Stamped concrete stone: how to make, types and benefits
Stamped concrete that imitates stone is an increasingly popular solution. Discover the different types, their advantages and how to apply it.
Stamped concrete stone: discover the types and their advantages
Whether in new construction or renovation and refurbishment, natural stone is one of the most desirable materials in any architectural and interior design project. A cladding with an enveloping, almost hypnotic aesthetic finish that hides behind it numerous benefits from the perspective of functionality.
Aesthetics and practicality are combined in a natural stone that can be used in any area and whose versatility significantly increases the value of the space. Façade exteriors, outdoor paving and interior walls as well. More authentic spaces that exude a natural, sophisticated and elegant essence.
The constant evolution of the sector has led to the emergence of alternatives that are just as efficient but quicker and more economical to execute. In this sense, stamped concrete stone is the ideal substitute. A technique that imitates the appearance of natural stone in great detail at a lower cost, while maintaining its superb performance intact.
Below we will analyse point by point the most significant questions about stamped concrete stone that you should bear in mind. We will delve into what this material consists of and its main virtues, how it is made and installed correctly, what the price per square metre is, as well as which are the most popular moulds for acquiring such a precious finish.
What is stamped concrete with a stone-like appearance?
Stamped concrete is a decorative technique that has the capacity to imitate the textures and colours of other materials in a reliable, quick and easy way. To do this, a special stamping and texturing process is carried out using different moulds that trace the appearance and shape of the material to be simulated.
Stamped concrete with a stone-like appearance is obtained by stamping a mould that reproduces the appearance and shape of natural stone on the surface of fresh concrete. Depending on the type of stone that is to be obtained, as well as whether it is to be applied on a pavement or vertical wall, one mould or another will be used.
The stone effect of stamped concrete is highly demanded, in all its aspects, due to the aesthetic quality it confers to the surface. Spaces are conceived with an overwhelming visual force. A material of proven resistance and durability that does not go unnoticed and which are the architects of its success.
Why choose stamped concrete stone?
There are plenty of arguments why the choice of stamped concrete stone, compared to other materials on the market, is an absolute success. An innovative and highly demanded technique as it speeds up the tedious processes of reforms and provides sensational finishes. We proceed to detail some of the reasons why this cladding stands out and will continue to do so in the future.
- Customisation, first and foremost: the variety of moulds, colours and textures allows for exclusive finishes à la carte. The result is a highly successful stone finish that will turn heads wherever it is placed. With stamped concrete you will find the decorative style that best suits you. Rustic and rural atmospheres, more elegant and sophisticated atmospheres...
- Valid for numerous environments and areas: floors and walls; interiors and exteriors; facades of residential homes, interior walls of a restaurant, terrace paving, pool area, patios, parks, gardens.... The possible uses of stamped concrete stone are as numerous as the moulds available.
- Quicker to apply than it looks: at first glance it may seem that implementing this decorative technique is complicated. Not at all. A trained professional will install your stone-effect stamped concrete paving easily and in a short space of time.
- Infinitely cheaper than stone: you pay for quality. And those who persist in their determination to put natural stone in their homes or businesses are willing to pay anything. With stamped concrete simulated stone, this desire is not only satisfied, as the finish is identical, but it is also much more economical. One of the greatest virtues of this technique is undoubtedly the fact that it is much more economical.
- Durable, but really durable: the durability of stamped concrete imitating stone is exceptional, infinitely superior in fact to other products on the market. The high resistance guaranteed by these coatings, even outdoors, is reflected in their lifespan. And if there is one determining factor in the choice between one building material or another, it is this one. It will remain intact for a long, long time.
- Adaptable to any shape and terrain: no matter the shape or size of the surface to be transformed with stamped concrete stone. This material adapts perfectly to any terrain and any irregularity.
Advantages of stamped concrete stone
The stamped concrete stone conceals many more virtues that justify its increasing popularity year after year. A low relief coating with which surprising effects on floors and walls are assured, but above all practical and functional. The peace of mind of having a material with such conditions is priceless.
