Many times, decorative concrete integrates multiple techniques to truly customize the slab

Stained ConcreteProbably one of the most well-known techniques for transforming plain concrete to be more design-friendly is staining, especially for interior applications. There are two main types of concrete stain. The most common type of concrete stain is an acid stain. The acid reacts to the concrete and takes on its own life. The result is a marbleized coloring, much like grainy leather. This stain does not cover defects in the concrete. However, this character that the acid stain reveals is part of the allure of the finished product of an acid stain job. Water-based concrete stains and acrylic concrete stains create a much more uniform look than do acid stains. It is a better alternative than acid stain for concrete pads that have cosmetic defects because coverage is fairly consistent. It is often used to accent the work of an acid stain job by giving certain areas of the concrete a different color. This makes predicting the outcome much easier. It also allows for easier mixing at the jobsite to match other colors around. After the stain job is complete, it is recommended to put some sort of protective coating on the surface. For outdoor applications, a concrete sealer is recommended. A solvent sealer or xylene-based sealer will leave a durable, semi-gloss coat, whereas a water-based sealer will leave a matte finish. Stains do not hide defects in the concrete, nor do they change the texture of the concrete. There are many tools and techniques that expand design options when using concrete stain. Also, scored lines are also commonly used to add a pattern or design into the concrete. Stain can also be used in conjunction with stamped concrete to add accent coloring. Of course, the greatest advantage of stained concrete is the visual appeal. Staining concrete allows you to turn a functional element into a design element. It may require a new coat of sealer or wax occasionally to maintain the finish. Stamped ConcreteStamped concrete is another common technique of decorative concrete. That being said, stamped concrete requires that new concrete is poured. This isn’t to say that you can’t add a stamped pattern or texture to your existing patio, it just requires a few intermediate steps. However, this plastic-cement polymer does have a shorter life-span than does concrete. There are limitations to capping your patio with concrete or overlaying it. Capping or overlaying your concrete will effectively hide any stains and minor defects in the concrete, though. The process involves pouring concrete much like you would do for ordinary flatwork. The area is framed up, reinforced with rebar, and smoothed out. In order to stamp, the concrete must be dry enough to not be mushy but wet enough to still hold an impression. The timing is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of stamping. At this point, large rubber stamps are pounded into the concrete, many times with a tool called a tamper. Some sort of release product is used to keep the stamps from sticking. The coloring of stamped concrete can be achieved in many different ways. Integral colors come in both liquid and powder form. The advantage of integral color is that the color is all the way through the concrete, so if the concrete is ever chipped or scarred, the color will be consistent throughout the slab. Its functional aspect is that it keeps the stamps from sticking to the concrete. Some release colors also come in a liquid form. Color hardeners are usually a powder and come in a wide variety of colors. Some manufacturers make tinted sealers, or you can simply make them yourself, which is usually a good way to go if you are wanting to mix colors or play with transparency. Tinted sealers also come in a wide variety of color options, especially if you will be making it yourself. Contractors may also use the technique that is most familiar to them, leaving the others behind. advantages of stamped concrete. For the sake of accuracy, this paragraph does not take into account any overlay products because these products do not carry all of the same advantages that concrete does. Also, it is easy to maintain. The sealer allows cleaning to be as easy as rinsing or sweeping. Finally, stamped concrete is aesthetically pleasing. It is completely customizable with a wide variety of color combinations and stamp patterns. And, considering how long it will last and how easy it is to maintain, it is a low cost in the long run for a beautiful finish. Scored ConcreteScored concrete is a great way to give both new pours and existing pour a new look. Scoring concrete is essentially cutting a shallow cut into the concrete. These cuts can be used to create the illusion of tile or stone or to “draw” a custom pattern or logo into the concrete. Because these lines are actually cut into the concrete, they are as permanent as the slab itself unless covered. Scoring is often combined with colored or stained concrete to accentuate the surface pattern. It can also be applied to plain concrete to just add a touch of decorative design to an otherwise humdrum slab. Concrete can be scored with many different tools, but the most common tools are concrete saws and grinders. Many times a diamond blade is used. advantages of scored concrete. Finally, the biggest advantage of scored concrete is that it is completely custom. Polished ConcretePolished concrete is, just as it sounds, a concrete slab that is polished down until a shiny finish is achieved. These smooth, high-luster floors, if done correctly, do not require any wax or sealer, making it a great option for warehouses, retail locations, etc. You start with a rough pad and grind into the concrete. Usually, there will be exposed aggregate, making it a neat look. Polished concrete can be stained for some extra color. It is also very low maintenance because wax or sealer may not be necessary. Sometimes, if the floor loses its luster, it may be necessary to re-polish the floor, repeating the last steps of the polishing process. Colors can be added for a different look, and even special aggregates can be added, aggregates that are only exposed because of the polishing process. Sealing ConcreteAll architectural concrete, except polished concrete and interior stained concrete, should be sealed regularly to maintain its beauty and durability. This process can be outsourced to a concrete company, or it can be a great do-it-yourself project. Some sealers are even mop-on. Many times, freshly sealed concrete can be described as making the concrete look wet. Sealing concrete will not cover any existing flaws in the slab. Stains will likely be accentuated by the sealant, and scratches or cracks will only be covered with a clear coat. Tinted sealers, as discussed above, can be used to add some color to a slab, whether it is plain or decorative. Much like tile, flagstone and natural stone usually requires a concrete base and grout for a semi-permanent slab, which means it comes with the same disadvantages as tile. Plus, you are limited to what mother nature makes, versus picking your own colors with concrete. Although beautiful, wood is not the easiest to maintain Plus, unless it is taken from sustainable forests, can have negative effects on the forest and wildlife therein. Carpet’s main disadvantage is that it easily stains. Even stain resistant carpet is much more likely to stain than sealed , waxed, or polished concrete. Plus, the manufacturing process is not always best for the environment, the chemicals it emits into the home can be harmful, and it retains allergens and pollutants, causing issues for those with breathing problems and allergies.

