Belonging to the decorative concrete family, printed concrete allows you to reproduce a particular effect or style on your floor. Economical, easy to maintain and resistant to traffic, it fits into all landscaped environments to give them a touch of elegance and originality.
Printed concrete: definition and principle
Commonly used in the United States, decorative concrete is beginning to gain its acclaim in Europe. This process owes its growing success to the aesthetics and originality it brings to floors. While with a classic concrete slab, we will seek to obtain a perfectly smooth finish, the printed concrete will offer relief or effects of all kinds to the slab. Also known under the name of imprint concrete or stencil concrete, the technique requires the use of stencils that will be pressed into the still fresh screed to leave imprints and provide the desired style.
The effects obtained are particularly varied: rose window, stone, wood… The deceptive realism of the printed concrete allows it to imitate natural materials including brick. Its elegant and aesthetic character is not the only advantage attributed to it. Compared to other materials, its value for money is also very attractive. The cost of the construction is estimated between 20 and 60 euros per m².
Better yet, manufacturers offer a wide variety of designs ranging from the simplest to the most structured. The rubble stone or natural rock effects belong to the most classic ranges. More trendy models are also available such as imitation wood flooring.
Printed concrete is also appreciated for its resistance to bad weather, abrasion and traffic. A finishing treatment will be more than enough for the maintenance of your printed tile.
Technique for laying printed concrete
To obtain the desired result, it is important to respect several rules and steps when installing printed concrete. The first phase is that of cleaning. The support on which the material is to be applied must be free of dirt, moss, cracks and holes. Sealing work should then be considered. Cleaning for its part can be carried out using a high pressure cleaner which will strip with great efficiency the entire surface.
The next step is to pour the concrete screed using a concrete mixer or a router. Then sprinkle a hardener over the entire surface to provide better resistance to your terrace. Proceed to applying the stencils to the desired areas and then remove them before the material dries completely.
This process gives the desired relief or effect. The drying time should be at least 24 hours. Once this period of time has passed, you must sweep the slab to remove any roughness. The final touch is to spray an anti-stain resin over the entire surface. This finish protects the structure against stains, optimizes its durability and will facilitate maintenance of the floor later.