BY KRISTIN MEARS
Flipping through any home design magazine, you’ll see numerous decorative elements to spruce up your home, but one element that is growing among homeowners is decorative concrete. Say goodbye to the cold, grey slate we once knew, and hello to an artistic display revealing beauty. Design experts are giving age-old materials a new custom look by using staining, polishing and even stamping processes to revitalize homes in an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient way. Our expert, Brian C. Bradford, owner of Artistic Impressions, shares his tips on choosing the best way to decoratively enhance your concrete.
ADD CHARACTER THROUGH COLOR
Spruce up an existing surface by staining, a process that uses transparent reactive stains to bring out the concrete’s character. “We use acid staining,” says Brian. “It’s the most commonly used form of staining. We do custom homes that will want staining throughout the entire house, not just one area.”
ADD TEXTURE AND DIMENSION
Scoring is an easy way to add texture to a blank slate; it consists of lines cut into the concrete to create a distinct pattern or design, such as tile, borders and shapes.
“Another option to decorative concrete is engraving,” says Brian. The Artistic Impressions team specializes in stenciling and engraving a permanent pattern or script that won’t wear away because it’s carved in the concrete. “If a homeowner wants to do stained concrete, they need to do their research,” says Brian. “If they want to hire a professional, it is always recommended for them to research not only the company name but the owner.”
Are you afraid of the expensive costs of tile or other materials when considering a renovation? With stamping, you can give your home a whole new look without breaking the bank. Stamped concrete is a process where fresh concrete is imprinted with flexible mats that transfer patterns. The various imprints can reflect stone textures, tile and other desired effects or shapes.
ENHANCE YOUR CURRENT FLOOR
Don’t know what to do with that dull gray concrete floor? Consider an epoxy floor coating. One of the most economical and aesthetically pleasing ways to enhance a stale floor is through this process. “We do use the epoxy coating in our staining process,” says Brian. “Epoxy floor, flake, and quartz coatings are used in the custom homes we work with.” The coating can hide minor imperfections like tire marks, stains or even scratches. This application also offers added colors and other design options to make this an easy way to upgrade your space.