Which Is Better: Stamped or Stenciled Concrete?

Decorative concrete gives your driveway, walkway and patio the appearance of real stones, pavers, bricks or shingles without the expense and labor of laying these elements by hand. A timeless appearance, stamped or stenciled concrete comes at a lower cost when compared with genuine bricks, stones or pavers. But deciding which option is ideal for you depends on the overall appearance and feel you want to produce. For homeowners with completed concrete, stenciling offers a do-it-yourself approach to dress up concrete patios and floors.

The Stamped Effect

Concrete stamping, using a wax added to the concrete, recreates the expression of an individually paved, brick or stone drive. Concrete stamping must be completed before the brand new concrete sets. Color hardeners and release agents go onto the concrete prior to the stamping starts. Laborers have to be experienced in this kind of work and work quickly to complete the stamping with large polyurethane forms before the concrete hardens. After stamping, laborers complete any detail work, remove irregular release agents, incorporate a curing compound, install joints and, eventually, seal the concrete.

Concrete Stenciling

Like concrete stamping, contractor stenciling is completed after the concrete is pumped, screed, floated and hardened. Stencils are easier for employees to apply than stamping because stencils are made from analog paper. The stencils create the mortar joints in the concrete, depending on the appearance you select, bricks, tiles or pavers. Because employees do not have to be on the masonry while creating stencils, larger areas can be completed at once when compared with stamping concrete. Stenciled concrete functions best when searching for more secure surfaces on patios to support furniture.

Basic Differences

Stamped concrete requires the use of large polyurethane forms which stamp the image to the concrete, while builder stenciling involves inserting paper to the concrete which follows the mortar joints of the chosen pattern. The Indiana Decorate Concrete Network, a nation collaboration of decorative concrete companies, claims that stenciling is a simpler procedure when compared with stamping since it can be implemented by employees without a lot of experience, working from beyond the concrete forms. Stamped concrete is ideal for exterior surfaces, while stenciled concrete may be used indoors as well as outside.

Comparative Costs

The Concrete Network, a nationwide consortium of concrete contractors and suppliers, lists the prices per square foot of various concrete programs at the time of publication. Stamping concrete averages national installed prices of stamped concrete from $7 to $15 per square foot. Stenciled concrete ranges from $6 to $15 per square foot, based on the dyes, stencils and densifiers used. Basic stained concrete ranges from $3 to $6 a square foot at the time of publication.

See related