Exposed aggregate concrete adds visual interest to a surface because of its random designs and diverse colors

It is a cost-effective way to give old or new concrete an appealing look. Aside from looks and a reasonable price, exposed aggregate also features the main characteristic of concrete – strength. It can also be used on vertical applications such as decorative walls and building facades. With the exception of sealing the finish and cleaning it occasionally, this option is very low maintenance. Its rugged surface poses less of a slipping hazard than brushed concrete. Surface Dressing – In this method, decorative aggregate such as decorative stones, gravel, crushed glass, shells or quartzite is seeded onto freshly-placed cement. This method is ideal for smaller projects such as patios and garden footpaths. Washed to Expose – The fresh concrete surface is washed away to expose the aggregates that are already part of the cement’s ingredients. Specifically, the cement’s fines are stripped away from the top 2 to 6 mm of the concrete surface to reveal the aggregates. In choosing a decorative aggregate, keep in mind that the type will determine the color palette of the finish and will also have an impact on the project’s overall cost. Even more stunning effects can be achieved with exposed aggregate with the use of advanced techniques such as creating contrast by using different aggregates or alternating smooth surfaces with exposed aggregate finished areas. The possibilities when it comes to design are almost endless. What you can be certain of is that this decorative technique will offer you excellent value for your money.

Exposed aggregate concrete adds visual interest to a surface because of its random designs and diverse colors. Aside from looks and a reasonable price, exposed aggregate also features the main characteristic of concrete – strength. Because it’s very hard wearing, some common applications of exposed aggregate concrete are public areas including footpaths and traffic areas such as driveways, sidewalks, patios, plazas or pool decks. Its rugged surface poses less of a slipping hazard than brushed concrete. It is resistant to harsh climate conditions. Fewer tools or additional materials are needed in this method than other options. This method is easier to learn and master than other decorative concrete techniques. This technique has long been used since the early 20th century but it continues to be popular today with contractors discovering even more creative ways of using it. Specifically, the cement’s fines are stripped away from the top 2 to 6 mm of the concrete surface to reveal the aggregates. This is the preferred method for commercial or heavy-duty applications. Aside from color, hardness, shape, size and durability, consider locally-produced aggregates because they are readily available and, therefore, more economical. Even more stunning effects can be achieved with exposed aggregate with the use of advanced techniques such as creating contrast by using different aggregates or alternating smooth surfaces with exposed aggregate finished areas. What you can be certain of is that this decorative technique will offer you excellent value for your money.

And a professional makeover can cost many thousands of dollars

If your decorative concrete has not been resealed within 3 years of the last application then it would be advised to call a professional prior to attempting a DIY on concrete sealer. Go to the local hire shop and hire a 3000 psi or more pressure washer. For decorative concrete finishes only. Use 60 % straight sealer and mix with 40% xylene solvent. Allow second coat to dry and stay off sealed area for 18 hours. Tools Of The Trade1. Solvent proof mixing drum (20 liters) 3. Chemical Mask. Do not seal within 24 hours of rain. Do not seal in excessive wind as it may dump dust on fresh seal. Remember that your concrete driveway is the gateway to your home and in most cases the first impression people get of your home. For any further tips or details on concrete resealing check out our web site link below.

