Stamped concrete is a very intelligent and innovative innovation in concrete widely applied for floor in patios, car porch, driveways and sidewalks.
Idea of concrete decoration with stamped concrete not only adds their strength for the floors but also provide pleasing appearance. This is now a good idea for low-cost landscaping where costly granites, interlocks in landscaping and patios are used, the stamped concrete stay upright.
Fig.1. Stamped Concrete with Hexagonal PatternsThe stamped concrete is called as imprinted concrete or textured concrete. These types of concrete after completion of their construction will look similar to stones such as slates or flagstones, brick, tile or with proper skill they can look similar to wood. These are best choice for beautifying the pool decks, courtyards, entries of the residential building. The stamped concrete is proved best for outdoor paving.
History of Stamped ConcreteThis innovative method of flooring - stamped concrete has gained its popularity from the time it was introduced into the world of concrete. This was a new way of satisfying the customer and keep the budget within the limits. Stamped concrete gained its applications from the period of 1950s. During its initial entry, the only problem faced was the variety of colors and shapes that they provide. As the technology improved new stains were introduced along with different patterns for stamping.
Features of Stamped ConcreteThe stamped concrete is a flooring system that can be attained by a small reference without the need of an outside labor. This is a part of small home change over tip. It can be done by the occupants themselves if willing. They have wide array of options in terms of color they can be laid and based on different patterns that are available. Another important factor that increases the application of stamped concrete is the price. This is very cheap when compared with any other alternative you choose for the purpose. In terms of strength and working, concrete is the perfect material that can be chosen to create cost effective replica of more expensive materials. This is attained without compromising the authentic, natural look of the floor. While choosing stain and patterns for the stamped concrete, it is recommended to choose a combination that easily match with other floorings, stones laid on your residence nearby. Those that have complex designs, like an area with steps and fountains, can also be easily pressed into the concrete very easily. These ideas can be combined with other decorative concrete elements like exposed aggregates or acid staining. The different patterns that can be used for stamped concrete construction are running bond brick, worn rock, stone or hexagonal tiles.
Procedure for Stamped ConcreteThe steps involved in the installation of stamped concrete is slightly different from other concrete procedures. Each of the method is explained in detailed:
- Step 1: Addition of Base Color
- Step 2: Addition of Accent Colors
- Step 3: Stamping Patterns over the Concrete Surface
Addition of Base ColorThe primary color that is used in the construction of stamped concrete flooring forms the base color. The base color is selected in such a way that it suits the natural building color. It must have a correlation with any other stones that is laid in the nearby area of the respective building. The addition of a color hardener to the concrete gives the base color to the concrete. The color hardener used for the base color is powdered like material. The addition of color hardener to the concrete can be done in two main procedures. They are the:
- Integral color
- Cast on the color procedure
Integral Color Procedure:In this method, the whole volume of the concrete used for stamped concrete construction is dyed with the base color. The color hardened required is completely added to the concrete mixer. This lets the whole concrete in the mixer to be dyed with the base color selected. A uniform color distribution is achieved due to the thorough mixing of the concrete.
Cast on the Color Procedure:In this procedure, the surface of the concrete prepared is dyed with the base color. The color hardener is spread over the surface of the concrete. This application is carried out when the concrete is in the wet conditions. Then the power is allowed to float over it. The coloring of the concrete can be done in many ways. Some of the means of coloring are by using color hardener, acid stains or integral liquid or powder. The integral process of coloring the concrete as mentioned above have the advantage letting the whole concrete mix to get the colored (complete volume). The use of color hardened cannot change the surface strength of the concrete layer.
Addition of Accent ColorAccent color is the secondary color used in stamped concrete to produce texture and other additional building materials. Application of color release to the concrete produce the accent color. The color release used in the stamped concrete have two main purposes:
- Color release to color the concrete
- Color release helps in preventing the concrete stamps used to stop sticking to the concrete once the pattern is made over it
Stamping Patterns in ConcreteThe patterns on the stamped concrete is the shape of the stamp placed over it. These patterns reflects the shape of a similar natural building material. Once the concrete has been poured and leveled, imprinting over it is carried out with the help of a concrete stamp. Latest and the most modern concrete stamps are made from polyurethane material. Earlier these were made from metals. The old concrete stamps lack the property of providing texture that looks more realistic and similar to that of other building materials.
Fig.2. Stamping Concrete using Concrete StampsThe method of making patterns over the stamped concrete with the help of concrete stamps are called as concrete stamping. The concrete stamping is performed only after the color release is applied over the concrete. The concrete stamps are initially pushed into the wet concrete layer and then removed so that the pattern is left over the concrete. Most applications demand to make the stamped concrete look similar to brick, natural stone, flagstone etc.