Installing Stamped Concrete

Prepping, pouring, and coloring. It is essential that the base for the concrete be correctly prepared. A good contractor will be meticulous in making sure that the base of crushed gravel or fill is as level as possible in order to prevent the concrete from cracking as it sets. Colors can be thoroughly mixed into the concrete before it’s poured, or applied to the surface of the poured concrete. Both methods are sound, and your contractor can advise the best choice for your project. A second color may also be introduced to the surface in order to create realistic shading; however, some contractors delay the shading and highlighting process until after the design has been completed.

Stamping, jointing, and sealing. The contractor should have plenty of stamps on hand to knock out the design as quickly as possible—the longer poured concrete sits, the harder it gets, and the harder it gets in turn for the installers to make adequate stamps. After stamping, the overall surface design is perfected by hand and the concrete is jointed to help control where any cracking may occur. At this point, some contractors will apply additional colors in order to achieve an even more authentic look for the surface. The final step is applying a sealer, the type and timing of which varies by contractor.