Concrete stamping refers to the process of patterning and texturing concrete to make it resemble different authentic materials, such as flagstone, brick, tile, stone, or even wood. The idea is that stamped concrete can be used to resemble different building materials while being easier and cheaper to implement.
Today, concrete stamping is commonly used for driveways, sidewalks, patios, interior flooring, and swimming pool decks. But regardless of what you intended to use the stamped concrete for or how you want it to look, the process of creating it remains virtually the same.
Adding The Base Color
The base color is meant to reflect the color of the building’s material, and is created by adding a color hardener into the concrete. Color hardener itself is simple a pigment used to dye the concrete, and thus change its color.
There are two separate methods that can be used for applying the base color. The first is to use the integral color method, which means that the entire concrete volume is colored in the base color by having the color hardener added into a concrete truck’s bed.
The alternate method is known as the cast-on color method, where the surface of the concrete is dyed in the base color after it has been already poured. The surface of the concrete will then be colored evenly by spreading the color hardener.
Accent color refers to the secondary color that is used in stamped concrete, which is used to show additional building materials while also producing texture. It is usually applied by applying the color release directly into the concrete.
There are two primary reasons behind using color release: to color the concrete thanks to the pigment, and to prevent the concrete stamps from sticking.
As with the base color, there are two different methods by which the accent color can be added. The first is to use the powdered method, which is where the cast-on color release is comprised of powders that can literally repel water, and liquid, which is applied typically by spray-on.
The pattern refers to the shape of the stamped concrete’s surface. In other words, if you want to mimic the appearance of another building material such as brick or wood or tile, the pattern of the stamped concrete is what will make that happen.
The pattern is created when it is imprinted into the concrete after it has been poured. The imprinting is not done by hand but rather by a concrete stamp, which is typically made out of polyurethane. The concrete stamps ensure that the patterns are precise and accurate.
The concrete stamps will also be placed only after the color has been applied. The stamps will be pushed into the concrete and then pulled back to leave the pattern in the concrete. Common examples of stamps include making the cement to look like flagstone or brick.