Installing pattern imprinted concrete is not really a Do It Yourself project. Not only because of the skills required in creating an authentic reproduction of the colours and patterns of natural stone products but also because it requires specialist tools in order to achieve a credible and durable finish.
It cannot be emphasised how important it is for a homeowner wanting a pattern imprinted concrete driveway or patio area, to choose an experienced and reputable contractor / installer. Too many poor quality installations have led to pattern imprinted concrete being sometimes referred to as a Marmite™ kind of product as you will either love it or loathe it.
Brochure and website images of driveways and patios finished with pattern imprinted concrete sometimes appear shiny and artificial. This is because contractors have often photographed the surface immediately after completion, when the sealant has either not been allowed to dry or has not yet lost its sheen, and the wet look creates an unrealistic finish.
Equally, poorly printed concrete doesn’t look like natural stone – it looks like poorly imprinted concrete. As a result, many people are of the opinion that pattern imprinted concrete fails in its attempt to replicate the appearance of natural stone, slate or brick.
However, it is possible to get a well-constructed imprinted concrete driveway or patio area, which is properly installed, printed, coloured and sealed, providing it is carried out in good weather conditions by an experienced contractor who takes pride in his work. When this is achieved, the results can create excellent reproductions of natural surfacing materials at a fraction of the cost.
Consequently, most specialist imprinted concrete installation companies not only refuse to offer alternatives, but claim that the only reason any homeowner would choose an alternative such as block paving or tarmacadam – is cost.