April 5th, 2014 — Green Construction, Tools and Equipment
A concrete stamp gives poured concrete the appearance of almost any type of surface you can imagine will from cobblestone to brick to wood, depending on the design of the stamp. A sidewalk, patio or driveway can be poured and made to look like something else with a concrete stamp.
Concrete stamps are small and handheld and simply pushed onto the concrete while it's still wet. Landscapers, contractors and remodeling companies purchase these and use them but so do some homeowners who are working on do-it-yourself projects and pouring concrete around their home. There's no special training required to use a concrete stamp but it needs to be done with care in order to get a good and uniform look.
To really pull off the illusion of having a stone walkway or brick patio, the concrete should be colored and textured and then a concrete stamp can give it the final touch. There are some situations where you may need only a few stamps or even just one. But in some applications, you need to buy a large set of several to create a large repeating pattern. When one particular design needs to cover several feet of concrete, for instance, you need several stamps that work together to create it. Because these are small handheld items, it's laid a square at a time. A small repeating pattern may only take from one to a few stamps.
Concrete is one of the more inexpensive services you can have around your home. It costs less than the brick or natural stone, by far. So for the homeowner who wants the look of a flagstone patio or a natural river stone walkway, using concrete to create the illusion of that surface is a much more cost-effective way to do it. It's also easier to do yourself than trying to lay a brick or stone surface. That's a very time intensive project because each piece is laid individually. With concrete, you pour it and smooth it and simply stamp it to give the appearance of the individual pieces like bricks, stones and pavers.
When coloring concrete to prepare for the concrete stamp, color can be mixed in with the concrete before it's poured or it can be added after. Obviously, color that's added during mixing is a better, more long-lasting choice because the color is in the entire depth of concrete. Before you use a concrete stamp, you have to add an agent to the top of the concrete that will allow its release, called release agent. Without this, the danger is that you'll use the concrete stamp and when you pull it away, you'll pull wet concrete away with it, ruining the surface.
If you want to use a concrete stamp, it requires some careful planning so that you're ready with each step once the previous one is finished. Contractors know how to plan for this project, but if you're doing it yourself you'll probably want to start with a small area first to get the feel of it before you try to do something large like your entire patio.
Photo Credits: billso
Originally posted 2010-04-14 03:56:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
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