Concrete Floors Replicate a Riverbed

Stone from one of the oldest rivers in the world embellishes the concrete in this riverfront home
Project submitted by Abner Peachey, Rosebud Concrete, Myerstown, Pa.

Find a Contractor

Swipe to view slides

The Damgaard home, located in Harrisburg, Pa., just steps away from the Susquehanna River, seems to be a natural extension of the river itself. Its decorative concrete floors covering the entire first floor are teeming with local river rock, exposed by polishing to resemble the Susquehanna riverbed. The patios and front walkway are also exposed river rock. And the concrete driveway was stamped with a heavy stone texture to look like natural river-eroded stone.

Aptly named The River Lodge on the Susquehanna, the home uses environmentally friendly materials and construction techniques throughout and was awarded a LEED Gold certification, making it the first LEED for Homes certified residence in Central Pennsylvania. The use of concrete contributed significantly to achieving LEED requirements for green building construction. But it was the versatility and thermal properties of concrete that convinced homeowner Jens Damgaard to use the material for his home.

"He chose concrete due to LEED points and the custom creativity to replicate a river bottom," says Abner Peachey of Rosebud Concrete, a local contractor specializing in stamped and polished concrete. Damgaard hand-picked many of the stones embedded in the floor from the river running right in front of the home. The larger stones had to be laid by hand as the floor was being placed because they were too big for the concrete pump to handle. The floors were also seeded with recycled glass.

“We hand seeded the 3- to 6-inch river rock to achieve the pathway into the kitchen and living room. The concrete mix design also contained decorative river rock, using a blend of 3/8- and 1-inch aggregate," says Peachey. To mimic the murky color of a riverbed, Rosebud integrally colored the concrete with a liquid admixture in a pumpernickel shade. The aggregate was then exposed by grinding and polishing to bring the riverbed to life.

The home’s 1,900 square feet of exposed-aggregate patios and walkways also contain local river rock, as well as 50% recycled material, including slag and fly ash. The concrete was left a natural gray, and the decorative aggregate was exposed with a surface retarder, followed by application of a clear acrylic sealer. The 2,000-square-foot stamped concrete driveway was integrally colored with a Champagne pigment. During stamping, the stone pattern was topically enhanced with a coal-colored powdered release agent and a mocha antiquing wash to mimic natural river stone.

For more information about this unique LEED Gold home, visit The River Lodge on the Susquehanna website at

Materials used Integral color: Rheocolor L liquid coloring admixture, from Pennsy Supply
Insulated decking system: Nudura LiteDeck, from Manning Materials
Retarder: Aggresol-S, from Surface Koatings
Patio sealer: Kingdom Cure acrylic sealer, from Kingdom Products
Powder release: Kingdom Products release agent
Antiquing wash: EZ-Tique, from Proline
Driveway sealer: Clear Guard PRO 350, from Butterfield Color

Contractor James Peachey, owner
Rosebud Concrete, Myerstown, Pa.

Submit Your Own Project Photos

See more water inspired concrete floors

Find a Contractor By City