Decorative concrete overlays add appeal to any type of surface. You can make improvements on almost all concrete surfaces like driveways, pool decks, patios, parking areas and so much more. Most overlay applications are on floors but can be made to horizontal planes as well. It enhances the look and transforms plain-looking surfaces to exquisite work of art.
You can do an overlay as simple repairs to concrete. Decorative concrete products are designed not only to cover but to add a new surface to an existing one. Damaged, outdated finishes are the usual surfaces that need decorative concrete overlay. These can be stamped, sprayed, and self-leveled. It can achieve the look of stone works, bricks, granite, slates and wood finish. Resurfacing systems help give the old concrete added strength, flexibility and overall improved appearance.
Even if you will not do the installation yourself, it would be to your advantage to learn the basics and be better educated consumers. Gaining knowledge on some of the rudiments can help you save thousands of dollars in repairs and overlays. Some overlay may require extensive maintenance while others require only minimal maintenance. If you’re working on a tight budget, better strike a balance on what you want done and what you can afford.
For do-it-yourself, certain special tools can be purchased inexpensively. You just have to have the list of things you need to get started. The process can be fairly simple provided you have the right tools, complete materials and system design. Here are the simple steps for basic application:
• Priming the floor with a polymer.
Pour into a 5-gallon bucket, add color of choice, mix quickly then slowly add concrete and mix to a batter consistency (like pancakes, smooth without lumps). Pour on floor and spread evenly and thinly, and let it dry.
• Applying concrete sealer. Two coats of acrylic sealers are recommended and should be sprayed on with light coats. Let it dry for 2-3 hours before the next coat.
• Finishing or wax coating. Use a thick microfiber mop to apply finish coats or wax coats. It may require several coats to achieve the result you want. Concrete acid stains or dyes need 24 hours to dry when applied on the floor. Don’t rush the process; otherwise you’ll just be trapping moisture in your slab, making it look lumpy.
With these steps in mind, the essentials of concrete overlaying can become fairly easy. For more elaborate designs however, you will need the manufacturer’s kit on how to apply decorative concrete overlay. Each texture and design may require more skills in color mixing and creating patterns for stamping.
There are numerous formulations, color options and finish techniques that a skilled professional can do to create hundreds of different outcomes. It involves molding, coloring, texture creation, and blending. Since stamped concrete is designed to resemble brick, slate, stone, tile and even wood, it can flatter like the real thing without costing as much. It is a great substitute for imitating an authentic look inexpensively. It is such a customized product that it can be tailored to suit your personal design and individual artistic goals and budget. To achieve variations, you can also make a different pattern for the borders and the inner slab. With a little bit of imagination, the right design can achieve your desired outcome… makes it all worth investing on an improvement of this type.