How to Choose the Best Decorative Concrete Option for Your Home

Decorative concrete is a very popular option for homes today, as adding a few simple touches to the driveway and walkway can mean lots of added curb appeal. Your paving contractor can help you decide the right choice for your home, but note a few simple tips and choices to consider so you know what to discuss with him or her even before they arrive.

1. Stamped concrete shapes

Stamped concrete gives the surface the look of bricks or tiles, or virtually any other shape, by simply stamping these shapes into wet concrete. For longer driveways, consider breaking up that length by having a rounded pattern stamped into the middle of the driveway. You might also opt to have a pattern stamped just along the edges of the driveway, which you might then paint a contrasting colour for more depth and impact. Be cautious about filling up any space with the same shape of stamp, as it then might look a bit dull; opt for a pattern of one large square then two smaller squares, and repeat this, rather than just one line of the same square size and shape. Mixing up the stamping this way will add depth to your driveway and walkway and also make it look more natural.

2. Staining concrete

Painting concrete can be good if you want one solid colour in the driveway or walkway, but staining gives that colour some depth and variety. Consider the surface of natural stone and how it's often a variety of shades and tones and even swirl patterns, and this is the effect you get with staining. This look might be a bit overwhelming for very small driveways and walkways, but it's a good way to add colour to an otherwise dull exterior or property without much landscaping and very few flowerbeds.

3. Buffed concrete

Many stores used buffed concrete for their flooring, as it's very shiny and attractive while still being durable. You can get this same high-shine or glossy look for your driveway and walkway by having the concrete buffed and then sealed with a glossy sealant. The concrete might actually reflect more sunlight with a buffing, so this is a good choice against a dark home that needs some added light. Note that buffing might make the concrete a bit slick, so it may not be good in areas with lots of rainfall or snowfall; however, for dryer climates or where you're not worried much about traction, it can be a very stylish choice.