Decorative concrete is an excellent substitute for natural materials. These concrete products, depending on the composition, can be constructive, decorative and artistic-decorative. They easily imitate natural and artificially created surfaces, such as paving stones, marble, brick, wood, laminate, animal skin. Decorative concrete in strength and durability is many times higher than conventional concrete mixes. It is used in the design of courtyards, facades of houses and individual rooms.
This concrete receives the main qualities precisely thanks to its textured finish. In its manufacture, special coloring chemical compositions are used, which are distinguished by good adhesive qualities. These compounds give products a special aesthetic and beauty. Surface finishing is done by spraying and stamping.
Popular colored and stamped concrete are varieties of artistic concrete that adorns the facades of houses and court territories.
Spraying method for decorative concrete
Spraying is used on vertically located planes. Acid dyes and spray give the surface the desired color. In contact with concrete, the paint enters a chemical reaction and creates the desired pattern. It is applied in layers until the desired shade is achieved. The spraying method allows you to create the appearance of brickwork and natural stone.
Printing method for decorative concrete
This method is used on any plane. Today, there are a large number of technologies for the manufacture of printed concrete.
Any concrete in its composition contains cement, plasticizers, sand and other elements that depend on the desired result.
Decorative concrete can subsequently have a surface imitating the bark of a tree, laminate, natural stone, ceramic tile, brickwork, and cobblestone.
DIY decorative concrete is not only beautiful, but also reliable, durable. Let's get it right.
DIY concrete. Spray technology
To create a decorative surface on concrete, stencils are used that are mounted on the surface. The coloring mixture when applied to the surface gives it the desired look.
Stencils can be purchased ready-made or made independently. For their manufacture, you can even use thick paper. The final step in creating a decorative surface is to apply a special protective impregnation, which will subsequently protect concrete from external influences.
Decorative-printed concrete is a type of monolithic concrete processed by stamping and chemical impregnation. Printed concrete (stamping) is a fairly common method of manufacturing a decorative surface.
To create decorative printed concrete with your own hands, you need a concrete mixer, a vibrating table and molds made of metal, wood, polyethylene, fiberglass or ABS plastic. You can buy them or make them yourself. If you need simple or standard forms, they can be made from OSB, plywood or boards.
Molds for decorative concrete
A mold for making concrete with certain skills can be made using metal and welding. To give a more complex texture, the stamp (matrix) can be poured from the polymer.
To create a decorative surface, dies (dies) made of plastic, polyurethane or silicone are required.
Plastic is used to create paving slabs and pavers. Flexible matrices are needed to create more complex shapes.
In order to make a silicone matrix, you need to buy 1 tile in the store that imitates a stone with the desired pattern.
To create a mold for decorative concrete with your own hands you will need:
- silicone sealant;
- acetic acid;
- a sheet of plywood or OSB;
- a large brush;
- a knife.
A box of 15-17 cm deep is formed from plywood. It is half filled with sealant. Tiles with a decorative pattern are carefully lubricated with solid oil. Then the front side must be pressed into the silicone. Surplus formed on the surface is removed. On the fourth day, the concrete stamping mold is ready for use.
The mold is gently pressed into the non-hardened concrete surface, pre-coated with colored pigment, moisture-resistant additives and fixative. After the surface hardens, the dies are removed, and the concrete is coated with protective impregnation.
Composition of decorative concrete
For the manufacture of decorative concrete, cement M350 or M400 is used. To give strength to the material, fiber is added to it.
For the manufacture of tiles and small-sized products, fine aggregate is used. Volumetric concrete parts are made with the addition of larger aggregates.
The pronounced structure of concrete is obtained by adding marble, basalt, limestone, granite, anthracite, ceramic fragments and colored glass.
To enhance the texture, special mixtures are used that slow down the solidification of the surface. At this time, concrete is treated with special tools or hydrochloric acid.
To obtain bright and pure colors, white Portland cement is taken. Dark and light sand allows you to achieve the desired decorative effect. When making do-it-yourself composition of decorative concrete, you can change it at your discretion, adding or removing any components.
