Stamped concrete is a best of all worlds solution to patios, driveways, and all kinds of outdoor hardscapes because it combines the toughness and ease of maintenance we expect from concrete with the elegance of patterns and colors that can make it look like any number of wildly more expensive options. Simply put stamped concrete can give you the looks of classic cobblestones but without the lengthy installation and expensive materials. It will also outlast pavers and other alternatives typically by a decade or more. Which means it is little wonder that our stamped concrete services are so in demand.
Stamped concrete is also known as textured or imprinted concrete and the idea is straightforward; as concrete is poured and before it has set we use a membrane which has been molded to a certain pattern and press that into the setting concrete. The result is that the concrete takes on that pattern as it hardens (and of course we take away the membrane mold). The membranes are molded directly from the raw material they are going to emulate, so if you want a wood pattern we use a membrane molded from real wood, slate patterns are made using a mold taken from real slate, etc. The results are startling and in order to tell the difference it is often necessary to get down on your knees to look closely. Among the most popular patterns are London cobblestones, herringbone brick, wood, slate, and the elegant European Fan.
Just as there is a huge range of stamped concrete patterns there is a near infinite range of colors. We usually work with clients to select a color scheme that will blend subtly with existing architectural features such as brickwork or a certain theme; for example terracotta to give a Spanish feel to a patio. Earth tones and smokey grays are hugely popular with our clients and remember that you can have more than one color with blended effects for an even more sophisticated look.
Acid stains for stamped concrete are made up of hydrochloric acid, water, and metallic salts and the way they work is to soak into the concrete where the acid stain reacts chemically with the hydrated lime that is part of the concrete's composition. What's important about this is that this internal chemical reaction means the color is deep down and permanent so if the concrete is eroded or chipped any concrete that is exposed will be exactly the same color. Ask us about the results we can achieve with acid staining for your stamped concrete.
Exposed aggregate means that we strip away the outer layer of cement skin from concrete after we've poured it to reveal the texture of the concrete underneath. Of course there is more to it than that because when we are working to create beautiful exposed aggregate concrete we mix the concrete itself so that we get the desired texture that will be revealed. The result is a spectacular effect but still with the durability you expect from concrete.