Decorative Concrete: Upscale Looks for Less

Concrete is generally thought of as a useful but rather drab substance. Sure, it is great for sidewalks and driveways, and we know it’s pivotal in the construction of buildings and roads, but who wants an abundance of concrete around their home if they can help it? If this is your attitude, you should look into decorative concrete in Oklahoma. The various techniques used for decorative concrete can make concrete look like a variety of other materials, including brick, stone, and even marble. However, because concrete is actually the base substance, decorative concrete comes in at a fraction of the cost.

One type of decorative concrete in Oklahoma is stamped concrete. This process adds a base color and an accent color to the concrete before stamping it with a pattern; when it is finished the concrete resembles flagstone, stone, tile, brick, wood, or slate. The base color should match the color of the building material the concrete will be made to resemble. The secondary color adds shape and texture or matches the natural color of grout. The stamp is what gives the concrete the actual shape of another material. This type of decorative concrete is usually used on patios, driveways, decks, sidewalks, and even interiors.

Another kind of decorative concrete in Oklahoma is dyed concrete. The substance is dyed using water-based or solvent-based solutions which actually penetrate the surface of the concrete. There is a wide variety of colors to choose from, and it is also possible to mix colors to create one-of-a-kind shades. Dyed concrete offers a broader choice of colors than the more common staining technique, and combining dying with staining techniques creates an almost unlimited choice of hue. Dyed concrete can be used outside or indoors, and can be used to create a marble effect or even the look of an intricate marble inlay.

Concrete overlays are at once a form of decorative concrete and a means of covering up imperfections in already existing concrete. There are six different types of overlays, appropriate to different types of projects. Epoxy coatings work as both a sealant and a decorative technique. Common types of epoxy coatings include garage floor coatings, epoxy terrazzo (a mosaic-like coating), and metallic coatings. Microtoppings and skin coats are usually applied as a primer for other decorative concrete treatments, as they provide a clean, smooth surface to apply dyes or stains. They can also imbue color and texture, or give slip resistance to pool decks. Spray-down toppings also provide slip resistance and can add color to highly trafficked areas. Self-leveling overlays can even out worn or irregular concrete surfaces. Stamped overlays provide much the same effect as stamped concrete but at a fraction of the cost and with much less labor involved. Finally, polished overlays give the appearance of high-gloss marble floors and, at the same time, cover up blemishes and impurities in the concrete.

These are just a few of the available techniques for decorative concrete in Oklahoma. Using these techniques, you can get stunning floors, walls, countertops, and patios that are a far cry from the unimpressive gray surface you think of as concrete.

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