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10 stencilled concrete design ideas

Stencilled concrete isn’t a new innovation, but it’s a popular option for homeowners wanting to renovate, and for investors wanting to put the finishing touches on an investment property. You might’ve seen some of these patterns before on someone else’s landscape and decided you want to ‘borrow’ one for your own.

 

  • Flagstone

This is one of the most generic stencilled concrete patterns available, but you can dress it up with bright colours to make it stand out.

 

  • Herringbone

Resembling the bones of the fish, this type of design is common with pavers  as it makes  use of their long and short edges. You can use this pattern in your pergola and barbecue areas.

 

  • European Fan

This design is made up of small square tiles spread in an arching fan pattern. It’s also called ‘fish scales’.

 

  • Wood/timber

Yes, you really can get concrete to look like wood. At least you’ll never have to worry about it rotting! Have this stencilled concrete design on the patio for a rustic feel.

 

  • Compass

This adds a touch of pizazz to an otherwise plain driveway. The compass comes in a variety of shapes and designs, just speak with your contractor about what you want. Get the creative juices flowing and pick out a few colours to make the design really stand out.

 

  • Diamond tile

This pattern comprises of octagonal tiles with square or ‘diamond’ tiles in between.

 

  • Interlocking diamonds

Placing this stencilled concrete pattern in the middle breaks up monotonous driveways. To get the diamonds to show up properly, choose contrasting colours.

 

  • Convict brick

This style mimics the crudely cut stone made by convicts back in the day when they were blasting rocks from quarries and cliffsides. You can find the real deal in heritage homes. In stencil form, it’s a cross between a cobblestone and a flagstone.

 

  • Patios and pathways

Having the patio connected can really tie a landscape together. You can go from one end of the yard to the other without having to tread a foot on the grass. This feature is good if you want to have a yard or garden for people to admire, rather than play in.

 

  • Driveways to front doors

Having an even pathway when your arms are loaded with bags saves you the worry of tripping, at least. A seamless path from the driveway to the front door will give a good first impression to visitors and potential tenants (if you’re a property manager).

 

stencilled concrete designs

concreting

Concreting at home: finishing touches

A lot of thought goes into concreting – it’s not just pouring liquid cement into a mould and waiting for it to set. After the technical aspects like tensile strength and dimensions are settled, the fun things are next.

 

A little polish

Or not. Domestic concreting projects, like interior flooring, will need a polished surface for comfort. Paths and driveways are more likely to have an exposed aggregate surface. This finish is achieved when the surface cement is blasted away to reveal the larger stones underneath.

Smooth, polished, concrete is a popular choice for interior decorating. Warehouses developed into housing and apartments often come with pre-existing concrete slabs that the new owners can redecorate at their whim. Some choose to leave it plain (or just re-apply some sealant). Others will spray coloured covercrete on their driveway or even do an acid-stain inside to ‘freshen up’ the space.

 

Colour

Concreting isn’t boring; you can have a bit of fun with it. Speak to your contractor about coloured options for your driveway, patio, or path. You rarely go past a house with a plain grey slab out the front. Instead, homeowners and developers will choose a colour scheme that matches the exterior of the home.

 

Design

Some like it plain, others like it patterned. Your contractor will tell you that they can ‘stamp’ concrete to mimic the patterns of wood or marble. They can also use covercrete (a spray adhesive concrete) to make designs on the slabs. You can use concrete as a canvas and get creative with it to make something unique.

Keeping it simple colour-wise is fine, though designers and homeowners might choose to mix it up with a bit of concrete cutting. This type of design is found on patios and driveways, giving the impression that the area is made of large tiles instead of a concrete slab.

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Concrete solutions for the home

Concrete for the home is nothing new. The “industrial” trend has seen warehouse conversions and new home build with entirely concrete interiors. It’s getting a better rap for its design potential, rather than its use for making council footpaths. We’ve listed some of the common uses for concrete in the home below.

 

Patios

You can’t walk into a backyard without walking on a patio first. They’re an essential part of the Australian way of life; where else will you put the barbecue?

Making a patio isn’t that much different from making a driveway. You still need to go over specifics with your contractor. This includes the size of the surface area, the type of finish you want and the required strength of the concrete.  

