For our new construction of custom driveways, entryways, and sidewalks we begin with a minimum of a four inch structural slab that is reinforced with ½” reinforcing rod and 2 ¼” structural synthetic fibers utilized for three dimensional support . These long fibers offer much greater crack control than either ½” or ¾” fibers that our competitors use for stamped concrete. This is one of the major advantages we have over other processes, especially paver driveways, paver patios, and regular stamped concrete. Regular stamped concrete can not use structural fibers due to the fact their concrete is poured in one lift. Since we pour ours in two, we have the ability to add more reinforcement than any other process. This added reinforcement is especially beneficial in driveway situations where concrete pavers would have a tendency to settle, and regular stamped concrete could crack. Another plus to this process is we can take the time to get the reinforcement where it needs to be. Since regular stamped concrete is poured all in one shot, there is a major rush and chaos when it comes time to pour, and steel placement can sometimes get overlooked. Many times this results in the steel remaining in the bottom of the slab.
On top of this structural slab, we pour an 1 ½” of integrally colored, 3 dimensionally reinforced, high performance concrete. We have taken the time to design this mix from the ingredients up. This means that we do not rely solely on topical sealers for stain and abrasion resistance. We mix this portion on site to be certain of a high quality mix. This overlay is embossed with a texture and a pattern to create a cast-in-place concrete tile with the look of brick or stone that is guaranteed not to delaminate. The tools that we use are the old fashioned “cookie cutter” type stamps which create the look of individual pieces . The impressions that are made in the concrete to define the pattern are grouted and tooled. We design the saw cuts and construction joints to fall within the grout joints in order to make them less obvious-we do not just indiscriminately cut across the pattern, which is what most companies do. They take the time to layout a pattern, then ruin it with unsightly saw cuts that remain unfilled and can ofter harbor weed growth. Finally the entire surface is rubbed with a grindstone to eliminate any sharp edges that might be uncomfortable for barefoot traffic.
The end result is a product that represents the realistic look and beauty of traditional custom masonry with the durability of heavily reinforced concrete, done in a cost effective way.