Monday, March 7, 2016

Stamped concrete popularity

Each year Stamped Concrete becomes more and more popular for patio installations.
In years past, only brick, and flagstone and pavers were considered "household terms". Over the past few years, Stamped Concrete now joins the list of common patio types that most all homeowners have heard of.

Most homeowners have likely heard of stamped concrete, or have friends or family that now have stamped concrete, so they have a better understanding of what it looks like.

Stamped Concrete has come a long way over the past 10 years. There are over 50 colors to pick from and many dozens of stamp patterns to pick from.

There are also upgraded "fancy" features available for those interested such as grout and hand detailing to make the Stamped Concrete look even more convincing and more realistic. (See photo below)

Give us a call anytime with question, or if you would like to setup an appointment to learn more about Stamped Concrete.

Salzano Custom Concrete

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Concrete can look like wood?

Did you know that concrete can look like wood?

For some customers having a floor or patio look like wood, but made out of concrete is very appealing. Customers can have the warmth and style of wood, but not worry about splinters, or water damage, or warping, etc...

See some attached photos of projects we have done where we make concrete look like wood. Some are patio spaces, some basement floors, some vertical wall features, etc...

Salzano Custom Concrete

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Stamped Concrete vs Pavers

We do installations of both stamped concrete and pavers.
I personally go on 300-400 sales calls each year to discuss new patios and other hardscape projects with customers. One of the most frequent questions is regarding stamped concrete vs pavers.

Which is better?
Which is cheaper?
Which looks better?
Which has less maintenance?

If you go online and lookup "stamped concrete vs pavers" it is very unfortunate what you find ... list after list after list of paver companies misrepresenting the comparison. It is an easy list to sway any direction you want. If you install only stamped concrete, its easy to make stamped concrete look like the best choice. If you are a paver installer, your lists will make stamped concrete look horrible.

Please, if you are writing such a list or reading these lists, be sure you understand the right information.

The best way to get accurate information is to find a company (like us ..) that installs both. We don't have any interest in trying to persuade you from one into the other. We prefer to "put all the bad news on the table" and let you decide.

Salzano Custom Concrete
pavers vs stamped concrete

Monday, May 25, 2015

Photos of stamped concrete

Where is the best place to find photos of stamped concrete?
Try the photo gallery on

Also try galleries on these websites that specialize in decorative concrete:

Concrete Network

Deco-Crete Supply



Salzano Custom Concrete

Reseal Stamped concrete

** Maintenance tips for stamped concrete **

Some questions you might have about maintenance for your stamped concrete.

Should I reseal my stamped concrete?

My stamped concrete appears to be fading. Is it fading, or is this something to do with the sealer?

I resealed my stamped concrete with a sealer for masonry that I bought at Home Depot, is that ok?

I decided to reseal my stamped concrete. Just after I finshed, it started raining, is that ok?

How do I know if I should use solvent-based sealer or water-based sealer?

Some articles I read about resealing stamped concrete say it it better to spray it on and some say it is better to roll it on. Which is better?

I resealed my stamped concrete, and not it is slippery when it is wet. Did I do something wrong?

I resealed my stamped concrete, and within a few minutes after I was finished bubbles began to appear. What's going on? Did I do something wrong? Can this be fixed?

Some answers for you about resealing your stamped concrete.

Stamped concrete generally should be resealed each 2-4 years depending on sun exposure and use patterns, etc. Old sealer does not have to be removed first before new sealer is applied.

The best indications that you need new sealer is that when your stamped concrete appears to be faded, chalky,  light color, etc... If you have these symptoms, but your stamped concrete is less than a year old, you may have other problems, ie just a reseal may not solve.

Apply solvent based sealer if your stamped concrete was originally sealed with solvent based sealer and likewise, water based if water bases was used previously. If you mix, you could have unusual chemical reaction.

Many owners of stamped concrete think that color also needs to be added to stamped concrete to get the original look back again. Clear sealer itself will bring the original color back 99% of the time. To test this, just use the clear sealer on a very small area. Most often, just clear sealer application is all that is needed.

Best to do the reseal application in the morning when the temperature is cooler, ie not in direct sunlight on a hot day.

To prep the area, powerwash to clean thoroughly. Keep the power washer nozzle a foot or so away from the concrete so that you don't cause damage to the concrete by the power washer. Dry the concrete completely, ie us a leaf blower to help accellerate the drying process. Again, be sure the stamped concrete is completely dry before applying  new sealer. If you apply sealer before the concrete is dry, the moisture can get trapped into the sealer and create other problems. This is more difficult in colder months since the concrete will take longer to dry.

Be sure to purchase and mix in a grit additive. This is a special material that looks a bit like super fine sugar, that should be mixed into the sealer according to manufacturers instructions. When the sealer is applied and dries, the sealer will have a gritty feel to the that sealer is not slippery when wet.

Follow all manufacturers instructions for sealer, grit and all tools that you are using. Be sure do wear gloves, safety glasses, and breathing protection to stay safe.

Dip your paint roller into the sealer and bring a small "puddle" of sealer onto the concrete. Push the puddle around to be sure the sealer gets into the texture of the concrete, and into the grout lines. Be sure to spread the sealer around to apply a thin coat.

If you apply sealer when the temperature is too hot, or in direct sunlight, the sealer can bubble upon application with the hot concrete, or can get like "cotton candy", ie stringy upon contact with the hot concrete.

If you get bubbles, or if the sealer gets wet before it dries and sealer turns white, hazy, wait until the sealer dries, next day, use xylene to correct most sealer problems. Brush on xylene, or spray on out of a small trigger sprayer. Keep it wet with xylene for at least 3-4 minutes, moving it around with a small brush. This will correct many solvent-base sealer problems.

Some generic articles about resealing stamped concrete

Maintaining and Resealing Stamped Concrete:

How to reseal stamped concrete

How to do reseal maintenance for stamped concrete

D.I.Y. – Re-Sealing Stamped Concrete


Hope you found this information helpful.

Salzano Custom Concrete

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Concrete Patios website

See our website for lots of photos in our gallery of our stamped concrete patio project.

Salzano Custom Concrete

Firepit or Fireplace

Which would you prefer on your patio, a fireplace or a firepit?

What is the difference?

A firepit is essentially a hole in the patio with a small "ring" around the pit with stone facing. The fire in a firepit is "open air" with flames visible. Most firepits are for burning wood logs. A firepit can also be configured to burn natural gas, ie a fire table. (one photo below is such a firepit). Inside the firepit, the base / floor is typically a foot or so below the patio level and the inside area is filled with gravel and stone. Some customers like to put an iron rack inside to hold the burning logs.

On the other hand, a fireplace is a much larger structure where the fire is contained inside. Fireplaces are typically 6-feet to 8-feet high and 4-feet or so across. A fireplace is much larger and will typically be a feature element on the patio, ie a focal point.

As for cost, a fireplace is much more expensive, and can be $6,000 and up. Not uncommon that a large fireplace can be over $10,000.  Whereas, a firepit is a much simpler structure and is typically between $1,000 and $2,000.

Here are photos of each.