The Differences Between Types of Concrete Finishes

March 2, 2021

A common practice is to overlay concrete with flooring materials like tile or wood. However, you can achieve the same aesthetic look by altering the concrete itself. Whether stamped, stenciled, polished or stained, a contractor from Racine, WI can help you determine which textured concrete finish is best for the project you have in mind.

Stamped concrete

Home and business owners in Racine, WI should consider stamped concrete because it mimics the appearance of slate, brick and cobblestone at a fraction of the cost. Installation is also much faster than real stone and requires far less maintenance. However, resealing is necessary every two or three years if the surface experiences heavy vehicle and foot traffic.

Workers start by pouring cement, then allow it to partially harden. Once the cement has reached the proper consistency, they apply color hardeners along with release agents so the stamps don’t get stuck in the concrete. The surface is left to completely dry before being sealed off to protect it from food spills and damaging weather conditions.

Stenciled concrete

Similar to stamp designs, stenciled concrete is a cheaper alternative to laying down brick or stone. In fact, stenciling proves better than other textured concrete finishes because the stencils aren’t pressed as far into the cement as stamps. This means there’s less elevation difference between the top surface and joint indentations, which creates a flat, smooth floor.

Unlike with stamped concrete, the stencils are compatible with any type of cement mix. They don’t disturb the surface as much, so any size of rock aggregate is suitable for the job. The one drawback to stencils is that there are fewer designs to choose from than with stamps.

Polished concrete

Polished concrete is a great choice for both home and business owners in Racine, WI due to its beauty and long-lasting durability. Maintenance is super easy, too—unlike the wax that comes with preserving other polished surfaces, concrete only needs a periodic mopping.

Any new or existing concrete floor can be transformed into a polished surface. Contractors use special equipment to grind down the surface until it’s smooth and shiny. From satin to high gloss, home and business owners have their pick of how reflective they want the floor to be depending on their stylistic preferences.

Stained concrete

Water- and acid-based stains are the best choices for people who want to accentuate the natural look of cement. Stained concrete is also suitable for outdoor use because the permanent color application is resistant to fading from the sun. However, you might want to consider a different textured concrete finish if the existing surface is riddled with cracks.

Acid stains provide earthy tones while water-based acrylics are available in a wider range of colors. Just remember that acid stains can get quite messy and require extensive cleanup. The harsh solvents leave behind a residue that can damage the health of family members and surrounding vegetation if not disposed of properly.

No matter what style you’re looking for, the contractors at Langenfeld Masonry & Concrete offer a variety of gorgeous finishes for both business owners and private residences. Check out our concrete services to see which types of projects we can assist with and why we’re the right team for the job.

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