They lack sufficient lighting around the exterior of their home, and they cannot determine how to add curb appeal without enduring a large cost. Thanks to outdoor solar lighting, homeowners can emphasize the new available concrete designs while also lowering their energy consumption and costs. Outdoor solar lighting is a great addition to the exterior of any home because outdoor solar lighting charges naturally by using the sun and then lights up your stamped concrete at night, guiding guests from the driveway or curb to the patio or the front porch. Outdoor solar lighting used in conjunction with stamped concrete overlays is perfect for homeowners looking to save money. Both stamped concrete and outdoor solar lighting is an effective and inexpensive means of redecorating an exterior area of your home. Stamped concrete uses a stamp pattern, laid on top of the top wet layer of concrete so that when it dries and the pattern is removed, the concrete is left with an intricate design inlaid. Using the proper tools, people are able to smooth out any edges or smudges left during the removal of the stamp. This is especially useful for businesses or homes which might want to create separate seating, eating, and entertaining areas from the same concrete slab. Into the concrete prior to drying is pressed a pattern and texture of your choosing. There are certain stamps that will require cement which is creamier than others, but this provides an extra color to the surface because of the creamier base. There are great tools that professional concrete contractors can use when they are attempting to use the tamper. Flat surfaces require that concrete is laid in the same fashion.

You might find a coat of paint on a few, but that would probably be the extent of it. Clearly, safety is a priority issue around pools. Imagine your pool deck still having the benefits of concrete as mentioned above, but looking exactly like antique stone. Or your deck could appear as the dark orange bricks or pavers. Manufacturers such as Renew-Crete Systems and Cool Deck make tools and materials available for this type of work. Staining is what gives the pool deck an amazing color. Instead of gray concrete, you can be enjoying any one of a host of colors. Earth tones are common, but in reality it is your pool deck so the final decision is yours. Then, after the concrete has been poured but before it dries, an additional coloring agent is applied in powder form. There are different concrete stamps to use for each situation, depending on what you want your concrete deck to look like. With the concrete still wet, and right after applying the powder coloring agent, the stamp of choice is applied many times all over the surface. Add a couple of coats of high-quality sealant to protect your new deck, and your work is done.

With this option, clients will have available a wide variety of stimulating effects, thanks to the increasing number of designs, patterns and color. The best thing is that it can withstand not only high traffic but also harsh weather conditions, making it suitable for areas such as walkways. While there are quite a number of these contractors, it is important for the clients to take their time in order to get the one who will best suit their needs. One of the basic components of concrete is that the concrete must be composed of the right mixture. They can also check out stamped concrete services providers, who will have a wide variety of designs for them to compare and choose. These providers will also provide the users with advice on the best type of design depending with their specific situations. The installation and maintenance of these structures will make them last longer. Some of the maintenance tips to select include application of color hardener as a way to not only give the concrete color, bus also protect it from penetration and abrasion.

It not only preserves the natural, but creates new qualities in its frame. Like conventional concrete, it offers an array of advantages that other paving materials can’t even match, particularly when it comes to contributing to your project’s overall quality and aesthetics. Here, in this article, we will be highlighting some of the benefits a decorative stamped concrete can offer. Colors resistance Colored curing and release agents that are used in the manufacturing of decorative stamped concrete are a natural combination of metal oxides and inorganic components in certain strict conditions. Because of this technological innovation and the special manufacturing formula the nuances and colors of the concrete remains unchanged. Complement the exterior Decorative concrete has opened great avenues to creating pool decks that complement the exterior of the home, blend with the exterior environment, and replicate exotic and traditionally expensive materials such as marble, tile, stone or even wood. Array of patterns and colorsWith an extensive palette of shades to choose from and hundreds of patterns available, decorative concrete offers unlimited design possibilities. And although you will pay bit more for decorative concrete, the amazing transformation will be well worth the investment. Preparatory workFor the production of decorative concrete stamp no additional preparatory work is required, such as Earth excavation, reinforcement of the document in some strata, or soil drying. It can be laid directly on the old concrete, old asphalt floor, or on any other existing hard surface. Production timeThe decorative stamped concrete will be ten times faster than any other installed flooring systems, so that the work will be completed in record time. This fact is of immense importance when it comes to buildings in central city areas or on main roads, as this traffic problem will be reduced to a minimum. The benefits of decorative stamped concrete are many.

Thanks to imprinted concrete, the options for stamped concrete overlay designs have expanded

There are great options for any imprinted concrete which can add texture and color to the different areas. Outdoor solar lighting is a great addition to the exterior of any home because outdoor solar lighting charges naturally by using the sun and then lights up your stamped concrete at night, guiding guests from the driveway or curb to the patio or the front porch. Outdoor solar lighting used in conjunction with stamped concrete overlays is perfect for homeowners looking to save money. By alternating control set times with water to cement ratios, admixtures can be used on the imprinted concrete so that different colors will dry on different areas. Into the concrete prior to drying is pressed a pattern and texture of your choosing. Once you have your appearance selected, you can add a pigment to enhance the look. For exterior surfaces, homeowners’ use of stamped concrete overlay designs has grown tremendously as abilities for texturizing and pigmentation has increased. To achieve the imprinted concrete look which is perfect for your home, it is important that you hire professionals who are well trained and constantly learning about their business. With new ways to color, new chemicals with which to color, and new application techniques coming out all the time, you can create the perfect relationship between pattern, texture, and color. Flat surfaces require that concrete is laid in the same fashion. By using stamped concrete, you can reinforce the pavement and then strengthen it.

