Concrete Stamping - Stamped Concrete Floors
If you want to add another dimension to your polished concrete, then concrete stamping may be the perfect decorative touch for you. It is a wonderful way to add interest and beauty to an otherwise plain slab of concrete. Stamping concrete is a complex process that involves many steps and exacting procedures. Your local concrete polishing contractor can help guide you through the design process and execute your design flawlessly, all at an affordable price.
What to expect from your contractor during the concrete stamping process
The first step in stamping concrete is to pour it. Your contractor will work with a professional concrete pourer to add no more than four inches of concrete onto the surface of your floor, patio, garage or driveway. Your contractor may add the color you’ve chosen to the concrete before it is poured or may apply the color to the concrete after it is poured. Either method will produce beautiful results; color that is applied after the concrete has been poured will penetrate only through one eighth of an inch of the poured concrete whereas color added before the concrete is poured will penetrate all four inches of concrete.
Once the color is applied, a color hardener will be distributed over the concrete. Too much hardener can damage the concrete, and too little can cause your color to fade. Your contractor knows the exact amount to apply and the proper way to apply it to ensure a long life for your floor.
Next a color release agent is applied to the floor. The color release agent is a powder and its function is to ensure that the stamping mats don't stick to the concrete as they are placed on it. The agent needs to be applied so that it is thick enough to capture the detail on the stamping mat but still thin enough that the release will not soak through the mat. These release agents come in many different colors and it's important to choose one that is one or two shades darker than the concrete. This will give it a more interesting look and provide a level of depth to your design.
Next, the stamping mats are placed onto the concrete. Your contractor may enlist the help of some additional workers to complete this step. The mats will be laid side-by-side so sloppy grout lines don't appear in the finished product. The mats are then be lightly pressed down into the concrete. The mats are pressed down only enough to create an impression of the pattern in the concrete.
Lastly, after the concrete has been given twenty-four hours to set, it is sprayed down with a power washer to remove any extra release agent or other dirt and debris. It is then allowed to dry and is sealed to protect the integrity of the design against daily wear and tear.