As if there weren’t enough options for how to deck your patio, there’s another contender vying for your attention. You still have the ability to choose from brick, pavers, flagstone, etc. While those are all well and good routes to take, consider the new kid on the block, concrete stamping. What is this, you ask?! It’s a pretty cool thing, actually. You ever go to one of those old timey game centers where you can print something on a penny? You feed it a quarter and it gives you an absolutely worthless piece of metal that looks like a thin-crust Lincoln. This is nothing like that, except for the stamping process. Let’s dive into the whole new world of concrete stamping.
How Does It Work?
Excellent first question. Concrete stamping is really quite simple, with the right machinery. Fresh concrete is poured onto the desired surface. While it’s still wet, the stamp is applied and your chosen pattern is embedded into the new concrete, as well as a portion of the color at this point. The finished result is a textured concrete in the pattern and color you chose. For best results, after it’s set the concrete is then sealed to protect it and increase its longevity.
Where Can It Be Used?
Any outdoor area that will be subject to foot traffic is the optimal place for stamped concrete. This includes patios, walkways, and driveways.
What Are The Options?
Pretty much anything your little heart could fathom. Since it’s working from a stamp, this variety of ground cover is highly customizable from the texture and pattern to the hue you choose to imbue onto your concrete. The cost of stamped concrete is comparable to pavers, ranging between $8 and $12 per square foot. However, like anything custom, the more ornate and personalized you get, the higher the final price tag will be.
Is It Durable?
Yes. It’s still concrete, so with foundational shifts and aging, cracks may appear. But as far as being able to handle the weight of your traffic (whether car or human foot) you can count on it to be able to bear the brunt of whatever gets thrown its way.
Is It Easy To Maintain?
You betcha! Again, it’s concrete, so regular sweeping and wet mopping will do the trick just fine. The only other thing you need to be mindful of is resealing your stamped concrete. The color and sheen of your stamp-crete will fade and start to look chalky over time. Soon as you notice this begin to happen, it’s time to reseal. Luckily, resealing not only protects, but it instantly revivifies the look of your concrete. It’s recommended to reseal your stamped concrete every 3 to 4 years, give or take depending on the amount of wear and tear it endures on a regular basis.
Can Existing Concrete Be Stamped?
Seeing as it needs to be wet to be stamped, the answer is an obvious no. There’s a loophole, though! You can always pour a layer of concrete over what already exists and stamp it then. This is especially great if you want to dress up your driveway, but don’t want to start completely from scratch. The foundation is already in place, it’s just a matter of pouring out a new layer, stamping, sealing, and setting. Bing, bang, boom – you’ve got a brand new walk or driveway with next to no effort.