Concrete Patio Design Options

Options for backyard concrete patios

To create an area to read, lounge, cook, entertain, decorate and simply get away. A concrete patio is just the beginning of what could become your favorite room outside the house.

A Concrete patio is the foundation of things to come. Creating this template on which you will build your living area is a very important decision. Do you use patio stones, stamped concrete or a stained concrete slab? Do you even really understand the difference and the benefits of the many options. In this section we will explore the many options for concrete patios and help explain the positives and negatives of the many finishes.

Lets start our journey and talk about design options

Creating a lasting design for your backyard patio

The design is one of the primary factors when choosing a patio for your backyard.

Some common designer concrete options when building a new patio include:

Here is a brief summary to help explain:

Stamped Concrete:

A process by which the surface of the freshly placed cement or concrete is “imprinted” or “stamped” with a pattern usually resembling stone or rock.

Exposed Aggregate Finish:

When the concrete slab is placed the surface of the concrete has a retarder applied which slows the hardening of the cement on the surface. Once the concrete below the surface has hardened the surface cement is washed off exposing the small stones or aggregate creating the finished look.

Chemical Acid Stain:

Once the concrete slab has cured and dried a chemical acid stain is applied to the surface. The color system reacts with the cement and lime creating a permanent variegated natural color finish that won’t fade, crack or peel.

Engraved concrete:

Using a cured concrete slab, specialized engraving or cutting tools can etch a pattern into the concrete. It is common to paint or stain the surface first and then remove the color by cutting a pattern. This leaves the look of grout lines.

Painted or coated concrete:

Once the concrete has fully cured a special concrete paint or stain is applied similar to a wall coating. Many opaque and translucent colors are available.

Broomed Finish:

While the concrete is being placed and is still fresh, a broom is lightly passed over the surface using various techniques for a range of finishes, it creates a broomed pattern which eventually hardens and leaves a design.

Concrete Paving or Patio Stones:

Pre-Manufactured in a variety of shapes colors and patterns patio stones are simply laid out and assembled in some sort of interlocking pattern on a properly prepared substrate. Sand is often used to fill the gap between the stones.