- Enjoy anti-slip flooring: There is no room for slipping on a floor configured with this material. The relief of its specific moulds gives it an enviable anti-slip property. An advantage that makes stamped concrete stone perfect for decorating areas exposed to water such as gardens, parks or the area around the swimming pool.
- 100% waterproof finish: An anti-slip condition closely linked to the impermeability it provides to the treated coatings. The varnish or resin used to seal the floor or wall provides total protection against water and other external products.
- Minimum maintenance, no special care: Exhaustive and constant care belongs to other materials, but this is not the case with stamped concrete stone. You only have to clean it from time to time with water, sweep it with a broom and renew the varnish every 2-3 years to keep it shining like the first day. Zero hassle and total comfort.
- Superior mechanical resistance: If there is one advantage to value very positively of this material, it is its resistance to multiple factors. It is highly resistant to abrasion, heavy traffic, erosion, temperature changes, exposure to sunlight and rain, etc. The overall computation of these resistances means that stamped concrete stone is favourable for outdoor spaces.
Types of stamped concrete stone and their patterns
As we detailed above, at the beginning of this article, stamped concrete needs moulds in order to create the desired designs.
In the case of stone patterns, there are different models to make floors and walls much more special, resistant and decoratively versatile surfaces thanks to the different models that exist and that allow different stone finishes to be achieved.
Stamped Concrete in English Stone Shape
You've probably seen the typical London cobblestone known as English stone, but now you don't have to travel to England's capital to see it. This is thanks to the stamped concrete that imitates this type of stone. Thanks to this type of mould, the material is much more versatile decoratively speaking and combines very well in any space and/or situation, be it pavements, gardens, squares, car parks, parks or even swimming pools. This versatility increases even more if we add the large number of colours in which it can be coloured.
Stamped Concrete in Irregular Stone Shape
Irregular Stone, despite not having the same capacity to adapt to spaces and surfaces as the imitation of English stone, is the most successful mould. This sought-after model basically consists of the reproduction of stone in its natural state, which gives places a more authentic touch that blends perfectly with any type of environment. In fact, we are convinced that if the mortar is pigmented in grey or black colours, similar to those of a stone in its natural state, it is difficult to realise that we are dealing with an imitation. Its resistance does not vary from that of other moulds, being very high in any case, withstanding, as if it were a real stone exposed in nature, any weather conditions such as rain, wind, hail or sun.
Stamped Concrete in Stonecut Stone Shape
Stonecut Stone is another of the most coveted stone stamped concrete moulds. And also one of the most modern. A mould that presents a much more regular shape, combining square and rectangular tiles. This design, so combinable and with an intrinsically rustic design, allows for the creation of the most unique and elegant compositions. A modern and distinguished touch whatever the colour in which it is printed on the concrete surface.
How to make stamped concrete stone?
Now that we have seen the particularities of this peculiar decorative finish, the time has come to explain in detail the phases of the installation of stamped concrete stone. A procedure that can only be carried out by a professional who can guarantee an optimum result.
- Plan what you want to do. To do this you only have to make a sketch of how you expect the work or renovation to look, whether it is a garden, a terrace, a patio or a path.
- Cleaning the substrate. As a previous step to the application, the surfaces that are going to be covered have to be cleaned so that everything comes out perfectly afterwards.
- Preparing the ground. This is the moment to prepare the levels and slopes to guarantee the planimetry of the future stamped concrete stone floor.
- Space dimensioning according to the thickness. The thickness will depend on the weight that we calculate that the surface will have to support. Normally, the stamped concrete layer should be 10 centimetres thick, but if we foresee that it will have to support much heavier weights, it is advisable to make it 15 cm thick. Remember that the surface must be properly compacted.
- Place a plastic sheet over the surface. To prevent the soil from transpiring and the moisture from being transferred to the concrete, it is necessary to place a plastic sheet after compaction. To avoid dehydration of the concrete, we recommend a 400 gauge polycret film.
- Pouring the concrete. Add polypropylene fibres to the concrete to increase its mechanical resistance and to spread it homogeneously on the substrate. It is also essential to place a steel mesh before pouring the product.
