Concrete is one of the most popular outdoor surfacing materials as it can be poured to fit into any space and made into any number of shapes or designs. Concrete is used for concrete driveways, concrete walkways, concrete patios, and so much more. When designing and planning out the finished product of your concrete, you need to choose a more traditional plain concrete finish or the increasingly popular stamped concrete finish. Choosing between stamped concrete and regular concrete can be confusing if this is your first time completing a home upgrade using concrete, or if you have never really looked into stamped concrete previously.

To help outline the differences between the two types of concrete finishes, we have highlighted the differences below.

1. Appearance
A noticeable difference between stamped concrete and plain or standard concrete is the appearance. Stamped concrete, also known as imprinted or textured concrete can have a variety of colorful finishes and imprinted designs. Stamped concrete can also be formed to imitate the look of wood, brick, tile, flagstone, slate depending on your desired look. Standard concrete, is normally a light gray colour but is available in other colour choices. The surface of plain concrete is usually textured so that it is not slippery when wet, however you can choose to have it completely smooth if you desire.

2. Design Options
Standard concrete has its limits when it comes to design possibilities. Even though there are a few options for the finish, stamped concrete outshines with its almost unlimited design options. It can be stamped to form different patterns and coloured to meet your surrounding landscape’s aesthetic needs and your home’s architecture. Stamped concrete can be designed to blend with the existing style, tone, tile, or textured elements of your home.

3. Patterns
Stamped concrete has an extensive collection of patterns. It can replicate the natural stone patterns correctly. If you desire a flagstone, slate, or fieldstone finish, you can achieve it with stamped concrete. Patterns can be pressed into concrete to achieve the desired aesthetic finish. Standard concrete is available in its natural poured form. Although regular concrete is attractive with its natural look, stamped concrete offers a plethora of aesthetically pleasing options.

4. Installation
Stamped concrete and standard concrete are formed and poured in the same manor, the finishing is where the differences are found. With standard concrete you will either smooth out or create texture on the surface of the concrete prior to letting dry. With stamped concrete stencils are used to press the desired pattern into the surface of the concrete. These stencils are what allows the concrete to be take it multiple different design options. Colours and additives are also added to the stamped concrete to give it the different colour hues.

5. Durability
Both concrete and stamped concrete are made using the same raw materials, however stamped concrete, based on the pattern chosen can potentially be more fragile than standard concrete. Any deep grooves in the design can be more susceptible to cracks or damage due to pressure from heavy objects, such as a vehicle.

6. Added Value
Stamped concrete can provide a more aesthetically pleasing accent for your home and your landscaping. If you are looking to sell your home, the stamped concrete can potentially provide that wow factor for potential buyers. Stamped concrete can also be finished with a slip-resistant surface when a non-skid additive is used to treat the surface. It offers additional safety during wet and snowy conditions.

When looking to upgrade your homes exterior, it is important to choose a product that will compliment your home’s architecture, style, and aesthetics. Stamped concrete will meet all of these needs as it can be formed to any shape, style, and colour you desire.

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