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Using Honed Concrete Outdoors

Using honed concrete outdoors provides a sleek and polished finish for entertaining areas and pathways.

The honed finish can be applied to coloured concrete and exposed aggregate to create a contemporary space customised to the unique colour scheme and surrounds of your home.

So, what exactly is honed concrete? How do you implement it, and why choose it over other options? To answer those questions, here are some tips, tricks and suggestions for creating and maintaining a gorgeous outdoor area with the use of honed concrete.

 

Creating honed concrete

The process of honing concrete is achieved through grinding the top layer of the concrete to reveal a natural stone and a flat matt finish.

This surface is naturally slip resistant and suitable for all weather conditions, making it ideal for both indoors and outdoors.

Honed concrete is crafted to be low maintenance, easy to clean, allergy-friendly, hardwearing and has a high thermal mass, making it comfortable all year round.

And just like polished concrete, getting the honed concrete look is more affordable than you might think.

 

Myth Busted

We see a lot of concern and misconception among customers about the safety of using honed concrete outdoors.

Contrary to popular belief, honed concrete is naturally slip resistant.

Although the stunning sleek look of honed concrete may appear otherwise, honed concrete is suitable for uncovered outdoor areas and pool surrounds.

Professional installation and finishing along with proper maintenance and care will ensure a safe outdoor landscaping option that stands the test of time.

Of course, any surface can become difficult to walk on if wet, so always ensure your outdoor area, although weatherproof, is routinely cleared of water run-off.

 

Maintenance

Decorative outdoor concrete, like honed concrete, is easy to clean and maintain.

Regular sweeping or light hosing is adequate for cleaning concrete, but if in doubt, always ask a professional concrete installer what other options they recommend.

Honed concrete is an increasingly popular outdoor landscaping and building material, providing a unique and customisable solution for backyards, patios, paths and pool surrounds.

Visit our website to see the Geostone honed concrete product range available in your area and be sure to visit our blog archive for more information about decorative concrete.

The Seamlessness of a Concrete Pool Deck

Pool decks made from decorative concrete are growing in popularity for a number of reasons. For a start, exposed or honed concrete has skid resistant qualities in wet areas making it a naturally safer choice for pool surrounds, as well as driveways and walkways, and even laundries and bathrooms. Concrete pool decks are also UV-resistant, weeds are less likely to grow through them, and they’re relatively easy to maintain.

All this functionality should not overshadow the aesthetic appeal of decorative concrete around the pool, in particular its “seamless” qualities. In these modern times, where flow from one area of the home to another is often considered to be a highly desirable feature, decorative concrete stands out for being able to link one location to another. A concrete pool deck can, through colour and texture, perfectly reflect its surroundings including the house, other outdoor entertainment areas and garden.

This is achieved through the sheer versatility of decorative concrete. Exposed, honed and coloured concrete options can all be used in a pool deck to varying degrees. On their own, or in combination, they can create a mirror image of the environs outside of the pool area. For example, a pattern or strip of coloured concrete within a honed pool deck can match the colour palette of a nearby garden. A concrete pool deck can also lead onto any walkway that links the pool area to another outdoor entertainment space, or the home itself. With all the ways a concrete pool deck can make a connection between different outdoor areas or buildings, it is no surprise that the surface is now a common choice when pool areas are being built.

While other pool deck materials may provide a limited amount of exterior flow, few, if any, can match the versatility of decorative concrete. When colour, texture and finish combine in a concrete pool deck, it accentuates the feel of exterior flow. This degree of seamlessness might not be possible when using other surfaces. For example, timber decking may be available in a range of colours, but the texture and finish might not be as versatile: this is a major consideration if exterior flow is a desired look in an outdoor area. With decorative concrete, texture, finish and colour are used to striking effect in many applications.

Great looking driveways add much street appeal and value to a home so it is no surprise to see decorative concrete used quite often on new driveways, as well as accompanying walkways. Polished internal floors and honed concrete of the same colour in adjoining outdoor spaces allows for flow from one area to another. Why shouldn’t it be the same for pool decks? The use of decorative concrete certainly allows you to create an exterior where one area naturally flows or connects to another; such is the seamlessness of a concrete pool deck.

