Concrete stamps are a great alternative to stain and other forms of decorative concrete you may consider applying to your garage floor, driveway, patio, or another concrete surface. And you can save lots of money if you would apply the stamped concrete on your own.
For those who don’t know how to do it, the process might seem alien and hard to achieve at first. It can be a very decorative surface, but lucky for us, it might not be impossible to achieve even for beginners. Here is a more detailed guide on the stamping concrete itself.
Different stamped concrete designs
Stamped concrete surfaces are not only beautiful, they’re easy to maintain and durable. They can be made to complement virtually any style or color palette, and are a great way to add style and value to any indoor or outdoor space.
That being said, you might not have idea yet what kind of surfaces can be made. Stamped concrete surfaces are created by utilizing specially made concrete stamps that leave an imprinted pattern in the concrete surface.
With that following kind of concrete surfaces can be achieved. Remember that these are just few of the many:
- Soldier Course Brick
- Wood Plank
- Old Chicago Brick
- Orchard Stone
- London Cobblestone
- Hardwood Plank
- Heavy Stone
- Ashlar Slate
- Cobblestone Circle
- 12×12 Slate
These stamps are custom designed to create stunning, well-crafted stamped concrete surfaces in a variety of applications. The surfaces can be further customized using concrete stains and coloring, turning your vision into reality.
First comes color selection
Some say that it all starts with the color selection and it might be the hardest part for some. You can get some color swatches in the process of your selection and then make your decision out of one to two colors. This step is similar as to when you are trying to paint a room.
Second comes selecting the design for the concrete stamps
The second step is for you to consider the other factors that would affect the color choice for the concrete stamps. It could be your indoor lighting system and the other colors of your household items. You must envision how your choice of color would fit the current setting of your home.
Third is selecting concreter
The third is to visit your concrete supplier and check out the available samples he can offer you. You may also like to ask for a viewing of their previous projects with concrete stamps so that you can see in person how it really looks like as a result. It is very important that you know how it will blend well into the immediate environment.
As you pour the concrete, you must begin with not more than a hundred square feet, depending on the size of the area you’ll be stamping, but this ‘usually’ accommodates most smaller jobs around the home.
Allow the truck driver to put in the color to the concrete truck and wait for it to combine and settle for just around ten minutes. You may find some color streaks as it comes out. But you need not worry about it, since it will in just a few seconds show the color combination you are expecting.
Fourth comes pouring the concrete
The next step for your concrete stamps is to insert the concrete in the forms using a screed board which measures about 2” x 4” to help you level it out. You would only start the screed process once you have completed the ½” of concrete into your form work.
You would surely need a help of an assistant or a friend for each person would be on one side of the screed board. You would both pull the concrete towards the form work as you level along.
Fifth is floating and stamping
After the concrete is poured and screeded, the bull-floating would come next. Do not worry about tiny dips or little changes in the elevation that might occur for all these are natural to happen. You may start using an edging tool for the concrete perimeters.
After you have gone through the above process, you are now ready to apply the concrete stamps. Let your concrete stamps settle for one to two days before you can start adding some secondary colors.
Factors involving stamped concrete cost
So after the very fast explanation of the process you must be wondering what does all of this cost.
The cost of creating stamped concrete can be said to be minimal compared to the cost of alternative flooring options such as tile or stone. Having said that, it is important to remember that the cost of creating stamped concrete does vary as well. It depends on several factors that are discussed below.
Labor and materials
First, the total cost of a stamped concrete job will heavily depend on the price of labor and materials in your area. This is often called the cost of installation.
Labor will largely depend on the company and where you are located in the country. In addition, materials will vary in cost largely depending on whether or not you purchase the materials or if the company you are employing brings them as a part of the package.
Generally if you can purchase the concrete and have it delivered, meanwhile hiring folks to simply stamp it, the cost of materials will be much cheaper.
Complexity of the design
Stamped concrete cost also depends on the complexity of the designs. The more difficult your designs are to lay, the more costly the price tag will be. The different costs simply translate into how much work should be put into the project and how well the project is done.
Quality has a price tag as well
As mentioned, quality of work is also very important. If the company you are considering hiring has received many good testimonials and plenty of recommendations, you can be fairly confident that the relatively hefty price tag they are asking for the job is worth it.
Indeed, the last thing you will want after the stamping job is complete is to find that the job was done in a very poor manner with little quality or attention to detail.
Cost of coloring
The next detail that you should definitely factor into your stamped concrete cost is the amount and kind of coloring that you use.
If you plan to add the coloring directly to the concrete mixture before it is laid, the cost will generally run between 10 and 30 percent of the cost of the concrete mix. Other ways to apply color will vary accordingly.
Counting it together
With these parameters in mind, here is a basic and very broad range of costs. For a basic stamping job (meaning that it has just one color and a very basic decorative stamp) you should expect to pay between $8 and $12 total per foot of concrete stamped.
An intermediate job with several colors and a more advanced pattern, including a separate trim pattern, will cost you around $12 to $18 per foot.
Of course, the most elaborate projects of all, especially custom design patterns or hand-dyed projects will be the most expensive, beginning at $18 a foot and going up from there.
Stamped concrete can indeed cost much less than many other options for finishing a floor. In addition, if well done, the concrete looks beautiful and can add plenty of value to the area to which it was added.
Knowing what costs are involved with just such a job will help you make the best decision as to who to hire for your stamped concrete job.
Depending on your familiarity with working with concrete, stamping concrete can be done by a DIY enthusiastic after studying it a bit. If it feels too much, a good option is also buying the labor for it.
Personally I feel that stamped concrete is good way to bring some life into the traditional concrete slabs, walkways and driveways. Properly stamped concrete can look absolutely stunning.