Every homeowner knows that the beauty of their home goes beyond what’s inside their four walls. If you want to really enjoy your home and have it appreciated by others, you know that the lawn and garden as well as the hard surfaces like the driveway, walkways and patio are important. And when it comes to those solid surfaces, stamped concrete is a fantastic and versatile option that can match any architecture and design.
What Is Stamped Concrete?
There are a lot of products that have creative names that leave you guessing what they really are. But that’s definitely not the case with stamped concrete.
Stamped concrete is exactly what it sounds like: concrete that’s stamped with a pattern to give it a special appearance. The process of mixing the concrete is not much different than any other concrete job. However, coloring is added. Some contractors do that during the mixing. However, other stamped concrete companies, prefer to do it when the concrete is poured and the coloring can be “cast” onto it to give a richer, more consistent look.
As the concrete starts to dry, stamps are used to create a pattern in it. So instead of plain, flat concrete, you end up with a richer, more beautiful surface. “Trim” colors are also mixed in to make it look realistic.
The stamps provide real depth to the concrete. It’s not a painted image on the surface; you’ll actually see and feel the texture of bricks, cobblestone, or whatever other design you choose. At the same time, you get all the dependability of concrete.
Old World Charm
If you’ve traveled through Europe and visited the historic areas, you’ve surely marvelled at the elaborate cobblestone patterns that were used in earlier centuries. The individual cobblestones were often arranged in well-planned patterns that fanned out in arcs.
That kind of workmanship – and cobblestones themselves – are hard to come by in the 21st century. If you can find it, it’s really expensive.
If you have a home that reflects classical European architecture – perhaps something from the Victorian, Edwardian, or Georgian styles – this will fit right in for your driveway or patio!
Stamped concrete makes it easy to create this appearance – and without the risk of individual stones working lose!
New World Colonial
Cobblestone layout in the Americas often took on a different design than that in Europe. Rather than the fan shape, it commonly was arranged in staggered lines. Such designs can still be seen in parts of historic districts of cities like Boston and Philadelphia, among others.
If you live in an area that celebrates that kind of historical lineage, this “running bond cobblestone” will really tie your home into history!
Brick by Brick
Brick is, of course, a common building material. Whether you have an older home that’s made of real brick or a newer one that has a faux-brick facade, complementing that appearance with through your driveway and walkways will look amazing.
While that might not be practical with real brick, you’ll fool anyway with stamped concrete! With colors that can match the tone of your walls, you’ll reap all the benefits of a beautiful entryway.
A More Rustic Look
If you want something more rustic and perhaps more relaxed-looking, the appearance of hewn stone is a great choice. A cottage or Cape Cod home will look even better with this type of patio or walkway.
The art in these designs is in matching irregularly-shaped blocks so that they line up perfectly. There are no crisp, sharp, or straight edges. It’s a freer look that doesn’t rely on lines or staggering. Instead, it has a much more natural appearance.
While real stone can be expensive and difficult to maintain, stamped concrete is a fantastic alternative. And no one will know the difference!
More modern architecture is often noteworthy for its straight lines and right-angle corners. It’s an exacting look for an exacting age.
Stacked bond is an architectural style that definitely falls into this style. It doesn’t work well for structural purposes – the lack of overlap between the tiles or bricks would lead to easy collapse. However, as a decorative element, it’s absolutely fantastic.
A stacked bond style in your sidewalk or pathway creates a clear sense of direction and organization. It’s a great look that goes along with a lot of more recent construction.
Really Fool Them With Wood!
It might not be surprising that concrete can take the appearance of a variety of different types of stone. But wood? Yes, stamped concrete can even make it look like your patio, pool deck or front porch look like planks or logs, right down to the grain.
If you’re in a more rural area or your home has a log-cabin or other “outdoorsy” feel to it, this could be a perfect choice. Concrete is going to hold up much longer than real wood and it won’t splinter. It’ll also hold its appearance better for years to come!
These are just a few examples of the styles you can have with stamped concrete. This durable, easy-to-maintain material is a great choice and can adapt to almost any style. If you’re looking for a tough and reliable surface that isn’t going to break the bank, it’s definitely worth checking it out!