Having a beautiful lawn or garden helps you enjoy your home more. It also makes it more attractive for visitors and neighbors too. And if your preparing to move, a well-manicured yard is a key part of curb appeal. But to help you enjoy your green areas more, it’s important to have fantastic walkways or patios that pass alongside or right through your grass and flowers. One of the best and most versatile materials you can use is stamped concrete.
What is Stamped Concrete?
There are products where the name doesn’t give even a clue to what they really are. This isn’t one of them. Stamped concrete is exactly what it sounds like – concrete that has a pattern stamped onto it. Regular concrete is laid and coloring is added. As it starts to dry, it’s stamped with some design that can make it look like a wide variety of other surfaces. It can appear to be brick, cobblestone, pavers or more – even wood planks! You’ve probably walked on it at some point and not even realized it.
The benefits of stamped concrete include the stability and durability of concrete, the beauty of other surfaces, a lower cost than many alternatives and easy maintenance.
How Stamped Concrete Can Work Well With Your Garden and Lawn
Beautiful plants and grass should be enjoyed. They also should be protected, of course. Stamped concrete allows you to do both – in style. Let’s talk first about protection.
Don’t Beat a Path to Your Door
There are times, of course, when you’ll want to walk across your lawn. The feel of the grass under your feet is always so relaxing! But you don’t want to do it regularly and start to wear a path in it. Having a great walkway from the sidewalk and driveway to your front door is key.
Your backyard can use a similar treatment. A path through the garden helps you spend even more time peacefully enjoying the scenery you’ve worked so hard to create without worrying about damaging the lawn.
Take Time to Smell the Roses
Keeping off the grass is just one reason to consider a beautiful walkway. You also want to be able to take a leisurely walk through the garden or just sit and enjoy it. That could be on a patio or even on the front steps.
An evening stroll to check your plants and clear your head is always welcome. A simple loop of walkway allows you to split your garden into distinct sections. You’ll also be able to wander closer to all your flora and enjoy it up close.
Done the walk? Sit for a while and enjoy the outdoors on a patio. Whether it’s just outside the back door or separated a bit from the house, a larger area where you can have furniture, a barbecue grill and other elements means you don’t have to just stare through a window at your landscaping.
Another area is, of course, your front walkways and entryway. Line the path with flowers or small bushes to create a warm, comfortable approach to your welcoming front door.
Stamped concrete even makes a great surface for your pool deck. With a little texture to it, it helps prevents slipping and falling. It holds up well even under the effects of pool chemicals.
If your yard has a slope to it, you can always elect between steps or a surface that follows the slope. You could even have different sections of patio at different levels.
Choosing a Pattern
One of the fantastic advantages of using stamped concrete is the wide variety of patterns you can choose from. You chose your flower plants, shrubs and even your grass to blend together somehow. Not only do they go with your climate, but also with the architecture of your house and the history of your area. So choosing your walking surface’s appearance is another step to creating your own theme.
For instance, you may live in an older area that still shows the reflections of the colonial era. That would be a great opportunity to use a cobblestone pattern that looks like the streets where horse-drawn carriages would pass. If your home is more in the Victorian style, you might prefer a surface that appears to be made of red brick. Or if you are in or near a wooded area and want a more rustic look, you can go with a wood grain or plank-type design. These are just a couple examples; there’s definitely patterns available that will meet your needs!
Costs and Maintenance
Of course, you could always choose “the real thing” and go with actual wood, brick, pavers, cobblestone or whatever other appearance you’d like. But stamped concrete does have certain clear advantages over these: cost and maintenance.
Exact costs can vary depending on the type of pattern you choose, the area you live in and can even be influenced by the climate since that affects the mix of concrete. But in general, stamped concrete costs about the same as pavers and less than the other materials we’ve mentioned.
In the long run, it’s also probably going to require less maintenance than other surfaces. Many types of stone will start to become uneven and need to be reset over time, which you could do yourself. Still, it’s time-consuming.
With concrete, there may be cracking, but a competent contractor knows how to build that into the project so the cracks don’t affect the function or beauty of the product. Stamped concrete is also easy to clean and can be swept off or even washed with a power washer. Every two to three years, you should have it resurfaced, which is a relatively inexpensive process. It provides a protective cover to the surface and helps prevent the color from washing out. Other than that, there’s nothing you really have to do, so your upkeep costs and effort are minimal.
You work hard to make your yard a beautiful place, and it deserves to be complemented by great walking and living spaces. These surfaces can help prevent damage to the grass. They also help tie the area together and enhance the looks of your property.
Stamped concrete is one of the best and most economical alternatives for driveways, walkways, and patios. Whatever “look and feel” you want for your garden, there’s a stamp that can match it and help create the perfect paths for your landscaping!
About the Author
Bill Michaels works for Patterned Concrete as a media outreach specialist. The company is an expert and pioneer in stamped concrete since 1972. It has grown from its Toronto-area roots to have franchises across North America.