When describing older homes, many people say they have "character"; and why wouldn't they?; having withstood the test of time and multiple occupants. The building style of past eras, and the many personal touches left behind from previous tenants all contribute to a warm, old-home charm. But often, old homes have issues that are a hassle to deal with; thatís why a lot of people would rather buy a new home. So what to do? Old but charming? Or new but "cool"? Sometimes we can get the best of both worlds with a bit of interior and exterior changes. Thatís what the owners of this new Flower Mound, TX home asked us to do, specifically in the case of their dull looking patio and sidewalk.
Trowel-down and stamped-overlay treatments are both good options to resurface concrete so it that it takes on the look of stone while retaining a rustic, old-world charm. One of the keys to achieving the best possible results when applying these types of concrete treatments is to make sure that the surfaces are prepared correctly. This can range from something as simple as power washing it or, if it has a previous coating or a lot of contamination (oil, paint, etc.), grinding the floor to make sure that when we resurface concrete, the material will stick tightly.
Once it has been properly prepped, we pour the resurfacing material onto the floor - usually in a layer that is anywhere from 1/8" to 1/4" thick. The material is a mixture of cement, sand, and a special polymer (glue) that makes it stick tightly to the floor. This first layer is what we call a "bond" or skim coat and it's the fresh canvas we need to continue to resurface concrete floors, it's what we build on. It normally takes two to six hours to dry, depending on the weather.
The next step is to apply either the stamped or trowel down overlay In both processes, we apply another layer of the material, and either use a trowel to make free-hand decorative "swooshes" in it (trowel down) , or press a patterned rubber matt into it that permanently stamps an impressions into it (stamped overlay). Both of these techniques to resurface concrete must be completed while the overlay material is still soft and malleable. Once this final layer dries completely we can stain it and, if desired, score (cut) it into shapes that look like individual stones.
In the case of this Flower Mound, TX project, we went with a trowel-down application and the owners did opt to have the surface scored to create the authentic stone look. As you can see, the end result looks warm, rich, and inviting - pretty much the definition of "charm"! We were thrilled to give them the timeless look they wanted. Now they can enjoy all of creature comforts of a new home while also enjoying a look that exemplifies "character" instead of "cookie cutter".