Stamped Concrete Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is stamped concrete?

    Stamped concrete is similar to regular concrete except that it is colored and imprinted with a design to mimic stone, brick, wood, or other natural materials.  Stamped concrete can be a low maintenance, long lasting alternative to these various materials and can boost your curb appeal and entertainment space immensely.  


    How much does stamped concrete cost?

    The price of stamped concrete can vary, depending on the size, job site preparation, and complexity of the job.  While stamped concrete installation may exceed asphalt or standard concrete, it is competitive or even less than natural stone or pavers.  Overall, stamped concrete can be your most cost effective choice when comparing to other natural materials while offering less maintenance.  Please contact our office at 716-997-3058 to schedule your design consultation today!


    How long will stamped concrete last?

    Stamped concrete is similar to standard concrete when discussing longevity and lifespan.  Over time, stamped concrete can wear and become dull looking.  This is an indicator that a re-seal is required to bring the stamped concrete back to its’ original luster.  Keeping up on the sealing of your stamped concrete can help ensure the original beauty lasts for years to come!  Please contact our sealing sister company, Buffalo Concrete Sealing for any re-seal inquiries you may have!


    Will the color of stamped concrete last?

    The base color for your stamped concrete project is mixed directly into the concrete truck at the batch plant.  This ensures that the color of your choice is mixed throughout the entire stamped concrete project.  These colors can be seen in our concrete color charts located here.  http://realhelpconcrete.com/concrete-color-charts.htm We then use a secondary color, known as the release agent.  The release agent serves two purposes, first, acting as a bond breaker between the concrete surface and the stamping mat itself to allow us to lift the mats off the surface properly leaving the texture of your choice, and second, adding a secondary accent color to your concrete project accenting the highs and lows within the stamp pattern.  These colors can be seen here.  http://realhelpconcrete.com/concrete-release-colors.htm We then use another coloring system for our detail coloring, which includes random areas within a pattern, and the border if applicable.  Once final coloring is complete, a solvent based acrylic sealer is applied to your project to enhance and your protect your stamped concrete project.  Maintaining the seal on your project is important to keep your color locked in and looking proper.  Remember, Buffalo Concrete Sealing is here for all your concrete maintenance needs!


    Can stamped concrete crack?  How do we prevent cracking?

    Any concrete, whether it is decorative or otherwise, can experience some cracking.  This is the nature of any man-made material, concrete included.  However, through the use of quality concrete, a solid foundation, embedding wire and fiber mesh, and control joints, as well as an experienced team, Real Help Concrete does its best to prevent against cracking.


    Can stamped concrete be harmed by the freeze/thaw conditions of the Buffalo winters?

    Provided you maintain the seal on your stamped concrete project, the freeze/thaw climate of Buffalo should not harm your stamped concrete surface.  Some wear and tear due to use can be expected as time goes on.  However, re-sealing your stamped concrete project normally brings your project back to life and hides the signs of wear and tear on your project.  


    Can I use salt during the winter on my project?

    No!  Salt, and any deicers for that matter, should not be used on stamped concrete or any concrete.  We recommend using kitty litter or coarse grit sand as anti-slip methods during the winter months.  It is actually not the salt that harms the concrete, it is the freeze/thaw cycle that is created by the salt.  By introducing salt to a sealed concrete area, it puts the area through many freeze/thaw cycles per day, instead of the normal freeze/thaw cycles of the weather.  These continuous cycles breakdown the protective sealant and allow the salt water to penetrate the surface, therefore making your surface more prone to flaking and white/hazy spotting.


    Is stamped concrete slippery?  

    Traction on stamped concrete can vary from pattern to pattern. Patterns with more depth and texture will have more traction.  Safety is always a concern of ours, which is why in our final coat of sealer used on your stamped concrete project, we include an anti-slip material, known as silica sand, to give as much traction on the surface as possible.  Through feedback from many clients, traction issues are not a common problem.  


    How long does an average stamped concrete project take to complete?   

    Generally speaking, we can have your stamped concrete project installed in one day.  Although the installation of your project is completed in one day, there is much more that has to be done to complete your project.  Once your project is installed, our detail crew comes back to your project the next day to saw-cut control joints, clean your project and property, detail color, and seal your project.  On most projects, the completion time is two days.  However, if your project is large, or there is a weather delay, it may take more than two days to complete.  


    How thick is the concrete?  What do you use as a base?

    Your stamped concrete project is installed at a true 4 inches thick at a 4000 PSI strength rating.  We use a number one inch crusher run aggregate for grading and leveling purposes underneath your concrete project.  We then vibratory tamp your project area to ensure a solid and compacted base.  


    What type of reinforcement is used?  

    10 gauge wire mesh and fiber mesh is used on all of our projects.  Depending on the layout and design of your project, #4 re-bar may also be used for added structural integrity.  Please understand that the use of reinforcement does not stop concrete from cracking, however it does stop your concrete from separating if in fact it does crack outside of a control joint.


    Where can I get design ideas for stamped concrete?

    Online is usually the best way to get visual ideas of what you can achieve with stamped concrete.  You can start by looking at our photo gallery of jobs we have completed here.  http://realhelpconcrete.com/stamped-concrete-gallery.htm You can also visit our facebook page to check out our most recent projects.  https://www.facebook.com/realhelpconcrete/ Please do not hesitate to look at other resources online to get ideas for yoru stamped concrete project.  Even if it is not our project, chances are, we can achieve a look you want.  This will all be discussed during your design consultation with one of our staff members.

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