When you think of concrete patios, what comes to mind? Maybe light gray slabs that are rough to the touch?
If so, you’re in for a treat. Concrete has come a long way, and it’s actually possible to make some amazing adjustments with this humble building material. You don’t have to pack up your dream of a pretty stone, brick, or tile patio just yet; concrete can give you the same luxurious look for a fraction of the cost and with minimal uptime. Here’s how!
It All Starts With a Pattern
If money is no object, what would your ideal patio look like? Is it a brick? Does it have large tiles, or small tiles like a mosaic? Maybe it will have a cobblestone texture.
All these patterns made possible by a technique known as concrete stamping. And stamping goes beyond adding criss-cross patterns to concrete to give the illusion of grout around tiles; it really gives texture to the entire concrete surface. Anyone who is in the dark will have a hard time telling the difference between your concrete patio and an actual brick, cobblestone, or tile patio.
There are dozens of combinations to choose from. Think about all the different ways in which bricks could be laid, for example. There’s more to it than just laying a row of bricks. Herringbone, for example, is a popular diagonally shaped brick pattern that adds interest to any patio. You can even design a custom circular pattern that follows the shape of a curved patio.
Also think about whether you want to make a border around your terrace. You can create a different boundary by placing the “bricks” in opposite directions on the edge of the patio.
In short, don’t limit your imagination! Think of the pattern that most appeals to you. It’s possible with concrete.
Add Base Color
According to experts at Houston ready mixPainting concrete is not recommended as a long-term solution, especially in areas where paint tends to chip and peel from exposure to the elements or natural wear and tear from foot traffic.
Instead, opt for integrated colors. The base color for your patio is mixed with the concrete itself, providing a permanent, natural-looking hue.
You can mix and match colors if you wish. For example, you may want to have separate colors for your patio borders. Since concrete is mixed in batches as needed, you can order just enough colored concrete to do the job.
Add a Secondary Color for Depth
To really give the impression of brick, tile or cobblestone, a secondary color needs to be added to provide variation in tones. Concrete is always leveled after pouring, but a pattern stamp will help add slight slopes and gaps in the surface to mimic the uneven nature of most brick or stone. But for best results, another color should be worked into these grooves to give a sense of depth.
Finally, you can choose a colored one acid stain. It adds a glossy finish to concrete and can be used strategically to highlight certain tiles. For more intricate color patterns, you can apply acid stain to individual “tiles” to make them stand out. This is much easier than trying to pour small amounts of concrete in different color variations.
To make the finish last as long as possible, sealant should be added as a final step. This can be applied using a paint roller or lint mop.
First, the base color of your choice will be added to the concrete in the mixer plant or in the mixer truck. The color is just powder. Then the concrete will be poured into the terrace mold and leveled. Depending on the technique used to add the secondary color, it will be applied immediately before or immediately after the concrete is stamped with the pattern.
Next, the concrete will be allowed to dry. When the concrete is no longer pliable and is completely dry and hard, an acid wash can be applied. Once dry, it will be neutralized with baking soda, and a sealant can be applied.
While it may sound like a lot of work, creating a beautiful, fully customized patio with concrete is much easier and more affordable than trying to lay down real brick, stone, or tile.
Now is the perfect time to transform your patio from drab to extraordinary! For outdoor entertainment area your dreams with nothing more than concrete.