Stamped Concrete & Design
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does decorative concrete cost?
Cost varies depending on many factors. These include: location, accessibility for a concrete truck, square footage, layout and slope of the yard, fencing, irrigation, the need for steps or stairs, etc. To get a general idea of what your particular job
may cost, please Contact us and we will schedule an site visit followed by an official quote.
- Why does decorative concrete cost more than regular concrete?
The main reasons for the cost difference are additional labor, materials, and experience. The smallest decorative concrete job takes a minimum of 2 days to complete due to the timing of the various steps involved. Contrast this with regular concrete which can be formed, placed, finished, and sealed in one day. The special tools and materials needed for decorative concrete also contribute to the cost, as does the experience of the installers.
- Can stamping be applied over the top of existing tiling, wood work or painted walls?
There are specialized products which can be applied thinly over existing concrete. These materials are called Micro Topping, and they resemble the look of full-depth smooth concrete.
- Why should I choose concrete over a deck or pavers?
Decorative concrete has several advantages over the other options. First off it's flexibility of design. The pattern, shape, and color options with concrete are virtually unlimited. Unlike pavers, you shouldn’t need to use herbicide to kill weeds growing up through your concrete patio. Also, you don’t have to worry about differential settling of individual pavers during freeze/thaw cycles, or when animals and insects burrow under your patio. Unlike wood decking, concrete presents no splinters or yearly re-staining, and concrete is more durable than wood. To top it off, concrete is usually the least expensive!
- Does the shape of the patio affect the price?
The shape doesn’t usually affect the price. We charge the same for a curved edge and rounded corners as we do for straight edges and square corners. However, there are some exceptions.
- Do borders cost extra?
We do charge a bit more to add a border. Cost varies with complexity.
- Do steps cost extra?
Yes. The main reason is because the faces of the steps need to be finished as well as the tops. This takes extra time, skill, and materials. An elevated patio presents the same situation: the exposed edges all need to be finished.
- Will you help design my project?
We often offer design ideas or help with layout, color, and pattern decisions. We are also perfectly capable of installations based upon professionally drawn landscape plans.
- Does the pattern affect the price?
Not usually. The only time the pattern affects pricing is if we have to special order a set of stamps that we don’t already have. Depending upon the job, sometimes a texture skin finish (has a stone-like texture, but no discernible pattern) is less expensive than pattern stamping.
- How thick is stamped concrete?
Stamped concrete is normally 8-12 cm thick, the same as a regular concrete driveway or sidewalk.
- How do I pick a color?
We can usually help with that. We have seen many different color combinations and know how they interact. However, a good rule of thumb is to try picking colors that look natural. It is sometimes best to determine the pattern first and then choose colors which complement that pattern. For instance, you would probably not want a flagstone pattern in a brick red color. It wouldn’t look natural.
A vast array of coloring products and techniques allow your us to achieve countless different looks. Choosing colors for your project is usually as easy as picking from color charts which can be provided at the time of the on-site visit. Please be aware that online color charts are not very accurate due to the differences in individual computer monitors.
- Can I match the color of my house?
There are colors available to match or complement virtually any décor.
- How does decorative concrete hold up over time?
Decorative concrete usually holds up better than regular concrete because of the maintenance steps taken. When someone spends the extra money on decorative concrete, they typically want it to remain attractive. Therefore, they keep it cleaned and sealed which prolongs its life span.
- What maintenance is involved?
A periodic washing and re-sealing with clear sealer is all that is required to keep your concrete looking new. This is easily done by the owner or someone they hire. The frequency of re-sealing is on an as-needed basis. It all depends upon traffic, weathering, and the amount of direct sunlight to which the sealer is exposed. A general rule of thumb is to re-seal about every third year.
- Does it have to be re-sealed?
You don’t necessarily have to re-seal, but it prolongs the life of the concrete and keeps the color from looking “washed out”.
- Is it slippery?
Decorative concrete is not unusually slippery. Proper texturing and use of skid-resistant additives in the sealer make even wet concrete slip-resistant. The most common cause for slippery stamped concrete is over-sealing it.
- Does the color fade?
The pigments used are colorfast. However, they can begin to appear faded or washed-out if not properly maintained. When a neglected surface is correctly re-sealed with a quality clear sealer, the original color is restored.
- Does decorative concrete crack?
Decorative concrete is still just concrete. It will do everything that regular concrete will do, including cracking. We attempt to prevent and control cracking by use of low-slump concrete, a well-compacted subgrade, fiber and rebar in the concrete, and by properly placing expansion and contraction joints.
- Is there a warranty against cracks?
There is usually no warranty against cracking. Cracks are extremely common and according to the American Concrete Institute (ACI), they should be expected. As a result, no knowledgeable contractor can guarantee against them. We can, however, try to control them using the methods described in the previous question.
- Can a crack be repaired?
There are sometimes ways to hide a crack, but there is no widely accepted way to actually repair a crack in exterior concrete.
- Can my concrete be patched if it’s damaged?
Pop-outs or gouges can be patched, cracks can sometimes be hidden.
- How will you get the concrete into the backyard?
Unless we are lucky enough to have full access for a 20 tone concrete mixer truck, we move concrete to the backyard by means of wheelbarrows, power buggies, a bobcat, or a concrete pump. The chosen method is dictated by jobsite conditions and budget.
- Will construction damage my yard?
Although we make every attempt to minimize yard damage, construction is not a “no mess” proposition. Decorative concrete is a very dirty job and occasionally the yard may become somewhat damaged. However, the we always try our best to leave your yard in a presentable condition. This can be accomplished by means of laying a runner of plywood or lumber on which to run our equipment. If possible, landscaping should be done after all other construction has taken place. Details about steps that would be taken to preserve your yard can discussed on site.
- When should I have my work installed?
Concerning any outdoor job, weather conditions should be adequate. (There's no way to work during rainy days) .
- Can I visit a showroom?
There is an outdoor showroom located at: Far Vision Center, Ground Floor. Fouad Shehab Avenue, Sin El Fil, Beirut, Lebanon. Contact Us for more information.