Concrete stamps, which are made of polyurethane or metal, have inlaid designs that are available in various decorative patterns and textures. The stamps may also be made to look like other building materials such as stone, wood or brick, or have a pattern such as leaves or an abstract design. Stamped concrete is achieved by imprinting these stamps on the concrete that is at least four inches thick. It may be stamped in the desired pattern or randomly while the concrete is curing and after the application of the color release.
A broom finish makes a concrete surface slip resistant. After placement, leveling, and troweling of concrete, a broom finish is achieved by dragging a horsehair, polypropylene, or nylon broom, with types available in various widths and that provide different levels of texture, across the surface of the concrete. It is advisable to run the broom from side to side without stopping either by pushing or pulling the broom. The broom creates ridges that are not only decorative, but also provide traction. Once complete, the concrete is cured with sheets of polyethylene or by spraying curing compound to reduce the evaporation of moisture from the concrete surface.
Create a smooth and glossy look by wet or dry polishing a concrete surface. An advantage of polished concrete is that the look may be achieved either on freshly-placed or aged surface. A concrete floor grinding tool with diamond polishing pads, which are available in coarse or fine grades, is used on a surface that has been stripped of existing sealer or coatings. In the middle of the process, a densifier is applied to fill pores to increase the surface's density. The polishing process continues until the desired look is achieved. A sealant may be used on this low-maintenance surface to protect the concrete.
Coloring concrete is achieved through mix-added pigments for new concrete or post-cure staining on new or old concrete. Pigments, which are available in virtually any color in liquid or powder form, can be added directly to the concrete mix prior to pouring. Staining concrete creates rich, deep, translucent tones and can even be used to create the look of different materials, such as polished marble or natural stone. Acid stains are available in subtle tones that are not as bright as pigments, and water-based stains are available in more colors. The stain is applied on dry concrete using a paintbrush and once it's dry, should be sealed to protect the surface.
Can you think of other concrete finishing techniques?