Stamped Concrete is a skilled
trade. It requires a whole
different set of knowledge
and skills aside from normal placing and finishing of concrete. In
the construction industry, concrete is one of the few perishable
materials. Once you add the water,
there is a small window in which to place and finish concrete. This
window ranges from several minutes to several hours. But when it
hardens, there's no reversing it and any mistakes made during the
process are usually costly
Having the knowledge and "know how" to place and pour regular
concrete is a crucial prerequisite for doing quality stamp work on a
large scale. It is possible to get by without it on a small slab.
The smaller the amount of concrete pour means the quicker you can
place it, which allows more time work with it and finish it.
Knowing how to stamp concrete is a "learn as you go" process. The
key to a successful job is planning and preparation. Try a small
slab first. If you're doing a patio, break it down into smaller
sections and do it one piece at a time. Have plenty of help. Find
the quickest way to get the concrete where in
needs to go, whether it's pouring right from the truck, using
a buggy, or wheelbarrow, etc. The faster you get the concrete down,
the easier it will be to make a nice finish.
GETTING STARTED Make sure the sub grade is prepared right. The
sub grade should be compact and well drained. For better drainage
use B gravel as your sub grade and be sure to compact it with a
tamper. Also wet the gravel before you pour the concrete so it
doesn't suck the water out of the concrete.
CONCRETE MIX Make sure that your slab will have at least 4" and
be uniform. You don't want it to be 3" in some spots and 5" in
others. You will want a slump of 4 or 5 when pouring. You don't want
it too wet because it will reduce the strength, but you don't want
it too dry or it will be too hard to work with.