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stamped concrete compared to interlocking
Decorative concrete is a style that mimics the appearance of many interlocking concrete blocks
such as bricks, wood, tiles, and stone. The designs, color scheme and textures available in this
option make it suitable for number of uses from concrete walkways, to porches, patios and even
How is stamped concrete done?
The stamping technique is done before freshly poured concrete starts to harden. The large
aggregate particles of the concrete are worked down into the concrete while it is still wet. Then,
large rubber mats are stamped into the concrete's surface, leaving a mark or finish behind when
the mats are lifted. Typically, before the concrete is stamped, the surface is covered with coloring
or the color is added to mixture. Also, a powdered color is applied across the concrete surface to
prevent the stamps from adhering to the concrete. This surface color produces an antique effect
on the surface further enhancing its look.
One of the biggest advantages of decorative concrete is its practical. Most of the time, stamped
concrete costs less than paver blocks. Also, stamping concrete is typically less labor intensive
unlike installing other pavers that can really take up much longer time. The best thing about
stamped concrete is its extremely uniqueness. Aside from the numerous patterns that can be
done with it, other techniques such as sealing and scoring can also be used to improve its look.
It also does not pose any tripping hazard because it's a single continuous slab not like individual
interlocking concrete blocks that can become loose or sunked and, therefore may pose a tripping
hazard. When it comes to maintenance, stamped concrete has very minimal requirements unlike
pavers which can be high maintenance. All you really need to do to keep stamped concrete in
good shape is to apply a oil-based sealer over it every year or so depending on the amount of
traffic the surface has to contend with and the harshness of the winter. With pavers, however, you
need to check for any pieces that have settled to remove any tripping hazard, not to mention pull
up grass that grow between the interlocking concrete blocks to keep the area neat.
The one big weakness of decorative concrete is the fact that almost all types of concrete slabs
inevitably cracks. A stamped concrete driveway can eventually crack due to heavy loads like large
delivery vehicles regularly passing over it or the settlement of the soil underneath. Decorative
concrete contractors are aware of the tendency of concrete to crack so they place control joints in
the concrete paving to make the cracks occur neatly at the joints. Occasionally, however,
stamped concrete|concrete|decorative concrete} can still crack outside of the expansion joints.
When this happens, filling up the cracks can become very difficult because it's hard to match the
original design and color scheme. Likewise, changes to the colors and sealer if not addressed
properly, can be very obvious and unappealing should you try to alter the concrete's shape or add
on to it. However, with improvements in decorative concrete every year, it is becoming more and
more likely that you will be able to match the existing patterns and colors very closely.
With paver blocks, it is less likely that you will have to worry about cracking with paver blocks.
Also, because they are individual blocks, repairs, replacements and modifications are easy and in
most cases there is usually very easy finding matching stones.
However, do note that proper concrete installation greatly minimizes cracking if not altogether. So,
it is very important to choose a reputable contractor to do the job and also to use high quality
decorative conccrete products to ensure that you get a astonishing stamped concrete finish that
will last a long time. For more information for stamped concrete or paver stones you can find out
more at stamped concrete pictures or you can also check color concrete.