Stamping concrete is the process of texturing the surface of concrete while the surface is still plastic. You can use texture tools, pattern tools or even rollers- anything that will leave an impression on the surface of the concrete. Release agents (powdered, liquid or plastic) are used so the concrete does not stick to the stamping tool- and that the tool can be released from the concrete. Release agents are a lot like flour used on the counter when baking dough: the flour is the release agent and the dough is the stamp.
Many different patterns or textures can be used to create different effects. Combined with the many different methods for colouring concrete, there are endless possibilities of what can be created.
Concentrated dyes can be used to achieve a range in appearance from near acid stained translucent look to solid colour. Second or even third colours can be sprayed in to create the look of natural veining, more or less concentrated colours can be sprayed on each other to create mottled surfaces.
Dyes come in either solvent or water based forms:
Solvent based dyes are cut with acetone, and come in variations of red, blue, green, yellow, dark brown, or black. The colours are mixed together to create different colours. Then, the colours are diluted or sprayed full strength (with acetone)to create the desired coloured effect. Solvent based dyes are for interior applications only.
Water based dyes are pigmented to colour match any desired colour. There are standard colours, but custom colours can also be ordered as well. Often mistaken as paints, these water based dyes are anything but. Their chemical make up allows them to penetrate and attach itself to the properly prepared surface to create beautiful long lasting effects. These dyes can be applied indoors or outdoors, and can literally change the colour of any surface from dark to light.
When designing a project, it is important to determine the function of the area and the form it is intended to take.
Function describes how it is going to be used: driveway, patio, meeting area, walkway, family room, hotel lobby, etc. The function will help determine the best products that will work best in these area to create a long lasting product.
Form describes what the project is to look like. Stamped, acid stained, dyed, tiled, grouted… all the things that pertain to the overall look are part of the function. Colour is a big part of the form- what colours will work in the area, what colours will not. Are there colours in the home or business that will enhance the floor? Form also is a big part of layout. What is the exact area to be created- and what is its effect on other areas around it?
There are may different types of overlays from interior to exterior. There are many different styles of finish as well from: smooth self leveled, troweled on, stamped or sprayed. Klassen Concrete uses different manufacturers for different applications. The reason for this is not cost driven, rather, we choose to use the best products on the market for the best results.
The common principle for most overlay products are that they are designed to be applied thin. Normally you would think to apply something thicker would make it stronger- this is not the case with overlays. Here, thinner is better. The life blood for most overlays is primer. Primers are bonding agents which aid in sticking the product to the floor- and to itself.
The most important factor in creating a long lasting overlay is: applying it to a clean stable surface. As long as the surface is not loose, moving, flaking, spalling or unstable, any surface can be overlaid once properly prepared and cleaned.
Overlays can be applied over: concrete, wood, vinyl, tile, or existing concrete steps
Borders are different patterns or colours designed to enhance a project area. Borders can be an effective way to break up a larger field into smaller areas and create more exciting colours and patterns. Acid stained borders can be applied to existing drives/steps/walks to create an entirely bold new look.
There are no rules for borders except for one: never over do it with borders. Careful consideration must be made when using borders on a project- if they are to be used at all. Too many will detract and take away from what could have been a very nice look.
Acid stained floors are a colouring method which is sprayed, brushed, ragged or flooded onto a concrete floor to achieve a desired look. The earth tone coloured acids react with the free lime in the concrete floor and penetrate more in some areas- less in others. This creates a very mottles natural look which can be manipulated/accented with .the use of coffee grinds, miracle grow, resists, aluminum- anything which will make the acid react in a different manor.
Acid must penetrate the surface of the concrete. If for any reason the surface of the concrete has : sealer, curing compounds, paint, black marker, lacquer, or anything to block the surface from allowing the acid to penetrate THE SURFACE CAN NOT BE ACID STAINED UNLESS THOSE THINGS CAN BE CHEMICALLY OR MECHANICALLY REMOVED. Having said that, there are methods to repair these sections and blend colours to achieve similar looks click here to read about concrete dyes.
Acid stained floors are very popular and can last an extremely long time if maintained properly. A simple waxing program which is inexpensive and easy to apply will extend the life of your floor and maintain a brand new look.