Stamped concrete is a more intricate, beautiful way to have concrete without the stale look of the normal kind. You can get different looks with decorative concrete to achieve the perfect fit for your backyard, porch, or barbeque area. You can learn how to do it yourself to save on the mighty cost that a contractor or builder might charge. Here are the steps to help get you started on backyard perfection.
1. Pick the perfect fit for your space. Consider what style you want that will fit in well and blend with the natural environment. Stamp the pieces perpendicular to the length of the pavement to get better straight lines and so that you don’t have to worry as much about messing up. It should run in straight lines even if the area is rounded. It will just be cut that way in the end. Make sure to fit mats down to see exactly what it will look like and where the pieces will lay when the project is finished. This is like drawing the lines in in pencil first. You can erase mistakes before it is too late this way. Keep in mind the texture and direction of the control joints. These are the thin lines that naturally occur in concrete. When they go the wrong way of your pattern, it can end up looking funny. And after all of that work, messing up sure is not funny.
2. Pour the concrete according to normal instructions. While there are different kinds of materials and methods to choose from, you should not ever use calcium chloride. And make sure that it at least 4 inches thick so that it will not split and break over time. This is a big job and once it is done, you won’t want to redo it for a while.
3. Apply the color by the integral or broadcast method and then let it harden. Integrally, you will apply color directly to the mix truck, so that it will come out evenly and smoothly already colored into the mold. For the broadcast method, you will apply powder to the poured goop, and it will set up in the top 1/8 of an inch of the top layer. Either way gives you color. It is up to you for the look and feel you want to achieve. The hardening process will allow it to set up and prevent breakage. When the water has absorbed, you will evenly throw on hardener with wide sweeps of the arm, by hand.
There are several more steps, including adding texture and laying mats and using a pressure washer and most need to be done with some help. But these steps will help you get started stamping your new concrete. Stamped Concrete Milwaukee looks amazing when you have it done right.