12.03.2019

Many people opt to transform their back garden or outdoor space with some traditional wood decking. However, a pattern imprinted concrete deck could actually be a much more effective alternative. As not only does it require less cleaning and maintenance while still being as aesthetically pleasing as traditional decking, it also comes with other benefits too...

Pattern imprinted concrete is actually a fantastic option for anyone who is looking to maximise their outdoor space, whether to relaxing or entertaining.  It manages to combine the very best features of both a patio paving and decking.

The common issues with traditional wood decking

Wood decking has always been one of the most popular materials used by homeowners to enhance their outdoor space or garden, largely because it’s relatively easy to install and looks impressive.

But there are a few common issues with traditional wood decking, including:

  • It can be all too easy for poorly protected wooden decking to rot or become discoloured, thanks to the rainy and drizzly UK weather.
  • It can often require a complete repaint, in order to make sure that it keeps its aesthetics.
  • Speaking of the rain, it can also become very slippery, especially in the winter months.
  • If boards or planks haven’t been installed correctly, they can often warp or raise up.
  • It generally requires a fair bit of maintenance and upkeep, and tends not to be as long lasting.
  • It’s quite susceptible to weeds, as they can grow through the planks, as well as moss and algae.
  • Protective coating needs to be applied to it at least once a year.

What is pattern imprinted concrete decking?

The popularity of pattern imprinted concrete has gone from strength to strength, not only as driveway and patio paving option, but also as an alternative to wooden decking too. It comes with all the benefits of a concrete patio, combined with the aesthetics and appeal of traditional decking.

It’s a hugely flexible and gorgeous looking surface material, which is perfectly suited to either a more traditional or more contemporary design aesthetic. It also comes with non of the issues associated with wooden decking.

The benefits of pattern imprinted concrete decking

Concrete patios can be a very practical and cost-effective solution to sprucing up your outdoor area, and they won’t discolour or need coating again every year, after the winter season.

There are a number of benefits included with pattern imprinted concrete, such as:

  • It’s very low maintenance, so you won’t have to handle the hassle of constantly cleaning and coating it like wooden decking.
  • It has a much longer life-span due to requiring minimal care.
  • It’s very flexible, allowing you to add additional features easily, and it can be poured into any shape required.
  • It will never warp like wood in wet conditions, or if it’s placed around ponds, or other water features.
  • It’s incredibly easy to install and combines durability with an amazing looking finish.

If you’re looking to enhance your outdoor space with pattern imprinted concrete, our highly experienced staff at Premier Surfacing are ready and waiting to provide you with this perfect surface solution.  

For more information, or for a free quotation please contact us today on 01952840838.

Published: March 2019

I can truly say that I could not wish to have worked with a more impressive and professional contractor than Premier Surfacing. Thank you all for all your hard work.

Mr Ezea
Shrewsbury
26.10.2017
One of the most frequent questions we receive is whether block paving or pattern imprinted concrete is the right choice for patios and driveways. And of course the answer depends entirely on the project. To give a clearer picture of whether block paving or imprinted concrete is the right choice for your residential property, here’s an overview of both materials.  

Durability

Both offer the same amount of durability but because pattern imprinted concrete is monolithic it will not sink which is what can happen with block paving if a suitable sub base is not installed, or low quality slabs are used. However, the sealant on pattern imprinted concrete can deteriorate more quickly than usual if it sees a significant amount of traffic.  

Maintenance & Repair

Pattern imprinted concrete does not suffer from weed, moss or grass growth as there’s no space for the matter to push through. However, this can happen with block paving due to the nature of the installation and the tiny gaps between the blocks. For this reason block paving requires more maintenance to keep it looking good. Pattern imprinted concrete simply needs resealing every few years. On the other hand, block paving is much easier to repair as individual blocks can be replaced if they become cracked or broken. Pattern imprinted concrete is much trickier to repair and it can be difficult to repair small areas without it being extremely obvious and ruining the overall aesthetic. So it can become quite expensive to repair if the whole area needs to be redone.  

