Textured concrete is diverse. The architectural concrete industry has developed thousands of patterns that can be used in a near infinite range of applications. Skilled contractors can customize stamped concrete in ways other materials cannot. For these reasons, stamped concrete is one of the most flexible paving options on the market today. Stamped concrete can be used practically anywhere regular concrete is used as a paving material. It is suitable for all kinds of surfaces subjected to foot and vehicle traffic.
Where Can You Use Stamped Concrete?
Stamped concrete driveways, patios, and sidewalks are some of the most common uses of textured concrete. However, residential uses can include interior stamped concrete, stamped concrete stairs, stamped concrete porches, and stamped concrete counter-tops! For the discerning homeowner, concrete is the material that offers the highest degree of customization without sacrificing durability and practicality. You can color stamp concrete with almost any shade you choose. Stamped concrete will not warp or rot like wood nor will it settle or heave like pavers. This makes it ideal for worry-free enjoyment.
Commercial and municipal properties have even more potential for using textured concrete than most people realize. Due to high traffic volumes and limited maintenance capacity, these applications need materials that are durable and worry-free. Stamped concrete achieves these goals while adding a greater level of beauty than many competing options. Stamped colored concrete can be used for walkways, entryways, courtyards, public plazas, and even crosswalks. For municipal and commercial use, stamped concrete creates more attractive surfaces without sacrificing longevity or maintenance costs. Concrete is one of the most durable paving materials on the market. If you periodically clean and reseal it, stamped concrete gives decades of beautiful service.
Different Kinds of Stamped Concrete
The types of stamped concrete vary depending on stamped concrete coloring, patterns, and textures. In general, they can be divided into the following categories:
Stone Patterns - Just as the name implies, these patterns mimic natural stone pavers. This broad category ranges from rustic random stone and flagstone textures to more refined stone ashlar and cobble patterns. With heavy, aged textures, these stamps are great for patios and themed areas. Slate Patterns - Slate is one of the oldest paving materials in common use. Slate stamping patterns capture the classic, understated beauty of slate pavers without being limited by natural materials. These textures are great for use on walkways and sidewalks. Tile Patterns - Uneven tiles are an eyesore. By using tile pattern stamps, you gain the consistency and evenness that comes with professionally made stamps without sacrificing your desired appearance. More importantly, stamped colored concrete can make any tile color combination you can dream of, unlike off the shelf ceramics. Wood Patterns - Wood rots, warps, and splinters. Concrete does not. But what to do if you still want the warmth and hominess of wood? Wood texture stamped concrete is a great choice for interior and exterior flooring. It mimics the grain and patterns of wood while resisting wear, abuse, and moisture far better. Brick Patterns - Recreate the charm of hand-laid brick with a fraction of the labor. Brick stamp patterns come in new and aged styles with a range of layouts. Choose from herringbone, running bond, basket weave, and fan patterns. There is a brick texture that will fit almost any design motif. Seamless Textures - Sometimes a milder texture is desired, lacking grout lines and heavy joints. Seamless skins create infinitely variable textures that will not repeat if installed correctly. Seamless textures are great for large areas because of this infinite variability. They are also well suited for high foot traffic areas because they are smoother and easier to walk on.
Detailing and Coloring Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete coloring is key to the flexibility of textured concrete designs. Many natural materials come in a very limited range of colors and color combinations. Variations are difficult to control for and you never know exactly what you will get. Even manufactured products like tile have significant color limitations. Because they are centrally designed and manufactured, there is little room for customization. Stamped concrete, however, is a crafted product. Skilled craftsmen create it on the spot to specification. Using good quality color hardeners, integral colors, and stains, a decorative concrete contractor can color stamp concrete in almost any way imaginable.
How to Use Different Stamp Patterns
Each type of stamped concrete pattern has its own best practices and layout. To assist you, we have a series of stamp placement videos that illustrate how different stamp patterns are laid out. CLICK HERE to find those and other instructional decorative concrete videos.