 

Sealing the Deal: Ask Your Installer About Outdoor Sealer

Sealing your decorative concrete is an important part of the installation process for several reasons:

  • As concrete is a porous material it can absorb stain-causing contaminants if it is not sealed. By sealing your concrete, a protective layer can help to keep the concrete clean and looking new for longer.
  • Sealing can protect concrete from weather exposure.
  • An outdoor sealer might help to bring out the colour of your decorative concrete and enhance its aesthetic appeal.

 

You should never assume your decorative concrete has been properly sealed after it has been poured

This short list shows why an outdoor sealer should be applied as your decorative concrete is installed. Surprisingly, not every concrete installer offers sealing as a standard part of their service. Therefore, you should never assume your decorative concrete has been properly sealed after it has been poured. Before you choose an installer, it’s important you ask them if sealing is all part of the service. While you’re at it, it might be a good idea to enquire about other key components of the installation, including:

 

  • Will you use plastic between the ground and the concrete?
  • What sort of steel reinforcement and steel mesh do you use?
  • Do you use the recommended membrane method when curing decorative concrete?
  • Where will the control joints be placed?
  • Will you still pour on a hot and windy day? (The answer should be NO, but steps can be taken if a pour is time-critical)
  • May I please see recent customer references, and some of the work you’ve completed?

 

Your decorative concrete should have a big and positive impact on the appearance of your home. For this to happen, it has to be installed correctly in every respect, including the use of an outdoor sealer. You have every right to be picky when choosing an installer who will do a complete job. Reputable suppliers of decorative concrete might be able to help you in this respect by recommending good installers in your area. It’s in the best interests of your concrete supplier to ensure their product looks its best once it is installed, so they will probably be very fussy about who they recommend to carry out the project.

 

Sealing your decorative concrete while it is being installed should not be a one-off. Resealing every two years is recommended, depending on traffic and resulting abrasion. Sealing every step of the way, either during installation or in the years ahead, will help to maximise the impact that decorative concrete can have on a property. When you see the end result, and the wow factor decorative concrete can provide, then sealing with a high quality outdoor sealer, and taking the time to find the right installer, is well worth it.

 

Four Reasons Why Decorative Concrete Is Family Friendly

Decorative concrete is an increasingly popular surface, and it’s not hard to figure out why. It is extremely versatile, offering a wide variety of looks – exposed aggregate, coloured, multi-coloured, dyed, stained, honed, polished, stamped, trowel finished…you get the idea! But decorative concrete is also gaining popularity beyond its eye-catching qualities. For example, it can be considered a very family friendly surface. Here are four reasons why:

 

Decorative concrete is hypoallergenic – in other words, it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. This makes a polished concrete floor potentially a better choice if you’re trying to create a healthier, low-allergen home where your family can breathe easily (obviously seek your own independent advice). You’d probably be surprised, and terrified, if you could see what could live in the average carpet – millions of dust mites and other tiny creatures that can trigger cold and hay fever-type reactions, and possibly even symptoms that resemble asthma. Vacuuming the carpet does little to alleviate the problem, so it can be an ongoing, if unseen, headache. This is less of an issue when decorative concrete is used as an easy-to-clean and hypoallergenic floor surface.

 

Decorative concrete is slip resistant – decorative concrete around the pool, on the driveway, or on the floor in internal areas like bathrooms and laundries, is not just there for its good looks. Decorative concrete, such as honed concrete or exposed aggregate, has skid-resistant qualities that can reduce the chance of falls in slippery places. Accidents are likely to happen in every family home, but reducing the risk of spills and tumbles on wet floors and pool decks will help to make that home a safer place.

 

Decorative concrete is stable – furniture situated on unstable or uneven surfaces can present a number of potential dangers. Assuming that it is correctly placed, the stability of concrete, and the ability to create an even surface when using it, can alleviate the risk of people toppling backwards in a chair, or items sliding off a table, or other mishaps. This is probably why concrete patios and floors are now a selling point, particularly in family homes. Not only do they look good, but they also add stability and safety.

