More and more people are switching to textured concrete surfaces rather than those plain, smooth concrete we were all used to. One good reason is slip-resistance. A smooth surface becomes a lot more slippery when wet. This can be very dangerous especially on driveways and on pool decks where kids could be running around wet and barefooted. There are many ways to acquire a textured or patterned concrete space. Here are the top tools used and the techniques associated with each one to create impressive designs on concrete:
1. Seamless Skins
These polyurethane skins are ideal for adding a texture on concrete. The most popular textures are fractured slate and granite skin.
The skins are really thin and the texture fades out on the edges, thus, making the imprinted concrete texture seamless. The great thing about these skins is that either side can be used and the effect is the same.
2. Stamped Concrete Mats
Stamp mats are made of a thicker type of rubber or latex. It is designed to be thick because it imprints deeper and more pronounced patterns and textures. Installers may stand on the mat and tap it just a bit strong enough to make sure that it does leave an imprint on the surface of the concrete. There are two types of his mats: one is hard enough for use on flat surfaces, whereas, the softer one is meant for slopes and/or curved areas.
Popular stamp patterns include:
- Running Brick
- Flagstone pavers
- European Fan
- And more.
Rollers with specific patterns or textures are now available in most DIY shops. These, however, are quite smaller than skins and stamp mats and are not ideal for use on wide spaces. The best use for rollers is on pool copings and borders. Say, you have a fractured slate texture and an ashlar pattern on your pool deck. You can emphasize on the pool deck edge by using a roller with a brick pattern. This will create a contrasting pattern on the edge, sort of like creating a frame or margin around the rest of the concrete space.
There are other types of tools and techniques being developed for concrete surfaces but these are the most popular and, so far, the most effective. Others include stencils, engraving, and scoring. When you hire a pro to recreate your concrete space, make sure to discuss the type of tool they will be using to help set proper expectations.