Stamped concrete can add a lovely effect to a garden or path. Despite the classy look it adds to your home, stamped concrete paving is affordable and simple enough that you can install it yourself. Have a go at this quiz to see how much you know about working with stamped concrete.
Stamped concrete is also referred to as patterned or imprinted concrete. Stamped concrete is a slab of concrete that has been colored or shaped to resemble other construction materials such as brick, flagstone, tile and wood. Stamped concrete is an affordable option for customizing your home's appearance.
Thinner concrete is used to make stamped concrete. Large stones are filtered from the concrete so that it is much smoother.
Stiff concrete cannot be molded. Therefore, thinner concrete is used for making stamped concrete.
You need to choose a design and order the stamps for your chosen design before you start your stamped concrete project.
Plant corner stakes to mark the area. Make sure you plan and measure the area according to the dimensions of the stamps. The stakes will be nailed to forming boards used in the concrete laying process, so place the stakes so that they will be about 6 inches (15 cm)from the end of each forming board.
Dig out about half a foot. Pack down the area that you have dug out and spread a 2-inch (5 cm) gravel or sand layer over the area. Pack this layer down as well.
For every foot of length your concrete should drop a quarter-inch. Secure the forming boards accordingly, starting at the highest point and working your way down the slope.
Place wire mesh in the hole. Make sure it is even with the top of the hole by propping it up on blocks. You also need to line the bottom of the hole with plastic before you start.
In order to prevent cement sticking to the boards, coat them with cooking oil before laying them down.
Start pouring the concrete in the center of the hole.
Screeding the concrete is the process of smoothing it out. Drag a 2-by-4 over the top of the concrete to create the smooth surface. Once smooth, place the stamps into the concrete and walk on them or press them in with a large mallet. It is a good idea to oil the stamps before putting them into the concrete to prevent them sticking to the concrete.
Applying a sealant can keep your concrete looking clean and new. You will need to reseal your concrete every two or three years.
If you live in a place that gets heavy rain or wet winters you will probably need to reseal your concrete more often.
You will have the most options when choosing the color of your stamped concrete. You can order colored concrete or, if you want to save some money, you can dye the concrete at home. You just need to sprinkle the color pigment over the wet concrete and mix it into the concrete with a trowel.
The dye will not penetrate very far beyond the surface of the concrete when you color it yourself. This means that if the concrete cracks or chips, which is a common problem with concrete, you will be able to see the original gray color.