What is Stamped Concrete?
Stamped concrete is a concrete which gives similar appearance to bricks, tiles, or wood etc., after stamping or texturing or patterning. Stamped concrete is generally used for sidewalks, driveways inside house, pool decks, interior flooring etc. to give aesthetic appearance.
When compared to bricks or tiles or wood etc., stamped concrete has better properties as follows
- Low cost
- Less maintenance required
- Many Designs and colors are available
- Even surface
Preparation of Stamped Concrete Surface
Preparation of stamped concrete surface is very simple but care should be taken. The process involved in several steps which are explained below.
Preparation of Subgrade Soil-
The subgrade soil should be well compacted and even surface. Otherwise soil erosion may occur which effects the concrete slab. We know that concrete is weak in tension, whenever there is an unevenness in the subgrade soil, then the surrounding concrete region subjected to bending and fails at where tensile force develops. So, care should be taken while preparing the subgrade surface.
Arrangement of Forms for Stamped Concrete-
Forms acts like barrier for fresh concrete to hold it in a particular place. These are made from wood or metal. After preparing subgrade, forms are arranged based on our choice of shape of deck or way. The forms should be in good condition to hold the concrete in correct place. The corners created by forms should be in clean shape.
Provision of Reinforcement in Stamped Concrete-
Steel bars or wired mesh are used as reinforcement materials for stamped concrete. For small area surfaces it is not necessary but for larger decks and drive ways reinforcement will give superior stability. Another advantage is if soil erosion happens in future under the slab, because of steel it can bear some tensile strength also. So, providing reinforcement is better for long durability especially for driveways or vehicle parking places.
Pouring Concrete for Stamped Concrete-
Generally concrete is prepared in ready mix plant and pour into arranged forms by tube or pipes. Pouring should be done as quickly as possible otherwise rapid hardening of concrete occurs. For small area works concrete should be carried with buckets and pour into the forms but care should be taken against segregation of concrete.
Leveling Stamped Concrete Surface-
After pouring concrete, quickly strike off or level the concrete surface with smooth finishing. For this purpose, straight edges are used. It should complete quickly otherwise bleeding occurs. After finishing the concrete surface should be free from spots.