 

Floors

Warehouses that are converted into homes more often keep the original floor. A bonus of this is the psi strength of the concrete will be around 4000 – 5000 psi. This type of concrete is used in “high traffic” areas. Any lesser type would crack faster.  

Polished concrete floors are popular in new home builds that want to have a “modern” finish. Concrete floors are low maintenance and easy to clean with a broom or steam-mop.

 

Steps

Indoor or outdoor, concrete stairs are reliable and sturdy. They can withstand high amounts of foot traffic, unlike varnished timber. It is also waterproof. When high amounts of rain or flooding occur, the steps will remain standing.

You’re more likely to find concrete steps out the front of a home, but they’re slowly making their way indoors as a design quirk. An example of this is art galleries, museums or display homes.

 

Tips

Concrete is tough but is prone to staining, same as carpets or clothing. This is because concrete is a porous material. Penetrating sealants “plug” the pores and bonds with it at a molecular level. Topical sealant sticks to the concrete’s surface and is fine at resisting minor stains.

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Five Questions About Concrete Driveways

Home upgrades are important for fixing up a “dated” home and adding resale value when the time comes. Old, cracked or generally unpleasant-looking driveways are one improvement people might not give much thought to, but they really should. Driveways can turn into a money pit when not laid correctly.  

Do I need a base layer?

Any building needs a steady foundation and driveways are no different. Loose soil isn’t good for a construction project. This leads to cracking, costing you more than what you were originally quoted thanks to repairs. For base layers, the soil is compacted and crushed stones spread across the surface area to stabilize the concrete when it sets.

What concrete type do I need?

Different types of concrete exist for different jobs. The concrete will need to have a high psi rating, meaning it can withstand a lot of pressure bearing down. For concrete driveways the contractor would recommend a 4000 psi mix. This blend can withstand 281 kilograms per square centimetre.

Should I seal the driveway?

You can’t just have the driveway laid and leave it at that. Nature and lifestyle need consideration. Cars leak grease, things get dropped or splashed, and there are forces of nature to contend with. A penetrative sealant will protect the driveway from these, plus moisture absorption.

What’s the warranty?

Good contractors will have workmanship warranties that last for a year or more. If a contractor lacks a policy, it’s best to look elsewhere. Ask for a copy of the warranty to check what’s covered so that you’ll get the best value for money. Good contractors will take responsibility for their work during and after construction. This way if accidents happen, you won’t be out of pocket.

When can you start?

Of course contractors have slow periods, but if it’s perpetual then there’s a problem. One way workers get found is through word of mouth, and when they have a lot of recommendations they’ll be busy. If you sign with a reputable contractor, they might not be able to start work straight away. However, they’ll do their best to get to you as quick as they can.

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Three Questions to Ask About Concrete

Concrete is a necessary material to lay those first foundations when you’re building a home, resurfacing your driveway or even taking the first steps to building an alfresco dining area. But not all concrete is made equally; there are different types for different purposes. Before you call the contractor, ask yourself these three questions to make sure you’ll choose the correct materials.

 

  1.      What kind of work am I doing?

Concreting a driveway is a very different job from building a patio, and no two products will be the same for this reason. For outdoor work you need concrete that’s resistant to the sulphur found in soil. For common areas there’s a kind of concrete that’s resistant to cracks. There’s no “one type fits all”. Investing a little time in checking will save you money in the long run.

 

  1.      How strong does it need to be?

Next from the point above, it’s important to note that different concretes have different psi, or load bearing, capacities. 2500psi types are good for general construction like interiors and paving, but for strength some builders will prefer 3500psi blends. Rarely will a home need a 4000 – 5000psi concrete which is standard for warehouses, shops and other areas where there’s a high volume of traffic.

 

  1.      Is there a particular style or finish I’m after?

Finishing touches are just as important as the product itself! These last details can add value to your home and gives you a chance to personalise it the way you want. Concrete isn’t just grey anymore. There are various finishing touches to choose from. This includes exposed to polished, coloured to plain and stencilled to acid-stained.

 

Of course discuss the best options with your contractor, but knowing these questions will save time and money. They’ll help you find a product that will change your home, add value to your investment and even inspire a little envy among your friends.