If you are considering putting in a different sort of driveway or walkway and you want something more decorative, there are a few different decorative processes. The most common processes purchased by homeowners and installed by contractors are "stamped," "acid-washed," and "faux brick." Here is what makes each of these very different from the next, and why it should matter to you and your project needs.

"Stamped" Concrete

Stamped concrete means that the contractor pours wet cement just as he or she would for slab formation. Then, before the concrete sets, the contractor quickly sets a hard plastic or metal patterning tool on top of the concrete and pushes it into the concrete. Then the tool is lifted and repeated across the poured slab until the entire slab has been "stamped." The concrete then dries and sets with this pattern in it, making it look like every stone or brick was laid individually. It is the least expensive process used to get a cobblestone or river stone look to your walkway or driveway.

"Faux Brick" Concrete

The faux brick process is similar to stamped concrete in that you will achieve similar results. The biggest difference, however, is that the faux brick process requires the contractor to use molds for the concrete. He or she pours the concrete into a mold that creates separate forms in the same casting. Once the concrete in the form/mold sets, the entire mold is turned upside down into a thin layer of very wet concrete, which acts as the glue for the faux bricks. The lines between these bricks are more clearly defined than they are in the stamped process, thereby creating an even better illusion that you have a brick or cobblestone path. Since it is more time-consuming than stamping, it is a little more expensive than stamping, but less expensive than the acid-washed process.

"Acid-Washed" Concrete

Acid-washed concrete is slab concrete that receives a wash of chemicals over the top right before it is fully cured. The chemicals glaze, "burn" and color the concrete such that it takes on the appearance of other types of rock. Faux marble is one such example of acid-washed concrete and it is very popular with businesses as well as with homeowners because of its very rich appearance. Because of the chemicals involved, it is more dangerous and costly, but if you want a very striking driveway or walkway, then acid-washed concrete is worth the price. Contact a local contractor, like J & M Caucci Concrete, for more information.