Decorative Concrete Kansas
Skip trowel overlay on a patio and stained with Elite Crete products.
Decorative concrete is the use of concrete materials for aesthetic reasons for a building structure. There are many types of finishes that I will discuss in this article. Here is some that I will explain here: stamped concrete, concrete dyes, acid stain, water based stain, polymer overlay, stamped overlays and epoxy coatings.
Stamped concrete is used when concrete is poured for new construction for driveways, sidewalks, patios, pool decks, basements and retail venues. The concrete is poured and manipulated with stamps resembling wood, stone, slate, fossils and shells. Virtually any natural pattern of nature for less of the price of the real thing.
The installation of stamped concrete is forming the radius of the space with concrete forms. After the concrete is screeded its finished with concrete tools and stamped when the concrete can be manipulated with the concrete stamping skins. The coloring process is used at this point with color hardeners, powder or liquid release. Integral colors and acid stains may be used as well to get a variation color pattern desired by the owner. Intricate designs can be produced by using these concrete stains and dyes for an awesome effect. For estimates for stamped concrete contact Better Concrete Construction Company
Concrete dyes are the new upcoming way to stain concrete. Decorative concrete is changing due to the latest technology for an artisan to stain a concrete overlay. The vibrant colors from the concrete dyes allows more intense colors than using chemical stains like acid staining. Stains which react chemically with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete, dyes are a nonreactive that penetrates the surface. Particles are the difference between concrete dyes and stains. The particles in concrete dyes are smaller and penetrate the concrete surface and make it a more permanent than stains. The residue is very minimal and much easier for cleanup which speeds up the process for the sealer.
Dyes are produced in water based or solvent based and range from monotone to a translucent, depending on the application process. The water based dyes for decorative concrete are the most desirable because it creates a marbling effect. Solvent based creates a more opaque, coloration and penetrate the concrete surface fast leaving no room for error.
Concrete dyes are not UV stable, so the use for this coloring system is only advised for interior projects. The colors from concrete dyes broaden the artisans palette which cannot be achieved with an acid stain. Using concrete dyes it is mandatory to use a concrete sealer to lock in the color.
Acid Stains are composed of water, hydrochloric acid and water- soluble metallic salts that penetrate and react with the chemicals in a concrete substrate. Acid staining is not like a paint but stains the concrete pores to produce insoluble color deposits. Acid stain is a more popular way to color decorative concrete because its versatility. Acid stains can be applied both interior and exterior for solid concrete surfaces and decorative concrete overlays. This coloring system can last for many years with a professional installation and proper sealer or wax.
Not all concrete surfaces are eligible for an acid stain. A smooth surface will get the most attractive look preferably machine trowel finished. If the concrete surface is spalled or exposed aggregate the stain will not react. Later in this article we will discuss a decorative concrete overlay to produce a smooth finish for rough concrete slabs.
The preparation for acid stain will depend on the concrete slab. If the concrete is new construction, allow four weeks for the concrete to cure. In colder elements adding additional time would be recommended for a cure time. Note not to do an acid stain in colder temperatures for the reason of the acid itself and sealer may have temperature guidelines. On older concrete slabs the surface needs to be thoroughly clean to remove dirt, grease, oil or glue residue for the acid stain to react properly.
The decorative concrete business has been growing rapidly for the past couple of years, and acid stains has been a big part in this growth. Homeowners and contractors alike are learning how to apply this beautiful finish and designers and architects are asking for it. The acid staining market is growing and expanding for decorative concrete options and are here to stay for many more years.
Water Based Concrete Stain
Water based concrete stain is a one component UV stable colorant for interior and exterior. This staining product is primarily used for decorative concrete overlays and concrete countertops. Water based stains hardens, dust proofs and adds beautiful color to a concrete surface. Its ideal for residential or commercial including porches, driveways, patios, pool decks, and retail store fronts. The water based concrete stains is also suitable for interior concrete floors in basements or garages. A variety of colors are available and the colors are compatible when mixed together.
Siliconized acrylics are the best to use for the UV stability and for the extra protectant. These stains can be solid color or transparent and hold color value when using multiple colors together. The colorant is mixed with water and can be diluted for the desired hue. It can be rolled, pump up sprayer or spray bottles.
A decorative concrete polymer overlay is a blend of white portland cement, various aggregates and polymer resins. A concrete overlay can give an ugly concrete surface a complete makeover for a more decorative appearance. The possibilities are endless with a concrete overlay from texture to the staining. This product can be applied to resurface or can be applied in multiple layers (see our skip trowel technique). Here are examples of different overlay procedures:
Micro Toppings or Skim Coats can be a troweled technique for an ultra smooth appearance. Colors can be added to the polymer material when mixing for a solid color or can be stained to marbelize for more variations. The thickness for this material is anywhere from a feathered edge to 1/8″.
Spray Down Systems are usually applied as a splatter coat for a knockdown appearance. For this technique stencils may be used for many different patterns of stones or brick accents. Colors may be used integral in the mix or may be stained with acid or water based stains after the installation. This finish is skid resistant and perfect for surfaces on pool decks, sidewalks and driveways. Thickness for this technique is an 1/8″.
Stamped Overlays are similar to stamped concrete but over existing concrete rather than a complete tear out and replace. Some surfaces may not be suitable for a stamped overlay and may require a tear out and replacement. The same look can be achieved mimicking slate, wood, stone and brick. Coloring and staining procedures are colored liquid, powder release, stains, dyes and tinted sealers. Thickness for stamped overlays varies from a 1/4″ to 3/4″.
Metallic Epoxy Coatings
Metallic epoxy coatings is one of the hottest trends for decorative concrete today. This is a two component with a 100% solids epoxy blend with metallic pigments. This finish has a showroom appearance in the third dimension. This floor finish is ideal for both residential and commercial retail spaces. There are many different color combinations to choose from to achieve a 3D affect.