Decorative Concrete FAQ
1. How do I hire a contractor?
2. What are the different types of decorative concrete?
a. Decorative concrete comes in all shapes and sizes. For decades, the “standards” have been stamped concrete and stained concrete. Stencils, overlays, exposed aggregate, and a myriad of other techniques are also counted among decorative concrete options. Talk to your contractor to see what services he offers.
3. Is decorative concrete right for me?
a. Decorative concrete has many applications – large and small. For most people, the questions isn’t whether or not decorative concrete is right for them. The real question is which decorative concrete is right for them, best fitting their needs, desires, and budget.
4. How do I decide what I want?
a. Research is the key! Browse online photo galleries to see what others have done. You can even ask your friends and neighbors if they have had any decorative concrete installations at their homes. This will not only give you an idea of what’s popular in your area; it will show you how real world installations work in real world applications.
5. Where can I use decorative concrete?
a. You can install decorative concrete almost anywhere. Exterior applications, such as patios, pools, and driveways are extremely popular. Many homeowners use stains, overlays, and stamped concrete to dress up interior concrete in basements and main living areas. Some contractors can even create facades, backsplashes, and fireplace surrounds using vertical mixes and sprayed overlays.
6. How much does decorative concrete cost?
a. Cost varies based on region, project requirements, and level of service. You should request quotes and general pricing information from contractors in your area.
7. How does decorative concrete affect the value of my home?
a. Decorative concrete adds long lasting, low maintenance beauty to your home. Nothing is guaranteed, but it will generally improve your home’s value.
8. Can I DIY decorative concrete?
a. Installing decorative concrete the right way requires a lot of specialized skills and tools and, when it goes wrong, it goes very wrong. Unless you are very experienced installing concrete, we suggest you find a qualified contractor to handle it for you. That’s why we created this website.
9. How long does decorative concrete last?
a. Nothing lasts forever. But as far as building materials go, concrete does very well. Decorative concrete is just as durable as regular concrete. If properly installed and maintained, you should easily expect decades of beauty and performance.
10. Does decorative concrete crack?
a. If correctly installed, with a good mix and proper saw cuts, decorative concrete is fairly resistant to cracking. If minor cracks appear, they probably won’t be very noticeable. There are many methods you can use to repair and disguise more significant cracks and damage. Almost all concrete cracks. They key is to control those cracks and keep them minor.
11. How easy is decorative concrete to maintain?
a. One of the beauties of decorative concrete is the simple maintenance. For most applications, you just need to occasionally clean the surface a mild cleanser and soft brush or mop. Most residential applications will require a new coat of sealer every couple years. Check with your contractor for instructions and ask about a maintenance plan.
12. Can I change decorative concrete after it is installed?
a. Concrete is fairly permanent, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Overlays, stains, and some coloring products can be used to update or outright change the appearance of existing concrete.
13. How safe is decorative concrete?
a. As with most materials, there is a slip hazard when concrete is wet. Some decorative finishes, however, actually improve traction. Check with your contractor for options if you are concerned.
14. Does decorative concrete look fake?
a. Modern stamp patterns are painstakingly crafted and designed to create the most realistic appearance possible. You have most likely seen many applications of stamped concrete and not realized it.
15. Is decorative concrete environmentally friendly?
a. Decorative concrete is a green building option. Many materials in the concrete or decorative products are derived from recycled or sustainably sourced materials. Concrete can also be the energy efficient building material, helping save on heating and cooling demands. Because concrete is less porous than other flooring options, it reduces interior air pollution caused by dust and allergens.
16. Do I have to tear out my old concrete?
a. If you have regular concrete, but you’d prefer decorative concrete, there are options that don’t involve demolition. Overlays, stampable overlays, and stains can all be used over existing concrete to create a decorative finish.