The features of decorative concrete

decorative concrete lower north shore

What is decorative concrete?

Decorative concrete is concrete that has been enhanced with decorative elements and techniques.

Decorative concrete can be used in a wide range of applications in homes and commercial properties including floors, walls, benchtops, patios, and pathways.

Decorative concrete provides a durable, low-maintenance, and cost-effective option for high-traffic areas where a strong and robust material like concrete is required.

In modern architecture and interior design, decorative concrete is growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional flooring, tiles and stone – even when the robustness and strength of concrete aren’t necessary.

But why choose just one style?  We can mix styles to create a design that is anything but boring.  Let your imagination run wild and let us turn your ideas into reality.

Stencilled and stamped concrete

Stencilled and stamped concrete involves imprinting a pattern or texture onto the surface of the concrete using stamps or moulds. Concrete stencilling is used to create a timber look.

Concrete stamping is typically done when the concrete is still wet (but is hard enough to withstand the weight of the stamp so it doesn’t sink).

Stamped concrete can be customised and coloured to achieve the look and texture of various materials including stone, brick, tile, and even a wood or timber look.  The colour pigment added can range from subtle to vibrant.

After the concrete has been poured and levelled, the stamps or moulds are pressed into the surface to create the desired pattern or texture.  For a unique and personalised look, multiple patterns and textures can be applied.

Stamped concrete is a popular choice for outdoor applications, such as patios, pool decks, and driveways, but can also be used for indoor applications including floors, walls, benchtops and furniture.

Stamped concrete is a cost-effective and extremely durable alternative to using stone, pavers or bricks – particularly in high-traffic areas such as driveways.

The benefits of stencilled and stamped concrete:

  • it is extremely durable
  • it can withstand heavy wear and tear
  • it lasts for a long time
  • it is resistant to fading and UV damage
  • it requires little maintenance
  • it is a cost-effective alternative to using stone, pavers or bricks

Below – Concrete stencilling is used to create a timber look. 

decorative concrete lower north shore timber

Coloured concrete

Coloured concrete involves adding colour to the concrete mixture before pouring it, while polished concrete involves grinding and polishing the surface to create a smooth and glossy finish.

The concrete is pigmented with a colourant before it is poured. We add a powdered or liquid colourant to the concrete mixer that is made from various materials such as iron oxides, synthetic pigments, or carbon black.

Coloured concrete comes in a wide range of shades and hues, from earthy tones to brighter and more vibrant colours.  Colours can be mixed with other decorative techniques such as stamping or staining to create a unique and customised appearance.

Coloured concrete can be applied to indoor and outdoor concrete including flooring, patios, driveways, and decorative walls.

The benefits of coloured concrete

  • a wide range of colours to compliment all decors and exterior colour schemes
  • it is extremely durable
  • it can withstand heavy wear and tear
  • it lasts for a long time
  • it is resistant to fading
  • it requires little maintenance

Below – The coloured concrete driveway below compliments the house exterior colour. 

decorative concrete lower north shore coloured

Burnished and polished concrete

Burnished and polished concrete is another type of decorative concrete that involves mechanically grinding, honing, and polishing the concrete surface to achieve a smooth, even shiny and reflective, finish. It offers a modern and sophisticated look that can add value and aesthetic appeal to any space.

This process is done using specialist tools that gradually remove the surface layer of the concrete to create a smooth surface.

No longer just the domain of commercial buildings, burnished and polished concrete has become increasingly sought after in residential settings.

Burnished and polished concrete is gaining popularity as a healthier flooring option for people with allergies or respiratory issues as it doesn’t harbour dust, mould or allergens.

The benefits of burnished and polished concrete:

  • it is extremely durability
  • it is low maintenance
  • it is resistant to stains, scratches, wear and tear,
  • it is hypoallergenic as it doesn’t harbour dust, allergens or mould
  • a range of finishes, colours and designs can be achieved

A range of finishes can be achieved with polished concrete from matte to high-gloss. Different colours, patterns and designs can also be incorporated.

Specialist sealers and coatings can be applied to further enhance polished concrete’s resistance to stains, chemicals and abrasions.

What’s the difference between burnished and polished concrete?

Burnished concrete is a finish that involves polishing the surface to achieve a smooth, glossy and reflective surface.  The surface isn’t polished down far enough to expose the aggregate.  Burnished concrete retains the original layers providing durability but giving a more contemporary look to the concrete. It is also not as slippery as some polished concrete. Best of all, for an alfresco kitchen area it will be durable enough to sustain wear and tear, spills and heavy traffic.

Burnished concrete offers a modern, sleek aesthetic and is a popular choice for retail stores, restaurants and warehouses. It is gaining popularity in residential homes.  A burnished concrete finish provides a cost-effective and environmentally friendly flooring solution since it utilises the existing concrete substrate, eliminating the need for additional flooring materials. Like all concrete flooring, it is highly durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic and abrasion, making it a practical choice for high-traffic areas.

Below – Polished concrete in the entry foyer of this home provides an extremely hard-wearing, easy-care surface that is low on allergens.

decorative concrete lower north shore polished

Exposed aggregate concrete

Exposed aggregate concrete involves exposing the small stones and/or aggregates within the concrete surface, creating a textured and decorative appearance.

Using specialist tools and processes, the surface layer of the concrete is removed to reveal the stones and aggregate underneath.  Water pressure, sandblasting and chemical treatments are some of these processes.

Exposed aggregate concrete has a unique appearance due to the different colours, sizes and types of aggregate.  Aggregate can include coloured stones, pebbles, crushed glass, and even shells.

While exposed aggregate concrete has been commonly used in outdoor areas, it is gaining popularity internally as well. Typically used on patios, walkways and pool, exposed aggregate concrete is now used for floors, walls, benchtops and furniture.  Its potential applications are wide and varied.

The benefits of exposed aggregate concrete:

  • it is extremely durability
  • the exposed aggregate textured surface provides a natural grip
  • it is resistant to UV damage and weathering
  • it is resistant to stains and scratches
  • a range of finishes can be created ranging from matt to high gloss
  • unique designs can be created with the use of different aggregates

Exposed aggregate concrete is a highly durable and decorative option suitable for a range of applications, both indoors and out.

Below – Exposed aggregate transformed this garden path. Best of all, it’s hard wearing and non-slip.

decorative concrete lower north shore exposed aggregate

Decorative concrete quotes

With 40+ years of concrete experience, we bring a wealth of decorative concrete knowledge to any project. We provide a high level of services and workmanship on all our projects, with attention to detail and a professional approach to every job. We are a friendly team, focused on our customers’ needs and satisfaction and getting the job done. Based on the Northern Beaches, we service all Sydney suburbs including the North ShoreEastern Suburbs and Sydney CBD.