Stamped and stained concrete driveway.Perhaps the great aspect of decorative concrete is its versatility and ability to mimic just about any material out there. It’s very likely that you’ve walked on stamped decorative concrete today and didn’t even know it. Maybe you went to a mall and walked on their granite walkway. Perhaps you went to a party at your friend’s flagstone pool patio.

No matter how real those pavers looked, no matter how certain you are that you’re are walking on a brick sidewalk…there’s a good chance that it was stamped concrete! Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of decorative concrete that fool people every day.

Slate

Slate is a metamorphic rock that cleaves into thin layers. This flat surface has made it into a sought-after material for walkways. The problem comes from settling, where individual stones can lift at odd angles and trip walkers. There are “slate” walkways made of decorative concrete where you can’t tell the difference between the concrete and the real thing.

Flagstone

Flagstone can be cut into squares and arranged like a checkerboard, or can be arranged (and cut) so that the natural shapes of the stone creates interlocking patterns. Flagstone is one of the most common materials used in building patios, sidewalks, and walkways in backyards. It’s far less common today because of what you can get from stamped concrete!

Brick

decorative-concrete-1No matter how much you’re sure you’re walking on individual bricks at that outdoor mall, you’re almost certainly standing on the decorative concrete version. This method works so well because they don’t create tripping hazards due to settling, and the cracks that occur are hidden deep between the “bricks.” Acid staining the concrete is also the easiest way to create a Yellow Brick Road, if you’re so inclined!

Tile

You might be surprised, but acid stained concrete can look just like tile. This method can be coated with an epoxy to create flooring that is beautiful and durable. It also makes an excellent option for patios when you want a tile-like coloring and pattern. Unlike pre-manufactured tiles, there won’t be any repeating patterns; the patterns in the floor will be completely random.

Wood

It takes an artistic hand, but stamped concrete can be made to look like real wood! In fact, it looks more like real wood than many “hardwood” floors or plastic boards. For this reason it can make a unique and durable option for floors, decks, pathways, and patios. As you might expect, the stamping required to get decorative concrete that looks like wood is the easier part. It’s getting the acid staining to look just right that requires a true artist.

Every stamped concrete company has its specialty, and some of these particular styles are considerably harder than others. Some are more expensive, others take more time. We’d love to talk with you about your wants and needs in decorative concrete, whether it’s a concrete driveway or acid stained concrete in your basement. Contact us to find out what we can do for you!