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Stamped concrete is a great way to mimic the look of natural stone, slate, brick, or even wood in your driveway or pathway. And, the best part is, this versatile construction material is extremely durable as well as affordable. If you love the earthy look of slate and want to install Roman slate stamped concrete as a way to extend your outdoor living space, this guide is for you. You’ll get to know the features of the material, its cost, and useful maintenance tips.

What makes Roman slate stamped concrete look so realistic is the way it’s colored to replicate the earthy tones of natural stone. The coloring agent can be mixed into the concrete itself and then applied to the surface. Or, it can be added to the sealer. An experienced contractor or landscape designer can custom blend the colors so well that it’s often difficult to notice the difference between stamped concrete and natural slate. 

And you get the feel of real slate, without worrying about issues such as weathering, heavy traffic, and freeze-thaw exposure. 

What is Roman slate stamped concrete?

stamped concrete
Photo by Bill Wilson on flickr [CC BY 2.0]

A Roman slate stamped concrete surface utilizes dips, ridges, and veins to create an interesting texture skin across the entire structure. It’s generally laid on driveways, pathways, patios, or garage floors. The installation process is simple — comprising mixing, pouring, and stamping.

Slate stamped concrete even allows mixing and matching of materials. For example, you can blend natural stone with it to create a unique concrete patio.

While a Roman slate stamped concrete surface may not add much resale value to your home, it does add a lot of curb appeal –making your home more interesting in the eyes of potential buyers.

Pros and cons of Roman slate stamped concrete

Pros Cons
Aesthetic, durable, and long-lastingMay be made to resemble other hardscape materials, but is not natural slate or stone
Available in different colors, patterns, and textures The continuous hardscape has no room for movement and may crack over time
No hassle of shrinking or expansion due to freeze/thawDuring any repair, it’s difficult to match the original color
Mimics any hardscape surface — from slate to natural stone 
Less labor intensive installation than concrete pavers
More cost-effective than brick or concrete pavers
May be sealed to protect the surface from the elements, and offer slip resistance

Roman slate stamped concrete costs

Many homeowners, especially those on a tight home remodeling budget, choose stamped concrete instead of real stone. Apart from the fact that paving stones are more expensive, costing anywhere from $18 to $40 per square foot, their installation is also more difficult as every piece is laid by hand.

In comparison, stamped concrete is easier to install as you’re simply mixing, pouring, stamping, and coloring the concrete. Such a surface costs around $12 to $18 per square foot — almost half the price of real stone installation. Also, there’s no material wastage as it’s installed in a continuous manner.

Keep in mind that your total cost will depend on the size of the yard, the thickness of the concrete slab, and the complexity of the home improvement project. For example, a 6″ thick concrete slab is more structurally sound than a 4″ slab, and costs more.

Roman slate stamped concrete maintenance

Stamped surfaces generally last really long if properly installed and maintained. Don’t forget that such a surface will require routine cleaning and maintenance depending on the weather conditions and the amount of traffic.

When it comes to cleaning stamped concrete, the best way is to rinse the surface well with a garden hose. Or, you can scrub with a push broom and some liquid dish soap. Make sure you rinse well to remove the soap residue.

If you’re using a pressure washer to remove stains, don’t set it too high as it can damage the sealer or the textured surface. It’s a good idea to hire help for any professional concrete cleaning.

Read more: Step by step guide on concrete floor repair

Is stamped concrete outdated?

roman slate stamped concrete colors
Photo by Bill Wilson on flickr [CC BY 2.0]

No, stamped concrete looks good in all types of patios, driveways, sidewalks, garages, and pathways — improving the curb appeal significantly. It can last for decades if properly maintained, even when exposed to harsh weather conditions. In fact, stamped concrete can be even more durable than ordinary concrete slabs, especially if a color hardener is used.

Does sealing stamped concrete change color?

Once you decide to seal your concrete surface, to block the penetration of dirt, chemicals, oil, and grease, you should apply the protective sealer every 2 to 3 years. A sealer makes the concrete easier to clean and prevents color fading due to continuous UV exposure.

However, keep in mind that penetrating sealers won’t change the look or color of your concrete surface. So, if you’re looking to darken the surface or enhance the color, applying a sealer is not the answer. 

What is the best color for stamped concrete?

Generally speaking, the colors that work best for Roman slate stamped concrete designs include:

  • Gray
  • Camel
  • Terra Cotta
  • Brown
  • Buff

Last thoughts

Slate is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful surface materials. However, natural slate can be very expensive. And, it may not be the most durable material. So, if you want the earthy look of natural slate without getting a sticker shock or compromising on durability, you should opt for Roman slate stamped concrete. It’s more cost-effective and beautifully replicates the patterns and color variations of real slate.

What is Roman slate stamped concrete? was last modified: August 26th, 2021 by Ramona Sinha

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