Stamped concrete is textured and patterned or embossed into mimic brick, flagstone, slate, stone, tile, wood, or other similar materials. Typically, stamped concrete is used for internal flooring, outdoor paving, and landscaping around pools, hot tubs, spas, and other in-ground areas. Stamped concrete has a smooth and textured surface and is typically poured on the top of a base which can be poured to build a base slab, or “base pad,” of up to three inches thick concrete to mimic various natural or manufactured materials. Other more complex designs can also be created using stamped concrete.
To create stamped concrete, three basic steps are followed. The first step is to prepare the area for the pattern using trowel and concrete dust. The next step is to mix the concrete dust with an equal amount of water to create a slurry. This slurry is then applied to the area using a trowel, and the ragged edges of the trowel are added to the pattern to create a pattern. Finally, the stained area is poured over the slurry and allowed to dry.
Most stamped concrete patterns consist of two to three colors – accent colors and main color. Typically, the first color or accent color is used as the foundation or background for the pattern, while the main color is used as an accent color or masking color. There are several options available when it comes to the choice of accent color or main color. One common option is to use one color for the entire pattern or alternate the primary and secondary colors with alternating primary and secondary colors.
The most common application of stamped concrete is a solid border around the exterior of a building or a stamped panel. These borders can be stamped on a metal surface or on a flat or concreted surface such as brick. In addition, stamped concrete can be used as a trim around the edges of landscaping plants and other items. In this application, the width of the stamped concrete border is typically half the height of the item to be placed against the lawn or landscaping border. The pattern on the trim generally is darker than the remainder of the lawn or landscape to emphasize the border.
A homeowner may choose to use stamped concrete instead of using traditional paving stones to create a textured look on the surface. When a flat surface is stamped, there is a smooth transition from the flat to the patterned design. With stamped concrete, the pattern is more irregular and can include numerous textures or block shapes. When the texture is subtle, it can resemble different materials that are found in the landscaping world. For example, a brick border could resemble various bricks or stones found in the landscape around the home.
The variation of color in the pattern is important because homeowners want to create an appealing pattern without making the surface too busy. While some people may choose to have just a few color variations, it is possible to create vibrant color schemes with stamped concrete patterns. Depending on the concrete and the pattern manufacturer, there are many different ways to achieve different color variations.
Some people may prefer to have just a single color variation in the stamped concrete pattern. Other homeowners might prefer a variety of textures in their patterns. To achieve an attractive and vibrant pattern, the homeowner should experiment with varying the thicknesses of the stamping strips used on the surface. In some cases, lighter colors will produce brighter tones, while darker colors will produce deeper shades. Because there is no one standard thickness for stamped concrete, the homeowner should experiment with different thicknesses until the right look is achieved.
It is possible to use the right coloring for stamped concrete simply by selecting the appropriate base color. There are color hardeners on the market that can be customized to match any color or shade of stain. Once the base color is selected, the pattern is simply applied to the surface using the correct tools. Homeowners often choose accent colors when decorating concrete walls or other surfaces. They can achieve similar effects by using accent colors that are incorporated into the pattern.