Ashlar Stamped Web

Chemical Stain

Exposed Aggregates


The following are a few of the most popular types of Decorative Concrete:

  • Stamping
  • Surface Retarders
  • Color Hardener
  • Integral Color
  • Chemical Stains
  • Dyes
  • Exposed Aggregate

In the early 1900s concrete enthusiasts began kicking around the idea of adding pigment to concrete.  At the time, people didn’t realize what kind of effect it would have on the concrete industry in the future. Decorative concrete has become one of the fastest growing facets of the industry; consumers and producers alike are fascinated by what can be done with something as simple as concrete.

As the decorative industry continues to grow and innovative methods continue to come to life, some of the simple trends such as stamping have become more and more outdated.  Stamped concrete was huge in the early 1980s and continued to grow through the mid to late 1990s.  Unfortunately, stamped concrete has fallen by the way side and sand and exposed aggregate finishes have taken precedence.

Sand and exposed aggregate finishes have become popular with owners and architects alike as they produce extremely uniform and aesthetically pleasing results.  These types of finishes should be noted for their versatility and can be used to produce a contrast between the concrete and aggregate.

Chemical stains and dyes are another aspect of the decorative industry that have received quite a bit of attention, as the results produce unique finishes that can result in anything from a translucent to uniform finish depending on the application. Concrete dyes are generally translucent and are different from chemical stains as no reaction takes place between the dye and the concrete.  Dyes contain coloring agents that actually penetrate the concrete as opposed to chemical stains which react with the free lime in the cement. This reaction highlights irregularities on the surface of the concrete instead of covering them up.

With each day, new ideas and products continue to transform the way we look at concrete.  While other aspects of the construction industry have taken steps back, decorative concrete has continued making its mark and looks to stay in the drivers seat for years to come