CD Designs Blog
Imprinted concrete is concrete which has, after the process of pouring and laying but before it has set, been stamped, embossed or textured.
The surface of the poured concrete is made level and any desired colouring agents are added along with a chemical hardener. The treated concrete is then quickly imprinted with the design of choice before it can set.
Large “texture mats”, baring the negative image of which ever design has been chosen, are pressed into the concrete. The use of uniform mats ensures a consistency of effect; the mats are often “modular”, meaning that they have been deliberately designed so that when they are used repeatedly on a project they create a large coherent pattern over the entire surface of the concrete.
This means that patterned concrete driveways and flooring areas are imprinted with seamless designs which appear to have been created by more traditional and labour intensive methods of surface construction, such as tiling or laying cobbles.
The patterns which are most often used to imprint concrete mimic the effect of these old-fashioned surfacing techniques. Concrete can be imprinted to resemble, for example, old English cobbles, the random stone surfacing known commonly as “crazy paving”, classic slate, herring-bone laid brickwork, or many others.
By imprinting these patterns onto concrete as opposed to painstakingly laying them by hand, the difficulties inherent in sourcing materials and hand-laying the materials are avoided. As well as accurately resembling them in appearance and texture, pattern imprinted concrete also avoids many of the weaknesses of other surfaces. It is durable and strong, and more often than not cheaper than the surfaces it recreates.
Although the elegant simplicity of the process of laying pattern imprinted concrete dramatically reduces the man-hours necessary to finish a project, that isn’t to say that it’s a simple task. As ever, the skill of those laying the surface is reflected in the final product, and property owners considering a pattern imprinted concrete driveway, or imprinted concrete flooring, should always ensure that they research the record and capabilities of their contractors.
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14th December 2009