If you are looking for a way to change the look of your home, inside or outside, decorative concrete is an option that is quickly becoming popular for homeowners. You no longer have to look at plain, boring concreted surfaces. With five different methods, you can achieve the same looks you would get by using other materials.
The flooring can be stamped or imprinted. This involves using special tools to press patterns or designs into wet concreted surfaces. Many people choose stamping because the surface can be pressed to look like a different type of material. Options include wood, brick, tile, and slate. It gives the appearance of a more expensive material without the cost.
Overlays are one way to change an existing recommended stamped concrete in ma surface. This is a less expensive alternative to replacing the whole thing. A commonly used type is the polymer modified overlay made of a polymer blended with sand, cement, and other materials. Manufacturers have different types of polymers they use to create unique products, but most of them are a type of acrylic. Acrylics are often preferred because of the protection against UV rays and strength.
You can also choose stained surface. Once the surface has been concreted, or if it already exists, one or two options can be used for staining. Stains will be water-based or acid-based. Unlike paints, stains do not completely saturate and cover the surface. Instead, they provide translucence. The color palette of these two types of stains are different. Acid-based stains are typically only available in earthy colors. Water-based stains tend to have a wider, brighter range of colors.
Other types of coloring are also available. Integral, or infused, coloring is achieved by adding a liquid or powder tint while the materials are being mixed and tends to be used in conjunction with stamping. A powder called a color hardener is also available. It is spread on the surface while it is still wet and spread by hand with a trowel. Coloring can also be achieved using dyes. They work similar to stains, but there are more colors to choose from.
Another option is polishing. It is primarily used for surfaces inside and does not require waxing. Any coloring method can be used before polishing. Due to the multiple steps in the process, you can choose the level of gloss you want from matte to completely glossy. You can also choose a polished overlay if the existing surface is in good enough condition.
Multiple options are available for use. Almost every method can be used indoors or outdoors and for counters or floors. For counter tops, it is important to make sure there is extra support to handle the large amount of weight. Although stamping can be used for counter, it is generally reserved for outdoor applications such as a patio or pool surround because it usually needs to be thicker. Outside, you can use these methods to create a patio, walkway, or driveway. In the house, you could use them for flooring in just about any room. Keep in mind, however, that due to the weight it should be limited to main floors.
Who says you have to be stuck with boring concreted slabs? With the variety of decorative options, you can make that boring surface look amazing. Regardless of which method you want to go with, you have a wide variety of options. You can create a new, beautiful surface while also potentially increasing the value of your home.