Stamped concrete floor basics

Stamped concrete floor basics

Are you in a need of new floor decoration, but don’t know what to go with this time? Or maybe you’re planning on doing concrete stamping, but want to get more knowledge on the basics?

No matter which one it is, it’s always good to get some general knowledge. Stamping in itself is a simple process, but knowing the materials and the process is already half of the success.

That being said, one of the most popular technologies for colorizing and individualizing concrete is the process of stamped concrete and stamped concrete overlay. Both look wonderful and have their own places when decorating our homes.

First, understand that there is a difference between the two. Traditional stamped concrete is when the contractors pour new concrete and then stamp it, thereby creating a pattern. When we overlay concrete, we only create a new surface for the old existing concrete.

The last one is an economical way to give your old concrete slab a new life as you have a thick new layer on top of the old one without having to do the removing of the old slab and new groundwork for it. Needless to say, it will save some money.

Stamped concrete slabs

Stamped concrete patios done with the technique have been gaining a lot of popularity for over 20 years now. No longer do you have to settle with a standard concrete patio that looks boring, stains easy, and is quite slippery in different types of conditions.

Stamped concrete patios offer protection against cracking, they look great and really help with footing and getting proper traction in any type of weather.

Common stamped concrete patio designs include brick, flagstone, cobblestone, slate, and many others. One major benefit of concrete over the actual stones is that the stones are quite expensive and the labor costs dramatically increase.

You can have the look, feel, and functionality of the cobblestone, the slate, and any other type of rock just by using a pattern. These patterns can be purchased online, or you can call your local cement shop and ask them for a quote to get the job done.

Most likely anyone in the cement/concrete patio industry will be able to do concrete stamped patios, since they are very popular.

Installing a natural stone patio can become very costly as compared to concrete as I have said. With natural stone, you have to place each stone perfectly one by one which is very time-consuming.

When you do a stamped concrete patio, you simply use concrete imprinting tools to push the imprint on the still wet concrete.

With today’s advances in cement paint, you can individually paint each portion of the stamped rock to resemble the types of rocks you are trying to mimic. After the concrete has been painted, you can come through with some epoxy treatment to provide a nice clear sheen which is a durable topcoat gloss.

Stamped concrete colors can be anything you imagine from the color palette

Benefits of stamped concrete patios?

We have discussed a couple of the benefits already, such as durability, price and installation, but I’d like to touch on one more topic involving durability.

When you install a natural stone patio, you have to clean each rock, or else it will come loose as time goes on. The grout that is used often breaks down over time as loads are put on each individual stone in the set, leading to chips, cracks, and even loose rocks over time.

Obviously when you have a painted concrete patio, you do not have to worry about any of that, no matter what type of weather you have.

The concrete stamps also provide a great way for the water to travel and evacuate the patio surface, whereas stones tend to channel the water into low spots, where the water sits and deteriorates the rocks and grouting surfaces.

What is different about stamped concrete overlay

Stamped concrete overlay refers to a process of applying a special coating to existing concrete. Obviously, creating new concrete is a rather expensive process when compared to concrete overlay through the application. This process is also called imprinted concrete.

One of the benefits of this process is that the homeowner can create concrete to resemble pricier materials, such as stone, brick, tile or wood.

Often times, homeowners use stamped concrete overlay technology to create patio decks, pool decks, decorative outdoor features, garage floors and driveways.

How does this process of concrete stamping work then?

Special materials that are used

For traditional stamping, rubber imprinting tools are used to push designs into thin pre-mixed concrete overlay material. Molds are created from stone or hardwood material. Then, special agents are used to releasing stamps from the concrete.

In overlaying, acrylic paint resins are often used to create a thin material which will then be applied to concrete surfaces. Sometimes polymer overlay material is also used, which greatly enhances the durability of the material. Polymer material keeps cement safe from salts, chemicals, UV rays, rain and hail, and tire or foot traffic.

A stamped concrete overlay can help to create some of the more exotic designs in cement decoration. Additionally, multiple technologies can be used to create some amazing designs, including combinations of stamped concrete and acid-etching.


It’s easy to see why so many homeowners and business owners prefer using stamped concrete overlay processes to create these works of art. It is an economical strategy, and yet one that is beneficial to your property (in enhancing real estate value and protecting the cement) and endlessly comforting due to the aesthetics.

Stamping concrete or concrete overlays is also something a DIY person can do. Just get your stencils or stamps ready and start experimenting. Concrete being cheap, it is also easy to practice a bit before doing your floors.

Personally, I would do something like a garden walkway to get started with the project. That way you can see how the materials work and you have time to improve on your skills for doing bigger surfaces.

It’s a good way to combine getting your skills up while doing some work on your curb appeal. You can also do some garden edging while you’re at it as you can use these skills on the edging.