There are two main types of sealer – Penetrating (reactive) and Topical (film-forming). Penetrating sealers provide resistance to water, grease or other contamination. They are usually compounds of silanes, siloxanes, silicates or silicones. A topical sealer typically forms a film (or membrane) that protects the concrete surface from external elements. They require dry, clean surface during application to gain adhesion. Each resin has its own purpose. However they need regular maintenance. Acrylic sealers are very good for stamped concrete surfaces. The typical life of an acrylic sealer is 1-2 years. Like anything else in life, you get what you pay for. For extreme conditions like the ones in commercial kitchens, animal wash rooms, pharmaceutical plants etc. Federal or state VOC regulationsd.

One of the most effective ways of ensuring that your house is decorated well is by using stamped concrete. This type of decoration adds good value to your house, giving it a chance to rapidly appreciate in value and making it very pleasing to the eye. Many different looks can be achieved by the use of stamped concrete. It is possible to add an accent color to this concrete procedure. There are also many shapes and textures that you can choose from depending on where you are using the concrete. There are numerous companies and individuals that offer stamped concrete services. The best thing about going for stamped concrete services is the clear fact that you will save a lot of time on the service and you will also get it from experienced personnel. The cost of the service should also be realistic and it should also be a flat rate.

The concrete market today offers buyers creative designs as well as colored finishes. There are ornamental accoutrements which highlight any concrete structure and add the finishing touches to elemental components of your home or business. Stamped concrete overlay finishes are found in plazas, sidewalks, patios, and driveways, integrating the different natural colors that concrete has to offer. Landscape designs have begun to include many stamped concrete overlay designs. Concrete stamping now takes place on different sized projects as well as for different budgets. Concrete stamping creates excitement for homeowners and business owners. Utilizing vertical elements and unique cuts, decorative pavement can have designated areas. The same can be done to houses wherein the various treatments and patterns can be implemented into a larger slab of concrete to produce lines between rooms or areas such as shaded areas, picnic areas, pool decks, and walkways. Concrete stamping uses a synergistic effect that combines new ideas and materials with traditional ideas and materials. Creative designs take place in phases much like the construction or remodeling of a home. The visual effect created by using concrete stamping is the same. Getting the perfect consistency is a vital element to a stamped concrete overlay. If the application is too wet then the concrete will pull at the stamps which will then leave you with suction marks where your stamped design should have been. If the application is too dry, then you will not see a substantial impression or embossment when you remove the stamps. This supports why hiring a professional concrete contractor is the best way to achieve your concrete dreams.

Well, the trend of using the renovating decoration right after setting the concrete is a recent one and has already gained attention of the both the experts and the home owners alike

Well, there are different options with which you can decorate your concrete. Interestingly, all of them have their way of origination. Since then, the popularity of this option grew at a steady rate. After that, in the middle of the 1970s, the stamped concrete received a huge spurt in the growth. This was because of the fact that the architects, designers as well as the contractors became fully aware of the benefits of this option by this time. Also, they were more affordable than the other ones and at the same time, they were more beautiful and it was possible to create delicate designs on them. Naturally, right from the invention of the stamped concrete, there have been a number of inventions in the application and design of it. At the initial stage, there were only a handful of designs available to the users. As a result, more varieties became available and the designs too, become more intricate. They made the task of installation and design even more convenient. Several great means of colors were started being used as well. For example, there are different highly effective colouring options such as the Transparent Stains, Acid Stains, and other high quality dyes available these days to color the concrete. Now a days, you will find the stamped concrete on the patios, driveways, parking lots as well as on the commercial roads. They have certainly played a very important role in changing our age old attitude to the concrete.

Those ponds that are created out of concrete also need to be given a final coat of Concrete Pond Sealer. It is possible to get these Concrete Pond Sealers in clear as well as colored finishes. The Concrete Pond Sealer helps in giving an added protection against lime to the pond. It is not advisable to use something like oil-based sealer for the pond, in case you intend to have life in the pond. It is actually a good idea to use a solvent-free Concrete Pond Sealer, as this would be an absolutely safe environment so the plants and animals in your pond will not be harmed in anyway. This sealer wouldn?t harm any of the fishes. While applying this Concrete Pond Sealer, make sure that the sand particles are removed, as the smoother the surface the better the quality of the finish that arises from it. There are also certain pond sealers that use the moisture present in the air to harden, and also give you the option of putting it onto slightly damp substrates. However, you should ensure that the substrate is sufficiently dry to be porous. Thus, use these Concrete Pond Sealers to good affect, and resolve your pond-lining problems.

