Everything You Need To Know About Stamped Concrete
If you want to know more about stamped concrete and how it can transform your patio, driveway, deck, or other surface into a beautiful design, you’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about stamped concrete, including design options, pros, cons, cost, and more.
What Is Stamped Concrete?
Stamped concrete is concrete that has been patterned and textured to resemble stone, brick, slate, or various other materials. These patterns or “stamps” are imprinted into the concrete while it cures, leaving you with an affordable and aesthetically pleasing surface. Stamps can be added to existing concrete slabs using a thin overlay or added to freshly poured brand-new concrete.
Professionals can also add specific colors to the overlays to achieve the look of the desired material pattern. This makes stamped concrete a perfect alternative to bricks, stones, or other expensive surface materials.
Note: Complete Concrete Coatings does not install stamped concrete. However, we do seal stamped concrete with our protective coatings to prevent them from deteriorating over time.
Read more about – What Is Concrete Resurfacing?
Stamped Concrete Design Options
Stamped concrete is the perfect solution if you want to match your concrete surface to your home or property’s design. The most popular stamped concrete styles are based on natural stone patterns, like slate, flagstone, and fieldstone. There’s also a wide variety of popular colors you can choose from, like grey, earth tones, red, or russet hues. Colors can be mixed or layered with stains or tints, giving you endless choices.
Pros Of Stamped Concrete
If you choose stamped concrete, you’ll be happy to know that it comes with many benefits and pros.
- Variety – You can choose from an endless variety of colors and patterns.
- Inexpensive – Stamped concrete is less expensive than buying and installing natural stone or brick, which comes with large expenses because of the hand-laid labor and natural material.
- Protective – Stamped concrete acts as an additional layer of protection over your concrete surface, protecting it from weather, elements, and liquids.
Cons Of Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete can be accompanied by some minor inconveniences. Most issues with stamped concrete occur if it’s not sealed with a protective coating.
- Deep depressions – Because of the design and texture of stamped concrete, your surface could be hard to place furniture and may result in trip hazards. This is primarily due to the deep depressions in the concrete. Most ADA guidelines require bumps or ridges on walking surfaces to be no more than 1/4th of an inch high. So, keep that in mind if you take on this project yourself.
- Fading – If you use surface colorants to change the design of your stamped concrete, you could notice fading or flaking over time. Otherwise, have your professional use dyes while they mix the concrete for a more permanent solution.
How Does Stamped Concrete Compare?
Here’s how stamped concrete compares to other materials.
- Customization – You can think of your concrete surface as a blank canvas that you can stamp anything over.
- Maintenance – Stamped concrete can last decades when you maintain them properly. Precast pavers, stone, and brick can fade, crack, and become overgrown with weeds.
- Installation – Stamped concrete installation is faster than placing natural stone, pavers, or brick.
How Much Does Stamped Concrete Cost?
Professionally installed stamped concrete can cost anywhere between $10 to $15 per square foot. Here’s how it compares to other materials.
- Regular concrete – $6-$12 per sq. ft.
- Brick – $14-$20 per sq. ft.
- Stone, slate, or marble – $17-$28 per sq. ft.
- Precast pavers – $13-$20 per sq. ft.
Can You DIY?
Unless you own stamped concrete equipment and have the knowledge needed to create flawless work, this is going to be a complicated DIY project. If you plan on pouring and stamping fresh concrete, it’s going to be a very tedious process. You’ll need a properly installed base of compacted sand and gravel, specialty tools to shape and smooth the surface, and concrete stamps that can cost up to $350 to buy or $25 to rent (you’ll need more than one stamp). DIY stamped concrete can save you a few dollars compared to hiring a professional but remember. Any mistakes in concrete are permanent.
How To Maintain Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete requires minimal maintenance every two to three years on average. That includes cleaning and resealing based on foot or vehicle traffic, spills, and weather. You can easily clean stamped concrete with a hose or power washer, detergent formulated for concrete, and a push broom.
If you live in an area that experiences heavy snow, consider using an alternative to deicing salt because it will damage your concrete surface and cause scaling or spalling. We also recommend avoiding products containing ammonium nitrates and ammonium sulfates since they will chemically damage your concrete.
Most professionals recommend sealing your stamped concrete as soon as possible. A good sealer will protect your concrete from fading and deterioration, keeping your investment looking good.
Who To Call For Sealing Stamped Concrete
If you live in the Greater Salt Lake City area, call Complete Concrete Coatings. Our team of experts will inspect your concrete surface and find a design choice you love. We’ve been in this industry since 2005 and use the best products on the market. Call today and schedule a consultation with us.