Your Basic Guide to Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is making waves in outdoor and interior home designs. At first, this unique and durable flooring option was utilized for pool decks, driveways, sidewalks, and patios. But its economical application was soon discovered to be suitable for interior designs, especially for wood-like flooring choices. 

Its customizable appearance and overall appeal make it a great want for homeowners that want to make their home stand out. If you are one those that marvel in the beauty of stamped concrete but is unaware of what the process involves, how it works or what it is, then this article is for you. 

stamped concrete

Stamped Concrete: What is it? 

Stamped concrete is a process of adding texture, patterns, and stamped designs to concrete. This can be done to visually resemble other flooring options such as slates, stone, tiles, or bricks or to simply add some decoration to your plain concrete floors. It became a popular option for homeowners for its affordability and stylish look.

The Process of Stamping Concrete

There are 5 basic steps to creating patterns in your concrete floors, though for more complex designs steps can go all the way up to 10. But for simple yet chic designs for your concrete floors, here are the five basic steps:

1. Adding the Base and Accent Color 

After choosing the pattern and texture you like, a powder pigment identified as a color hardener is poured on the wet concrete. There are two methods of mixing color hardener into the concrete, either by integral application or cast-on application. 

Integral application is when the base color is mixed into the concrete mixer so that the totality of the concrete is colored. On the other hand, the cast-on application is mixed onto the surface of the wet concrete. After 5-10 minutes of setting, another layer is applied. 

For the accent color, you have liquid sprays and powders to choose from. However, both of these options have varied purposes. Powders are used for a uniform and a light layer of color. The liquid spray is used for shaping and coloring at the same time. 

2. Test the concrete 

To ensure the right amount of plasticity, you can stamp a portion of the concrete and assess whether it can accept the imprint or not. The imprint should hold the test design, pattern, or texture without sliding too deep into the surface of the concrete or sliding around the area. 

stamped concrete overlay installation

3. Stamping the concrete

This may be the most enjoyable part of the process as the overall look of the concrete will start to come out. If you are copying a pattern, make sure to use the first row as your guide to creating a consistent design pattern. Make sure to wear protective gear and clean shoes to avoid contaminating the concrete. 

4. Sharpening the Details and Cleaning the Concrete

While the concrete is fresh from stamping, follow-up on patterns that have been destroyed, contaminated, or have flaws with a mini roller or hand chisel. After setting the concrete for a maximum of 3 days, remove residual wastes from the concrete’s surface. 

5. Application of Curing Compound and Sealing

You can easily purchase curing compounds at any home improvement store to finalize the texture, patterns, and molds of the concrete. After setting it for two weeks, it is recommended to light wash the surface and dry it. Then, you can seal the concrete.