There is an unlimited number of decorative options available for concrete. This makes it a little bit confusing for you to choose an idea that appeals to you. The more decorative treatments you use, the more money you spend on materials and labor cost. To avoid this loophole, here is a list of the top 4 economical but elegant decorative concrete ideas you might consider trying out;
The basic one color/ stain application
This option is ideal for interior concrete floors. In this case a one color/ stain application with a sealing coat is applied rather than the more elaborate treatment options. Don’t mind the jargon, your contractor should be able to explain everything to you. To avoid the cost associated with incorporating decorative saw-cuts, stain colors and other intricate graphics the contractor should suggest an economical alternative like using a water-based stain instead on an acid one.
In case you want to install a stamped patio or driveway for a multi-patterned or colored look, use one integral color (or even hardener color). Alternatively, you can stencil a portion of the patio or driveway. Stenciling the decorative borders also produces the same desired effect. Your contractor will explain this to you.
The rock salt vs exposed aggregate finish
Works best for sidewalks, patios and exterior pavements like pool decks and plazas. An exposed aggregate finish is achieved by placing concrete then removing the outer ‘skin’ of cement to reveal the decorative coarse aggregate. The finish is durable and skid-resistant hence ideal for flat-work. Vertical applications of this technique include sound barrier walls and retaining walls. A rock salt finish is also skid resistant. It’s achieved when wet concrete is exposed to salt (same one used as a deicer in winter). After 24 hours of this, the salt is washed away to reveal a speckled pattern of indentations. The cost of these type of finishes depend on the surface area of the project. Get a quote for exact figures.
The polished finish
Polishing concrete increase the illumination of an establishment (light is reflected for better visibility), increases slip resistance and allows it to breathe. In addition to this, it’s cheaper to maintain. The bottom-line here is that, polished concrete flooring is a more economical alternative to marble and/ or granite. In the course of time, areas with heavy foot traffic tend to lose their shine. This shine can be brought back with minimal aggravation and cost compared to doing the same on granite or marble. Contact a contractor for maintenance tips.
Some people may argue that incurring huge home renovation costs like re-doing the concrete work increase the property value. That may be true but nothing should justify extravagance. Note that;
* Turning curves in concrete works into straight lines not only brings down cost but also creates a focal point.
* Add the bottom line (ask the contractor what that is) by including drain boards, a pack splash and custom edges on kitchen countertops.
* Your contractor should advice you on the ideal decorative concrete technique to be undertaken on your project.
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