 

Decorative concrete is a time saver – “quality time” is probably the most precious resource a family has. Because decorative concrete is a relatively low maintenance surface that is easy to clean, less time might be needed to look after it. Concrete’s renowned durability also means it should last longer, so money is saved on frequent repairs and replacements – and in this day and age, money is definitely another precious resource for any family.

 

Many other materials are nice to look at, and some are comparable to concrete in terms of practicality and safety. However in the decision making process it is wise to consider decorative concrete along with other materials. Throw in decorative concrete’s visual appeal, and you have a material that can be family friendly in a very good looking way.

Cool Pool Surrounds

Before the sun goes down and the barbecue is fired up, it’s your pool that is usually the centre of attention on a hot summer’s afternoon. It’s perfectly understandable that you want the pool to capture that attention in a very eye-catching way, and cool surrounds can help you make that desired impression.

 

One of the keys to creating beautiful pool surrounds is integration with the rest of the backyard. There’s nothing wrong with bold, contrasting touches here and there, such as a brightly coloured feature wall, or clever lighting effects, but the overall impression should be one of a pool area that fits in beautifully and naturally with its surroundings.

 

An intelligent selection of plants can help achieve this sense of integration. Plants similar to the ones already in the garden might strongly emphasise the flow from back yard to pool area. Similarly, furniture that reflects the architecture and age of the home can also help to form a seamless impression. Indoor outdoor flow is seen as a major selling point these days, and creating a similar feeling from back yard to pool area might be seen as just as desirable.

 

A pool’s immediate surrounds should have the biggest visual impact, so pay extra attention to the surface you choose. Timber decking might once have been the “go to” surface, a staple of many Australian pools. Today, however, decorative concrete seems to be leading the charge as people look for more innovative ways to combine looks with practicality. Decorative concrete can achieve this in many ways:

  • Exposed and honed concrete have slip-resistant properties that many other surfaces lack.
  • Coloured concrete can be used as a border or pattern amongst exposed or honed concrete. It can be customised to complement other features of the back yard and tie everything together.
  • Mosquitoes are less likely to breed under concrete surfaces.
  • Weeds cannot grow through concrete pool surrounds.
  • The raw texture of Australian stone in exposed concrete can create a striking visual effect around water.
  • Concrete is comfortable on bare feet, while honed concrete is smooth and very easy to walk on.
  • Decorative concrete is versatile with a wide range of design options.

 

For these, and other reasons, decorative concrete is a smart choice as the centrepiece of your cool pool surrounds. In conjunction with the right plants, furniture and accessories, it has the potential to give you a stunning yet easy-care surface.

One final note, the most important thing surrounding your pool should always be the fence. Safety must be a high priority, even as you’re trying to create great looking pool surrounds. By all means, go all out when designing your pool area, but keep in mind the safety of everyone who will use it. A good idea is to go to the Royal Lifesaving Society’s website for their Home Pool Safety Checklist. When you’re creating your cool pool surrounds, refer to this checklist as often as you refer to your wish list.

Can Concrete Really Be Beautiful?

The short answer is YES. Concrete really can be beautiful. The question of beauty could be a nagging one though, even if you’re sold on concrete’s other qualities, such as lower maintenance, durability and strength. Deep down however, you might see concrete as a big grey slab of functionality. Lots of functionality to be sure, but of little aesthetic value. If you’re thinking along those lines, it could be time to change your mind set and explore the world of decorative concrete.

Decorative concrete can be beautiful concrete in and of itself, but it can also enhance the rooms or outdoor areas where it is installed. The versatility of decorative concrete with its different colours, textures and finishes means it is able to be applied in many settings around the home, including:


The natural colours of Australia are captured in exposed aggregate concrete.Exposed aggregate concrete:
featuring the raw texture of Australian stone, exposed aggregate concrete can lend unique character to areas as diverse as driveways, pathways, pool surrounds and outdoor entertainment areas. The natural colours of Australia are captured in exposed aggregate concrete, with the additional benefit that its texture can help to create a skid resistant surface. These slip resistent qualities can make exposed aggregate a good-looking and safe choice for pool surrounds in particular.

