As both contractors and homeowners are becoming more informed about concrete’s versatility, concrete has become quite popular for use in home design. These days, surfaces made of concrete are a work of art, thanks to texturing and staining techniques.
A concrete popular trend today is etching or engraving, which allows masons of concrete to make surface designs that are aesthetically perfect. Adding color to the designs create great home focal points and endless conversational pieces.
Concrete etching is basically drawing, except on concrete. With the right tools, you can create elaborate features in your etches on concrete. Etches on concrete can increase the appeal and beauty of your house’s outdoor landscape and add a personal touch to otherwise blank and boring blocks or sections of concrete.
Here are four ideas to give you surface concrete a new look using concrete engraving:
Faux Concrete Styling
For people who want the look of cobblestones, bricks, or tiles on your driveway or patio, you might want to think about concrete engraving. This process creates similar patterns to these surfaces without the uneven texture that comes from wear and tear.
Tools are used to create engraved surface lines on the concrete that resemble the space between cobblestones. These are durable, easy to maintain surfaces that will let you enjoy your faux brick patios for years to come.
You can utilize concrete that has been engraved for producing visuals for your yard. Many people engrave fish or leave designs on their patios. Sun designs, as well as flowers, rocks, and butterflies, are other popular choices.
Many contractors usually give you the design you prefer. You can ask your contractor for concrete about the options provided.
Customize your concrete surface even more by coloring in the designs with shades and designs that go with the rest of your home’s overall theme. This is one picturesque design that will last a lifetime.
For more modern outdoor living spaces, you can create engraved shapes that are geometric and surface designs on your concrete. You can leave the surface in one color for a subtle effect, or create bold designs if you are going for bright colors.
You are not limited to right angles and straight lines. You can ask your contractor to engrave a circular pattern in a wide palette of colors for you to choose from.
Personalizing Your Patio
There are contractors that let you create your own designs and make a template for you according to what you have specified. You are able to create monograms of your last name or your kids’ handprints.
When the concrete that is engraved is to be utilized in office settings, your contractor can incorporate the logo of your company into the floor of the lobby or reception area. Engraving concrete is a great way to add upscale style to your home.
A designer’s dream, there are unlimited shapes, styles, and colors available for you when using concrete. Combining many different styles and techniques, you can create a durable, beautiful personal space. When choosing a template from your contractor or creating a design you have created, engraved concrete is a great way to add value to your home in more ways than one.
Tools used for engraving concrete
If you’re a brave DIY enthusiastic, you can try engraving concrete yourself. Just be warned that the more complex your designs are, the more time and patience you will need.
Power rotary tools
Power rotary tools rely on the high RPM (revolutions per minute) which means the bit spins very fast. That makes them good for etching purposes.
If you’re not new to the DIY scene, power rotary tools like Dremel are probably familiar to you. I picked that manufacturer as it’s most widely known I think, but others will work as well.
The Dremel Diamond Tip attachment is perfect for small, intricate designs. The diamond tip screws onto the end of the Dremel tool. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to create both close detail work and broader lines. It is an essential tool for concrete etching and capable of intricate and complicated designs.
The Dremel tool is a high-performance tool, which has a spinning tip. There are several types of attachments that fit onto the rotating tip of the Dremel tool. Without spinning, the Diamond Tip would not be able to penetrate the concrete.
The regular tip on a Dremel tool is small but too thick for many intricate designs. It is not good for drawing straight lines because it will hit a piece of sand or aggregate that exists in the concrete and will flip or stop spinning.
Air compressor tools
Now air compressors are the old school way to achieve the same result as power rotary tools. It doesn’t rely on rotating thought.
A Wasp is a high-performance tool driven by air. You will need an air compressor capable of ten to twelve cubic feet per minute, or CFM, and about ninety to one hundred percent pounds of pressure, or PSI.
One end of the Wasp is hooked up to the air compressor and the power switch is turned to the “on” position. This tool actually engraves and fractures the concrete, allowing you to create all sorts of graphics including extremely fine work because of its fine tip.
Take care not to press too hard on the tool because the fine tip will break.
Experience with these tools will help you create meaningful and beautiful pieces of work for personal and professional work. Anyone with a steady hand and a love of drawing, etching, or illustration should look into concrete etching as a hobby or job. It can be an enriching and rewarding art experience.
As stated in the beginning, concrete engraving takes some patience. As it can be an artistic way to decorate, it’s also hard to put a price tag on. The simplest forms and lines should be easy to achieve, but going further than that might take some skill.
If your concrete slab is in a terrible mess, you can try doing self-leveling compound over it to have a level and even surface to work on. Just need to check on the color of those and if you will be painting over it etc.