Get Creative With Durable Ready Mix
When you think of concrete – if you think of concrete – you probably think of the large slab of concrete that makes up your driveway or patio, and perhaps you don’t find that terribly exciting. What you’re missing is that concrete is one of the most durable and versatile materials available for building and landscaping. Get to know concrete and its potential.
The beautiful thing about ready mix concrete is that it is limited only by the form it is poured into. With the right structure and support, you can create almost anything.
One way to give concrete visual interest is to break up the slabs into smaller sections. This is an especially good solution in areas prone to extreme temperature changes, as the areas between the concrete sections allow for expansion and contraction and minimize cracking. A simple gridded pattern is great for large expanses like driveways. For wow factor on a back patio, consider creating a large-scale mosaic pattern. Curving, organic shapes evoke a different mood than the rhythm of repeated squares.
Remember, too, that you can add color to concrete, either integrally or as a surface application. Color pigments can be mixed in to concrete as its being prepared, saturating the entire mixture to give you subtle color shifts or dramatic color changes. This will give you even color across the entire slab that doesn’t fade, scuff, or change with weather. You can fashion some truly spectacular looks by using different colors of concrete in the same design.
For a one-of-a-kind, variegated finish, an acid stain is ideal. Acid stain is applied after the concrete has set and reacts with the surface area, permanently altering it. It can be applied to a colored concrete or a natural concrete and adds a lot of character to a concrete project. If you already have a concrete surface that you want to add some personality to, you can even buy samples of acid finish to test on a small area.
Concrete stamping is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to create the look of tile, brick, or stone. Combined with color additives and surface finishes, stamped concrete will surprise you with just how much it looks like the real thing.
Don’t forget about other uses for concrete. The hard-wearing surface is perfect for modern-looking outdoor countertops, tables, and benches, or can easily curve around your pool or grill. This is a relatively easy, inexpensive way to get a really custom look.
Concrete has endless design potential. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Use any of the examples above or see what you can come up with.
For more information about the kinds of concrete available in San Jose, for your project, click here.
Brett has had a lifelong interest in plants and trees and writes about his interest as a creative outlet. You can read his latest musings at tumblr blog.
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