The days of traditionally smooth and gray concrete are fast fading with the introduction of decorative concrete. Stamped concrete patio is taking the lead over its plainer counterpart. This is because stamped concrete not only costs less than the more traditional tiles, brick or stone but also offers a wide range of patterns, textures and colors to choose from. Stamped concrete is not new to the market, having been around for decades, however the techniques used now are what sets it apart from older versions. A stamped concrete patio of today entails pouring slab first, which slab more often than not has a base color mixed in and then applying highlight coloring as the slab dries before repeatedly pushing down a stamp in a bid to create a pattern. In order to maintain the desired look for decades to come, a sealer has got to be applied.
In order to create special colors to the concrete, the color pigments are carefully blended into the concrete mix before pouring and stamping can be done. With a stamped concrete patio, you not only get wide range of beautiful colors, patterns and textures, but have the option of custom building the appearance to suit your needs. In addition, the stamped concrete patio is easy to clean and maintain hence adding to its beauty.
Once you have decided on a stamped concrete patio, it is now time to get an idea of how exactly it is done. A number of steps are taken in stamping concrete. As you stamp the concrete, in case you do it yourself, it is important to remember that time is an important factor to consider. As such, the stamping process should be completed before the fresh concrete sets.
How to attain stamped concrete patio
Here are steps on how to attain a stamped concrete patio:
- The color hardener needs to be applied at that moment when the concrete has reached the right stage of plasticity. At this stage, no bleed water should ideally be present on the surface.
- Next, you will need to apply the release agent, which release agent acts as bond breaker to do away with stamping skins or mats sticking to the concrete hence disturbing the imprint texture. Powdered release agent needs to be applied with a dry brush, which brush will pick up the powder then proceed to flick the agent onto the surface in light, uniform layers. Liquid release agent on the other hand needs to be applied onto the surface of the concrete by utilizing a pump-style sprayer. This has got to be done before stamping though.
- Once you have applied the color hardener and release agent, you need to check that the concrete is ready through testing. This is because stamping too soon will mean that you are working on concrete that is not yet firm enough to produce your desired stamped concrete patio. Ideally, the stamping should hold your weight as opposed to sliding around or sinking deeply into the surface.