It seems like the sky is the limit as far as design choices for stamped concrete. There are more than 100 patterns to choose from, before you even consider the color options. Talk to your local hardware store or contractor for samples and further information.
Color is the broadest category of design because it can be specified to the exact preference of the buyer. The concrete can be ordered already colored, or you can dye it at home to save a little money and allow for approval. To dye the concrete, you simply sprinkle color pigment over the wet concrete and mix it in with a trowel. The only problem with this is that the color won't go very deep past the surface. If your concrete chips or cracks (which is one of the biggest downfalls of concrete) the original gray will show [source: Carter].
To decide on a pattern, your best bet is to look around at other properties and figure out what you like. With the help of an experienced professional, almost all surfaces can be imitated with the proper dye and stamp. Keep your natural surroundings and existing landscape in mind so you pick the most cohesive design. A designer or contractor should be able to help you and direct you to local expositions and exhibits.
Now you have the inside scoop on stamped concrete. If you're interested in learning more, contact a local contractor or head over to your nearest hardware store.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Balogh, Anne. "Stamped Concrete." Concrete Network. (Accessed 12/14/2008). http://www.concretenetwork.com/stamped-concrete/
- Carter, Tim. "Stamped Concrete." Ask the Builder.com (Accessed 12/14/2008). http://www.askthebuilder.com/B135_Stamped_Concrete.shtml
- Concrete Network. "How to Hire a Contractor." (Accessed 12/14/2008). http://www.concretenetwork.com/how-to-hire-a-contractor/exterior.html
- Concrete Network. "Stamped Concrete." (Accessed 12/14/2008). http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/stamped_concrete/
- Concrete Network. "Stamped Concrete Versus Other Paving Materials." (Accessed 12/14/2008). http://www.concretenetwork.com/stamped-concrete/comparison.html
- Concrete Network. "Tips and Techniques for Proper Concrete Stamping." (Accessed 12/14/2008). http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/stamped_concrete/stampedtips.htm
- Concrete Network. "Where to Get Design Ideas." (Accessed 12/14/2008). http://www.concretenetwork.com/stamped-concrete/design-ideas.html
- Lowes. "Pouring a Concrete Pad." (Accessed 12/17/2008). http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=LawnGarden/concpad.html