Whether you want to install concrete for your driveway, patio, or outdoor walkways, you might be considering ways to improve its appearance. In its natural state, concrete is a neutral colour that is less than fun to look at. While it is very durable and a great option for outdoor use, you might want it to accent your home instead of take away from it. Here are some different ways to have beautiful and unique decorative concrete.
Use Stamped Concrete
One great idea is to use stamped decorative concreting instead of traditional poured concrete. This type of concrete is poured into moulds that create different designs and textures into the dried concrete surface. You can make it look like other types of materials, which is great for driveways and walkways. For example, you might want a concrete driveway that looks like brick or cobblestone. This can be done by using brick or cobblestone moulds and pouring the concrete directly into them. When it dries, you install the concrete for your different outdoor uses. Stamped concrete can also contain different types of patterns, from seashell patterns to wavy lines.
Dye the Concrete a Different Colour
You can also have concrete installed that has been dyed a different colour. This is ideal when you simply want to improve the boring, neutral shade of concrete. The dye is added to the cement while it is still wet and often before it is installed on your driveway or other outdoor surface. When the concrete is being used outdoors, you want to stay away from dye that has alcohol in it, since it can fade with direct sunlight. Instead, choose a concrete dye that will be able to handle UV rays and maintain the colour you want.
Make the Concrete Look Polished
You might also want the concrete surface to have a polished look, which is often done when the concrete is in your garage or used indoors. Even outdoor concrete looks great with a polished sheen, such as for a nice walkway going from your mailbox to your front door. When you get this option, the concrete is first installed, then the contractor will buff the concrete and apply a waxing substance that dries and gives it a polished look. This also allows you to have concrete inside your home and look like a sleek, high-end flooring option.
Talk to a concrete contractor to discuss the different options available for decorative concrete.