One of the most contemporary uses for this tried and true surface is stamped concrete. Why Choose Stamped Concrete?There are many reasons why home and business owners will choose a overlay besides its wide appeal and beauty. Artificial surface is a durable and inexpensive option for replicating other more expensive materials that will not last nearly as long. Many customers that are unfamiliar with stamped concrete often worry that it is unrealistic and fake looking. On the contrary, it is extremely realistic. The stamping mats are actually molded from the real materials so that they look as authentic as the real thing. The contractor you hire will be highly skilled in replicating the variation in color that is often found in actual stone. They have worked long and hard to perfect these techniques and the end product will look even better than the real thing for a fraction of the cost. * Huge selection of patterns and styles in a variety of colors and textures to match your existing details. While most homeowners or businesses choose grays and other earth tones there are many options available. * Long lasting. Even if your stamped concrete does manage to get any sort of minor crack it is extremely hard to detect as it will usually blend in with other lines that are part of the pattern and there are easy methods to repair or disguise them. Unlike natural stone or brick, this artificial surface doesn’t have the issue of weeds and grass growing up between joints, or wood rot.

This do-it-yourself project will result in floors you can be very proud of

You should not be intimidated with this project, even if you are using an acid based stain. This includes wearing thick shoes, long pants, long sleeves, rubber gloves, and splash guard goggles. Most of the time the company you buy your stain from will be able to offer you both of these items together. With just a few hours of hard work you can have beautiful floors that people will mistake for very expensive stone.

We get sick of looking at the floor that surrounds us and the interior we picked out years ago. It’s time for a revolution, and it is the perfect time to do. Epoxy floors Coating can be applied to the concrete piece to make it durable, colorful, viable and attractive. Once polished, the sheen will remain for a long time. They may be emblazoned with company crests and logos. Low cost is definitely another advantage who wants to upgrade their flooring. Customer satisfaction is the underlying factor in the customer experience. Whether the commercial premises shall be used for retail outlets, garages, warehouses, art galleries, factories or showrooms, epoxy concrete flooring will send a strong message to your clients and customers. Walk off mats can have a dramatic effect on the long maintenance of epoxy concrete flooring by keeping sand and salt from being introduced to the floors. When some wear does begin to show, the floor may be polished anew by reapplying the epoxy coating. There are literally endless design options. Concrete floor experts can design and create a floor to your specifications.

Concrete allows an impressive range of colors and designs that make it perfect for various areas in and around the home. Stenciled concrete uses a stencil which is used on new or old concrete in conjunction with a staining compound, giving the concrete the appearance of brick or paving stones with mortared joints. Although it can cost you a bit more in advance, the advantages of a concrete driveway are manifold. It is extremely strong when stacked against asphalt, will not get quite as hot in the warmer months and can be anticipated to hold up much longer than a comparable asphalt driveway. For environmentally-conscious homeowners, concrete is also a very green option for driveway installation as it is not manufactured with any petroleum byproducts like asphalt, often utilizes recycled materials like industrial byproducts in its production and may even be recycled itself when the time rolls around to get a new concrete driveway. Additional surprising but great applications for concrete in your house are indoor and outdoor fireplaces and even sinks, as it is highly resistant to fire and retains heat very well, plus concrete may be sealed to give it superior resistance to water. To begin on the right foot, call a local home improvement company or concrete contractor. They will possess the necessary know-how to make any advice you might need over the course of your remodeling project.

Blow or sweep fertilizers off the concrete to avoid staining. After scrubbing with a stiff brush, rinse thoroughly with a hose or pressure washer. Clean and Recoat (one year after initial application)Re-coat sealer application. Allow to dry completely between coats and for an additional 6-24 hours prior to traffic. A decorative paving installation is a highly decorative product that may be done in a variety of textures and colors. Correct care is critical to maintain any topical colorants or high points of texture. High points of the imprinted texture on an exterior application can be subject to aggressive wear due to the relatively small surface area. Caution should be used when running snow removal or steel bladed equipment over the concrete. The use of a skid reducing aggregate in subsequent reseal applications should be used to minimize slipperiness. Resealing of those areas may be necessary. The use of chemical deicers on decorative paving is not recommended. There are available “concrete safe” deicers. Do not use an acid-based cleaner on a decorative concrete surface. This only a guide not a complete instruction manual on how to properly care for you decorative concrete paving.

Acid stain creates translucent color effects and will highlight any surface defects similar to applying stain to a piece of wood, the stain highlights the grain and any knots in the wood. After you’ve cleaned the concrete, done all the surface preparation and tested a small area your ready to start staining the concrete. Applying the acid stain is actually the easiest part of the job. Having said that, there is a technique to doing it right. Too little stain won’t give you complete coverage and it won’t etch the surface properly to deposit the color. On bigger jobs an acid resistant sprayer works well, smaller jobs can be done with sponge brushes. The broom is going to leave brush strokes so once you get part of the way done go back and lightly mist more stain over the brushed area. This will get rid of any trailing brush strokes and give you a natural and consistent look. Check the directions on the bucket to get an approximate idea. This will stop the reaction between the acid stain and the concrete. Be careful not to step on any un-nuetralized area, this could leave footprints on the floor. Clean the floor 1-2 more times with water only, mop and vacuum, then let it dry. You’ll notice when the floor dries it will look kind of hazy or chalky. This is normal, it will look great after you seal it. It’s important to use a sealer that works well with the type of concrete stain you used. You can either roll it on or spray it on, being careful not to leave roller marks or over spraying. After you apply the sealer you’ll notice the colors of the stain start to come alive. A floor wax adds another layer of protection to your acid stained concrete floor, while making it look great and allowing for easy clean ups. Now that you know how to stain concrete floors you should have the confidence to tackle your plain gray concrete floor and turn it into something unique and gorgeous.

