Stamped concrete patios are simply concrete patios that have been stamped with impressed designs or textures while still in the viscous state before drying out. Stamped concrete is often stamped with moulds to give the appearance of bricks or stones. Alternatively the term could refer to simply leaving the concrete surface with a textured finish.
Stamped concrete can be considered to be a form of architectural concrete as it will invariably have a pigment added to it to give it the color of the finish it is copying. Although a stamped concrete patio wouldn’t normally be a polished concrete finish, they are often sealed for added protection.
Advantages of Stamped Concrete
The first advantage of a stamped concrete patio is that being made of concrete it will be incredibly durable. However, a massive advantage of a stamped concrete patio over one made from block paving or laid stones is that you’ll never see any weeds appearing in it. By far the most common stamped concrete designs are those that replicate block paving or laid stones.
Being one continuous piece of concrete, there are no gaps between the faux blocks or stones that weeds can appear through. In a conventionally laid patio using block paving or stones, no matter how careful the substrate is prepared, with a year or two unsightly weeds will start appearing, not to mention blocks or stone loosening and becoming uneven.
Whilst the size of your patio may well be limited by the size of your garden, the design you choose and pattern of the stamp is only limited by your imagination. The first decision is probably the stamp pattern you’d like to have. This might be to give the impression that logs have been placed on it, or it is really made up of stones etc.
Having made that decision, the next decision is equally important, what color to use? This decision shouldn’t just be based on the effect the stamped concrete creates, but should also take into account how it will either contrast or complement the colors in your garden.
Bearing in mind it is concrete we’re talking about here, you won’t want the finished product to look like concrete that’s been stamped, but rather to look like the feature you’re trying to emulate whilst also appearing to be quite natural in the context of your garden – so do choose a color of some sort.
Finally, don’t forget to ad a border for the stamped concrete. This will give it that really professional finish. Typical stamped concrete borders are simply larger stampings of the shapes used in the main body of the patio. E.g. Larger stamped stones or logs etc.
Having installed a stamped concrete patio you should leave it to dry out for at least three days. Spillages can usually be tackled with any detergent preparation and a stiff bristle brush, then wash it over with clean water from a hosepipe. If you have a pressure washer, this can be used on a stamped concrete finish to remove surface dirt.
Usually when installing a stamped concrete patio it will have a sealant added to it; however, after two or three years it may need re-sealing. A typical tell-tale sign of it needing resealing is you suddenly see a lot of dust accumulating on the surface. To reseal the patio simply give it a thorough brushing, followed by cleaning with a detergent solution cleaned off with the hose. Allow it to dry for 24 hours and then apply the new coat of sealant.