Today’s home owners, designers, custom home builders and commercial contractors are turning to decorative concrete as an easy, affordable and creative way to spruce up both interiors and exteriors. These days, decorative concrete trends include stained, stamped, polished and other decorative concrete finishes creating a fresh, modern and updated look on patios, pool decks, countertops, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, garage floors, office floors, showrooms, home entryways and more. Decorative concrete finishes can transform boring gray, utilitarian concrete into expensive-looking finishes that mimic sleek slate, warm tile, natural stone, wood and other sophisticated textures—without the high-end cost.
Advancements in concrete tools, stains, stamping, textures and patterns have made concrete one of the most versatile, durable and cost-effective materials on the market today, bringing to life your decorative concrete ideas. Sustainable and economical, decorative concrete finishes can be applied to new concrete or overlaid on existing concrete surfaces, providing significant savings over common hard-surface materials such as granite. Microtoppings, for example, are a low-cost and environmentally friendly way to overlay or replace flooring, countertops and even exterior surfaces.
Check out some of the most popular types of decorative concrete finishes to determine which best fits your personal taste and style:
Stamping is a decorative finish designed to mimic stone, slate, tile, brick, pavers, even wood. Creative and affordable, stamped (or textured) concrete offers great versatility when it comes to mixing patterns and color. Intermountain Concrete Specialties carries a wide selection of texture mats, skins and stamping tools for a variety of natural-looking and man-made pattern options.
Some homeowners choose to stamp their entire concrete pads, while others go with a more subtle look by adding a stamped border. When combined with stained concrete, these designs can really stand out and make your concrete look professional and stunning.
As a decorative surface finish, there are virtually no limitations to stenciled concrete designs. Stenciling is fairly easy for DIYers and pros are able to offer custom designs, making it a great alternative to the many faces of concrete.
The great thing about stenciled concrete is that you can come up with practically any pattern, depending on your own personal style. While there are many different stencils that you can purchase, you can also create your own. All you need is a little creativity and some elbow grease to end up with a beautiful end result. Some homeowners even use stencils to make a “rug” on their concrete. This helps to ground and center a concrete patio!
Color can be the most distinguishing trait of decorative concrete, and there are a multitude of color applications. With the exception of integral color, most concrete color methods can be applied to existing concrete. Concrete color methods include:
- Integral color, applied when wet, achieves deep color throughout the depth of the concrete slab.
- Stain imparts a deep, rich color that infuses into the concrete. Concrete stain comes in two types, acid-based chemical stains and water-based acrylic stain. Staining is a great way to bring new life to old concrete.
- Concrete dye is a time-saving color enhancer ideal for vertical and surface applications, such as stenciling.
- Hardeners are commonly used on industrial floor applications due to durability
Remember, you can also use concrete paint on existing pads to add color and life to an otherwise boring, gray patio or sidewalk. Color really ups the style and design of any concrete area, so let your imagination run wild.
Create a new, blank canvas with microtoppings, a thin, cement-based layer applied to existing concrete. Once the overlay has been applied, it can be stamped, stained or stenciled. This gives you added flexibility with your current concrete, so you don’t have to rip anything out or start from scratch. Not only will this save you a lot of time, but your budget will thank you as well.
For the beginner home DIYer to commercial contractors and everyone in between, Intermountain Concrete Specialties can provide the finest materials, latest tools and know-how to create any decorative finish you can dream up. We carry the latest innovations in decorative concrete trends, including premium concrete stamps and texture mats, seamless texture skins, integral colors, color releases, hardeners, dyes and stains, coatings, sealers, border and accessory tools, forming equipment and much more. Visit a showroom near you and let our expert staff show you how decorative concrete can enhance your space.