Decorative Concrete: What Are Your Options?


Concrete has always been a versatile building material. It is highly durable, cost-effective and usually easy to customise. Ordinary or traditional concrete slabs have been common for exterior spaces such as patios and driveways. However, you can use decorative concrete to create a beautiful and unique look in your outdoor spaces. There are multiple ways you can create texture, functionality and style with decorative concrete to improve the aesthetic value of your outdoor spaces. To achieve the decorative look, special ingredients can be added to the concrete mix before it's poured. Adding a decorative layer on concrete that has already cured will also yield the same results. Nevertheless, here are some of the popular options when it comes to decorative concrete.

Stamped Overlays

Stamped overlays or stamped concrete is one effective way to create a decorative finish on your concrete surfaces. This is an ideal option if you have an existing concrete slab. You don't have to tear it down. Instead, the concrete slab will be topped up with thin overlays in a process referred to as stamping. Stamping does not disrupt the existing concrete slab, making it cost effective. Another advantage of stamped overlays is that there are limitless possibilities when it comes to the final finish or texture. That is, your stamped concrete can be made to imitate a range of materials such as stone, cobblestone, brick and slate. 

Acid Stains

This is another popular way to create decorative concrete. Acid staining primarily changes the colour of the concrete. It involves soaking pigments of the acid stain deep into the concrete pores to change the colour of the concrete permanently. This process usually brings out the natural beauty of concrete by infusing a range of translucent tones to it, giving it an attractive, colourful, glossy and smooth finish. Acid staining is usually cost effective and easy to apply. However, it is worth noting that your colour selection can be limited when it comes to acid stains.


With this method, a textured finish will be trowelled down over your regular concrete. The process itself usually involves throwing a thin layer of wear- and water-resistant cement over the existing concrete and trowelling it to create a pattern that mimics a range of rippled as well as smooth stone finishes such as natural slate. If you want the look of natural stone on your outdoor living areas, trowel-on decorative concrete is a budget-friendly way to do that.


26 April 2018

Drainage, Reinforcement, Tamping and Other Concrete Essentials

Pouring concrete isn't necessarily as straightforward as it looks. Depending on the land, you have to make multiple adjustments ranging from laying a layer of gravel to putting in moisture barriers. Then, depending on the size of the concrete pad, you may need to add steel reinforcements. After the concrete has dried and cured, you may decide to add sealants, do an acid wash or play with other finishes. Then, of course, there are differences between pouring concrete inside or outside. In this blog, I hope to cover all those issues and more. If you're looking for tips and ideas, take a look at these posts. Whether you plan to hire a concrete contractor or do the work yourself, it can help to know this information.