Imprinted concrete is concrete that is patterned and/or textured or embossed to resemble brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile, wood, and various other patterns and textures. Stamped concrete is commonly used for patios, sidewalks, driveways, pool decks, and interior flooring. The ability of stamped concrete to resemble other building materials makes stamped concrete a less expensive alternative to using those other authentic materials such as stone, slate or brick.
There are three procedures used in stamped concrete which separate it from other concrete procedures; the addition of a base color, the addition of an accent color, and stamping a pattern into the concrete. These three procedures provide stamped concrete with a color and shape similar to the natural building material. It also is longer lasting than paved stone, and still resembles the look
Adding base color
The base color is the primary color used in stamped concrete. The base color is chosen to reflect the color of the natural building material. The base color is produced by adding a color hardener to the concrete. Color hardener is a powder pigment used to dye the concrete.The color hardener can be applied using one of two procedures; integral color or cast-on color. Integral color is the procedure where the entire volume of concrete is dyed the base color. The entire volume of concrete is colored by adding the color hardener to the concrete truck, and allowing all the concrete in the truck to be dyed. Cast-on color is the procedure where the surface of the concrete is dyed the base color. The surface of the concrete is colored by spreading the color hardener onto the surface of the wet concrete and floating the powder into the top layer of the wet concrete.
Adding accent color
The accent color is the secondary color used in stamped concrete. The secondary color is used to produce texture and show additional building materials (e.g. grout) in the stamped concrete. The accent color is produced by applying color release to the concrete. Color release has two purposes. Color release is a pigment used to color the concrete and color release is a non-adhesive used to prevent the concrete stamps from sticking to the concrete.