Your Best Friend, the Patio Stamp

Ok, that’s an exaggeration.

But only a little bit.

What the frig is a patio stamp?  Well, for people tired of the same old boring gray concrete slabs, those people have other more interesting looking design options so that their patio can use good ol’ trusty concrete yet have an appealing design element that is more pleasing to the eye.

Also known as stamped concrete, installers will use rubber stamps or texturizing mats to imprint patterns into wet cement.  In certain cases, the patterns can even be applied to existing concrete previously installed.  Stamps are normally used to mimic other materials such as brick, tile, or stone.  For many homeowners, they choose stamped concrete because it is more economical than the material they are trying to copy.  The stamp used would have to be designed from a mold created from the original base material to ensure the right texture is applied.  Custom accents and medallions representing important ideas can often be inserted into a stamp, with appropriate planning. But if it’s not obvious from what’s been said so far, one key caveat is that patio stamps can be much more difficult than the traditional gray slab, and is definitely a job for the professional with lots of experience installing concrete. It requires not only many special tools, but a little bit more art and feel that can only be developed through time and experience.

Even more attractive to many people is that stamped concrete can be applied vertically as well as horizontally, meaning that they can be used not only for driveways and patios, but for areas such as outdoor fireplaces and/or retaining walls around soil.  In fact, there is no practical reason why it could not be used for some interior areas of a house, such as indoor fireplace, basement floor, or a kitchen.  That said, one very important sticking point is that the surface on which stamped concrete lays needs to be very flat.  An uneven surface is the exact area where concrete cannot do well, and that applied to where you want to use patio stamps as well. 

Additionally, stamped concrete, as opposed to brick, pavers or other materials that requires many smaller pieces, is less likely to have things like weeds growing in the lines between pieces.  On the flip side, it will never be really mistaken for the actual material it is modeled after, whether wood, brick or whatever.  Which side of that debate is more important to you will likely influence your decision heavily in that direction. 

If your goal is to have a long-lasting, natural looking area with clean, smooth lines that is eye-catching yet can endure a little bit of abuse, a concrete patio stamp is a really great option for many a homeowner to consider.  Make sure you evaluate fully your options and make the best decision you can for your situation!

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Jane Doe


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