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Tiered Concrete Patio Mimics Natural Grouted StoneProject submitted by C.J. Salzano, Salzano Custom Concrete, Centreville, Va.
These homeowners wanted the look of a natural stone patio, but didn't want to pay the high price. They opted for stamped concrete instead, and got just the look they were after. The patio beautifully complements the natural stone seat wall and fire pit on the lowest tier of the patio.
The patio also features a pergola-covered grill and countertop for serving food and entertaining.
The patio's variegated color accents replicate those found in natural slate. Even the faux grout lines, colored a tan shade, look authentic.
More and more homeowners are realizing that stamped concrete can give them the realistic look of natural stone, but at a much lower price tag (see Stamped Concrete vs. Other Paving Materials). That was the case for these Centreville, Va., homeowners, who wanted a large backyard patio with the look of slate. They were able to achieve the same upscale appearance for about half the cost by using concrete and the skills of Salzano Custom Concrete, a local contractor specializing in decorative stamped concrete and concrete resurfacing.
“We charge around $12 per square foot for stamped concrete, while pavers typically cost around $20 per square foot, and real flagstone or bluestone approaches $30,” says owner C.J. Salzano. A few years ago, he perfected a technique for giving his stamped concrete the look of natural multicolored and grouted stone, and many people who see his work can’t believe they’re looking at concrete.
On this project, the 2,600-square-foot patio was placed in tiers to accommodate a sloping backyard. The stamp pattern, from Increte Systems, is Old English Slate and the base concrete was colored with Increte’s Philly blue color hardener. All the accent and highlight colors were custom mixed by Salzano.
In addition to marbling in a highlight color while the concrete is being stamped, Salzano also applies other highlight and shading colors a couple of days later, once the concrete has set. He typically uses three or four accent colors to produce a multicolor flagstone or bluestone look. He also colors the faux grout lines between the stones a tan or gray shade to give a beautiful, natural grouted appearance. He then seals the concrete with a solvent-based acrylic.
“Customers really notice our special shading and accent coloring options with the grout service. They notice that it’s more natural looking than traditional stamped concrete,” says Salzano. Although he charges more for this custom coloring work, many of his customers are willing to pay extra for the look. “Last year, we did about 70 stamped concrete projects, and about 50% of them upgraded to this unique service. We are very proud of it, and customers love it,” he says.
Salzano’s custom coloring process is described in more detail on his company’s website.
Salzano Custom Concrete, Centreville, Va.
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