Decorative concrete is a major component in many building renovations and repairs in recent years. It is being used not only by engineers and architects involved in construction projects, but also by interior and exterior designers tasked to create appealing and artistic areas in and outside the facility. The popularity of decorative concrete stems from a variety of reasons, foremost of which are:
1. Decorative concrete is inexpensive. The addition of aggregate materials to add patterns to the design may cost a bit more, but are still more reasonably priced than other beautification options. At the very least, the costs of cement materials and aggregates are controllable — facility managers can choose design materials just right for their budget.
2. Decorative concrete is easy to prepare. The substrate thickness can be adjusted, and does not need to be as thick as in ordinary applications, but the mixing and preparation procedure remains the same.
3. Decorative concrete is flexible. It can be applied on walls, floors and even on ceilings of the property. Patios, production areas, hospital rooms, anything can look aesthetically appealing with artistic finishes.
4. Decorative concrete applications can be implemented quickly and efficiently because of the ease in mixing and preparations. The fast curing and drying ability of cement mixtures makes it one of the most rapidly-deployed applications in the industry.
Decorative Concrete Application Options
Choosing the best decorative concrete application for the building is easy, mainly because there are a varied number of options to select from. Facility managers can choose from some of the most common applications, some of which are listed below:
1. Form lining. This type of application requires the artist’s touch, as decorative forms are molded with care by sculptors following a creative design or pattern. The molds are then used to create impressions on the surface. The combination of the colorless cement slab and colored molds creates appealing decorations in the surface.
2. Mixed aggregates. One of the most common methods of decorative finishing, that is also easy to prepare, requires the use of coloring agents or solid aggregates mixed with cement to create interesting hues and patterns in the surface.
3. Stamping. Molds made of stone or wood are stamped into the wet mixture before it dries. When the molds are removed, they leave behind interesting impressions in the surface.
4. Acid-etch staining. The use of acid-based chemical stains seep into the porous concrete surface to create unique patterns, increasing the appeal of patios, walkways and ordinary floors.