- Spreading the concrete. While the concrete is still fresh, level and smooth the pavement with the help of a trowel, trowel or leveller.
- Colour the concrete. This point is fundamental, as it will give the final colour to your stamped concrete stone. It can be done with two different procedures. The first consists of sprinkling the coloured hardener or printed mortar, which is already pigmented, such as our Stonecem® Floor. The second, more modern and faster application process involves colouring the mass concrete with quality pigments such as our Arcocem® Fast.
- Trowelling and smoothing. This part of the process is carried out to obtain a smooth surface, without irregularities or porosities.
- Application of the release agent. This is essential if we want to print the concrete, as in this way, by sprinkling the release agent, we allow the moulds to be easily removed. We use Desmocem® release agents.
- Apply the moulds. This process of using the moulds must be carried out with a constant rhythm and pressure. If we act in this way, we will obtain the finish we want. We have many imitation stone moulds for stamped concrete in our Imacem® family.
- Remove the release agent. If the expansion joints were not foreseen from the beginning, it will be the moment to make the cuts according to the project. 48 hours later, remove the release agent that has been used: powder or liquid version.
- Clean the stamped concrete stone floor. After a period of 72 hours, clean with water the possible remains of the product that may have been left on the substrate. For deep cleaning, we recommend using a specific detergent such as our Ecoclean Pro or Ecoclean Construction and leave it to act for 5 to 15 minutes. Discover them here.
- Varnish application. Finally, we apply the varnish that will protect the surface and help to keep the area in the best conditions. A resin whose purpose is none other than to safeguard the durability and resistance of the stamped concrete stone. Water-based varnishes, solvent-based varnishes, methacrylate varnishes? Take a look at the Sealcem® family.
Stamped concrete stone cost per square metre
In order to calculate the cost of stamped concrete that imitates stone per square metre, different factors must be studied individually and then together. What you need to know is that there is no standard price, as depending on the company you consult, they will give you a different quote. It is therefore very important that you are aware of all these variables so that you can evaluate them conscientiously and make the final decision.
Regardless of this, we can categorically state that it is an affordable alternative. The best proof of this is that it is a material that is increasingly used by professionals and demanded by end customers. The quality of the materials, the size of the surface to be decorated with this finish as well as the complexity of the work and, of course, the particular price of each applicator will reduce or increase the bill.
To give you an idea, before we analyse each of the variables point by point, the cost per square metre of stamped concrete stone can range from 60-70 euros to 100-120 euros.
The cost per square metre varies depending on the geographical area
The cost of applying this material varies depending on the geographical location where the work is carried out. Although the price range is quite similar and there is not an abysmal difference, it is not the same to ask for a quote for a job in a larger city than in a smaller one.
The cost per m2 fluctuates according to the complexity of the work
Not all building or renovation work is carried out under the same conditions. Depending on the location of the surface to be worked on, whether it has curves or water drainage, the difficulty may increase, which will increase the final cost of the project.
In the same way, the thickness of the stamped concrete stone influences the cost per square metre. As a general rule, it is usually about 10 cm, but for those pavements more exposed to vehicle and heavy machinery traffic, it is advisable to increase it slightly up to 15 cm. This increase is reflected in the cost.
Cost per m2 is higher if a repair is made
Before starting the installation process, make sure that the substrate on which you are going to work is in perfect condition. To do this, first check that there are no cracks or fissures and, if there are any, repair them until the surface is completely even. These possible repairs increase the cost per m2 of the printed concrete that imitates stone.
The cost per m2 reflects the quality of the materials and the professionals
As is normal, the better the material to be used, the more expensive it will be. The same goes for the professionals, the more experience and the more technical skills they have, the more the cost of this item will increase in the budget.
The more m2, the cheaper the cost will be
This is because ordering materials in larger quantities makes them more cost-effective. Conversely, ordering smaller quantities of stamped concrete to cover smaller surface areas, although it may not seem like it, will increase the budget figures.
There are also other variables that can alter the final cost of a job, such as how far the professionals have to travel from their base - the further away the application site is, the higher the price to be paid.
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