Get a Beautiful Patio No One Will Ever Know Is Concrete

Get a Beautiful Patio No One Will Ever Know Is Concrete

When you think of a concrete patio, what springs to mind? Perhaps a light grey slab that is rough to the touch?

If so, you’re in for a treat. Concrete has come a long way, and it’s actually possible to make some incredible customizations with this humble building material. You don’t have to pack up your dreams of a gorgeous cobblestone, brick or tile patio just yet; concrete can give you that same luxurious look for a fraction of the cost and with minimal labor time. Here’s how!

It All Starts With a Pattern

If money were no object, what would your ideal patio look like? Would it be brick? Would it have large tiles, or small mosaic-like tiles? Maybe it would have a cobblestone texture.

All of these patterns are possible with a technique known as concrete stamping. And stamping does more than just add a crisscross pattern to the concrete to give the illusion of grout around tiles; it actually gives texture to the entire surface of the concrete. Anyone who doesn’t know any better will be hard pressed to tell the difference between your concrete patio and a true brick, cobblestone or tiled patio.

There are dozens of combinations to choose from. Think about all the different ways in which bricks can be laid, for example. There’s more to it than just laying out a line of bricks. Herringbone, for example, is a popular diagonal-shaped brick pattern that adds interest to any patio. You could even design a custom circular pattern that follows the shape of a curving patio.

Also think about whether you’d like a border around your patio. You can create a distinct border by laying the “bricks” in the opposite direction at the edge of the patio.  

In short, don’t limit your imagination! Think of the pattern that most appeals to you. It’s possible with concrete.

Add a Base Color

According to the experts at Houston ready mix, painting concrete isn’t recommended as a long-term solution, especially in areas where the paint is likely to chip and flake due to exposure to the elements or natural wear and tear from foot traffic.

Instead, opt for an integrated color. The base color for your patio is mixed into the concrete itself, providing a permanent, natural-looking hue.

You can mix and match colors if you wish. For example, you might want to have a separate color for the border of your patio. Because concrete is mixed in batches as-needed, you can order just enough colored concrete to do the job.

Add Secondary Color for Depth

To truly give the impression of brick, tile or cobblestone, a secondary color needs to be added in order to provide some variation in tone. Concrete is always flattened out once it is poured, but the pattern stamp will help to add some minor dips and crevices on the surface in order to mimic the uneven nature of most bricks or stones. But for best results, another color should be worked into these grooves to give a sense of depth.

Choose a Finish

Finally, you can choose a colored acid stain. This adds a glossy finish to the concrete and can be used strategically to highlight certain tiles. For more intricate color patterns, you can have an acid stain brushed onto individual “tiles” in order to make them stand out. This is far easier than trying to pour small amounts of concrete in different color variations.

To make the finish last as long as possible, a sealant should be added as the final step. This can be slathered on using a paint roller or a fiber mop.

Put it All Together

First, your chosen base color will be added to the concrete at a mixer plant or in a mixer truck. The color is simply a powder. Then the concrete will be poured into the patio mold and leveled. Depending on the technique used to add the secondary color, it will be applied immediately before or immediately after the concrete is stamped with the pattern.

Next, the concrete will be left to dry. When the concrete is no longer pliable and is completely dry and hard, the acid wash can be applied. Once that has dried, it will be neutralized with baking soda, and the sealant can be applied.

Although it sounds like a lot of work, creating a gorgeous, completely customized patio with concrete is far easier and more affordable than trying to install true bricks, stones or tiles.

Now’s the perfect time to take your patio from drab to fab! Create the outdoor entertainment area of your dreams with nothing more than concrete.

Cathy Habas

Cathy Habas

Editor & Freelance Writer at Cathy Habas
She is a professional freelance writer, editor and Spanish-English translator. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics. She has helped clients market their businesses online via social media management, content writing and strategic planning.

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