Stamped Concrete is quickly becoming a favorite hardscape material on pool decks. It gives owners the opportunity to pull off a luxurious look without the high-end cost. Stamped overlays are affordable, durable, and very decorative. It is known to effectively imitate other paving materials and the craftsmanship is impeccable. But how does it really fare against the pool deck material it is imitating?
- Stamped Overlay Vs. Natural Stone
One of the most popular uses for a stamped overlay is as an alternative to natural stone. Although it isn’t the real thing, there are so much more advantages to using a stamped overlay over real natural stone. The colors on real stone can’t be controlled and customized, whereas overlays are stained by hand so colors are brighter, more balanced, and more pronounced. The stamped version is easier to maintain, quicker to install, and a lot more affordable than real, natural stone.
- Stamped Overlay Vs. Pavers
Compared to precast pavers, a stamped overlay is easier to install. You won’t have to worry about breaking a piece accurately to fit a certain space. Pavers are individual units put together in a pattern, no concrete to hold them together. The gaps are only filled in with sand so there is a possibility for weed or moss to grow and this requires tedious cleaning and maintenance. A stamped overlay has shallow grooves, not real gaps, so weed and moss won’t be an issue.
- Stamped Overlay Vs. Tile
Tile is one of the simplest patterns for a stamped concrete surface. Although simple, the stamped version is still a lot more ideal than real tile, be it vinyl, ceramic, or porcelain. Because the overlay is made of a cementitious material, it is not glazed at the surface. This means the surface is more slip-resistant even when wet. Tile is also a very fragile material. From the moment you purchase it, you have to be extra careful in handling it as it easily breaks. Even when installed, tile could easily break or chip-off upon impact. Concrete is a lot more durable and long-lasting.
- Stamped Overlay Vs. Wood
Stamped overlay is fast becoming a more popular material for patios over wood. It can imitate the look and texture of wood boards and, with the help of a skilled artisan, can be stained to make it more realistic. An overlay is easier to clean and maintain, does not need to be waxed or scrubbed to acquire a shine. The application of a sealer at the top will provide the necessary shine while adding an extra-protective layer.