As we’ve mentioned many times before, concrete has been around for thousands of years. While humanity basically forgot how to make it between 500 AD and 1600 AD, when it came back it came back with a vengeance. But even after it returned, it was still that boring gray color that most people think of when they think of concrete. Not only that, but its surface was almost always relatively smooth, whether it was being used as a sidewalk or on something more three-dimensional. Where was that concrete we specialize in, stamped concrete?
You might be surprised at how recently stamped concrete entered the market. Let’s take a look at where this method came from…and where it might be going.
The Pre-Official Era
Innovations sometimes comes from within the industry, such as when a large company introduces a method or product. Other times innovations works it way from the bottom up, and that’s what happened to stamped concrete. Individual concrete pourers, looking to differentiate themselves in the fields, started creating their own stamps and offering them to the public.
Let’s Make It Official
It wasn’t until about 20 years later that that stamped concrete became an official product when it showed up at the World of Concrete. What, you don’t know about the largest international trade show in the world that devoted to concrete and masonry? Well, now you do!
The World of Concrete takes place every year, and this year it’s the weekend of January 17 in Las Vegas. Vendors come to show off the latest in concrete equipment, methods, and blends that help concrete pourers around the world get the most out of their mixtures. It also includes speakers who are experts in the field.
The Limited Options
Like potato chips, the amount of options in concrete stamps started out pretty plain (now that was a weird analogy…). But once the industry took hold of the idea, things got interesting fast. Suddenly there’s concrete that looks like bricks, flagstone, travertine, wood, tile, and slate. Concrete wasn’t just used for foundations and sidewalks; now it could make basement floors beautiful, spruce up a driveway to make it look like cobblestones, or be found under clear epoxy in the fanciest hotel lobbies.
(The Side Benefit)
Of course, in order to mimic those materials, advances were also made in colors used in concrete. That’s where stained concrete really became popular, using acid to create just about any earth-tone color out there.
So Where Does It Go From Here?
Good question. While we aren’t certain what types of changes will stick when it comes to concrete, one thing that’s always changing are the stamp options available. More and more materials can be replicated. For example, hardwood stamped concrete wasn’t around in the 1970s, but today there’s a demand for it. Also, stamps can change based on the design of homes; if the stonework on newly-built homes becomes unpopular, concrete stamps for patios will most likely change to match whatever is next in home design.
Stamped concrete has come a long way, and we’re ready to show you exactly what we can do. Contact Marrocco’s today to get the latest methods today!