Many homeowners are blurring the lines between their indoor and outdoor living areas by making their backyards as inviting as the other rooms in their home. These homeowners in Centreville, Va., had that intent in mind when planning their new patio, adding amenities such as an outdoor kitchen, seat walls, landscape lighting, and a covered dining area. But one of their most important decisions was choosing the best material to use for the patio.

“They considered building the patio with natural Pennsylvania bluestone, but were intrigued by some of the new developments that we have pioneered with stamped concrete,” says C.J. Salzano of Salzano Custom Concrete, who has perfected a technique for giving his stamped concrete the look of grouted stone. “They were worried about the high cost of natural flagstone and the maintenance, including regrouting over time and stones coming loose. When they saw our unique multicolored version of stamped concrete they were intrigued and ultimately selected concrete.”

How it was done

The 800-square-foot patio was stamped with a basic ashlar slate pattern and colored by hand to replicate the look of Pennsylvania bluestone. “We used custom-blended colors and some off-the-shelf products, applying some colors to the patio when the concrete was still wet and others once the concrete was dry and we could walk on it,” says Salzano. To add to the natural stone appearance, grout was applied within the lines of the pattern and then the concrete was sealed with a custom-blended zero-shine sealer to give it a matte finish.

To partially enclose the patio and make it seem more intimate, Salzano’s crew built masonry seat walls faced with natural stone and capped with pieces of bluestone. They also installed concrete steps leading to the back door, giving them rustic rock-faced bullnose edges formed with a special mold. Both the seat walls and steps incorporate LED light fixtures powered by a basic 12-volt outdoor transformer.

One of the main highlights of the project is a stamped compass design at the back entry of the patio. “To create this attractive focal point, we colored each small element of the compass by hand using a small brush and some basic stains,” says Salzano.

Concrete contractor:
C.J. Salzano
Salzano Custom Concrete, Centreville, Va.

See other projects completed by this contractor:
Tiered Concrete Patio Mimics Grouted Stone
Stamped Concrete Patio Replicates Bluestone

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