Ever seen patterns in concrete and wondered how it was done? That’s called stamped concrete.
Essentially, stamped concrete is exactly like regular concrete, except, colors are applied to the concrete and patterns are imprinted while it’s still soft in order to give it that unique look. Many homeowners appreciate the look of stamped concrete as it’s a more visually appealing application of concrete rather than the traditional and bland look of concrete.
Stamped concrete is an alternative to purchasing stone or brick walkways. It’s much more affordable and long-lasting. A typical use of stamped concrete is to resemble flagstone, natural stone, tile, or brick.
However, not every homeowner knows that concrete gets damaged easily and should be protected by an additional coating. This coating? Epoxy! Before diving into stamped concrete, take a look at how epoxy is not only a beautiful design, but is extremely strong and durable for the outside and inside of your home.
Let’s learn about the concrete stamping process to see if it’s right for you.
How Is Concrete Stamping Done?
Concrete stamping is unique as you can pick and choose almost limitless colors and styles. Stamping concrete is as simple as waiting for the wet concrete to be leveled and pressing a concrete stamper into the concrete to make the pattern. Think of it like cutting cookies before baking them.
Before use of the concrete stamper, the contractor will apply the selected main color, accent colors, and additives (such as non-slip) in the concrete. That’s how you get the unique coloring and texture.
Once the concrete stamper has done its job, it is removed and concrete sits to dry until hardened.
This isn’t a DIY job as it takes a great deal of skill and experience along with a lot of equipment to properly lay the concrete and imprint the pattern. Essentially, you’ve only got one shot to get it right, otherwise, you’re stuck pulling the concrete out and trying all over again.
How Long Does Stamped Concrete Last?
Depending on the materials used, stamped concrete is expected to last for decades. This is similar to regular concrete as it’s most likely expected to last for 25 years or so. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s very resistant to cracks and impacts – it’s not.
While you may not see all of the cracks, over time, these cracks can grow without your knowledge and cause further damages to the concrete. For maintenance, you’ll need to reapply the concrete sealing to keep it from crumbling and falling apart.
Is Stamped Concrete Expensive?
When compared to the price of installing stone or brick, stamped concrete is relatively more affordable. A simple single color and pattern can cost anywhere from $8-12 per square foot. But, if you want something that’s more customizable and unique, you could be looking at a minimum of $18 per square foot.
How does this compare to other flooring solutions?
Well, an epoxy floor coating with a basic coating and color could be a minimum of $3.75 per square foot. For a more customizable epoxy floor coating, you could be looking at paying a minimum of $9.70 per square foot. If you’re interested in an exterior concrete coating, it could be as low as $0.80 per square foot.
Without an epoxy coating on your newly installed stamped concrete, your nice new concrete walkway could easily crack or become damaged by impacts since it’s not that durable… unlike epoxy flooring.
Can I Power Wash Stamped Concrete?
In order to maintain the beauty of your stamped concrete, you’ll have to clean it often. You can use a broom for surface dirt and debris, mild detergent and a mop for minor cleaning and upkeep, and a pressure sprayer for greases and stains.
You might not want to use a pressure sprayer very often as this can damage the concrete, making it look like it’s taken a beating of heavy weather damage.
Is Stamped Concrete the Right Choice?
Stamped concrete can be a great way to make a beautiful yard or walkway look visually captivating. But, if you want your concrete to last over the years with minimal damage, you’ll want to get an epoxy coating.
Epoxy coatings are three times stronger than regular concrete, slip-resistant, and stain-resistant. Applying an epoxy coating atop your stamped concrete or only choosing an epoxy floor system will be just as eye-catching and will protect the flooring materials underneath.
Contact us today to get a free estimate on your epoxy floor coating. We service all of Colorado from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins.