More than just a basic construction material, concrete is now one of the most versatile building, paving and decorative products in existence.
Decorative concrete has become an integral part of modern building design and renovation projects. In its wide-ranging applications to commercial and residential architecture, it provides functionality and enhancement.
Concrete used to have a reputation for being drab, grey and dull. This was at a time when its household use was limited to driveways and paths that were plain, flat slabs; unimaginative in colour and texture. A lot of homes have concrete surfaces that have been there for decades and are starting to show their age or are getting damaged. Homeowners sometimes leave these surfaces, not knowing what to do with them. With decorative concrete, it’s never been easier to give almost any area of your home a new lease of life and your creativity with concrete is limited only by your imagination.
Decorative concrete is created when materials such as natural stone, sand, shells and crushed quarry material that have been mixed into the concrete are later exposed or highlighted by grinding and polishing methods. A decorative effect can also be created by stamping elegant lines and geometrical patterns or acid-staining the concrete. Decorative concretes are affordable and are a quick and practical way to increase the kerb appeal of your property.
The aggregate materials near the surface of the finished concrete are revealed. The end result is a low-maintenance, rugged, non-skid surface that fits in beautifully with the surrounding outdoor environment. Exposed concrete is generally a less expensive option to tiles and timber decking and a perfect choice if you’re intending to make your driveway match your home’s colour scheme. It’s a perfect hard-wearing solution for garden paths, driveways, pool surrounds and al fresco areas.
A smooth low-maintenance matt finish is created by honing the concrete surface and exposed aggregates. Honed concrete brings to life driveways, patio areas and pool surrounds and is an ideal choice for transition areas that crossover to the stylish polished concrete that may feature inside the home.
A smooth flat finish is obtained when the aggregates are polished even further using progressively finer abrasives so as to impart a glossy lustre. The end result is a top-of-the-range look, a sophisticated design that can be manicured to look like marble or granite. Polished concrete flooring is a relatively quick and inexpensive way to get the look and elegance of natural stone. It’s a budget-friendly alternative to flooring of similar appearance such as terrazzo or marble and this can be especially important in spacious living rooms.
Decorative concrete can provide a striking uplift to wet areas such as showers and bathrooms. Picture a slip resistant concrete floor embedded with cut coral, ground and polished to stunning effect, or blotted and dappled concrete shower walls with rendered pebble floors showing off some traditional chrome tapware and white porcelain fixtures. Concrete bathroom floors can be designed for any budget, incorporate the warmth of in-built heating, require little maintenance, resist moisture and stains, and can reduce allergens. Why put up with the angst of cracking and discolouring tiles when you can have a superbly crafted concrete bathroom floor that gives the natural beauty of polished stone in a tile-like finish?