By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com columnist
For homeowners who want to give their existing driveways the look of decorative stamped concrete, the traditional option has been to apply a stamped concrete overlay. But now there is a new method that is not only easier to install, but also makes it possible to achieve a perfect stamped concrete job every time.
StoneCrete tiles look like real stamped concrete after installation except with perfect texture everywhere. You can’t tell they were laid down as tiles.
The tiles fit together like puzzle pieces and are adhered to the surface with a strong epoxy adhesive. Two or three people can install up to 500 square feet a day.
“The StoneCrete Tile System makes it possible for almost anyone to do stamped concrete, even a do-it-yourself homeowner. You can achieve almost perfect texture on every job, with no smooth spots or shallow texture areas where the concrete got too hard before it was stamped,” says Gerry Sadleir of StoneCrete Systems, who introduced his patented system in the Rhino Linings booth earlier this year at World of Concrete. Rhino Linings and StoneCrete Systems will be the sole manufacturers and distributors of this new patented stamped concrete tile system.
What makes Sadleir’s system unique is that the tiles are poured into rubber molds before they are installed. Once they are allowed to dry and cure, the tiles fit together over the surface like puzzle pieces to ensure a seamless installation. The tiles are also slightly flexible so they will conform to uneven surfaces. They can be applied over high spots and low spots and existing cracks and joints after filling them with a crack repair material.
When compared with traditional ¼-inch-thick stamped concrete overlays, the StoneCrete system offers a number of advantages, says Sadleir. “The tiles are slightly thicker (5/16 inch) and are made out of a patented fiber-reinforced cement mixture for extra strength. They are applied with a super-strong epoxy-based tile adhesive and can support up to several tons of weight. They can also be rained on or exposed to traffic immediately after application.”
After tile placement, the joints are filled with a grout mixture, and then the tiles are colored and sealed like traditional stamped concrete.
StoneCrete tile molds come in a choice of three different patterns. After the tiles are installed, you can color them as desired with stains, dyes, and antiquing agents.
After the tiles are laid, the joints between them are filled with grout. Then, as with regular concrete overlays, you can color the tiles with acid stains, water-based stains, and dyes, or antique them by applying a colored antiquing powder mixed with water or a liquid release agent.
“It’s easy to change the color of StoneCrete stamped tiles or regular stamping jobs whenever needed by using our Roll-Top cement product and antiquing system. To protect the finish, StoneCrete tiles should re-sealed every 2 to 5 years, depending on the durability of the sealer used and the amount of traffic,” says Sadleir.
Although the StoneCrete system was designed for residential use, such as driveways, patios, walkways, and pool decks, the tiles are strong enough for commercial applications as well. They also are crack resistant and durable in all weather conditions. “They have been applied on driveways for up to 3 years without a problem in both hot climates above 100 degrees and cold climates below zero,” says Sadleir.