If you are tired of the plain, dull grayness of your concrete stairs, you can add some designs on it to add depth and dimension to your stairs. There are a number of decorative concrete designs in the market that you can use for your stairs as well as stains of various colors to add a marble or stone like look to it. Your choices will include etchings, acid stains, stamped concrete and overlays. However there are several considerations that you need to take in designing your stairs. One of these is the fact that decorative finishes for concrete are difficult to do. In creating the finishes, strong chemicals are needed which are impossible to adjust or remove once they are applied. If you do not have a skill on applying such finishes, it would be better if you could get the help of a professional. You also need to make sure that a no skid finish will be applied to prevent any accidents.
1. Decorative Finish
A decorative concrete finish is easier to clean than bare concrete. If your stairs is installed outdoor, you can just use a pressure washer to rid it of dirt and grime. Indoor stairs can be cleaned with just a wet mop.
A variety of designs can be created with decorative concrete finish as well. Elaborate rugs can be stenciled on while bricks can be simulated with stamped concrete. However, you cannot hide or cover flaws on concrete with the addition of stains and etchings. If there are cracks or worn areas on your steps, they will still be noticeable even if you apply a decorative design. So before you think about utilizing a design, it might be well to have your concrete stairs repaired first.
2. Choosing a Color Scheme
The method that is used for coloring exterior concrete can be used in concrete stairs. Aside from staining, the other popular choices include integral color and dry shake color hardener. To produce a more unique effect, you can combine these techniques to produce variations in marbling and color.
For stamped concrete, the most common design methods are integral color and color hardener. Concrete stairs are easier to integrate with color because of the vertical step faces. If you want to have the durability and color rich characteristics of a dry shake, you can mix the hardener with concrete bonding and water to form a paste before applying.
3. Picking a Pattern
Hundreds of stamped patterns for concrete stairs are available on the market. These include brick, slate and cobblestone. You can have a wildlife or botanical theme as well. Since the stamping mats that are used to produce these concrete stampings are made from the actual materials they are copying, a realistic result is often achieved. You can make your design more impressive by extending it to include the landing and sidewalk as well. This is aided by a seamless transition from the flat areas into your concrete stairs, which is made possible by using texture skins or slim flex mats that are made in the same pattern as the stamping mats.