Building Advice from a Seasoned Woodworker

« Back to Home

Take Your Drab Slab To Fab With These Decorative Concrete Solutions

Posted on

Modern concrete offers inexpensive fixes for many drab outdoor spaces. In fact, one of the things it's best for is fixing the problem of old existing concrete that's outlived its day. How so? Here are three decorative concrete ideas to beautify an aging concrete patio or porch in any condition. 

Replace it With Stamped Concrete

Have an old patio that needs to be removed? Replace it with stamped concrete. In this method, the concrete is colored during pouring. Before the top layer of concrete dries, it's stamped with particular designs. The result is a decorative floor in any of a variety of colors, with a design limited only to your imagination.

You can use stamped concrete to mimic many more expensive materials, like natural stone, wood, or even brick. You can also create your own unique design with shapes, colors, and even freeform drawing. 

Engrave it

Turn ordinary concrete into decorative concrete with engraving. If your old patio is structurally sound, you may be able to clean and repair it, then use a simple stain to give it a more interesting color. The engraver then engraves (routes) a pattern directly into the colored concrete.

The engraved patterns look much like grout lines in a tile floor, making the whole section now appear like stone pavers, bricks, and tiles. You can create any design using stenciling — from a compass to a driveway of bold tile work to a classic Art Deco sunburst. 

Add an Overlay

Another good choice for solid, but boring, concrete is to cover it with an overlay. Modern concrete overlays are a mix of cement with polymer resins, acrylics, sand, and other binding materials, which are poured straight on top of existing concrete slabs. The exact materials and formulas are often designed by each manufacturer or professional company to work best in your climate and for specific purposes. 

Using an overlay gives you a completely new canvas on which to design and add color through stains and dyes. You can opt for a natural-looking textured finish or a polished and shiny floor that works both outdoors and indoors. Use complementary overlays to harmonize your outdoor areas and create more thematic unity. 

Why spend more money and time searching for exotic materials, trying to make them work for your specific needs? Any of these fun and easy variants on traditional concrete can make your concrete completely new in just hours! You can contact companies like Stephens & Smith Construction Inc for more information.