What exactly is stamped concrete and the meaning of other terms associated with decorative concrete, patterned concrete, impressions in concrete, and is it a good selection for my Chester County or Lancaster County home?
Stamped concrete, patterned concrete and impressions in concrete are all terms used to define concrete poured and during the plastic stage the concrete is stamped with a pattern using concrete stamps. Many different styles of stamps are available to mimic flagstone, slate, brick, cobblestone, rock and even wood planks just to name the most popular. Stamped concrete is poured just like any other concrete project other then coloring the concrete and of course stamping the concrete for the finish.
There are two different ways to color the concrete patio, driveway, sidewalk, pool deck etc
1. Integral colors – Integral color is added to concrete and mixed into the concrete while in the concrete truck “Our preferred method”
2. Color hardeners – Color hardeners are broad-casted on the surface and floated into the surface of the concrete during the plastic stage.
Stamped concrete usually has an accent color as well and this can be achieved by using a powder release agent
1. Powder release agent - Powder release agent is broad-casted onto the surface after the concrete has been colored as described above, placed in proposed area, leveled, bull-floated, a smooth finish has been applied and is just about ready to start stamping. As the concrete stamps are placed onto the concrete they are walked or tamped into the concrete surface to create an impression of the pattern you have chosen. The powder release agent keeps the stamps from sticking to the concrete and also embeds the release agent into the lower areas of the impression creating the accenting. “Our preferred method”
2. Liquid release agent – Liquid release can be used if an accent color is not desired. Liquid release is a clear solvent that keeps the stamps from sticking to the concrete the same as the powder release but it is applied with a pump sprayer after the concrete has been colored, placed in proposed area, leveled, bull-floated, a smooth finish has been applied and is just about ready to start stamping. I’ve heard of people tinting the liquid release to achieve an accent color as well. The two releases are never used together. One or the other.
Once the concrete is colored, poured, finished and stamped a time period of about three days is need for the concrete to cure prior to the concrete being washed, scrubbed or Power washed to remove any release agent that has not been embedded into the concrete. About 70% of the release agent color is removed by washing it thus leaving an awesome two color stamped concrete patio, sidewalk, porch, driveway, sidewalk etc. Once the surface is free from moisture a stamped concrete sealer is applied. This really enhances the colors and brings out the beauty in stamped concrete.
Click here to learn about our exact description on how we prepared our concrete projects, like the base used, reinforcements, re-bar, wire etc. This is all important information on how we build our projects to last and to withstand the cold weather we experience here in Pennsylvania.
Click here to find out about how to maintain stamped concrete and methods used for applying concrete sealer to your driveway, patio, sidewalk, etc.