Home renovations have skyrocketed over the last few years and show no signs of slowing. This is particularly true for outdoor living spaces.
When it comes to resurfacing patios, driveways, walkways, or other surfaces, there are almost infinite choices. But you have to balance qualities like durability with aesthetics, which can be tricky.
The flip side is that there are so many options available when resurfacing, there is sure to be one that will fit your goals, preferences, and budget. It is only a matter of weighing all the pros and cons.
Below are seven concrete resurfacing ideas. This information outlines the pros and cons of each and what you can expect from each material down the road. Keep reading to find out which one might be best for your project.
1. Concrete Overlay
A concrete overlay has many different purposes. It can correct surface damage and improve the structure of existing structures. You can do so without having to repair or remove underlying concrete, which makes installation fast and inexpensive.
Concrete also improves traction, even when wet. This is why a concrete overlay is ideal for swimming pool decks or outdoor walkways exposed to precipitation.
Unlike concrete pavers, a cement-based overlay is spread in a single layer. This uniformity makes it very strong and resistant to impact.
A good concrete contractor can create distinct patterns with the cement or inset it with bricks or tiles. You can stain concrete to resemble brick, wood, or other materials.
You can also enhance concrete with additives to make it smoother or stronger. This also allows you to “stamp” it so that it resembles stone pavers or other types of real rock. There is no limitation to the designs you can achieve with quality concrete overlay.
2. Concrete Pavers
Concrete pavers are tiles premanufactured in specific shapes, sizes, and colors. You can install pavers that remble brick or other surfaces.
They also are easy to install, since they do not require grout between each one. Joints are filled with fine sand or polymeric sand, and they do need a level concrete base to rest on.
This also helps create a permeable surface that allows water to pass through. This can make concrete pavers ideal for flat surfaces that would otherwise be prone to water accumulation.
The flip side is that the pavers can shift over time, especially if they are not installed properly. This also allows weeds to spring up in between joint. For this reason, it is important to hire a professional installer who lays the right subbase to limit these instances.
3. Composite Pavers
Composite pavers work very much like concrete ones. They are made of recycled plastics and rubber which creates a durable surface that is pleasant to walk on.
The materials are very light, which makes them easy to install. Also, the color and pattern options for composite pavers are almost endless.
Like concrete pavers, composite ones rely on a completely level concrete underlayment. However, they usually do not demand the use of sand, since they can be cut to fit snugly together.
4. Brick Overly
Human beings have been building with bricks for about 9,000 years. Brick is very durable and can tolerate extreme weather conditions. It does not fade easily, so color trends are reliable.
Brick also is very versatile, allowing you to choose a variety of colors and patterns. You are not restricted to the standard rectangular shape with brick. Pavers can be cut in almost any shape or design.
Brick overlay is a very budget-friendly option as well. It will cost much less than stone or similar options.
Brick is also ideal for adding height to any patio or walkway. While this is generally desirable, keep in mind that it can be a drawback if you are concerned about door clearance.
Flagstone is a broad term that describes different types of sedimentary rocks. These include slate, sandstone, limestone, basalt, and quartzite.
One of the biggest advantages of flagstone is that, because it is readily available, it is a more economical alternative to other types of stone. Flagstone comes in different colors, textures, and styles.
You cannot manipulate flagstone in the same manner as many other types of materials on this list, but that is not why most people choose it. It is popular since it gives a natural-looking aesthetic to your existing concrete patio, walkway, or other surface.
6. Exposed Aggregate
Exposed aggregate is another type of concrete surface, but it deserves its own mention. That is because is a very specific technique to uncover and–as the name suggests–expose large stones and other aggregate mixed into concrete. This gives the surface more texture and a distinct appearance from the standard gray slab of typical concrete surfaces.
There are different types of aggregate intended for this purpose. These include gravel, basalt, crushed stone, decorative stone, and even crushed glass. You also can use granite and limestone to achieve a unique hue.
You also can choose how much or how little aggregate you expose. This too allows you to achieve a specific look and level of traction.
7. Top Cast Concrete Finish
Top cast finish is one of those concrete resurfacing ideas that fly below the radar. For quick and easy resurfacing, it is a great choice.
Unlike traditional methods of pouring or shoveling concrete onto a surface, this version uses a batch of very wet concrete pumped through hoses and dispensed by a nozzle. It is ideal for curved surfaces or hard-to-reach areas. Another advantage is that you can create a smooth surface or different textures using “knockdown” methods.
Keep in mind that top cast concrete requires an already stable base. It is fantastic for old concrete restoration but needs an existing unlying structure for support.
Get More Concrete Resurfacing Ideas
Now that you have seven concrete resurfacing ideas, you can decide which is right for your project. An experienced contractor can further advise you on the best option for a concrete driveway, patio, walkway, or other surface.
California Clean and Seal provides residential and commercial hardscape and concrete services. We specialize in pavers, stamped concrete flagstone, travertine, exposed aggregate turf, and more. Reach out to us to discuss concrete resurfacing options or schedule service today.