Separating the floor layers from the concrete finishers is what we’re talking about in this section. A floor layer is also technically a concreter and will supply you with a quality slab and installation. However, hiring a true concrete finisher, will really make sure the extra money you’re spending for you decorative concrete installation is really installed to the best the situation will allow.
As I stated on another page, I (as with all concreters), started out on the plain concrete installation side of things, but it wasn’t long before I got to scratch the surface of installing exposed aggregate, stamped concrete and colour concrete, which has since allowed me close to 20 years perfecting my applications of these installs to really make sure they are completed to the highest of standards.
I’ll go through some options of decorative concrete finishing, both standard and custom installs of each and a little background to why you need to find the right contractor to complete the work for you.
Exposed Aggregate Concrete
I’ve met many quality concreters over the years who, when on a deck for example, simply excel in this field. Flat screed, perfect finishing and keeping up with the pace of the installation. A lot of these people, are also simply bad at installing exposed aggregate concrete.
With exposed, we start to delve into a different realm of understanding of the product and process of what the concrete is doing. Perfect screeding is an absolute necessity, not only flat, but also being ultra careful on blading to make sure we don’t leave any screed marks in the surface stones.
From there, after installation and floating has been completed, then it comes down to plain experience of what to do next. Not only does the surface need to be finished, but each section must be carefully worked so as to not make any dents into the surface which will show through later after wash off.
From here, judging the right time to retard the matrix and blending in evenly with the right strength of broom, before finally getting back onto the surface to wash off the matrix, revealing the lovely stone combination that was chosen beforehand.
When we quote our work, I always send out address’s of my completed work for clients to inspect, take the time to have a look, you’ll notice even exposure rates, no bare spots or holes and simple a nice, even job throughout. This isn’t by accident, or luck….it’s skill and experience.
Stamped concrete, an art put aside through lack of client knowledge, brought about through lack of communication from contractor to client.
Ok, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. But stamped concrete has gone to the way side over the years because although it looks amazing when it’s first completed, no client are / were ever educated in how to maintain and look after decorative concrete correctly and over time, mother nature does her thing, erosion kicks in and our stamped starts to look pretty old and worn.
Stamping your concrete is an amazing finish that was once popular for very good reason, it looks fantastic! We can complete your project in many different colours combinations with several good and lasting stamp impressions that, as long as it’s looked after properly, will maintain it’s colour and integrity for years to come.
Stamping really is one of my favourite finishes to complete and I always start to get a little happy inside whenever I’m contacted for a quote for new stamped installation.
Colour concrete and finishing…..I mentioned before about there are large differences in the quality of concreter that you decide to choose for your work. If you are having coloured concrete installed, take the time to have a look through your chosen contractors previous work to have a look over how they finish coloured concrete.
If you are going to spend the money on colouring the concrete, spend the money also on the quality of finisher.
Broom finishes are not a finish for coloured concrete….don’t let any installer tell you different.
Demand either a smooth finish if the situation is suitable to do so, or a highlighted stipple finish if surface traction is needed for say an outdoor area.
If your chosen contractor doesn’t do these finishes HERE’S the link to my contact page. I do.
Lets get a little fancy and start mixing things up. You’ve already chosen me for your contractor because you know the standard of work that I produce, so lets talk about your options in providing several different, adjoining installations of concrete to really make your house a one off masterpiece.
Food for thought, we can install stamped concrete throughout with an exposed aggregate border and inserts. Switch that around to exposed in the middle and stamped on the border.
Why not switch one of those out for colour concrete?
Add in custom resurfaced sections as center pieces to your driveway!
Put dark oxide through sections of your exposed aggregate, whilst the rest have a light colour oxide!
I love custom work, I’m a very creative person and nothing gets my juices flowing more than putting my little smeagol to work setting up and placing a one off custom installation for my clients.
The options really are endless and just require a little creative inspiration to get something truly unique.