Most applications are on floors but can be applied to vertical surfaces as well

The process is fairly simple when you have all the proper tools, product and systems. It’s white and the consistency of milk. Most systems are a 2 coat process that are sealed with concrete sealers. Not a big deal. Here are the steps to apply and complete over the weekend. This system is the same whether it’s a 3,000 square foot retail store or a 500 square foot basement. Step 1 – Friday night, after work. make sure surface is clean. You may want to use plastic to protect your walls. Then spray (garden style inexpensive sprayer) or pour polymer on floor and mop on surface. Step 2 – Saturday morning, Prime floor again with polymer and let dry. If room temperature is comfortable and slab is room temperature, dry time is less than an hour. You need a drill and mixing paddle (available at home improvement stores) 2 five gallon buckets, a 5′ x 7′ tarp to protect floor, knee pads and a “Magic Trowel”. A 500 square foot floor should only take about an hour. Step 3 – Sunday, Apply 2 coats of concrete sealer. Final application is finish or wax coats. The wax coats are usually too thick for a pump sprayer so pour on floor and spread using a thick microfiber mop. 25% solids wax coats usually require 5-6 coats to achieve same result as a 30% solids product. That’s the process. If you plan on applying concrete acid stains or dyes add a day to the project. Floor needs 24 hours to dry. You don’t want to rush it and trap moisture in your slab.

They lack sufficient lighting around the exterior of their home, and they cannot determine how to add curb appeal without enduring a large cost. There are great options for any imprinted concrete which can add texture and color to the different areas. Thanks to outdoor solar lighting, homeowners can emphasize the new available concrete designs while also lowering their energy consumption and costs. Outdoor solar lighting is a great addition to the exterior of any home because outdoor solar lighting charges naturally by using the sun and then lights up your stamped concrete at night, guiding guests from the driveway or curb to the patio or the front porch. Both stamped concrete and outdoor solar lighting is an effective and inexpensive means of redecorating an exterior area of your home. You can use a stamped concrete overlay and imprinted concrete to duplicate the appearance of pavers, seashells, wood, brick, or cobblestone. Once you have your appearance selected, you can add a pigment to enhance the look. There are certain stamps that will require cement which is creamier than others, but this provides an extra color to the surface because of the creamier base. There are great tools that professional concrete contractors can use when they are attempting to use the tamper. The benefits of using imprinted concrete instead of an original natural material are that cobbles, bricks, and pavers are susceptible to frost-heave and changes beneath the surface. Flat surfaces require that concrete is laid in the same fashion. By using stamped concrete, you can reinforce the pavement and then strengthen it.

Concrete patio designs are the most economical yet still appealing. Nowadays, concrete is highly versatile since most outdoor works especially in our backyards can be utilized with the use of concrete which is easily accessible in the market. To maintain it, it simply needs regular cleaning. With the availability of various modes and techniques, concrete at present can be designed in a variety of ways to create a beautiful pattern. You have various color choices but soft and natural color will look best in concrete decorative patio. Staining Concrete staining is another technique to make your concrete or wood surface appear brand new, nice-looking and giving an aged look similar to a natural stone. Staining protects your concrete from the harshness of nature. Squares can be created in various shapes and sizes. It involves pouring slab concrete to your patio and impressing designs and texture before it is dried up. This is very resilient and easy to maintain if treatment is properly applied. An excellent concrete patio design really looks great and adds a lot of value to every homeowner’s property. Again, the limit of your concrete patio designs is only your ingenuity.

Let us now discuss a few unique techniques that you can incorporate into your project to create a truly eye-catching design. There are a few skilled techniques required to create those beautiful designs you have admired and want to duplicate. Decorative ConcreteYou’ll often discover that decorative concrete is the best choice to permanently cover surface imperfections in existing concrete or to turn a plain-looking slab from drab to fab. With today’s decorative concrete, it is easy to give almost any concrete surface, indoors or out, a complete face-lift and at a much lower cost than removal and replacement. Stamped ConcreteWhat is stamped concrete? This is one of the fastest growing areas of home improvements. If you are on a tight budget, you can still achieve impressive results by mixing stamped concrete with fields of less-expensive plain concrete, such as a installing a driveway with only a border of stamped concrete. Your patience will be rewarded. Designs are carved into the existing concrete and then dyed and sealed to perfect the look. When the concrete is further enhanced by staining, the decorative possibilities are truly spectacular. There is a lot that can be incorporated into your decorative concrete flooring. Whether you are renovating your home or planning to decorate a new one, finding the solutions that meet your needs and requirements can be as simple as a visit to your concrete flooring contractor.

