The stamping process.
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Stamped concrete is concrete that is stamped or textured to resemble slate tile, stone, or brick or any of dozens of patterns available. It involves adding an integral color to the concrete, adding an accent color, called a release powder, as it also keeps the stamps from sticking to the surface, and stamping a pattern into the concrete with polyurethane stamps. The most popular pattern is Ashlar Slate both for the ability of the pattern to produce a rich two tone color and the straight lines of the tile to conceal the necessary saw cuts better than a random pattern will. There are numerous color choices available, both for the integral color and for the accent color. Stamped concrete is a very durable and less expensive method than using authentic materials such as stone slate and brick but must be sealed with a high quality sealer to protect the surface and enhance the colors. Sealer is generally applied 3 to 4 weeks after pouring the concrete to provide ample time for the concrete to cure and should be reapplied every 2 to 3 years thereafter or whenever it starts to look faded or worn. The following provides some ideas of what choices are available in colors and patterns. For more photos, see our Photo gallery.
Seamless textures are often used for sidewalks, sometimes in combination with a border stamp.
Steps can be made with smooth sides or by using form liners to create a genuine stone look on the face of the step.