Updated: Apr 6
Broom finished concrete certainly has its applications in many hardscape and poolscape projects. Broom finished concrete is an economically feasible, practical and fairly durable solution for adding a lot of usable outdoor space at a reasonable cost. However, you may be planning an upcoming patio installation and considering how you can upgrade that proposed concrete flatwork project.…so that it has a bit more character. Here are a few ideas on how you can add a custom look and feel to a standard concrete patio or walkway.
ADD A LITTLE TEXTURE
Stamped Concrete has become a very popular trend as it offers a middle ground alternative between the cost of a standard broom finished concrete and a paver system installation. Stamped Concrete follows the same general process of poured-in-place concrete flatwork; however, in the final stages a texture is applied to the surface so that the new installation resembles the texture of stone or wood-grain of a plank style construction. The downside is that if used as a pool deck the surface gets really slick when wet so we don't recommend stamped and sealed concrete around a pool.
You can add another element to basic broom finished concrete by picture framing the concrete. Picture framing is the addition of a edged profile to sections of concrete after it has been broom finished. Giving the concrete the look of a picture frame for each section. It takes a little extra work but it is an upgrade from the basic no frills broom finished concrete. See the pic above for an example of picture framed concrete.
Adding concrete color or staining is a simple yet effective treatment to give a standard concrete pad a unique aesthetic. Pigments can be added to the concrete during the mixing process or concrete stain can be applied later. This is a huge benefit of concrete staining…..1). It is very inexpensive and an easy application process and 2). Concrete stain can be applied to any patio or walkway long after installation is complete. 3). It can be done at anytime
The addition of potted plants and flowers can turn a basic broom finished concrete patio from blah to wow.
Outdoor Rugs can add a layer of color and texture to a simple basic broom finished pool deck at a very reasonable cost. Outdoor Rugs range from as little as $40-$50 or upwards of thousands based on material and size. You can add a pop of color with a bright contrasting rug or add something more subdued with a neutral color pallet outdoor rug.
Paver or paving stone borders can help elevate the perception of a standard concrete patio or walkway at a relatively low cost. Paver options vary in material, color, size and texture. This allows for the introduction of a bold contrasting paver along the edge of concrete to create a custom look. Pavers can be aligned in either the fashion of a “soldier course” or a “sailor course” depending on budget/preference. Either way, the effect is pretty bold considering it is a fairly simple installation project. That being said , such a project still requires a properly compacted gravel base as well as the installation of a paver edge restraint and paver jointing sand (preferably polymeric paver locking sand).
Even without physically altering standard finished concrete in any way, lighting can add a dynamic quality to the existing hardscape installation. Well lights are a great option because they can be installed near the edge of a patio or walkway to dramatically animate the space. Many lighting fixtures come with different lamp or guard choices so that light can be directed accordingly. Such lighting can help illuminate zones of high traffic or highlight areas of interest within the landscape.
MIX & MATCH
Any of the above concrete upgrades can be used solely or in combination with one another to match each client’s personal preference/use and create a truly unique outdoor space.
For more information and design tips for your upcoming pool or landscaping project call Pool Pros today @ 920-771-0107. We are here to help answer any questions that you have about your pool, hardscape or landscape installation!