Your imagination is the limit when it comes to a new patio and it’s up to you to make your dreams a reality. The advantage of staining is that it is part of the concrete and won’t fade or chip away like paint would. Staining is a bit limited in the colors that can be achieved at this point, but new techniques for staining or dying concrete are becoming more common and allow a much wider range of colors including bright colors like reds and oranges or even soft pastel colors.

There are three major additional steps used in stamped concrete which separate it from other concrete procedures. First step involves the introduction of a base color. Secondly, a highlight color is added as an accent, and finally a pattern is stamped into concrete. There are an unlimited number of colors to choose from. The second method is called integrally colored concrete. The entire volume of concrete is colored by adding the color hardener to the truck. It has the same effect that shading does in art work. The accent color can be achieved at the time of pour or after the concrete has set. Stamping patternsConcrete stamping is the procedure which uses the concrete stamps to make the pattern in the concrete. Concrete stamps are placed on the concrete after the release has been applied.

Your new patio may look like a gorgeous slate, but it is not

A seasoned decorative concrete contractor knows this, and will install the concrete according to industry standards in order to best prevent cracks or color mishaps. Firstly, expansion joints are cut into the concrete to prevent cracks from occurring. However, everything from heavy loads travelling on the stamped concrete to land settlement underneath the concrete can cause a crack regardless of expansion joints. Proper cutting of the joints should alleviate this issue, and more often than not, it will. This is called “crusting” and typically will occur due to sun and wind. Another reason crusting occurs is due to the color of the concrete. Darker colors, as we all know, draw the sun’s rays and absorb the heat. Many people feel that these hairline cracks add to the look of the stamped concrete design, giving it an “Old World” look. This aged appearance typically lends to the overall design. Now let us move on to coloring mishaps. Actually, “mishaps” is not the correct word here. What I am referring to here is customer acceptance of the finished color on their new concrete. Depending on the method of coloring concrete (and there are quite a few) different factors come in to play in order for the concrete contractor to mix up the color chosen by the customer. However, as the customer there are a few things required of you in order to be sure you are receiving the color you want. A good practice would be to find photos of finished colored concrete patios, et. And then there are times when this simply is not the case. It is important for the customer to be present during color mixing to ensure happiness with the color. Concrete job requires more than one truck load of concrete. Color will vary slightly from one batch to the next. Placement of concrete at different ages will cause a slight color variation. This should be kept in mind during larger concrete projects, though it should not be more than a slight variation. Keeping all of the above in mind, as well as understanding that job site conditions and seasonal weather issues can affect the final outcome, should have a happy customer in the end. The contractor doesn’t want that, and certainly the homeowner doesn’t want that. An understanding from the get-go that color variation is a normal occurrence should keep the customer happy through to the end. Obviously, nobody wants to spend their hard earned cash on a concrete job that they feel is imperfect.

The process is fairly simple when you have all the proper tools, product and systems. Then polymer is poured into a 5 gallon bucket, add color, mix quickly then slowly add concrete and mix to a pancake batter consistency. Pour on floor spread evenly and thin. Most systems are a 2 coat process that are sealed with concrete sealers. Here are the steps to apply and complete over the weekend. Step 1 – Friday night, after work. make sure surface is clean. Use the kind that comes in a roll with a strip of blue painters tape attached. Then spray (garden style inexpensive sprayer) or pour polymer on floor and mop on surface. If room temperature is comfortable and slab is room temperature, dry time is less than an hour. Then slowly start adding concrete and mix until smooth with no lumps. Let dry for 5 hours. If there are any drip marks or high spots they can be lightly sanded with a 100-120 grit palm sander. This step should be faster than the first. Acrylic sealers are recommended. Sealers should be sprayed on using your garden pump sprayer with light coats. Let dry 2-3 hours between coats. Using a thick microfiber mop will not create streaks. There are a few wax finish coats that are 30% solids which are a 2 coat system. 25% solids wax coats usually require 5-6 coats to achieve same result as a 30% solids product. Each step of sealer and wax application should take 20 – 30 minutes. When you figure total application time for a 500 square foot floor it’s about 5 hours of actual work with lots of dry time. 00 per square foot.

