Stamp Your Concrete, Stamp Your Feet!
If you live in a neighborhood where we have installed one of our projects, have read our posts on Google, visited our website before, or seen our occasional presence on social media, you have undoubtedly seen pictures featuring landscapes we've done using stamped concrete, but you may still wonder.
What is stamped concrete? We’re glad you asked.
Stamped concrete is concrete that is used in landscapes and patterned to resemble stone and other natural patterns such as rock. It is most commonly used for patios, sidewalks, driveways, and can even be used for interior concrete flooring, bars or warehouse tables. Stamped concrete is also longer lasting than paved stone while still resembling the look.
There are three procedures that are used in stamped concrete which makes it unique and custom: the integral (base) color, the release agent or secondary (accent) color and the giant patterned rubber stamps. The most important part for you, as the client, is to sit down with Jefferson Landscape and Design and select colors/patterns to best compliment your landscape design as well as the color of your home.
There are two ways the integral (base) color is prepared. The quality Jefferson Landscape and Design offers, and the way most (but not all) other landscape and/or concrete contractors do it.
What Jefferson Landscape and Design does: The integral (or base) color is the primary color goes all the way through the concrete. It is produced by the concrete vendor by adding a color hardener (or pigment) to the concrete. The entire volume of concrete is dyed in the truck before it is poured. This is more expensive, but we incur half the cost because we believe this is the best way to deliver a quality product to our clients.
Other contractors: In order to save money, most will mix the color into the wet gray concrete once the truck delivers it whereby the contractor mixes the pigment into the surface of the wet concrete after is has been poured. We do not recommend using this latter method. Not only does the color not look as good, should your concrete become chipped in some way, the gray color is sitting right underneath the surface – an eyesore you, the client, is stuck looking at. And there is no way to remedy this once it has been done.
The release agent, or secondary (accent) color is a powder that is spread over the wet colored concrete once it is finished to highlight the nooks and crannies of the stamp pattern.
For example, if your integral (base) color is light, you want your release agent, or secondary (accent) color to be darker; if it is dark, you want it to be lighter. There should be an obvious contrast between the two for sure. We often use the hose color and its trim as a guide. After all, your landscape should be an extension of your home! It also helps to prevent the giant rubber stamps from sticking to the wet concrete when the pattern is stamped onto it.
Once the process is complete and the rest of your landscape is installed, Jefferson Landscape and Design seals your Stamped Concrete as a complimentary Thank You for your business. By sealing it, you help to harden it and minimize/prevent cracking as well as protect the surface against those spills that eventually happen when you entertain, have a BBQ, or throw a kid’s birthday party.