 

Coloured concrete can enhance the area in which it is located.

Coloured concrete: there are now so many colours to choose from, that you can use this type of concrete to match many existing features around the property. By doing this, coloured concrete can enhance the area in which it is located. For example, coloured driveways and pathways can match the palette of a front garden, which should significantly add to a home’s street appeal. A qualified installer should seal coloured concrete at the pouring stage, and with regular resealing, the colours can stay vibrant for many years.

 


Polished concrete is becoming a popular choice as an interior flooring surface.Polished and honed concrete:  for a look of sheer luxury and indulgence, similar to marble, polished concrete is becoming a popular choice as an interior flooring surface. Meanwhile, honed concrete has had its top layer removed to reveal natural stone and a matt finish. In wet areas such as bathrooms, the laundry, and pool surrounds, honed concrete comes into its own. Its slip resistent properties help to make it a safer surface, but one that is also very eye-catching.
Decorative concrete might have changed the way we use concrete around our homes, but it should also  change the way we think about concrete. No longer should it be considered as just a functional surface. When you use decorative concrete, you can enjoy the benefits of its many practical qualities, with the added bonus of huge aesthetic appeal. Reconsider your opinion of concrete and take a new look at how decorative concrete can be used as an interior and exterior feature. You’ll probably be very pleasantly surprised by what you see.

 

The Benefits Of a Concrete Patio

If you’ve never considered concrete as a surface for your patio, you’re overlooking the myriad of benefits it can provide. A concrete patio can be a highly attractive and distinctive feature of your home, with the added benefits of durability, ease of maintenance and even safety.

 

A Concrete Patio Looks Good – outdoor entertainment areas are different spaces than they used to be. Years ago, a few pavers and a barbecue near the fence were probably a close approximation of an outdoor entertainment area. Not anymore. As al fresco dining and entertaining have become more popular, the need to create spaces that are more like outdoor rooms has increased – and like any room inside the house, first impressions count. Decorative concrete is manufactured to provide that “wow” factor, with surfaces like coloured concrete, exposed aggregate and honed concrete being used in creative and colourful ways that go far beyond that “concrete slab” aesthetic.

 

A Concrete Patio IsConcrete surface can be skid-resistant A Safer Patio – safety should always be a primary consideration, particularly in family homes, or in areas where large numbers of people congregate. This is where a concrete patio can provide yet another benefit. Concrete is a mould resistant material if treated correctly, and hypoallergenic. As you’d imagine, a concrete patio can also be a more stable area. Honed concrete basically eliminates uneven surfaces, so outdoor furniture, such as chairs and tables, are at less risk of toppling over. Finally, a concrete surface can be skid-resistant, a very important thing to remember when creating an entertainment area that is exposed to the elements. This skid-resistance is part of the reason why concrete is a popular choice for patios, pool surrounds, and even internal wet areas like bathrooms and laundries.

 

More Durable, Less Maintenance – outdoor entertainment areas should be lots of fun, not lots of hard work. A concrete patio, when installed by an expert, can become a long lasting feature of your home and likely to require less attention than other materials. The renowned durability and strength of concrete means it can better withstand the weight of large groups, as well as outdoor furniture and cooking equipment. As a low maintenance material, concrete is also virtually unmatched. Again, installation is key. Get it done by a professional, and your concrete patio will probably need less TLC than a patio made of any other surface.

 

A Solid Value Adder – when the benefits listed above are put together, they add up to a very solid way of adding potential value to your home. Every home renovation should add value, and an aesthetically pleasing concrete patio, that is safe, durable and low maintenance would almost certainly make a positive difference to a property’s bottom line. The way we regard outdoor entertaining these days makes it imperative that an important feature of that area, such as the patio, is eye-catching and easy to care for. It’s not only beneficial to us, but a potentially big selling point somewhere down the track. A concrete patio, with all the benefits it entails, can certainly fit the bill in that area.

