Concrete is a durable, long-lasting, and attractive surface for a patio, driveway, garage floor, pool deck, or even an interior floor inside your home. But with concrete, you don't have to leave it plain, as there are a variety of treatments you can apply to it to give it a different appearance or improve its performance. Here are some methods you can use to accentuate and finish your concrete surface.
There are times when you don't want your concrete to be finished off with a smooth surface because you want it to have slip-resistant properties. This can be necessary if, for example, you are pouring a concrete surface around your swimming pool or as a walkway that is exposed to freezing temperatures and water in the winter. This type of textured finish will give your feet and vehicle tires more traction upon its surface.
You can finish your concrete with a broom by simply sliding the broom across the surface of the concrete before it is set. You can also apply a rock salt technique. Sprinkle rock salt onto the surface of your concrete, and smooth the granules into the wet concrete. Then, after the concrete cures, you rinse away the rock salt to leave pits within the concrete, creating a rough surface.
You may want to give your concrete the decorated appearance of cobblestones, bricks, or other paving stones. You can press a concrete molded stamp onto the wet concrete to create a pattern over its surface that will remain permanent once the concrete hardens. This treatment is also a great finish to follow up with a concrete stain or other coloring.
Coloring your concrete is a good way to give your concrete a diverse appearance and set it apart from its original grey. You can color your concrete with an acid stain or with concrete paint. If you are pouring new concrete, you can color it by mixing a concrete pigment directly into the water and concrete mixture.
If you are applying the stain or color to the surface of your concrete, be sure you prepare and clean the surface well. Then, apply a sealant onto the concrete to protect it from the environment.
Another way to make your concrete look great is with a smooth surface treatment. You can have your concrete polished to give it a finish that is similar to polished marble, and you can have a color treatment applied to match this look. Your concrete professional will use a grinding machine to polish the surface of your concrete using progressively finer and finer sanding pads. Then, you can seal in the concrete to prevent stains and water from discoloring your concrete surface.
For more information on concrete finishing services, contact a local paving contractor.