Decorative concrete is simply the application of decorative concrete in place of regular concrete, while still acting as a vital component of the actual construction itself, including floors, walls, driveways, patios, and other outlying structures.
This type of decorative concrete allows for the application of various textures and designs through the use of gravel boards or stone aggregates. These decorative concrete applications are used in residential and commercial buildings alike and have gained popularity among consumers due to their ability to add unique character and charm to any area. This decorative concrete trend has grown at a steady pace over the past few years, with more consumers coming to realize the lucrative possibilities that concrete can offer.
Decorative Concrete Finishing
One of the first decorative concrete uses was the application of texture stamps to create beautiful sandstone “pool decks” for homes, condominiums, and other structures. The first of these texture stamps to gain attention was a technique that involved stamping the texture onto a fresh concrete slab, which then became the basis for many of the texture stamping techniques that are used today.
Texture stamps are applied to create random patterns, using a roller or brush. This technique creates a very natural looking appearance, which makes it ideal for various landscaping applications.
While the basic application of texture stamps created pleasing results, concrete owners also desire decorative concrete finishes which include colors. Through the years, several techniques have been used to apply colors to concrete, some of which are still in wide use today. Orange, maroon, and various other shades of red and brown have all become popular decorative concrete finishes.
Colors are generally applied to concrete by tumbling or blasting the material. This method is quite effective, especially when spraying concrete surfaces with a hot asphalt-coated rubber color. This method leaves a very even surface. However, it can be a laborious process, as tile must be replaced frequently during the decorative concrete application process. Also, the noise created during the tumbling process is undesirable, making it impractical for homeowners to perform this kind of decorative concrete work in their homes.
Stained glass is another option for decorative concrete. Concrete is easily stained by applying glass beads or metal strips which are covered in a decorative paste. This process works well on slabs with high polyurethane or fiberglass coating, but it is not ideal for countertops, splashbacks, patios, walkways, and other flat surfaces. This decorative concrete finishing can become patchy after years of use.
One more decorative concrete finishing technique uses a fine aggregate material, such as stone, to imprint a variety of textured patterns, designs, or patterns onto concrete. Different textures can be imprinted by different types of stone.
The imprinted patterns can be either textured or patterned. These imprinted patterns can include pebbles, tiles, lines, or even geometric designs. Stone stamping is a popular method of implementing patterns on concrete because the finished product is highly resistant to chipping, cracking, and fading.