December 30, 2021

What is Decorative Concrete? Everything You Need To Know

decorative concrete company project by Stephens & Smith

In the past, concrete was something that individuals and businesses used primarily for its functionality. However, thanks to decorative concrete, that’s all changing. With this style of concrete, and the help of a concrete company like Stephens & Smith Construction Company, you can create beautiful embellishments that enhance the appearance of your commercial or residential location, both inside and out.

What Is Decorate Concrete?

Decorative concrete involves using concrete to improve the aesthetics of structure while still serving a functional role. Many decorative concrete applications are integral to the building itself, forming parts of the walls, floors, driveways, and patios.

What Are The Benefits Of Decorative Concrete?

There are many different benefits to decorative concrete. For example, decorative concrete is durable and can last for many years. It is also easy to maintain, and it can be custom-made to fit your specific needs of any commercial or residential property. It is also affordable, making it a cost-effective option for many, making it an ideal solution to improve and upgrade your home or office location.

How Is Decorative Concrete Made?

Many materials go into the making of decorative concrete, each used differently depending on the results required. At its core, the process requires top notch equipment and highly skilled craftsmen that know the various types of stone, gravel, or crushed rock required to be mixed with cement, sand, and water. The mixtures take on different characteristics, which, combined with other concrete finishing techniques, produces some incredible results. Check out some of the processes that we use at Stephens & Smith Construction Company;

Stamped Concrete

Stamping is the process of adding texture to concrete to make it look like something else. A concrete company with talented concrete professionals will typically use machinery to make it look like brick, slate, cobblestone, or regular paving slabs. However, it can truly take any form. Here is a fantastic example of a concrete patio that Stephens & Smith Construction Company created that looks like regular wood.

Installation of stamped concrete involves pressing various molds into the concrete while it is still hardening. Professional concrete installers may also add color using powder, liquid pigments, acid stains, and dry shakes during the curing phase too for that special look.

There really is no limit as to where you could find stamped concrete, but for the most part, you’ll typically see our high-quality work on driveways, commercial spaces, parking lots, and patios. There are also indoor applications in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.

Concrete Dyes

Regular concrete is usually a shade of gray. However, dyes can stain a variety of colors for both residential and commercial applications. Most dyes are made of regular printing inks mixed in mild alcohol solutions and then applied to the surface of the concrete. To create concrete dyes, manufacturers dissolve printing inks in high-penetration carriers. They then mix them with UV inhibitors to prevent fading in outdoor applications.

Stenciled Concrete

Stenciling concrete involves using a roller to apply patterned paper onto freshly laid concrete. Just like stamped concrete, the range of patterning options is limitless.

Overlaying

Overlaying is the process of laying a cementitious topping material on top of a concrete surface requiring relaying. It is a relatively inexpensive method of resurfacing that engineers have been using since the 1960s. Overlaid concrete has a smooth, beautiful finish. Concrete installers often mix it with various water-based stains to make it even more attractive. It is either epoxy, acrylic or polymer-based, depending on the application.

Micro-topping

Micro-topping is a technique that involves applying a thin layer of concrete to indoor surfaces in small sections. It is a way to enhance concrete floors (and walls) by enabling the addition of decorative elements. It’s generally quick and easy to apply and, often, there is no need for demolition or the removal of the existing floor.

Acid Staining

Acid staining is a coloration technique that depends on subjecting the surface of the concrete to a chemical reaction (not dying or pigmentation). It works by applying a small quantity of muriatic acid to the concrete surface. The acid then reacts with minerals in the concrete over a few hours, producing a new color that can penetrate the concrete up to 1/16 of an inch.

decorative concrete company project by Stephens & Smith

Contact Stephens & Smith Construction

Stephens & Smith Construction has an entire crew of concrete professionals dedicated to decorative concrete. The range of options is almost limitless, allowing you to use concrete in novel ways they never thought possible. Check out some more of our work in our decorative concrete photo gallery of past jobs. 

We’d love to add your project to our list of successful installations, so when you’re done browsing the photos, send us an email or call us. Our talented staff would love to explore ideas on how we can help in your home or business!

Interested in our latest projects? Connect with us on our Facebook page.

Scroll to Top
Concrete Specialists Since 1971

Lincoln

402.475.8087
1542 South 1st St.
Lincoln, NE 68502

Omaha

402.731.0363
5711 South 60th St. Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68117

Questions regarding our services?

Simply fill out the form below or give us a call.