Lower Mainland Concrete Services


Stamped Concrete: Good and Bad


You can do that? So often I come across this question when explaining the possibilities of stamped concrete to a new customer. Part of the problem is that there is a such a wide range in quality and craftsmanship from various companies and crews. How can you distinguish between the company that says they can do the work and one that actually can? One of the easiest ways is to always ask for a reference of work, we try to send customers to our past driveway installations so that they can easily access an in person inspection of our product. The rest sells itself.

Here are a few tips to consider for a quality job.

1) Does the company use liquid or powder release? A release agent is what keeps the rubber stamp mat from sticking to the concrete. Powder release is a much older methodology, it involves the spreading of a coloured powder over the wet concrete surface, some of which gets stamped into the concrete. After the concrete hardens,  most of the powder is washed off, leaving quite a mess behind, the powder is not environmentally friendly for this reason. Alternatively, liquid release is clear and sprayed on, it does not involve a colouring agent and is far less toxic. It allows for a better quality stamp impression and application of accent colouring after the pour. This allows for better colour control and far less mess. Other benefits are that once concrete has been covered in powder release it is no longer able to be troweled while liquid release allows for this. This means if your dog happens to run over the concrete while we are still there it can be repaired.

2) How often does the company pour stamped concrete, lots of outfits say they can do this type of specialized installation but have far more experience in sidewalks and exposed aggregate. About 60-70% of Defined Concretes installations are stamped concrete, this often means we are far more competitive value-wise.

3) What types of finishes are available? Defined Concrete specializes in stamped concrete, this means we are able to offer stained concrete finishes, Antiqued colour washes, Integral dye options and even concrete restoration to help tie existing concrete into your new installation. Thanks for reading and feel free to give me a call anytime for further information.


Written by John Benjamins.