When you want your concrete to look like something other than concrete, stamped concrete is the way to go. Stamped concrete is an inexpensive way to simulate all kinds of things, including brick, stone, tiles, wood, and flagstone, without having to shell out for these more fragile materials. Some designs and colours are more popular than others, though!
How Does Stamped Concrete Work?
Stamped concrete is work that requires knowledge and experience because to get the desired effect, you’re working against the clock! After pouring and screeding the concrete, a colour hardener is mixed into the concrete; this is a powdered pigment that gives the concrete a base colour. The colour hardener is applied to the wet surface, at just the right moment in the concrete’s setting, and is worked into it with a trowel. A stamp is then applied to give the concrete the shape and texture decided upon by the homeowners.
Let’s start with colours. When it comes to colour hardeners, almost any material can be simulated, but sometimes homeowners just want a nice colour that works with their landscaping. Whatever the plan, the colour has to be added at the right time to be effective, but with a professional team, you can make almost any dream come true!
Most Popular Colours for Stamped Concrete
When choosing the colour, think about how the stamps will look. Are you trying to simulate a material like stone, or do you just want to accent the rest of your backyard and home? Whatever your desire, here are some of the most popular colours for stamped concrete projects:
- For the fitted stonework look, Stone Gray has become one of the most popular choices for stamped concrete. It’s perfect for any setting, too, whether it’s a back patio or the concrete around a pool.
- If blonde is what you’re after, Adobe Buff gives your backyard a nice sandstone look.
- Terra Cotta can give your concrete project an antique feel. It’s darker than Adobe Buff and can make your patio look like it’s made from Spanish Tile.
- Another classic look is Red Brick, and it simulates… well, what it says in the title!
- Poolside, one of the most popular combinations is White on White. It’s usually a creamier white accented or accenting a bolder white, and it looks amazing in summer!
Once you’ve picked out a colour or desired look, next up is selecting a stamp the shape the concrete.
Most Popular Concrete Stamping Patterns
Once a colour has been applied, the crew will lay down a stamp. Here are some popular patterns for stamped concrete:
- Brick makes the concrete look as if dozens or hundreds of individual bricks make up your walkway, driveway, or patio. The concrete doesn’t have to be red to look amazing with this pattern; a grey or brown can create the atmosphere of a European cobblestone street!
- Stone is made to look like a random selection of stones have been cut to fit together. It’s asymmetrical, but it feels like every individual section is meant to be there (even though it’s all one big piece!).
- Wood is a great pattern to use for the backyard, as it looks amazing next to a well-kept lawn and garden. Specific designs can make the “wooden” patio or porch look as aged as you want, with long or short “planks”!
- Seamless stamps are very popular; they give the concrete a texture without segmenting it. It makes the concrete look like one piece of stone or slate, and with a beautiful colour, it looks majestic!
- Slate patterns make the concrete look like its a carefully-cut selection of tiles that, despite their difference in size, fit together perfectly. Combine it with a solid colour like Terra Cotta or Stone Gray for maximum beauty!
Concrete stamping requires a lot of specialties because the timing to apply the colours or coating to concrete has to be exact. If you want the concrete to look like a different material, you’ll need experience, preparedness, and organization. Usually, the crew will map out the design ahead of time, using a diagram of the layout so that everything they need will be available as soon as they need it. It’s hard work, but the final product speaks for itself!