It’s natural to spend a lot of time trying to get our homes to look “just right.” From furniture to paint to pictures, we want things a certain way and will spend a lot of time creating a style we love. But it’s not just indoors that we concern ourselves with; the outside of the house should look great too. That includes your patio, driveway, walkways and more. One of the best materials to use is stamped concrete, which is excellent for its durability, versatility, and cost!
Understanding What Stamped Concrete Is
Even if you’ve never heard of this material, you may have walked across stamped concrete without realizing it. It’s used to simulate the appearance of many other surface materials. Often it has the presence of stone, but sometimes has different designs, such as wood.
This is a concrete product. It has the benefits of being long-lasting and robust. For the most part, it’s mixed like any concrete.
The difference comes in two parts. The first is the addition of coloring. This can also be done in two ways.- Either being mixed in with the whole batch of concrete or by being “cast” on the surface once the concrete is poured. Our own opinion is that the casting method provides more vibrant and consistent color.
The second part that makes this material stand out is the design that is stamped into the surface. This is done once the concrete starts to dry so that the impression will hold. The stamps may be metal but are more often urethane. They create a design that has a rich texture to it. After stamping, sometimes additional coloring is added, such as grout lines if the surface is designed to look like brick.
Even with its high level of quality, stamped concrete still manages to be less expensive than many alternatives. Real stone or wood are often costly; among these pavers are at the lower end of the scale. But stamped concrete generally has a price around that of pavers, making it cheaper than other materials.
A large variety of designs is available, and more are developed all the time. Of course, each design can be done in a range of colors. You’ll have a lot to choose from that matches your home and neighborhood!
Some Great Styles of Stamped Concrete
Let’s take a look at some popular designs of stamped concrete so you can see its versatility and how it can look great around your home. Remember, these are just a few examples; there are many more options to choose!
A great classic look, brick is often used in home construction. So it makes a lot of sense to continue that appearance to add the same look for your driveway or walkway. It could be the entire surface or maybe just the trim. It can also look fantastic as a porch or patio.
But real brick can become loose and uneven, creating a tripping hazard. Also, it’s become rather expensive in many areas.
Using stamped concrete that’s designed to look like brick can provide that awesome appearance in almost any color you’d like. It won’t work loose, and it’ll hold up for years. It adds to the character and sturdy appearance of your property!
An even older and traditional look can be had with cobblestone. This comes in two distinct styles. One was popular in North America in colonial times and generally features stones laid in rows, similar to the way the brick is laid. The European style, though, is a bit more ornate, with the stone being laid in arcs, almost like a fan.
Both are great appearances. If you live in an area with historically significant or that is designed to reflect the art and architecture of pre-Victorian days, you’ll love this design!
Real cobblestone is now insanely expensive – it’s even stolen sometimes when it’s uncovered along old city streets. But you can avoid the huge cost by having it designed in stamped concrete!
If you want a more “natural” look, the quarried stone that looks like it was hewn right out of the ground looks great. You can see the natural vein and feel a texture that’s just like the real thing.
With this style, your walkway will appear to be made of real stones, right down to the irregularly-shaped edges.
This type of stone is also often of brighter or clearer colors than the examples mentioned above, making it great for creating a more lively feel.
You probably didn’t expect to see “wood” as one of the appearances that can be fashioned out of concrete! But with stamped concrete, it’s not only possible; it also looks great.
Even treated wood has a lot of disadvantages and might not always hold up for as long as you’d like. It does look great, though. Stamped concrete has that covered. It will hold up better while not losing anything of the appearance of the real thing.
This is an excellent choice perhaps for a front porch, especially if you like to sit out and relax. Another idea is as an in-ground swimming pool deck – it looks great, stays cool, and there’s no risk of splinters as you run about in your bare feet!
A more modern look, running bond features small squares aligned in neat rows. Where brick usually is staggered, running bond’s lines run straight across the whole surface.
This creates a neat and clean appearance with a sense of direction. If your home has straighter lines rather than lots of curves, this is a great complement to it. It’ll look great as it leads to your front door!
While the pattern is simple, actually laying real stone involves individually laying hundreds of individual blocks. They, too, can work loose over time. Stamped concrete lessens the labor demand and maintenance – lowering the cost while giving the same look!
When you want the outside of your house to look as great as the inside, stamped concrete is a fantastic choice for all your hard surfaces. With the great variety of designs available, you’ll surely find one that goes with what you’ve been longing for. It will hold up over time too, making it a fantastic way to make your exterior design that much more fantastic!