Fixing Your Concrete Driveway

Decorative Ideas For A Concrete Patio

by Gavin Jackson

Pouring a new concrete patio gives you the opportunity to move beyond the same, old, boring gray slab. There are plenty of ways you can jazz up the look of your patio with the right building materials. The following are a few ideas that you may want to incorporate into your patio.


Changing the color of the concrete is one of the simplest yet most immediately striking things you can do with your new patio. There are two main options when it comes to adding color. Concrete dyes are integrated into the concrete during the mixing stage. The result is a consistent color throughout, so you don't have to worry about chipping. Stains are applied after the concrete cures. The benefit of stains is that you can opt for varied colors over the surface instead of a consistent color throughout. There is really no limit to the color choices, whether you use dye or stain.


Texture is another easy way to improve the look of the patio. Stamping must be done before the concrete cures. There are a variety of different stamp designs, from simple texturing treatments to in-depth stamps that make concrete look like cobblestone, flagstone, or even tile. Stamps are often combined with color so that the concrete doesn't even look like concrete once it dries, but instead resembles a stone or tile patio.


Stone aggregate is another way to add texture and color to concrete. This is usually combined with a resin and applied as a top layer over the concrete pad. The result is a permanent gravel surface that has the longevity of concrete. You can choose from pebbles and stones of any size, color, or shape so you end up with just the design you want. Aggregate can also be used to form a stone mosaic on top of the concrete surface.


Another way to improve the look of your patio is to have decorative standing elements poured at the same time as the patio. Concrete forms are used to make low walls, fire rings, or even integrated seating on the patio. There are cardboard forms available for simple elements, or you can have custom wooden forms made so that pouring the concrete to your specifications is easier.

For more help in picking the right building materials for your concrete project, talk with a concrete supplier or contractor in your area.