Concrete Countertops – Stamped, Stained, Polished and Colored

Introduction to Decorative Concrete

Decorative concrete, also known as architectural concrete, can most easily be referred to as any technique that alters an amount be plain, grey concrete to be more great looking. Decorative concrete can encompass a variety of looks and techniques. It may include simple coloring techniques such as acid stains, acrylic stains, concrete dyes, and integral colors (also known as integrated colors; mixed in to the concrete before it is poured). Additionally, it may include special treatments including stamping, scoring, chiseling, and polishing that can alter the texture of the surface. Many times, decorative concrete integrates multiple strategies to truly customize the slab.

Stained Concrete

Probably probably the most well-known techniques for transforming plain concrete to be more design-friendly is staining, specifically for interior applications. This method involves taking a cured layer of concrete and literally staining it to be a different color (or colors). There’s two main types of concrete stain. The most common kind of concrete stain is definitely an acid stain. It is noted for producing rich color. The acid reacts towards the concrete and takes on its very own life. The result is a marbleized coloring, similar to grainy leather. It is usually probably the most difficult stains to utilize; it requires much caution while applying because you are working with acid, after all. This stain does not cover defects in the concrete. On the other hand, it’ll likely show defects, even those you didn’t see once the concrete is at its natural state. However, this character that the acid stain reveals is part of the allure from the finished product of the acid stain job. Water-based concrete stains and acrylic concrete stains produce an a lot more uniform look than do acid stains. These stains possess a thin, milky consistency, letting them seep in to the concrete’s pores, which differentiates them from any concrete paint, which could flake off because paints simply coat the surface. Since there is no chemical reaction between your stain and the concrete, it applies a lot more like a dye.

It is a better alternative than acid stain for concrete pads which have cosmetic defects because coverage is fairly consistent. However, it is still a semi-translucent stain, therefore it will not completely disguise soils along with other defects within the concrete. Water-based stains will also be commonly called concrete dyes. It’s used to accent the job of the acid stain job by giving many places of the concrete another color. Acrylic stains provide a wide selection of deep and bright colors having a much broader selection than acid stain offers. Also, whereas acid stains rely on a reaction using the concrete to create color, the acrylic stain colors are usually the same in the bottle because they are around the concrete. This makes predicting the outcome much easier. Additionally, it enables easier mixing in the jobsite to complement other colors around. Following the stain job is complete, it is suggested to place some sort of protective coating at first glance. This can prevent fading and wear. For outdoor applications, a concrete sealer is usually 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. For indoor applications, it’s generally recommended to use a wax, similar to that which can be used on a gym floor. In summary, staining is generally a wise decision for those who have a layer of concrete currently that you’d like to include color to. Stains do not hide defects within the concrete, nor will they alter the texture from the concrete. They simply add a semi-transparent, semi-permanent color. There are many tools and methods that expand design options when using concrete stain. For instance, there are stencils available on the market that allow for one design. Also, scored lines will also be popular to include a pattern or design in to the concrete.

Stain can also be used in conjunction with stamped concrete to add accent coloring. Plus, there are many different ways to apply stain to achieve various appearances. benefits of stained concrete. Of course, the greatest advantage of stained concrete may be the looks. Staining concrete allows you to turn a functional element into a design element. Plus, with the range of colors and fashions, staining can be used to compliment almost any design theme. Another advantage of stained concrete is that it is really a semi-permanent, durable option. Because you are merely altering the colour of concrete without altering its physical strength, your stained concrete may have the life of the boring, white slab (which some concrete is engineered to last a lot more than half a century!). Also, since the color is actually seeped in to the concrete versus a layer on top like paint, it won’t slough off like paint tends to. Stain can also be referred to as a “green” renovation project because you can simply transform what you curently have, which means less waste in our landfills caused by starting over. Additionally, staining requires no extra material apart from sealer or wax to make the flooring surface ready to be used. Stained concrete is equally as easy to maintain like a regular concrete slab otherwise easier since the sealer prevents stains and rinses easily. It may require a new coat of sealer or wax occasionally to maintain the conclusion. A simple broom or hose will often clean the top adequately. Finally, another advantage of stained concrete is it is comparatively inexpensive when compared with other available choices while yielding a custom, unique product.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is yet another common technique of decorative concrete. It literally involves stamping a pattern and/or texture into freshly laid concrete. That said, stamped concrete mandates that new concrete flows. This is not to express that you can’t give a stamped pattern or texture to your existing patio, it just takes a few intermediate steps. For those who have a current concrete pad that you want to add a stamped pattern or texture to, it requires adding a layer of concrete or overlay mixture. Of course, concrete is preferable, as it is one of world’s most durable materials; however, concrete will need a minimum of two inch height increase. There’s another product available, known as an overlay mix, that may be applied as little as three-eighths inches thick. 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. If your patio is cracked or structurally unsound, it’s risky to place any coating onto it because that coating will probably crack and shift as well. Capping or overlaying your concrete will effectively hide any stains and minor defects in the concrete, though. The procedure involves pouring concrete much like you would do for ordinary flatwork. The region is framed up, reinforced with rebar, and smoothed out. To be able to stamp, the concrete must be dry enough to not be mushy but wet enough to still hold an impression. The timing is probably one of the most difficult facets of stamping. At this time, large rubber stamps are pounded in to the concrete, many times with a tool called a tamper. Some kind of release product is used to keep the stamps from sticking. Other special tools, including “flippie” stamps, grout rollers, etc are utilized to perfect the region. The coloring of stamped concrete is possible in many different ways. A few of the coloring materials readily available for use with stamped concrete include integral/integrated colors, antiquing release colors, color hardeners, and tinted sealers. Integral colors, also known as integrated colors, is color that’s mixed into the concrete before it is poured. Integral colors are available in both liquid and powder form.

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