Stamped concrete is a great alternative to traditional products that are used in designing patios, driveways, walkways, courtyards, pool decks, and other outdoor paved areas. Stones, tiles, bricks, and wood are used by many people because these products are available in so many shapes, colors, textures and sizes. This type of design, however, can be costly because of the individual materials that need to be purchased, as well as the labor to put them all together.

Stamped concrete can have the same look and feel as many of these more commonly used materials. Patterns actually placed onto the surface can give the impression that it is made of stone, tile, brick, or other more expensive masonry. Since you are working with a large area, you also have the opportunity to change up designs within this same area.

Just as if you were using brick, tile or some other traditional product, you will want to think about your outdoor area design and plan carefully. Stamped concrete comes in a variety of colors, so choose one that will blend in with your furniture, other landscape structures, building colors, and plants. The same goes for the texture of the finished area. You can have designs and textures in raised areas of your structure, such as fountains and steps. You can essentially do anything with stamped concrete that you can with stone, brick, tile or any other material. You can also blend the materials. You may want to have a nice stone border around the edge of a concrete patio. However, you don't want to mix up different patterns and textures too much. If you do have different looks for different areas, just make sure they blend well together.

Sometimes, a pattern can be as functional as it is beautiful. Consider functional patterns for garages and pool areas, where the surface can get slick from water or other materials. Having a pattern actually pressed into the concrete not only looks nice, but creates a slightly rougher surface with better grip and traction.

A major advantage of using this material is that it is less expensive than using the more commonly used products for your structures. This means you can probably cover a larger area or do more things in your yard than you may have originally thought. Maybe now you can add that fountain structure or small fish pond in the middle.

Consider stamped concrete for your next outdoor project. It is a versatile, expensive-looking alternative to traditional materials that still allows you to be creative with your design.