As a licensed general contractor, ACS can install any patio finish you desire. Natural flagstone, pavers and any concrete finish are all in our wheelhouse. Over the years, we’ve learned that stamped concrete is by far the most popular choice among our homeowners.
There are a number of reasons for this. Primarily, the wide range of stamps and colors truly allows you to customize your patio to fit its surroundings. It also requires very little maintenance when compared to other outdoor materials – just a simple roll-on sealer every 3-5 years.
Another major factor in selecting stamped concrete is value. Pavers and natural stone tend to shift over time due to how often our climate experience freeze-thaw cycles. We highly recommend pouring a concrete slab under these materials to help them hold up over time. As you can imagine, having that concrete slab be the structure and finish in one helps reduce cost substantially. Not having a separate masonry top also reduces the duration of the project. Most stamped concrete patios are formed one day and poured the next.
Setting pavers/stone can take weeks depending on design and size of the patio. A common question we hear when deciding on finish is “isn’t it slippery?”. Standard broom finish concrete that you typically see on driveways does have better traction. It is often too rough on feet though, especially on wet feet around pools. We most commonly install stamped concrete around pools and add a silica sand into the sealer to help provide traction. That way you still get the aesthetic benefits of stamped concrete, with some added traction.
Another measure we take is to apply a penetrating sealer. Film forming sealers used by some installers have a very glossy look, and are much slicker when wet. Our penetrating sealer helps maintain the natural texture of the concrete and reduces that wet, glossy look. This link provides a comparison chart to help break down the paving options: https://www.concretenetwork.com/stamped-concrete/comparison.html.
We believe the best way for you to pick what’s right for your space is to see the materials in person. That’s why we’ve built an outdoor showroom with large samples of the different stamps we offer. We’d love to walk you through the different options!