Concrete is a sensible and sturdy medium that can last for decades but it isn’t always considered beautiful. It’s usually a drab gray that isn’t very inspirational but that has changed with modern artistic techniques. Decorative concrete uses Acid Staining, Colored Concrete, Stamps, and Engraving, to transform concrete in such a way that you would never realize that it is concrete.
Acid staining is the process of using a mixture of water, mineral salts, and muriatic acid to create a chemical reaction with the natural lime content already present in the pores of the concrete. The process brings out the natural beauty and deep, rich earth tones of the concrete and creates a marbling effect. It takes a few hours for the acid to do its job and then we apply a stopping agent to neutralize the chemical levels within the concrete. The nice thing about acid staining is that the process takes place after the concrete has cured which means that older interior concrete can be stained as well. We can stain your existing exterior concrete but we can’t necessarily guarantee the color or outcome because the remaining minerals in the concrete may have been removed due to time and weather elements.
Colored concrete is created by adding iron oxide pigment to the concrete mix before it’s poured. It’s not a chemical reaction like acid staining so the color will be more consistent instead of marbled. Colored concrete comes in a wide array of colors and can be used in interior and exterior areas. Concrete can be used in interior areas such as floors and stairs. Pick a color from earth tones, blues, reds, and greens that best matches your décor to make the transition from floor to wall seamless. In exterior areas like patios, pool decks, and driveways; the most common colors used are earth tones that will match or highlight your landscape and décor such as: Brown, Terracotta Reds, Tan, Charcoal, and Light Gray. The fun thing is that you can choose more than one color to use and create designs. You can pick two different colors and offset them like a checkerboard to make it look like tile instead of concrete or add decorative borders for a simple splash of color. Something more complex can be designed like the star on this patio. A good sealant will be applied to stop fading and should be reapplied every three years for exterior concrete.
Stamping is a technique that alters the appearance of concrete in such a way that you may not recognize that it’s concrete in the first place. We add texture and color to assimilate wood, brick, slate, tile, cobblestone and more. Stamped concrete is an affordable way to achieve the hi-end look of natural products you desire without a hefty price tag. It’s also easier to maintain and repair if necessary.
The installation is the same as any concrete pour but before it sets, molds will be pressed into the concrete to create the pattern you want. This technique is usually applied to freshly poured concrete but it can also be added to an existing slab. If you already have a concrete surface, we can add a layer of concrete coating and apply the stamp to that for the same design effect. A sealant will be applied to protect the design and color, and a concrete coating with a non-slip additive can be added to make it less slippery as well.
Engraving concrete means cutting into an existing, or freshly cured concrete surface to create designs or patterns. Geometric patterns, straight or curved lines are engraved into the concrete using special tools and equipment such as a CNC (computer numerical control) machine. Simple or incredibly intricate designs can be created with the right tools and experienced crew. This process is perfect for both residential and commercial use. If you’re tired of your plain old driveway, we can add an acid stain for some color and then engrave it to look like brick or cobblestone. If you own a business, we can engrave your company logo directly into the floor. We can engrave any design you can think of. Your imagination is the limit.
Call Lovell Construction to discuss our many decorative concrete options.
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