The Top Concrete Design Trends for 2018
Getting creative with stencils
Stenciled designs in concrete are going well beyond the use of standard off-the-shelf patterns and borders. More contractors and designers are customizing their stencils to convey a particular theme or to tell a story. Thanks to sophisticated CNC machines that can laser cut elaborate patterns and shapes into sheets of stenciling paper or plastic, contractors are now able to produce custom stencils to suit any design scheme.
Putting a polish on outdated floors
How do you breathe new life into an outdated concrete floor while staying true to its original character? More contractors are stepping up to that challenge by polishing the concrete to remove the old and expose the new. This technique works especially well when existing concrete floors must be blended with newly placed floors or when a floor needs to be restored to serve a new purpose.
Paying homage to nature
More people want the concrete in and around their homes to reflect the surrounding environment by incorporating themes inspired by the natural landscape. On this project, a decorative overlay with an engraved tree motif was installed over an existing concrete driveway to enhance a wooded estate. Another example of a project incorporating elements from nature is this concrete kitchen island. To create the effect of a flowing river and a wave-washed beach, the island was enhanced with many natural embeds, including exposed sand, rock, and petrified wood.
New uses for metallic finishes
Decorative metallic coatings are a popular way to dress up concrete floors. But now contractors are discovering that they can apply these same coatings to concrete counter-tops, vanities, and even sinks to add some glitz and glamour. On this project, a silver metallic coating was applied to a master bathroom sink and vanity with very successful results.
Decorative concrete contractors can achieve incredible results when they work solo, but even the most skilled contractors will admit that the outcome often improves when they collaborate with professional designers and artists. We’re seeing more contractors taking that teamwork approach, resulting in such success stories as a stamped concrete patio that works beautifully with a formal landscape design and a concrete counter-top showcasing the staining mastery of a celebrated artist.
Forming with fabric
Remember the popular grade school art project, where you wrapped string around an air-filled balloon and then popped the balloon after coating the string with glue? Well, that’s similar to the effect you can achieve with fabric forming. Wet concrete is cast against flexible formliners made of plastic sheeting or fabric to create interesting shapes and textures that remain after the forms are removed. Fabric-cast concrete is often distinguished by soft curves and organic surfaces, bringing unique beauty to architectural concrete.