When acquiring stamped concrete services for your driveway, pool deck or patio, it helps to know what goes on in the process. This makes it easier to understand contractors and professionals as they explain in-depth what needs to be done. It also simplifies how you will tell them what you want for your desired outcome. Research can give you an idea what the right questions to ask are when considering options. To help you out, here’s a list of what you need to know about stamped concrete.

Stamped Concrete Patterns

There are up to 70 or more stamped concrete patterns available in the market. All of which are categorized into five basic types:

  • Brick
  • Stone
  • Slate
  • Wood
  • Texture

It may sound overwhelming to have an extensive selection of patterns, but knowing the five basic categories will help you narrow down your options.

Here’s a tip: What a lot of people don’t know is that they’ll have a hard time trying to match other design elements of an existing hardscape. So instead of trying to find an exact matching pattern, opt for a pattern the complements nicely. This adds some contrast and variety while taking out the difficulty of matching patterns.

Base Color vs Release Color

The fun doesn’t end at choosing your preferred stamped concrete pattern. After that, you then get to choose what color you want for your stamped concrete. Usually, stamped concrete comes with two colors: The base color and the release color.

  • stamped concrete pool deckThe base color speaks for itself as it is the of the primary color of the concrete.
  • The release color is a complementing accent color that emphasizes texture and adds depth.

Base Color

The base color is achieved either by one of the two methods: integral color and color hardener.
Integral Color: integrated into the concrete mix prior to stamped concrete installation
Color Hardener: broadcasted on the concrete during the finishing process and is worked into the surface

Release Color

The accent color is added through the release agent that is applied to prevent the stamp from sticking to the concrete during the stamping process. The color of the release agent is usually darker than the base color to emphasize texture.

The Process

  • Sub-base Preparation – A sub-base material is properly spread and compacted.
  • Imprinting Process – Immediately after applying the release agent, a stamp is pressed into the concrete imprint the preferred pattern and texture.
  • Washing & Cutting – After 12-24 hours, the concrete slab is washed and control joints are cut.
  • Curing & Sealing – The concrete is left to cure and then sealed to protect its surface. The final base and release colors become visible once the stamped concrete is fully cured and sealed.