Stamped Concrete Patio Surfaces: Construction And Maintenance Stamped Concrete Patio Surfaces: Construction And Maintenance
If you want a want a patio or driveway that has some design detail, a stamped concrete patio is an excellent choice. Also called decorative, patterned or imprinted concrete design, stamped concrete is an affordable, easy-to-maintain alternative to pavers, tile, slate or other materials.
You can extend your design options by combining the concrete with color and even embedded materials like broken tile or pebbles to create interesting effects.
When designing a backyard patio, think carefully about the overall design and what kinds of decorating elements you want to include. For example, if you have a pool with deep blue colors you might use a stamped concrete design of waves and fish set in a light blue or grey-blue concrete.
Before starting your project, sketch out your design ideas and consider different shapes, sizes and design elements. Do you want to add color to the concrete? Do you want a specific pattern to mimic brick or some other more traditional material? Do you want to add pebbles, glass beads or other decorative touches to the design?
Concrete Stamping Process
Before the concrete is poured, special stabilizing conditioners are added so it will tolerate the stamping process without slopping out of the concrete forms that are placed along the edge of the patio when it is poured. This is also the step at which colors are added to the concrete material and mixed for a nicely blended color.
Once the concrete is poured, rubber or plastic stamp forms are used to press the stamp pattern into the concrete. Several different forms may be used in combination to create a dynamic and interesting design. The stamp form should be firmly pressed into the concrete to make a clear imprint in the cement before it hardens.
Forms come in many shapes and formats the most common of which is a square that holds a repeated pattern. This type of form can be placed at regular intervals and will create a cohesive pattern. Another format is a rubber print pattern that is on a roller. The roller is usually weighted (similar to a landscaping ground compactor) and it is rolled across the concrete surface to create the patterned imprint.
As the concrete is hardening, you can embed glass beads, broken tile, pebbles or other materials to create an interesting or varied image.
Stamped concrete is extremely easy to maintain, requiring only an occasional power wash to remove compacted dirt. Stamped concrete contains special hardeners and conditioners to make it resistant to cracks, chips or breaking. As a result it requires little care or special maintenance.