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  • A stained concrete overlay replaces old tile to update the look of this raised patio. A concrete countertop and bench seating were added to accommodate guests.
  • The overlay was placed at a minimum thickness of 2 inches to accommodate the changes of elevations on the patio from tile removal.
  • All the concrete flatwork and countertop surfaces were stained with a combination of acid and water-based stains to add depth to the earth-toned color scheme.
  • A second concrete patio with a vanishing-edge tabletop allows guests to enjoy cocktails while looking out over the surrounding landscape.
  • The concrete table is anchored with steel bars to an old concrete block wall fountain that was transformed into a seat wall. The wall is faced with cedar plank panels and capped by stained concrete to blend in with the other outdoor design elements.

Project highlights

  • The owners of this scenic home in Valley Center, Calif., wanted to update the look of their outdoor living space by removing the crumbling, old Saltillo tiles covering their existing patio and replacing them with a stained concrete overlay. They also wanted to incorporate a stained concrete countertop and bench to improve the functionality of the space and create uniformity.
  • To take advantage of a breathtaking view, a smaller patio with a vanishing-edge concrete tabletop was added to overlook the surrounding landscape and serve as an area for serving cocktails.
  • The tabletop is anchored to an old wall fountain that was repurposed to create a decorative seat wall. The fountain was filled with concrete, covered with cedar plank wood panels, and capped with cast-in-place concrete colored to match the tabletop.

How It Was Done

“This project is among one of the most extensive we have completed, because there were several different applications,” says Andy Espinoza of Envision Concrete, which specializes in concrete overlays, staining, and concrete countertops.

Over the elevated concrete patio that was previously covered with tile, Espinoza’s crew placed a concrete topping mix specifically designed to be poured at a minimum thickness of 2 inches. “This was needed to accommodate the changes of elevations on the patio from the tile removal,” he says.

For the remaining elements of the project, a 3000-psi fiber-reinforced concrete mix was used. All of the concrete was topically stained with a custom blend of reactive (acid-based) and water-based stains in earth-toned colors. The flatwork was sealed with a solvent-based acrylic sealer, and the countertop and bench surfaces were sealed with a solvent-based polyurethane.

The stunning vanishing edge tabletop was designed by the homeowner’s daughter. “The concept was to have a table that from a distance appeared to be floating,” says Espinoza. “The old wall fountain it rests on is 150 linear feet of concrete block that was covered with tiles and a brick wall cap. The brick wall cap was removed and replaced with cast-in-place concrete, and then we added the cocktail patio to the surrounding area.”

Project Challenges

The biggest challenge of the project was the fabrication of the forms for the vanishing-edge table. “We needed to have enough support for the table without the concrete being an integral part of the wall. The project designer decided to have steel bars anchored into the block wall, with a steel plate welded to the bars to support the table. We then had to fabricate our forms around the steel plate,” says Espinoza.

Materials used:

Concrete topping mix: Superior Ready Mix
Concrete stains: Westcoat Specialty Coating Systems, in chocolate (acid stain) and walnut (water-based stain)
Concrete sealers: Westcoat


Savannah Design Group, Escondido, Calif.

Concrete contractor:

Andy Espinoza
Envision Concrete, Escondido, Calif.

See another project completed by this contractor:
Concrete Microtopping Transforms an Old Horse Barn

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