Term: Decorative concrete

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Concrete Statues
– Concrete statues are made by pouring concrete into a latex mold.
– They are often painted and sold as garden ornaments.
– The most popular designs are bird baths and garden gnomes.

Stamped Concrete
– Stamped concrete is the process of adding texture and color to concrete to make it resemble natural materials like stone, brick, and wood.
– It is a popular choice for new construction and renovation projects due to its durability and lower cost compared to natural products.
– Installation involves pressing molds into the concrete while it is still in its plastic state.
– Color can be achieved through various methods such as dry shakes, color hardeners, and acid stains.
– Stamped concrete can be used on driveways, patios, commercial roads, parking lots, and interior floors.

Concrete Dyes
– Concrete dyes come in different forms and compositions and can be used on both residential and commercial concrete applications.
– Early concrete dyes consisted of generic printing inks dissolved in mild solutions of alcohol.
– Alcohol-based dyes were more commonly used for interior applications without direct sunlight.
– Manufacturers later dissolved printing inks in different carriers like acetone to achieve increased penetration levels.
– Colored concrete can be obtained from many ready mix concrete companies with available color charts.

Acid Staining
– Acid staining is a chemical reaction that creates new earth tone colors on the concrete surface.
– It involves applying a mixture of water, mineral salts, and a small amount of muriatic acid to the concrete.
– The reaction occurs over a period of one to four hours and creates a variegated or mottled appearance unique to each slab.
– The concrete surface is later scrubbed to remove excess stain and neutralized with a basic solution.
– Acid staining may not work as well on older exterior concrete surfaces or concrete with exposed aggregate.

Water-based Staining
– Water-based stains can achieve a translucent or opaque color effect on concrete.
– Unlike acid stains, they bond with the concrete without changing its physical makeup.
– There are various types of water-based stains available, including polymer-based, acrylic, and epoxy stains.
– Water-based stains offer different performance characteristics and variations in the decorative concrete industry.
– They can be used to achieve different looks and effects on concrete surfaces.

Additional Concepts:
– Epoxy coating: Applied over acid stained, dyes, and/or overlays to seal and protect. Some epoxies are also colored.
– Polishing: Concrete can be polished with mechanical grinders and diamond pads of increasing grit sizes. Sodium silicate or lithium silicate can be added as a concrete hardener to achieve a higher shine.
– Engraving: Existing concrete can be remodeled by cutting lines and grooves into its surface. Intricate designs can be engraved using a portable CNC concrete engraving system or a CNC driven router system.
– Form liner: Concrete can be cast into unique and detailed designs using urethane form liner. These projects can be seen on sound/retaining walls, building exteriors, and bridges.
– Industry publications: Concrete Decor is a leading magazine on decorative concrete, providing information, ideas, product news, and training for professionals in the field. It has a high readership and is considered the most-read and influential magazine covering decorative concrete worldwide.

Decorative concrete is the use of concrete as not simply a utilitarian medium for construction but as an aesthetic enhancement to a structure, while still serving its function as an integral part of the building itself such as floors, walls, driveways, and patios.

Stamped concrete in various patterns, highlighted with acid stain

The transformation of concrete into decorative concrete is achieved through the use of a variety of materials that may be applied during the pouring process or after the concrete is cured, these materials and/or systems include but are not limited to stamped concrete, acid staining, decorative overlays, polished concrete, concrete countertops, vertical overlays and more.

Decorative concrete

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