There is a long list of things you can do with concrete to elevate the look of your outdoor space. We’ve talked previously about the benefits of decorative concrete overlays, and how they can elevate boring, gray concrete patios and walkways. One of the most popular kinds of concrete overlays use stamped concrete patterns.
Stamped concrete is a fast, and relatively simple way to completely transform a concrete pour. Done right, an affordable stamped concrete patio can mimic the look of an expensive real stone construction and other materials quite well. But what are the most popular stamped concrete patterns?
Everyone’s tastes vary. Still, there are stamp patterns that are more popular than others when it comes to stamped concrete. There are tons of options on the market. Choose from natural, stone textures like flagstone and slate, to tile and even wood plank, This means there are plenty of ways you can use stamped concrete patterns to elevate your next project, whether it’s a driveway, a patio, or a pool deck.
What is stamped concrete? What are stamp patterns?
Already confused? We recommend our previous article on concrete overlays as a quick catch up. Unless you’ve gone through the process of redoing your driveway or patio, or had old concrete you need to rejuvenate, you may have never heard of stamped concrete or stamped concrete patterns at all.
Simply put, stamped concrete is concrete that is poured and then stamped using a concrete stamp called a mat or a texturing skin. In a stamped overlay, concrete is typically poured to around 3/4 of an inch thick. Then a stamped pattern is chosen. A concrete stamp is applied differently depending on the project.
More rigid mats are typically used for stamping concrete when the desired calls for defined grout lines, such as faux brick or wood. Rigid mats are best used on a flat surface where flexibility in the stamp patterns is not needed, such as stamped concrete patios or pool decks.
However, not all projects have a completely level surface to work with. If you are working on an uneven or sloping surface, a bend in stamping mats is necessary to ensure that the imprinted concrete looks seamless. These are great for finishing concrete walls or even sloping driveways.
Not all popular patterns include defined grout lines. Sometimes, stamped concrete patterns have no grout lines at all, and create one cohesive texture on the surface of the concrete. For this project, stamped concrete contractors will use a tool called texturing skins. This is good for organic finishes like seamless slate texture or natural stone textures.
Overall, the tools, textures, and patterns you use for your project depends on the desired effect, the materials being used, and personal preferences.
Popular Stamped Concrete Patterns
The most popular patterns to finish upgrading a standard concrete pour are numerous. However, there are common themes. The aim of most homeowners is to mimic more expensive, natural finishes on a budget. So, most decorative concrete contractors will create decorative concrete finishes that mimic natural textures.
Some decorative concrete contractors have their own stamp patterns custom to their business. Many more use well-loved universal options. Whether you’re playing off existing stone features around your outdoor space, or trying to bring the look of interior floors outside with wood planks, there’s a pattern or texture on the market that you’re going to love.
In the world of stamped concrete, there are few patterns that are more popular than ashlar slate. Geometric, with clean lines, this pattern has universal appeal. Install Ashlar slate patterns with a mat to create clear grout lines.
The size of ashlar slate patterns vary. Typically, it is useful to scale the size of the pattern to the size of the space. A larger ashlar pattern could be used on larger stamped concrete projects such as driveways or patio surfaces. A smaller, tighter pattern is great for small surfaces or areas of coverage such as walkways or paths.
The exact look and size of this slate pattern will differ by manufacturer, but all will achieve very similar effects. From modern homes to classic backyard, Ashlar slate is versatile, and therefore, popular.
Seamless Stone or Slate Texture Finishes
When it comes to natural material finishes like stones, it’s hard to completely capture the effect of the real thing. But with stamped concrete patterns, you can come pretty close. Seamless stone or slate are great for creating a cohesive look to patios or pool decks, and are among the most popular patterns for concrete inlays.
Most patterns in this family are pretty neutral, and this is intentional. Sometimes, a general stone finish with no direct comparison in natural materials can be more realistic than a pattern that is trying hard to directly dupe. For example, a vague seamless slate finish may pass muster better than a stamped concrete that is directly mimicking cobblestone.
Flagstone patios are expensive, but they are beautiful. So it should come as no surprise that one of the most popular patterns for stamped concrete projects is Arizona flagstone. This large scale stone pattern looks great on patios, driveways, or around the pool.
The randomization of sizing in the stone, along with irregular grouting, copies the imperfections of the surface and texture of real stone.
Brick is a classic hardscaping material that has stood the test of time. In fact, brick has remained popular for so long that it is now a commonly mimicked pattern in the world of stamped concrete.
Because brick has such broad appeal, it is great for a variety of stamped concrete projects. It has applications both outside your house, and on other surfaces around your home. At the end of the day, brick patterns can take you from your front door to your family rooms’ concrete floors without blinking.
Capture the charm of cobblestone streets with this pattern. Cobblestone has been used for hundreds of years. So, it’s not surprising that these stones have found their way into the world of decorative concrete and concrete pavers. This texture looks great on driveways and walkways for a classic, old world feel.
Wood and Wood Plank
Concrete stamped to look like wood? That’s possible, and growing in popularity. Concrete contractors have now created more patterns that look like wood grain. This is an interesting texture option for outdoor projects such as raised pool decks or patios. It has also found application as a way to copy the look of wood floors without the massive price tag.
Like seamless stone or seamless slate finishes, random stone patterns are low maintenance ways to add a high end texture to your concrete. Random stone finishes use unspecific borders and joints to create a finished product that looks great, but is hard to put your finger on what it is referencing.
Because so many contractors and manufacturers are creating their own stamp patterns, the variety of looks available to you is vast. Here are just a few more popular patterns for decorative concrete projects.
Stone and brick are often arranged to create custom patterns or shapes such as European fan layouts where natural looking curved stones are arranged in a fanned pattern.
Stamped concrete shows up throughout a wide variety of outdoor spaces. The castle rock texture is ideal on outdoor fireplaces.
Stone of Athens
This refers to stone texture finishes made to mimic classic Greek materials such as marble, limestone, or granite.