And while wood, tile, and carpet still have their place in many homes, concrete flooring is giving them all a run for their money

As more and more people learn about stained concrete, they learn about what a truly unique and stylish choice it makes for residential and commercial flooring. If you’re one of the uninitiated, Acid Stain Designs invites you to introduce yourself to the most exciting flooring choice on the market today. Take one look at concrete staining in action and we promise you won’t believe your eyes. Acid Stain Designs differentiates itself not only by virtue of the stunning designs we can incorporate into your home, but also by virtue of the attention to detail we incorporate before any concrete is stained. In our industry great customer service is defined by the arduous prep work we do to make sure your concrete is 100 percent ready for staining. When existing flooring is removed to get to underlying concrete, it is vital not only to make certain all of the flooring is gone, but also to make certain that the integrity of the concrete wasn’t damaged during the removal process. Whether pouring a slab or an overlay, it’s our attention to detail throughout the entire process that allows us to achieve the results we’re known for. Learn more about the visually stunning and virtually maintenance free choice for flooring that turns everyday concrete surfaces into decorative canvases. In the process, make your home a unique and aesthetically pleasing testament to your personal tastes in a way you most likely never imagined.

This includes money on their landscape bills as well as water bills. Houses are not being covered with extensive lawns anymore because of the care and continual watering this requires. Instead, homeowners are turning to better, more practical things to surround their homes. These include decorative concrete options such as concrete resurfacing, concrete coatings, and concrete overlay. When you hire a decorative concrete contractor, you do so because you want your property and your home to exude quality with the luxury that comes with expensive onyx, marble, or slate. Using a decorative contractor means you can have a special touch of class to any property or home, a touch which friends, family, and prospective buyers will notice immediately with concrete resurfacing, coatings, and concrete overlay. Offering an attractive exterior, this aggregate finish does not break down over time and offers a wide range of color options that can make any home or garden appeal as modern and stylish as the homeowner’s desire. You can create diamond-finishes, boomed finishes, stamped finishes, stained finishes, or even decorative support for tiles, aggregates, stone, metal, mosaics, or wood. Overall concrete functions as an inexpensive alternative, a durable alternative, a non-combustible alternative, as well as an alternative impervious to decay. Water-based stains offer consistent results compared to acid etch stains which rely upon a chemical reaction to the concrete upon which it is installed. With water-based stains, there are pigments as well as dyes which are made from mineral oxide colors or organic colors included in the mix.

Water based stains offer multiple benefits including low VOC content, easier clean up and several color options. Unlike chemical (acid) stains, they not require washing of residue and neutralizing the surface subsequently to apply the sealers. These stains can be applied interior as well as exterior surfaces. They do not fade away over a period of time. Depending upon the binder used, the use of these stains may contribute to the LEED points. These colors are usually vibrant and diluted and blended to create multiple hues. Sometimes they seep under a stencil and do not produce a nice sharp edge. To lock the stains, they have to be locked in with the application of a sealer that can be sprayed.

It is highly recommended that the surface is sealed with specifically designed sealers that are water and heat resistant as well as durable

These protective materials also allow for the easier and quicker cleaning and maintenance of this type of concrete. The different sealers have different composition. They protect the covered surface from the growth of any sort of fungi and are also highly dirt and dust resistant. If you still find it difficult to maintain this kind of concrete surfaces, there are some other efficient cleaning methods that are quite helpful as well. Most of the damage done to concrete occurs during the seasons with regular rain falls because they bring a lot of dust and dirt that falls on the outdoor surfaces. These blotches can easily be removed by cleaning the surface with water and drying it afterward with a cloth or blower. It is effortless and not time consuming. Similarly, many people use mats made of rubber. Keep in mind that rubber is easily absorbed by the sealer of the stamped concrete, which leaves the surface covered with unwanted patches. The sealer will slowly wear out and lose its insulation qualities, despite the adequate and regular maintenance. The resealing cycle depends on many factors. So, you have to calculate on your won after how many months you will need to reseal it. If you do not pay special attention to the resealing process, then it will start losing its functional qualities. However, if you reseal the concrete even after it has lost its initial color, you will have a brilliant concrete floor again. If by accident something is spilled on your concrete floor then do not worry at all. All you have to do is to wash it with some dish-washing detergent and then let it dry for some time. You will see that concrete floor can be very easily maintained.

They will try to the best of their ability but the materials they work with are important. There are individuals who will like a pretty garden to draw attention to the outside of their house. some homeowners are more particular than others about the look of their yard. Individuals are able to get ideas from places like flower and design magazines that speak about decorating the outdoors. There are those that will instead have items like statues and other structures that give the area a museum look or style that some individuals do admire. Patio gardens can be fashioned in many ways that may include using grounds and flowers for effect. Some patio gardens are designed to be roomy enough for parties and for people to walk around freely and mix and mingle with each other. They have artistically been crafted to have a special look for the outdoors. The cement has been enhanced with colors and resins and other fillers that allow the cement to be customized into a style that fits a homeowner’s particular tastes. Bricklaying will, of course, have spaces between each brick that have to be filled with something or closed by fitting the bricks tightly together. A yard that is decorated with a well mixed cement recipe is also able to resist water. Hose water or rainwater is unlikely to cause it to be ruined or to bulge up from beneath. Cleaning is not a problem as water is the method that is used if the occasion for cleaning should arise.

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