Concrete – Decorative
One of the simplest decorative options for concrete floors is translucent acid staining, which permanently changes the color of the concrete from its natural gray to warm earth tones. Dyeing is another option for those seeking a more exotic look.
If the floors have cracks, holes, patches, oil stains, or other imperfections that would not be covered up by an acid or dye stain, they can be completely transformed by first applying a concrete overlay, which is a thin layer of cement laid over the existing floor. Apart from burying any issues below a new layer of concrete, a bonus is that it can be applied as either a smooth, easy-to-clean surface or a texture, giving it a stonelike appearance to add character to the area. Either way, the overlay can be stained and sealed to create a beautiful, custom finish. As a final touch, the floors can be cut into a myriad of tile, diamond, or stone patterns to reflect the homeowner’s personal taste.
Cast-in-place. Cast-in-place countertops are fabricated entirely in the homeowner’s home. The contractor removes the old countertops and builds a mold directly on top of the existing cabinets. The mold is filled with concrete that has been tinted to the homeowner’s specifications. Once dry, the surface is sealed to protect it against stains and allowed to cure for approximately two days. Plumbing fixtures are installed once the curing process is complete.
This fabrication method typically appeals to homeowners who are looking for a unique alternative to traditional granite or stone countertops because the surface of the concrete is finished by troweling, which is a technique that leaves a slightly varied appearance in texture and color. Another advantage of cast-in-place countertops is the ability to create a seamless surface. Since the countertop is all poured in one piece on-site, there is no need to bring it into the house in sections.
Precast. Precast countertops are fabricated in the contractor’s shop and brought to the homeowner’s home for installation. Instead of building a mold on-site, the contractor takes measurements of the area and builds the mold at his or her fabrication facility. The countertops are then poured, cured, and sealed in that facility and installed in the home in segments once they’re finished. Plumbing fixtures can be installed immediately after the countertop installation is finished.
Fabricating the countertops in the contractor’s shop offers some additional options. The contractor can create integrated backsplashes and drainboards, tint the surface with acid stains, and apply decorative inlays to the surface.
Other Concrete Surfaces
Some contractors offer decorative services for pool decks, patios, and other outdoor living spaces. Be sure the companies you call for quotes do the work you’re looking for.