Stamped Concrete Overlays – Concrete Stamping
There’s nothing quite like the beauty of a sidewalk, patio, or driveway that’s been paved with an inset of natural stone, wood, or brick – or is there? Stamped concrete overlays empower property owners to enjoy the look of costly paving materials without having to put up with any of the disadvantages had with other types of materials, such as the high costs and, in the case of wood, high maintenance and low durability.
Concrete stamping brings those who choose this decorative concrete option that much-craved Old World elegance so many people have come to adore. It bring depth and character to any outdoor area in which its featured, and the variety of designs that can be made quickly transforms a simply paving project into a mode of style expression.
The noteworthy beauty of well-laid patterned concrete has helped make it a popular option for both residential and commercial properties alike. It can help bring out the architectural flair of any home and add an air of success to any professional building.
What is a Stamped Concrete Overlay?
A stamped concrete overlay is a thin layer of hybrid polymer concrete that gets applied over existing concrete. Once the new thinset of concrete is poured, the desired patterns and textures get stamped right into the surface. This method can be used to refresh the look of an older concrete surface, or to add that special finishing touch to new concrete.
The overlay can be made to mimic the appearance of many other types of materials, such as stone, wood, brick, and more. Color can be added during the process for an even more unique, customized appearance.
This type of concrete stamping is great for use on a wide variety of areas, such as patios, driveways, and sidewalks for both residential and commercial properties. The main benefits are the durability, beauty, and price.
Learn the Pros and Cons of Stamped Concrete Overlays
The versatility of design is a big part of what compels many property owners to choose to go with stamped concrete. They find that it’s a great approach to bringing new curb appeal to a building whose existing pathways make it look outdated.
Since so little concrete is used to make the overlay, and since concrete comes at fraction of the cost of other types of materials, stamped concrete overlays are also very cost-efficient. The fact that the resulting surface is easy to maintain and highly durable boosts the cost savings even more.
All that it takes to maintain patterned concrete is a bit of regular sweeping and the occasional light washing. Since the concrete overlay is one with the surface, there’s less need to be concerned about damage than there is with overlays made of other types of materials. Instead, a clear sealer can be added to enhance the look with a bit of shine. Adding polyethylene texture beads is an option that helps boost slip resistance.
But, this is not to say that concrete stamping is without its disadvantages. Any drawbacks that arise are due mainly to improper installation. When not done properly, the overlay may fail to become one with the concrete surface underneath, resulting in less durability. As well, it takes special care and skill to get the desired pattern and overall look just right.
The Special Art of Concrete Stamping
The existing concrete surface has to be properly prepared for receiving the overlay, which includes grinding the surface so that it’s nice and level, as well as repairing any cracks and holes. The surface also has to be carefully checked for quality and structural integrity. It may be necessary to stabilize the subsurface with a stabilizing epoxy foam.
The thin layer of concrete applied for making the overlay dries fast due to its thinness, meaning there won’t be much time for correcting any errors made by the stamping attempt, such as the improper placement or removal of texture mats.
Concrete stamping can be a tricky process indeed – one that’s best left up to the pros. In fact, it’s very important to trust the project only to an experienced, proven expert who you can trust to do a job well done. For stamped concrete overlays that give you the best possible performance, be sure to rely on the expert team at ATD Concrete Coatings.