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What is Stamped Concrete?

Concrete and Masonry
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Stamped concrete is a growing trend in the world of home decoration. Thanks to recent advancements in texturing and other processes, the versatility and attractiveness of concrete stamping has been bolstered significantly. Continue reading to learn more about stamped concrete and its many benefits:

Stamped Concrete – Definition

Stamped concrete is a concrete that has been imprinted with a surface pattern. This pattern is achieved by pouring slab concrete into the foundation, and then pressing the pattern into the still-drying concrete paste. Today, the process is most commonly used to mimic the appearance of other surfaces. For example, brick, flagstone, tile, slate, cobblestone and wood can all be convincingly mirrored through the use of stamped concrete.

To add to the faux appearance of the surface, concrete can be dyed a wide range of colors. By polishing, texturing or otherwise treating this colored concrete, the stamped effect is all the more effective.

Benefits of Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete delivers similar design effects at a fraction of the cost when compared to alternative materials. Some natural stone materials are notoriously expensive to install (granite, for example). For those who are content with the near-identical look of stamped concrete, the savings can be significant.

Additionally, the piece-meal nature of natural pavers, tiles or bricks makes them prone to unsightly weed growth between the cracks. Stamped concrete does not have this problem, as the surface is poured in larger slabs.

Disadvantages of Stamped Concrete

While stamped concrete does a great job of mimicking many alternative materials, it is almost never completely convincing. Because of this, many homeowners prefer to stick with the source material. However, if you are unhappy with the way stamped concrete mimics a desired material, you might consider simply choosing a unique stamped concrete pattern that does not attempt to be something it's not. In its own right, stamped concrete can deliver exceptional beauty.

Stamped concrete also suffers from a difficult installation process. Whereas many stones and natural products might be within the skill set of an experienced do-it-yourselfer, stamped concrete is best left to the experts. This is due to the fact that very little margin for error is required to deliver acceptable results. The need for several workers and special tools only exacerbates the difficulty of installing stamped concrete.

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