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  • Using concrete texturing tools, this driveway was created to look like natural lava rocks. Click through this slideshow to see how it was done.
  • Soil was removed to a depth of 4 to 6 inches around the tree, and then inside and outside elevations were established with 1x4-inch bender board.
  • Schwartz scratches out the stone shapes in the soil and then paints the lines to preserve the design. All the individual pavers were set 6 inches apart.
  • Forming for the concrete paving stones begins. The majority of forming material used was 1x4-inch recycled-plastic landscape edging, with 1/4-inch Masonite used for tight corners. "The forming was intricate," says Schwartz. "All elevations had to be precise to allow for flow from one paving stone to another."
  • The crew pours each stone, followed by screeding and rough troweling. "Care had to be used to allow for working space and wheelbarrow access," says Schwartz. "Stones were designated for certain pours based on their location."
  • Schwartz presses one or RockMolds' lava-textured stamps into the concrete. On this project, he used stamps with different textures to create a random look, taking care to feather the seams between stamp imprints.
  • After the pavers were textured, they were colored with acid stain in black, brown and gray tones. This is a close-up of a finished stone.
  • After all the stones were poured, the gaps between the stones were filled with sand and planted with Bermuda grass seed.
  • The results, showing the circular drive and entry.
  • The results, showing the circular drive and entry.
  • To echo the lava stone look in the existing driveway, Schwartz traces over the existing cracks with chalk. Then he adds more chalk lines to create a large flagstone effect.
  • To echo the lava stone look in the existing driveway, Schwartz traces over the existing cracks with chalk. Then he adds more chalk lines to create a large flagstone effect.
  • Next, he grinds over the chalk lines with a 4-inch grinder with a diamond blade, cutting approximately 1/4 inch deep. Then he grinds out the intersections between adjoining lines into a curve to give the stones softer corners.
  • A chipping gun is used to remove ¼ inch of concrete between the lines and in the corners to provide greater definition.
  • Stain in the same brown, gray and black tones used for the poured-concrete stones is applied in multiple layers. "We wanted the driveway dark to hide tire tracks," says Schwartz.
  • The "mortar joints" are painted with black stain. "This gave the stones the final pop, and with the chiseled texture, gave the appearance of inlayed lava stone," says Schwartz.
  • The final driveway transformation, after sealing.

Located in Haiku, on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, this home features a spectacular concrete driveway, entryway and other hardscaping with the look and texture of the natural lava rock indigenous to the area. But this lava did not come from the island's legendary Haleakala volcano; instead, it came straight out of a concrete mixer.

Recreating lava using concrete is the specialty of contractor David Schwartz of RockMolds. He achieves the realistic effects using the company's special rubber texturing skins, molded right from the slopes of Haleakala. In doing so, he gives concrete the appearance of lava that flowed many centuries ago.

"On this project, the homeowners came to our company looking to give the entry a highly aesthetic renovation," says Schwartz. "They had been using their existing lawn area around a monkey pod tree as a driving path, so this was a natural design solution, utilizing individual poured-in-place concrete paver stones."

What's more, Schwartz was able to echo the lava rock look in an existing concrete driveway leading to the home, using the existing cracks in the substrate to his advantage.

"Integrating an existing driveway with the individual poured-concrete pavers was an opportunity I'd been waiting for," he says. "The theory is simple: Use the cracks to your benefit by creating stones with them, making it look like a random stone pattern, and then chisel the mortar joints between the stones. The homeowners were kind enough to oblige by allowing their home to be the test project for this technique."

Schwartz points out that this solution was also more economical for the homeowners, compared with the cost of replacing the existing driveway or covering it with an overlay.

RockMolds' lava rock stamps are available in a variety of textures, sizes and shapes. To learn more, visit www.rockmolds.com.

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