Covering the yard with decorative concrete
Decorative concrete has a fairly wide application, and quite often it can be found in the form of platforms, paths, driveways, car parks.
How to make decorative concrete with your own hands so that it can decorate any yard?
Printed concrete does not slip, tolerates temperature extremes and is therefore so often used to improve the yard around the house.
To cover the yard with decorative concrete with your own hands, you need to choose a suitable site. If concrete is made in the yard, its production is carried out immediately in a constant place, where it will be located in the future.
To make a garden path or to ennoble any part of the yard, you need to take cement grade M350-400 and plasticizers. You need to work at a plus temperature.
The mixture is mixed. It is poured into forms. A vibrating plate is used for compaction. The roller smoothes and rolls the concrete surface.
Do-it-yourself decorative concrete is created indoors or outdoors in the yard. If concrete production is carried out under the roof, good ventilation and heating should be provided here.
When carrying out work outside, the site is first marked. You need to drive pegs into the ground. A rope is pulled around the perimeter. The top layer of soil needs to be cut to a depth of 15-20 cm and removed to the side. At the edges of the formwork.
A mixture of sand and granite chips 10-15 cm thick is poured, rammed. A polyethylene with an overlap of 10 cm is laid on top, a reinforcing metal mesh is laid out.
After this, concrete can be prepared.
DIY decorative concrete recipe
Based on 1 m 3 the concrete includes:
- 160 liters of water.
- 600 g of reinforcing polypropylene fiber.
- 400 kg of Portland cement M400.
- 700 kg of granite chips fractions from 5 to 20 mm.
- 450 kg of river sand.
- 2.5 l of plasticizer C3 in an aqueous solution.
- dye (the amount depends on the desired shade).
Decorative concrete manufacturing process
The components are combined and thoroughly mixed in a concrete mixer. The mixture should be homogeneous.
The decorative mixture is poured . The mixture is distributed over the formwork and compacted.
To settle large particles, rolling is carried out by a roller, while fine aggregate is brought to the surface.
Concrete needs to be smoothed out with an aluminum trowel. Around the perimeter is processed with an angle trowel.
Before using the color fixer, make sure that the surface is flat, matte. The fixing agent contains coloring pigment, quartz sand, granite dust, adhesive aggregate.
70% of fixative (3.6 kg / m 2 for light and 2.6 kg / m 2 for dark colors) is applied manually. The smoothing of the entire surface and edges is done with an aluminum smoothing machine. The remaining 30% of the fixer is evenly scattered on the concrete, and everything is smoothed out with a metal smoothing device.
Each layer is rubbed until the coloring component is completely moistened, and the concrete should become smooth and evenly stained.
The dispersed color hardener makes the concrete more dense, covering all micropores and gives the surface a bright and stable color.
The treated surface is covered with a layer of a disconnector (per 1 m 2 consumption is 0.2 kg).
Then the soft surface is pressed with a special shape that imitates stone, timber, brick or boards.
The matrices need to be moistened with water and evenly pressed to the surface. The first matrices need to be laid along the formwork along the length of the site. They are closely pressed against each other.
A maximum of 70 minutes should elapse from kneading to stamping. Concrete should not set during operation. The consistency should resemble plasticine. The stamp from the dried products must be removed carefully without damaging the surface. To do this, use a special knocker. After 2 days, the disconnector remaining on the surface must be removed with a long-brushed brush. To create a deeper texture, you can use a 3% solution of hydrochloric acid.
Then the surface is washed with running water, dried and covered with acrylic impregnation or varnish for concrete and stone.
Do-it-yourself decorative concrete after drying is ready.
Do-it-yourself coating of any surface with decorative concrete allows you to reduce costs and design your house and land to your liking.
Ready-made decorative concrete can be walked 5 hours after applying varnish or impregnation.
Large loads (arrival of a car, truck, trailer) are possible in 12-14 days.
Anti-icing reagents can not be used for decorative coatings! In addition, the use of metal objects to remove snow and ice should be avoided.
Decorative concrete for surface protection should be covered with a hydrophobizing solution after a year. It will preserve the appearance of concrete and protect it from external influences.
Decorative concrete, if properly used, will last for many years and will adorn any surface where it has been applied.