FL, it is mostly used in concrete patios, driveways, and even sidewalks. Read below to know the techniques for starting your stamped concrete project.

All About the Color

The stamped concrete process starts by adding the base colour which makes the concrete complementary to the colour theme. There are two ways to do this:


Integral Color Procedure

In this method, all the concrete used will be dyed using the base colour.

Cast on Color Procedure

Parts of the concrete are mixed with the dye which is then poured over the surface of the base concrete.

For a more eye-catching pattern, you can add an accent colour to create depth and texture to the concrete floor. This colour can be applied by spraying it on the concrete or applying it to the cast.

If you don’t want a colour-blocked look, try acid staining. It gives the flooring a unique deep marbled look. You can do this by adding acid stains on the floor which will create a unique palette of colours in your flooring.

Timing is Everything

Concrete is one of the hardest materials to work with especially if you’re trying to stamp it. You can’t stamp on it if it’s too soft since the concrete will pull the stamp patterns and will leave suction marks. If you leave it too dry, then there won’t be any embossment since it hardened already.

Concrete Contractors recommend stamping early when the concrete is the right amount of softness to properly imprint the stamps. However, the environment, surface type, and brand may have different effects so it’s best to test first before starting.

Start in the Middle

To prevent different textures on opposite ends of the slab, start the pour on the centerline. Once it is poured, two people can begin the stamping process in the opposite directions. It’s a tried and tested way to create consistency throughout the flooring. Most of the time, the texture looks great where the stamping started but you won’t see any of that on the corners already.

Be Mindful of Your Stamp Patterns

Check your patterns and see if it repeats throughout the entire pour. Some patterns will need more stamps to create that effect such as the ashlar slate pattern. Avoid unwanted lines on the concrete by twisting the stamp into different angles.

You can also add bands and borders to break up unsightly lines that formed on the flooring. Adding borders decrease the colour variations from standing out. On the other hand, using bands in contrasting colours can break up a large space.

Seal, Protect and Clean Your Concrete

After the whole stamping process, it’s best to think of ways on taking care of it and protecting the concrete flooring to make it last a long time.

During curing, make sure that there is enough moisture to allow the concrete to completely dry. Uncompleted curing can cause cracks in the surface. It takes about 24-48 hours to dry so people can walk on the surface and about 28 days until it’s fully cured. Proper curing is important so the concrete can improve strength, wear and tear resistance, and durability.

Sealers for stamped concrete can preserve and protect the stamped concrete. It blocks the stains and oils from penetrating the concrete surface and prevents mould growth as well. You can choose between solvent or water-based acrylic sealers depending on your project.

Remember to use non-abrasive cleaners to lengthen the life of your stamped concrete. Whether it’s a concrete driveway or pool deck, remember to use mild detergents to retain the flooring’s lustre.

Conclusion

Getting a professional is still the best for a stamped concrete project since this requires more training especially in larger spaces. There are several concrete contractors in Miami FL and other states so it won’t be hard to contact one and ask for a quote. Stamped concrete will give life to any concrete area and make it complement your home’s design.