Concrete is a fantastic material for outdoor spaces, such as walkways, patios and driveways. It is strong, durable, cost-effective, economical and practical, just to name a few. The problem, however, is that it’s just not very pretty.
Instead of covering up your concrete, why not spice it up?
You can make your cement outdoor spaces both functional and decorative!
Concrete Coatings of Austin a Concrete repair expert in Austin, TX. states " The old way of fixing concrete was to break it up, remove it and repour new. Nowadays all you have to do is resurface the old concrete and make it look new."
A variety of stains and colorants are now available which create a lovely variety of hues and textures to your standard, boring concrete surface.
Your cement driveway, walkway or patio, whether old or new, can be transformed into a sensational outdoor surface which is durable, sanitary and easy to maintain.
In fact, decorative concrete finishes are limited only by your imagination. Imagine a concrete surface which blends in beautifully with your home or surrounding landscape, or one that mimics stone, slate or brick. It can be done without breaking the budget!
Most concrete finishes, because they involve chemicals and an experienced eye, are best left to the professionals. Look for decorative concrete finish contractors in your area. A qualified contractor will be able to provide you with photographs of past jobs so that you can get an idea of what you’d like to see for your outdoor concrete space.
The three most common types of decorative cement finishes are: stamped concrete, exposed aggregate and chemical acid stains.
Stamped concrete – Concrete stamping uses a wide variety of patterns to imprint the outline and textures of more expensive outdoor flooring, such as stone, brick, slate and even wood. The process of concrete stamping can only be done into a freshly cast, concrete surface.
Stamped concrete is versatile and colorful, and offers virtually limitless design and finish options.
Exposed aggregate – Exposed aggregate uses finely ground, colored hardeners which are sprinkled into a freshly cast concrete surface. The moisture in the cement activates the powder in the aggregate and bonds the concrete to it. The result is a hard-finished surface that is slip-resistant and hard to damage.
Chemical Acid Stains – Chemical acid staining uses special stains which react with the lime in the concrete. The stains lightly etch and bond the color to the cement’s surface. These surface color treatments are available in a nice variety of earth tones and produce a high-end finish that won’t peel, flake or fade. The only downside to chemical staining is that the color results are not always predictable due to a wide variety of conditions.
Other Concrete Treatments
Scoring – Scoring is a process in which shallow cuts are made to mimic grout lines or to produce interesting, geometric designs and patterns. A circular saw with a masonry blade is typically used to score the concrete.
Colored surface overlay material – Colored surface overlay material uses a layer of cement-like material over top of an existing concrete floor. In addition to adding an attractive, decorative touch to the concrete, it may also level an uneven surface. It may also be stamped with a pattern to create extra definition and interest.
Your concrete landscaping elements are only limited by your imagination. Whatever colors, textures, or shapes you enjoy can be created into a beautiful concrete backdrop that accents your home perfectly.