Stamped concrete is concrete that is patterned, textured, and embossed after pouring in order to make it look like a different material. It is versatile and can be used as an alternative to stone, slate, and brick. Stamped concrete can also be colored to make it resemble an even greater variety of materials. At G-CAT Construction, we make extensive use of stamped concrete in a wide range of projects.
What Makes It “Stamped” Concrete?
The most common method of using concrete is mixing it and pouring it into molds, then waiting for it to dry and cure. Once the mold is removed, the concrete retains the shape. Concrete is considered “stamped” when color has been added to the mixture, and a pattern has been applied as it dries. There are three steps to this process:
- Adding the base color – Base colors are used to make the otherwise gray concrete reflect the natural material it will be emulating. A powder pigment called color hardener is added to the mix to change its hue. Color hardener can be applied while the concrete mixer is spinning or can be spread out over the surface after pouring.
- Adding an accent color – Secondary colors are used to give the stamped concrete texture. These are applied with another pigment called a color release. The color release is always applied to the concrete surface before stamping. When the pattern is applied, the pigments spread out, adding depth and texture.
- Applying the pattern – Patterns reflect the shape of the natural building material being emulated. They are placed on the surface of the concrete after the colors have been applied. Then they are pushed down and removed to leave the pattern in the surface as it dries and cures.
What Can Stamped Concrete Imitate?
There are few building materials that stamped concrete can’t imitate. It is most often used to replicate brick, stone, and tile. With the right combination of colors and patterns, stamped concrete can even be made to look like wood.
Why Use Stamped Concrete?
There are several benefits to using stamped concrete for your next project. It is incredibly versatile and able to compliment a wide variety of colors and materials in a home. This makes it an option for patios, walkways, pool decks, and more.
Stamped concrete can also last for decades. Since it’s a solid surface, there’s no need to pull weeds that might pop up between stones or keep gaps filled with sand. The installation is faster than setting stones or pavers, and it requires minimal maintenance. Finally, while you may pay more in the short term for stamped concrete than natural stone, you’ll save in the long-term on maintenance and repair costs.
Stamped concrete can be utilized for just about any project. Its ability to be customized allows it to be adjusted to suit your needs. At G-CAT Construction, we love stamped concrete for the many creative options it gives us. If you’d like to see how we can use it for your next project, contact us today.
Phone: (630) 736-1070
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2500 W Higgins Road, Suite 365
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169