 

Decorative Concrete: Seamless Perfection for Pool Surrounds

If you have a swimming pool or have decided to get one, there’s little doubt it will be the focal point of your yard. The look of what’s around your pool, and how well that area functions as a seamless transition to the rest of your home, is as important as the pool itself. Good fencing can prevent you being on visual display to neighbours when swimming, when entertaining friends or just reading a paper while relaxing around the pool. Good fences make good neighbours. The right plant choices will add charm and interest around a swimming pool and help facilitate a sense of space and soften the harsh lines of fencing. Tall shrubby varieties can create a privacy screen along the fence line and conceal electrical pump units and unsightly views. It’s best to avoid species that shed foliage, bark and pine needles everywhere or flowering varieties that attract a lot of bees. With the right pool surrounds, unobtrusive, functional furniture and a well-planned garden layout, any suburban swimming pool area can be transformed into a beautifully presented entertainment oasis – a place where you, family and friends will want to spend every minute of the day.

An ideal choice for your all-important pool surrounds is concrete. Today, decorative concrete production is versatile in design and composition; leaps and bounds ahead of the 50 shades of grey of yesteryear. It can be shaped into stylish curves or the regimental straight lines of premium tile work. The top layer of the concrete may have a brushed-through, or a stamped pattern effect, or can be even further honed to give decorative concrete for your pool surrounds is relatively cheap and requires low maintenance.the appeal of a premium polished floor.

Exposed aggregate is simply ideal for pool surrounds. Removal of the top cover delivers an attractive skid resistant surface that gives a glimpse of the natural stones underneath. There’s a vast range of colours and different compositions of crushed granite, earthy mixes of pebbles and sands – all to complement the sparkling blue water and style of your poolside landscape.

The Concrete Network Australia website for homeowners, contractors, builders and designers provides updates and professional tutorials on the latest concrete techniques and applications. The popular web service assesses that concrete excels when compared to other pool surround materials; it’s a comparably low cost material, is easy to maintain, has good thermal properties, slip-resistant and offers a multitude of customisation options.[2] Decorative concrete is a proven and popular choice when it comes to pool deck design and pool surround makeovers.

ECONOMY

Concrete presents great value for pool projects that take up a big chunk of the homeowner’s real estate. Pavers and bricks can be expensive due to the labour hours needed to position and cement the individual pieces. A concrete pour is generally far more economical and any desired colour, straight edges, tile shapes and tints can be created with stamping or inking finishes. Decorative concrete is an affordable solution for pool renovators on a budget.

LOW MAINTENANCE

Lots of other paving materials are tough and long lasting but most will require considerable more maintenance than decorative concrete. Joints between pavers may need to be weeded and re-grouted, long lengths of timber may warp, bricks and pavers that shift out of place due to heavy traffic and weathering will require replacing or repositioning. A well sealed and maintained concrete is relatively free of these problems and simply needs the occasional scrub and rinse and a possible periodic resealing to keep it as clean and fresh as the day it was installed.

HEAT RESISTANT

Surfaces of darkly toned bricks and tiles can become sizzling hot under a blaring son and unforgiving on bare feet. Decorative concrete can have finishes that significantly lower surface temperature.

GREAT GRIP

Pool surrounds are often high-traffic wet areas and with all the fun and fast activity bound to be happening there, slip-resistance is crucial. Many pool materials can become slippery when wet, especially tiles. The numerous grades of coarseness, grip and ruggedness of the textured overlay of decorative concrete means you can create fine looking pool floors with slip and skid resistance.

DESIGN OPTIONS

Stamped, stencilled, saw-cut, engraved and even toned concrete underlays with exposed pebbles… there is an almost limitless array of design options with decorative concrete. It gives you the ability to customise your pool decking designs – you decide the shape, size, colour and textured surface, and you’ll never have to compromise on walking comfort. With decorative concrete you can mix, match and experiment to your heart’s desire. You can even use decorative concrete to mimic the aesthetic features of other decking materials so that your pool surrounds have the appearance of having been made with tile or brick.