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Getting Stamped Concrete Over Existing Concrete

How do you get stamped concrete over existing concrete? This is a common question because property owners often want to upgrade their home or business without tearing out perfectly good concrete. The simple answer is to use a an overlay designed to replicate textured concrete. These are purpose made products designed to create stamped, colored concrete on top of existing concrete surfaces. Appropriately, these products are generally called stampable overlays.

Stampable Overlay

What Are Stampable Overlays?

Stampable overlays are a special kind of overlay that is designed to hold texture. These are vital to create stamped concrete over existing concrete. It is theoretically possible to pour concrete in this case, but that will add inches of thickness to the slab and inflate costs. A stampable overlay, however, is able to add minimal thickness without sacrificing durability or the ability to be textured. This is achieved through a special blend of polymers, fiber, and cement.

When using a stampable overlay to get stamped concrete over existing concrete, it is important to follow the proper steps. First and foremost, surface preparation is key. The existing concrete should be free of contaminants or damage that would prevent the overlay from adhering. For most applications, sandblasting should be sufficient. For damaged or heavily contaminated concrete, mechanical methods such as scarification may be required. Once the surface is properly profiled, application can begin. For best results, apply a primer like Triple Seven Bond Coat.

Mix the material following the instructions in the technical information sheet. Some stampable overlays are add-polymer mixes that are colored with a special integral pigment. Other stampable overlays are add-water mixes than are colored with Color Hardener. Choose the appropriate material based on the application requirements and your personal preferences.

After the overlay has been mixed following the technical information sheet instructions, apply it using a gauge rake or squeegee. Make sure the overlay is applied at a thickness great enough to keep the stamp from bottoming out and coming in contact with the substrate. The overlay should also be within the range specified in the tech sheet. Allow it cure enough to support stampers. At that point, stamp as one normally would.

Stamped Concrete
Stamped Overlayed Concrete

Where Are Stampable Overlays Appropriate?

Stampable overlays are appropriate most times you want to get stamped concrete over existing concrete. As long as the underlying concrete is structurally sound, it can be overlaid. Use stampable overlays to create stamped concrete over existing concrete when tearing out the existing concrete would cause too much disruption. Stampable overlays are very durable, meaning they can be used for stamped concrete driveways, sidewalks, and patios.

Designing With Stampable Overlays

You can use many of the same methods for stamped concrete coloring and patterning on overlays. You can also use many of the same textures! The only limiting factor is depth of imprint on the tool. Stampable overlays can't be applied at a thickness greater than one half inch. This means, stamps that have texture that varies a half inch or greater will bottom out. For this reason, seamless skins are among the most popular options for stampable overlays.

Stampable overlays are compatible with water based stains and decorative sealers, just like regular stamped concrete. This makes it easy to get the same kind of look, even when using a stampable overlay. Naturally, exact matches shouldn't be expected, but a skilled stamper can still produce excellent results using an overlay.

Stampable overlays are a great way to get stamped concrete over existing concrete. They allow you to upgrade existing concrete without the trauma and interruption of demolishing the existing slab. This makes them an excellent choice for indoor stamped concrete and landscaped outdoor areas.

Stamping Concrete
Stamped Concrete Finishing