Decorative concrete is the use of concrete for more than utility purposes but much more to enhance the beauty of a structure. They still retain their mission as an integral part of the building itself. They include floors, walls, driveways, and patios. The concrete is mixed with other additives, either while pouring processes occur or after the concrete has solidified. A wide variety of decorative concrete can be used both in private and public structures. Some decorative concrete examples include stamped concrete, acid staining, decorative overlays, polished concrete, concrete countertops, and vertical overlays, etc.
Stamped concrete is the result of the addition of texture and color to concrete to create a resemblance with bricks, slated, stones, etc. There are universal products and results we can derive from utilizing cost-effective stamped concrete. This presents itself as an option for renovation and construction projects. While the concrete is still in its semisolid state, molds can be placed in it and colors generated from dry shakes, color hardeners, powder or liquid releases, integral colors, or acid stains. These chemicals can also be combined to formulate more beautiful designs.
Dyed concrete comes from a composition of different constituents that can be used for residential or commercial uses depending on the customer specification. The application of dyed concrete could be walks, countertops, floors. Concrete dyes can be obtained by dissolving inks inn solutions of alcohol. This mixture is then applied to various surfaces, which introduces another color shade. Alcohol-based stains are more useful for interior decorations. Manufacturers Also choose to dissolve the dyes in other solvents like lacquer, as acetone to achieve better accurate colors.
Acid staining is achieved by combining water mineral salts and acid, which is then applied to the concrete and allowed for a period of hours. This creates a new earth tone on the concrete surface. The specific surface is sometimes scrubbed with baking soda to normalize and remove excess stain and return the concrete's pH level to normal. Acid staining is known to be able to create varying degrees on slab surfaces that make them have a unique experience. Old concrete surfaces may not have the same color effect as the new one due to environmental action. It is also more difficult for worn-out concrete to accept acid staining.
Another form of decorative concrete would be the concrete overlay. This gained popularity as far back as when some chemical engineers began running experiments concerning plant resins to be used as a modifier for cement and sand mixtures. This combination produces a topping material that would more easily adhere to concrete surfaces, thus providing a coating. This coating can also be used for the renovation of worn out and damaged surfaces or areas that has been affected by weather condition. The disadvantage with this is that it has low water resistance and can't last its adhesion capacity in solving permanent challenges – however, it can be managed or completely maneuver.