4 Ways Decorative Concrete Improves a Space
Decorative concrete finishes are typically put in at the same time the concrete is poured. This means they are a permanent part of the concrete patio or walkway, so they won't fade or wear away with time. Decorative treatments take the concrete to the next level, providing a much nicer look to complement the durability and low maintenance of traditional concrete.
Concrete doesn't have to be plain grey. It can be dyed to nearly any colour that you can imagine. Standard concrete dyes are mixed in when the concrete is still liquid, so the colour penetrates completely and you won't have to worry about chipping or fading. Acid dying can be used on existing concrete. The acid dyes also penetrate deeply so that the colour is permanent and won't be prone to fading. Each method has a unique look, so compare them before determining what method you prefer to add colour to the paving.
The standard finish on concrete is relatively dull. Sometimes the installers will brush it to make it appear even more matte, often in an attempt to add a bit of a non-slip property to the concrete. Conversely, you can also have the concrete completed with a high gloss finish. A special coating is applied to the concrete once it cures. The coating fills in pores in the paving to create a completely smooth surface. It can then be polished to your desired level of glossiness and shine.
Texturing goes a step beyond polishing. It can be done directly in the concrete before it cures. For example, the installers can use special tools to add swirls and lines for texturing purposes. Aggregates are also sometimes used to add texture. The aggregate method uses decorative gravel, stones or coloured sand to create an attractive overlay on top of the concrete surface. Textured surfaces can be both beautiful and safer, as they create a non-slip surface.
Stamping is the most common method used to add designs to concrete. Special stamps are used to add the designs to partially cured concrete. These stamps can make the concrete resemble brick, cobbles or flagstones. Some stamps have more obvious designs, such as decorative patterns like sunbursts. Stamped designs are often combined with concrete dying to give the concrete a mosaic or true stone appearance.
Contact a decorative concrete installer to begin designing the patio or walkway of your dreams.