Why would you possibly want to use stamped concrete?
Are you in the market for a new concrete driveway, walkway, path, patio or pool deck? Why would you consider using stamped concrete? Do you know what stamped concrete is?
Stamped concrete is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Concrete is poured into a mold containing metal rebar or fiber frame. Once it begins to harden, the concrete is stamped with fiber molds lined up side by side or rolled on with a roller. Sounds simple enough? Well, it is. Even though the process is pretty simple, the results are actually pretty impressive. Due to the wide variety of stamp patterns, you can pretty much create any design that you can imagine. You can create the look and feel of an English walkway or a cobblestone path. Stamped concrete is flexible enough to accommodate any design scheme or landscaping look.
Some of the most popular stamps are:
Cobblestone Running Bond
New Brick Herringbone
Another benefit of using concrete for your project is the wide variety of colors available to you. You can make use of these color options in your concrete project in a variety of ways. You can use concrete stains, color hardeners, integral color, or concrete dyes. Ask your concrete contractor which type of coloring method to use for your project. The methods used will depend on the type of project and whether it is indoors or outdoors. Some methods are not weather or UV resistant. The method of coloring and color tone that you choose will make a dramatic impact on the look and feel of your project. Do you want a soft, neutral look or a very bright and vibrant feel? Stains, for example, will give a more natural look, whereas dyes will generally give you a brighter tone. Be sure to discuss the availability of color choices and methods with your concrete contractor to ensure they have exactly what you are looking for.
Does it sound like stamped and stained concrete can give you what you are looking for? Sure it can, you say, but what about the cost?
Like most things, the cost of your concrete project will depend on several factors:
The cost of installation (labor and materials) in your area.
The complexity of your project.
The amount and type of coloring used.
A simple project with one type of pattern and color will run around $8 per square foot. If you add multiple colors and a border your cost will increase to around $12 to $15 per square foot. If you want to go all out with a variety of patterns, borders, and colors, your price will rise to around $20 per square foot.
While your initial cost of stamped and stained concrete will be higher than asphalt or plain cement, it is considerably cheaper than using natural stone and brick. Stamped concrete is also more durable and requires less maintenance (like yearly sealants) than asphalt and cement. Low required maintenance makes stamped concrete cheaper over the life of the project. Plus you must consider the benefit of a boost in home value due to the considerable increase in “curb appeal” that stamped concrete provides.