Making your home look great doesn’t start with what’s inside the door. No, making your property really shine starts with everything in front of that. And it continues out the back door to the yard as well.
A large part of that area is going to be covered in some way to create the driveway, walkways, a patio and more. While these might not be the first thing we think of when it comes to “decoration”, they can in fact really add to the character and beauty of the property. One of the best materials you can use for any of these surfaces is stamped concrete.
What Is Stamped Concrete?
Most people come into contact with stamped concrete without even realizing it. And that’s part of its charm. But what exactly is it?
Stamped concrete is, obviously, concrete. That makes it a highly-durable material that holds up under heavy use. It’s a great material suitable for almost any climate. It can be installed nearly anywhere. It’s going to last a long time and serve you well for years to come.
But stamped concrete isn’t your normal, boring, grey concrete. Instead, it’s colored – either while it’s being mixed or through a process of “casting” colorant into the surface once it’s poured. As it begins to dry, stamps are pressed into the surface to give a unique design. That can create the appearance of cobblestone, brick, pavers, or other types of stone. It’s even possible to replicate the look of wood with the strength of concrete!
The price doesn’t hurt its appeal, either. Adding real stone can be expensive. However, stamped concrete offers a great look but usually costs only as much as pavers, which are at the lower end of the price scale.
Now that we know what stamp concrete is, let’s have a look at some great places you can choose to have it poured!
When you want to be able to enjoy your yard to the fullest all through the year, having a nice patio is almost a necessity. Whether you like to sit outside alone and relax or prefer to use it for family get-togethers through the summer, or even if you do a lot of entertaining, it’s a great way to use your space. You don’t have to worry about getting your shoes dirty or killing your grass by stepping on it, and you can arrange furniture however you like to enjoy both the warmth of the sun and the peaceful moonlight .
But the look of the patio itself should also enhance the experience. You can find a stamped concrete pattern that reflects the mood you want to set and blends well with the overall style of your yard. One idea is large blocks that look like hewn stone to give a natural look. Complementing it with flower beds around the edges will look great, too!
Another great place to use stamped concrete is the driveway. It holds up well even under the weight of cars and light trucks, and the seal helps prevent permanent stains from oil, antifreeze or other chemicals.
A great option here is to reflect the local character. Live in a historic area? Cobblestone looks great! But real cobblestone is ridiculously expensive. Stamped concrete, on the other hand, brings all that texture and appearance to your property at an affordable price.
Another option is to have regular concrete blocks with just a stamped concrete trim. Brick or square blocks are great options. This is especially good for longer driveways since it helps to break them up and give some definition to the area.
Yes, you read that subtitle right. You can add a great new look around your pool with stamped concrete!
You’ve undoubtedly seen concrete decks around inground pools, but you may never have thought about how much more attractive it could be.
It’s easy to do though. Stamped concrete holds up well under poolside conditions. For extra safety, the sealant used in these conditions is designed to prevent slipping and promote safety.
As far as designs, why not consider a wood slat look? With a darker color, you could even make it the basis of a pirate-ship theme. There are no worries about splinters, though, and you’ll also enjoy the relative coolness on your toes compared to many other decking materials!
Front Path and Door Area
The entrance to your house speaks volumes. It’s the first “welcome home” after a long day of work. It’s the first thing your friends and family see when they come to visit. So you really want it to look terrific, right?
Adding a running bond or stacked bond design helps create a sense of direction and order. And one of the greatest parts is that the stairs and front porch or stoop can all be fashioned with the same design and material.
With those designs or others of your choice, you can have a path to your door that matches your house’s style and colors and that will really help your home make the right impression.
Another place to consider is outdoor kitchens, which continue to grow in popularity. Whether you live in an area where you can make use of them year-round or you only have the opportunity a few months a year, you can have much more than a simple barbecue grill where you can cook up a great meal in the yard!
Just like your indoor kitchen, you want the outdoor one to look great. Stamped concrete can be the base – literally – on which all the rest is built. No matter how simple or complex the kitchen area, you can create a concrete pad big enough for your needs and with a design that reflects your personal taste.
Even if you never realized you’ve encountered stamped concrete, you’ll recognize the great potential it offers in and around your house. With this easy-to-maintain surface, you can have a great-looking patio, driveway or other surface. And that’s an important element in helping turn your house into the home of your dreams!
About the Author
Bill Michaels works for Patterned Concrete as a media outreach specialist. The company is an expert and pioneer in stamped concrete since 1972. It has grown from its Toronto-area roots to have franchises across North America. If you’re a concrete mason and interested in stamped concrete work, get in touch for info on how to become a part of the family!