Concrete Design Ideas for New Concrete Driveways
A freshly poured concrete driveway is a blank canvas for a variety of decorative designs. With a new driveway, your options for color, pattern, and texture are many. Here is a list of surface design options to consider for new concrete driveways.
Newly poured driveways can be integrally colored, where color is added into the concrete mix at the ready mix plant. With integrally colored concrete, the entire batch of concrete is colored all the way through. The biggest advantage is that the color extends throughout the entire slab. If the surface is chipped or marred in the future, the color will not wear or fade away.
Another option with newly poured concrete is customization with stamp patterns. Fresh concrete can be stamped or textured to resemble brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile and even wood.
Concrete can be colored with topically applied acid stains. Rich, earth-toned colors can give a custom look to concrete driveways.
Exposing the aggregate in concrete can give the look of granite or marble to a concrete driveway. The decorative aggregate, either natural or manufactured, is exposed before the concrete has completely cured and hardened. The look is very natural and very unique.
Rock Salt Finish
A rock salt finish is a traditional and easy method for adding subtle texture and skid resistance to plain or colored concrete. Considered a step above smooth or broom-finished concrete, a salt finish leaves a speckled pattern of shallow indentations on the concrete surface, similar to the appearance of slightly pitted, weathered rock.
Engraved concrete incorporates the use of special tools and equipment to etch patterns and designs into existing concrete. Engraving is a permanent treatment that won't wear away or lose bond because the patterns are carved into the concrete rather than applied on top of it.
Concrete stencils make it easy to enhance concrete driveways. Stenciling concrete often requires less time and can be more cost effective than stamping. The process is completed while the concrete is still in its plastic state, but instead of rubber stamps, stenciling uses disposable paper stencils to impart the pattern. Because the stencils mask off the underlying surface, they leave behind realistic "mortar joints" the color of the gray concrete base.