Stamped concrete is one of the most popular and practical systems to enhance concrete surfaces. It is a more affordable option than replacing the whole slab or topping it off with expensive material like tile, stone, or brick. Want to know more? Here are cool facts about stamped concrete:
Concrete Stamping Has Been Around for Decades
It may have just recently become a huge trend but the stamping technique was first used in the 1950s. Construction workers in the West Coast would stamp concrete slabs using steel or wooden stamp mats that look like giant cookie cutters. However, the patterns look more realistic now than it did before.
The Polyurethane Mats are Molded from the Real Thing
Although artisans make the rubber stamp mats, the design was molded from real brick, stone, or paver, whichever pattern it may be. This helps acquire a more realistic pattern, texture, and even shape.
There are Stamp Mats for Flat and Sloped Surfaces
The polyurethane mats come in two types: rigid and semi-rigid. Rigid mats are tougher and less flexible mats that are strong enough to carry the weight of an installer as he stomps lightly on the mat to make an imprint more pronounced. Semi-rigid mats are super flexible. These are made this way to make it easy to make imprints on slopes and contours.
Several Mats are Used for Every Project
Once an overlay is applied, the patterns need to be imprinted immediately before the overlay completely dries or hardens. This is why installers use a set of mats with the same pattern. These are laid out one after the other to make the stamping process faster.
Stamp Mats are Different from Texturing Skins
Stamp mats are designed to imprint a pattern, which often involves supposed cuts and gaps between tile, brick, or stone. Texturing skins are designed to create a concrete floor texture, like fracturing slate, on top of the cuts and gaps.
Stamped Concrete Overlays are Easily Removed
Although only a thin layer of overlay is used on a concrete surface, it is thick enough to make the pattern imprint possible. Also, the installer first prepares the old slab to make it ready to receive the overlay. Surface preparation is done to encourage proper adherence. The overlay is durable enough to stay put and withstand many harmful elements, especially in an outdoor setting, like on the patio, pool deck, or driveway.