Stamped concrete is concrete that has been patterned or textured and embossed to look like brick, flagstone, slate, stone, tile, cork, wood, and various other textures and patterns. Stamped concrete has been popular in the construction industry since the 1950s. It was used as an alternative to mortared concrete instead of poured concrete for exterior and interlocking pavers. Its most common application is in landscaping, specifically in the use of planters and rocks. The material can also be used for both exterior and interior concrete applications.
It has a wide range of benefits, but there are some limitations as well. For instance, stamped concrete must be sealed prior to application in order to avoid staining the paper and the driveway or pool deck. Also, stamped concrete will not work on very soft or silty surfaces, such as marble, granite, or clay, because it leaves a white residue on the surface after bonding has been achieved. Finally, it cannot be used on basement or crawl spaces, as these require different types of sealing.
There are several different types of stamped concrete patterns. They include imprinted, colored, decorative, overlay, blockface, raised panel, vinyl block, relief, stencil, solid color and textured. In addition, some patterns have two or more colors, typically black and red. However, there is a trend toward using single-colored stamps in recent years, although this is increasing with the popularity of monocolor flooring and tiles.
Impressionist artisans create stamped concrete patterns from blocks of limestone, plaster or tile. The stamps are used to paint the patterns onto a base, which is then used to construct walls, floors and accents. Most artists choose either a single color or two, but occasionally one or three colors are used. Usually, if more than one color is used, the patterns tend to blend into each other more effectively.
Stamped texture is a fine, uneven surface. The texture can imitate natural materials (such as stone, marble and slate) or synthetic materials (such as fiberglass). It can be flat and level or slightly irregular. Most stamped concrete texture is roughly similar to the texture of wood. It can also resemble metal, concrete or stone. In many cases, the texture of stamped concrete simply approximates the behavior of any other material.
Because stamped concrete is such a popular decorative concrete alternative, there are many contractors who specialize in constructing and installing the product. When concrete is stamped, patterns of text and colors are imprinted directly onto the surface of the poured concrete. Contractors must be skilled and trained in the application of this finish, as it is quite tricky and requires close attention to detail.
When compared to other forms of decorative concrete, such as flagstone patio, stamped concrete has some advantages. For example, it has the additional benefit of excellent slip resistance, which is important for driveways and parking lots. It can also resist heat, making it an ideal material for flooring. Many homeowners also find that it has a beautiful texture that can enhance the beauty of any home.
Stamped Concrete is a terrific way to create a beautiful design on your own or with the help of a professional. Because it mimics the look of most natural materials (such as brick), it can be used as a replacement for traditional paving materials. It can also be used as a landscaping accent, especially where it matches or enhances the appearance of other stone or brick materials. For example, a brick pavers border can add charm and character to a flower bed, while brick and flagstone patios can become a focal point in a back yard. Stamped concrete makes any backyard beautiful.