7 Things You Didn’t Know about Stamped Concrete Overlay
Stamped concrete is one of the most innovative methods for restoring and repairing concrete surfaces, both indoors and out. It provides various benefits starting with a more decorative look for any surface. It can be designed to mimic almost any paving or flooring material. It also adds strength to the existing slab. Here are some things you would be interested to know about this impressive decorative concrete solution:
- Concrete stamping dates back to the 1950s. This technique of stamping patterns in concrete slabs originated in the West Coast but it didn’t catch popularity bug just yet. Why? The patterns available were minimal due to the lack of better stamp mats. Texturing tools were also not that efficient then, yielding unrealistic looks.
- The concrete stamps used before were made from cast aluminum. Imagine a cookie cutter with a handle being placed on top of concrete and pressed hard enough to make an imprint. Nowadays, stamp mats can be made from polyurethane for a more realistic appearance.
- Stamp mats today are molded from real material. This helps make the impression a lot more realistic when it comes to appearance and texture.
- Stamp mats come in rigid and semi-rigid types. Rigid ones are hard and strong enough to stand on. It comes with a handle to make it easy apply and lift. This is used for deep and heavily textured patterns. Semi-rigid mats are softer and more flexible. This is used on surfaces that involve slopes and contours. The flexibility makes it easier for the mat to stamp the pattern and still conform to the unique surface.
- Installers use sets of stamps for one pattern. This is to make sure that the pattern does not repeat too close to one another. Evident repetition makes the surface look fake. Stamping with a set of, say, four slightly different impressions of one pattern will create a random look that is a lot more believable.
- Texturing skins are also used in concrete stamping. These are very thin and pliable mats with feathered edges. This is meant to add texture, like that of fractured slate, to a pattern or to a plain concrete surface.
- There are specific stamping and texturing tools for steps, borders, and edges. A step form or liner is used to create patterns on steps or stairways. Texture rollers, on the other hand, are used for faster imprinting on copings, borders, and edges.