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Stamped Concrete – What You Need to Know
by Kenneth Eres on May 23, 2021
To date, you can find at least a hundred stamped concrete patterns and designs. This is how popular this decorative concrete application is. Most residential and commercial buildings are now using stamped concrete in their projects for its affordability and durability as a construction material.
Before you proceed on picking the best contractor for stamped concrete, let us try to get to know stamped concrete first.
Where Stamped Concrete Started
The first stamped concrete floors started to become visible in the 1950s. It was mainly for flooring. Commercial concrete contractors also got into the bandwagon and started using stamped concrete on hotel floors and office buildings. This became a cheaper option than carpets. As the years pass, designs, colors, and patterns for stamped concrete bloom. Technology has made it possible for concrete contractors to make a stamped concrete that looks like hardwood, brick, or oak.
Few Things to Remember About Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete can be done for new floorings or for retouching old surfaces. Homeowners with a little construction experience might be able to do it themselves. Still, it is best to hire a professional stamped concrete contractor for the best results.
Stamped concrete means replicating a design. Professional concrete contractors can turn your concrete floors into a brick-looking floor or a wooden floor through stamping. It is a cheap option that provides the best outcome. Concrete contractors can even mix designs and patterns based on your preferences (say a design of the Statue of Liberty or an image of the Eiffel Tower).
When it comes to maintenance, you only need to do basic sweeping every day and perhaps a vacuum once a week. As long as it is sealed, it can survive a few years without needing to stamp it again.
How Stamping Is Done
Stamping concrete is a three-step method. First, you have to put the base color on your concrete. Once dried, you have to add the accent color. Lastly, you will stamp your pattern or design.
Some professional concrete contractors add color hardener to their concrete mix and use it as the base color. The base color must match the general color of the surrounding or natural color of the building.
It is like dying the entire concrete. It can be added during the mixing process (when you mix cement, water, and sand aggregate to form concrete). This is highly recommended to ensure that the base color was properly distributed across the mixture.
While waiting for the concrete mix to dry (and while it is still freshly wet), you can now apply the accent color on the surface. Concrete contractors can use liquid or powder accent color on this step. Adding an accent color doesn’t affect the concrete mix when it comes to its durability.
Stamping or imprinting the pattern you want is the last step. Once poured and leveled, the stamping pattern will be placed on top of the concrete. Older stamping designs are made of heavy metals, but newer designs are now made of polyurethane material. The use of polyurethane material can make a stamped concrete look more real and very similar to its copied pattern.
Cutting Stamped Concrete
Cutting a stamped concrete is possible with the right tools. A professional concrete Raleigh contractor can do it safely and without breaking the entire concrete slab. Concrete cutting must be done a day after pouring concrete. Cutting stamped concrete is also possible for edges. Once cut, it needs to be cleaned too to make it smooth and prevent it from looking chipped. Even commercial concrete contractors need to cut stamped concrete slabs to fit the floors they are working on.
Sealing and Curing
When it comes to sealing, there are options too. You can let your contractor choose for you or if it is part of their offer, then just trust the seal they will use for your stamped concrete. Ask them to choose a seal that is not slippery and easy to maintain. You can also ask for a ‘matte’ finish if you want that kind of finish.
Stamped concrete is a job for professional residential and commercial concrete contractors. You are probably choosing stamped concrete because of its beauty so it’s better to have a professional do it for you. Watching a few YouTube videos might help you make it a DIY project, but you might end up ruining your entire floor as well. A small mistake on your floor might lead to more expenses.
Hiring a concrete contractor on the other hand won’t just give you professional-looking flooring, the project can be done in days too.
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