Concrete is well-known as a versatile construction material, used around the globe for commercial and industrial applications by millions of concrete companies.

By applying various materials and finishes, homeowners and designers can modify concrete to create personality and character. There is no other flooring material that boasts this unlimited array of design options.

Before walking you through some ways to put your own stamp on a concrete project, we will first outline a few of the various finishes. These include:

  • Utilizes a speciality broom attachment, which is dragged across the surface to create a rough texture
  • Moving a tamping beam up and down the surface of a concrete floor leaves behind horizontal grooves
  • Achieved by brushing and washing away the top layer to expose the edges of natural aggregates mixed within the concrete
  • Incorporates water softener crystals within its surface that when washed away, leave behind small holes
  • Designed to mimic the look of brick, slate, flagstone, tile and/or wood

You’ll see that each finish has its own distinct look and feel, which can drastically change the overall appearance of concrete, making it look like something you could find either as an apartment floor or swimming pool deck.

wide shot of luxury patio with big couch and plants

Here’s how to personalize each so they are unique to your preferences:

As its name suggests, a broom is essential to crafting this finish. But by running the broom in various directions, you can create decorative effects. Choosing your broom bristle materials carefully (everything from horsehair and polypropylene to wire comb) will also ensure a more unique look. Whether you go for the tried-and-true straight drag, or opt to add character, you’ll end up with a lightly textured surface that’s both safe and attractive to walk on.

Tamped concrete surfaces are incredibly anti-slip, and they make it safer for concrete surfaces on an incline or that are likely to get wet. Tamped concrete also has improved drainage qualities that can help avoid water pooling. Put your own spin on a tamped surface by spacing out the grooves however you like. A spacing of between 20-30mm between grooves with a height of 5mm is considered standard.

Go a slightly different route with this finish by opting to broadcast decorative polished glass or luminescent material into the concrete to achieve a shimmery effect. You can also combine exposed aggregate with other coloring techniques, such as integral color and topical stain.

Choosing differently sized rock salt crystals (anywhere from 1/8″ – 1/3″ will impact the size of the holes left behind once the salt washes away. This finish is especially popular for swimming pool decks.

This finish lets you choose from different stone and brick patterns – and it’s also possible to customize the color to complement your home and landscape by using stains, powdered pigments, antiquing agents and integral color. A stamped driveway will also stand out with a decorative border in a contrasting color and pattern.

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