If you are having a new concrete patio installed, why not try something new instead of going with a traditional but boring gray slab. There are a multitude of different ways you can add interest to the patio, without a lot of extra time or expense. The following are a few ideas to get you started.
Add a pop of color
Concrete is light enough in color that it is relatively simple to tint. Special concrete dyes are available in a vast range of colors. Unlike paint, which is applied after the concrete cures, dyes are mixed into the concrete before it is poured. This means it will not fade or wear off over time. Even if the concrete is chipped, the color will remain true throughout. You can opt for a dark slate gray for a striking look or a bright terracotta if you want the look of a clay patio. You can even combine different colors, such as by adding a dark blue border to a medium-gray main patio. Just keep in mind that the more colors you use, the more stages the concrete will have to be poured in.
Stamp a design
Concrete stamping can be used to completely change the look of your patio so it doesn't even look like concrete anymore. Stamps come in a variety of shapes and designs. The simplest give the patio the look of bricks or paving stones, but without all the time and effort it would take to use real bricks or stones. You can also have texture stamped in, such as swirls or geometric designs. There are even mosaic stamps, which allow you to do a fully realized shape, such as a sunburst or a compass rose. When combined with dying, you can make a design really pop, or even create a concrete patio that looks like real stone.
Install a mosaic
Bits of pretty rocks or tiles can be pressed into the concrete to create a mosaic effect. One common yet quick way of doing this is to have aggregate mixed in with the concrete, then have it applied in a specific pattern — such as only around the border. You can also have the tiles or stone pressed in to create a full design. Mosaic methods like these can be used in conjunction with dyed concrete, but they aren't usually suitable for stamping unless the design is carefully worked out in advance.
For more ideas, contact a concrete supplier in your area.