What is Pattern Imprinted Concrete?

Commonly also referred to as stamped concrete, Pattern Imprinted Concrete (PIC) is concrete that has been coloured and textured to resemble other more expensive materials such as brick, cobblestone, slate, granite, flagstone, tile or even wood.

Northern Cobblestone believe that its cost effectiveness, durability, virtually maintenance free finish and endless design possibilities make it the best paving solution currently available.

See below to learn How Imprinted Concrete is Made.

A Wealth of Options

There are an extensive number of colours, patterns and styles to choose from, so it is easy to create something truly unique to complement your property.

With a bit of imagination and by combining several patterns and colours, impressive individual designs can be created, which will be the envy of your neighbours!

The Benefits

Pattern imprinted concrete offers a number of benefits over other types of paving, including:

  • No sinking or spreading
  • Low maintenance
  • No weeds
  • Oil and stain resistant
  • 25% harder than standard concrete
  • Fade free colours

For more information on why Northern Cobblestone recommend PIC for Driveways, Paths, Steps, Ramps, Patios, Pool Decks and Commercial Paving, take a look at our Alternative to Block Paving and Indian Stone page.

How Imprinted Concrete is Made

PIC is created by adding colours and stamping moulds into freshly laid concrete.

Preparation

Initially, the process is the same as with any paving project. The area must be properly prepared before any concrete can be poured. The existing surface needs to be excavated to a satisfactory depth dependent on the purpose of the paving and any debris removed from site.

A quantity of hardcore is then added dependent upon the sub base we find after excavation. This will be compacted to form a level, solid base on which to pour the concrete.

During this preparation stage, any remedial or alteration work will done to the drainage if required, along with the installtion of gate posts, steps, manholes, gulley tops, etc..

Temporary wooden shuttering is then fitted around the perimeter to form a framework into which the concrete is poured.

The Concrete

The air entrained and fibre enmeshed concrete used is specifically produced for pattern imprinting. Whilst the concrete is curing or setting, the fibres within it mesh together to give the slab far greater strength. On completion, PIC is 25% harder than standard concrete.

Once poured to a satisfactory depth, the concrete is raked to ensure that rain water will flow in the desired direction and then floated to give a smooth, flat finish. It is now ready for colouring and stamping.

Colouring

Each application uses two colouring agents which come in the form of a powder. Together these colours help to create a realistic two tone look on completion.

Your chosen colour, known as colour surface hardener, is spread across the concrete surface by hand. Once applied, the concrete is re-floated which forces the colour into the surface of the concrete. The release agent, which is usually a darker colour, is then spread across the coloured concrete ready for imprinting.

Stamping / Imprinting

Interlocking moulded rubber mats featuring your chosen pattern(s) are then used to stamp the concrete and ensure a uniform finish. Starting at an edge or corner, we work our way across, standing on the mats as we go to imprint the concrete and thus avoid stepping directly on it.

Once imprinting is complete, it will be cordoned off overnight to avoid unwanted footprints, whilst leaving you with access to your property.

Pre-Seal Preparation

Weather permitting, we will return the next day, or sometimes the day after that depending on the drying conditions so that the surface of the concrete can be pressure washed using detergents and release agent remover.

Once cleaned, "crack control joints" or "expansion cuts" are made into the surface of the concrete using a diamond disc saw to reduce the possibility of it cracking. The majority of available patterns mean that these cuts are not normally noticeable.

Sealing

Any unwanted marks or blemishes are dealt with prior to sealing and finally an acrylic sealant with anti-slip agent is applied, which protects the surface of the concrete and brings it to life, enhancing the colours beneath.

A choice of finishes are available from matt, through to satin and full gloss.

Give us a Call

For a free, no-obligation site survey and quotation, please get in touch:

Throughout the North West

Northern Cobblestone are based in Poulton-le-Fylde on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire and are well placed to serve local homes and businesses in Blackpool, Preston, Lancaster and surrounding areas, including: Fleetwood, Lytham, Kirkham, Garstang, Chorley, Leyland, Blackburn, Burnley, Morecambe, Heysham, Poulton-le-Fylde, Thornton Cleveleys, St Annes, Knott End and Over Wyre.

With good links to the motorway though, we also operate thoughout the North West, including: Accrington, Bacup, Bolton, Bury, Chester, Crewe, Darwen, Kendal, Liverpool, Macclesfield, Manchester, Oldham, Oswaldtwistle, Prestwich, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom, Rawtenstall, Rochdale, Rossendale, Skelmersdale, Southport, St Helens, Stockport, Warrington, Widnes, Wigan, Wirral, Wrexham and more!