Aesthetic Quality

It could be argued that block paving delivers a superior aesthetic however, the whole point of patterned imprinted concrete is to mimic the look of block paving so you’re going to end up with a similar standard whichever one you opt for. Both offer a range of designs, styles and colours to work with to create your perfect outdoor area. However, it does depend on who is installing the materials. Pattern imprinted concrete can look inferior if not aligned properly.  

Environmental Issues

Because block paving can be provided as a permeable option, it requires no additional drainage and will comply with planning regulations that relate to front gardens and resurfacing. However, because pattern imprinted concrete is non-permeable, it does need proper drainage solutions to comply with planning regulations.  

Price

Price is a deciding factor for lots of people so it’s good to know which is the most cost-effective option to consider. It’s generally considered that pattern imprinted concrete is the cheaper option but it depends on the size and scale of the project. Contact us at premier Surfacing to get a quote, we’re block paving specialists and can also create beautiful pattern imprinted concrete driveways for you.
Published: October 2017

Thank you for the work you carried out on our driveway, it has totally transformed the appearance of our property. I certainly would not hesitate in recommending premier Surface.

Mr Palmer
Admaston, Telford
18.05.2017
Imprinted concrete driveways are an extremely popular choice for driveways up and down the country as more and more homeowners are seeing the benefit of the product. Imprinted concrete driveways are incredibly aesthetically pleasing but also are very hardwearing and durable. When you’re having your new imprinted concrete driveway, there are a few things to consider and that you should pay close attention to.

What Are The Main Benefits Of A New Driveway? The Quality of The Print

You need to ensure that the quality of your print is up to standard. Because fresh concrete is being used rather than concrete block paving or stone cobbles, you have a few variables to consider. Warm weather can cause the concrete to set prematurely which means you won’t be able to get a high quality, detailed print. Having enough printing mats and being able to work quickly is also essential to ensure the quality of print.

What Are The Main Benefits Of A New Driveway? Ensuring Durability

Imprinted concrete driveways should stand the test of time, but only if it’s installed correctly from the outset. The mix of concrete, your sub-base, thickness and compaction all come into play and can be the difference between your driveway being able to cope with regular foot and vehicle traffic, or not.

What Are The Main Benefits Of A New Driveway? Keeping the Colour Consistent

Everyone wants their driveway to look great and a massive part of having an attractive looking driveway is ensuring the colour is kept consistent throughout. To do so you’ll need adequate colour surface hardener and release agent. Obviously for a larger surface area you need to increase the percentage of colour surface hardener that you use. Here at Premier Surfacing, we install imprinted concrete driveways that not only look amazing and match the aesthetics of your home, but also stand the test of time. Our driveways come with a guarantee for complete peace of mind. Take a look at our previous work or get in contact to discuss your next project 01952 840 838.
Published: May 2017

I can truly say that I could not wish to have worked with a more impressive and professional contractor than Premier Surfacing. Thank you all for all your hard work.

Mr Ezea
Shrewsbury
25.04.2017
There are many benefits to be gained by using pattern imprinted concrete (PIC).  This technique is becoming more and more popular with people who want a decorative and professional finish to their external hard standings such as drive ways or garden patios, but who do not want the problems that are usually associated with these such as weeds, movement, stains and cracks or chips.  Both in the commercial and private sector demand is increasing and it’s easy to see why; rather than individual elements, a monolithic concrete slab is laid.  

This then has various dyes and a hardener applied to the surface before the desired pattern is ‘stamped’ into the concrete using special templates.  The finished article is an area that has the appearance of tiles or paving (the options are countless) but is cast from one solid slab.

One of the key benefits is the diversity of the patterns and options that are available.  The finishes on offer can range from a simple gravel or slate effect, to intricate circular designs which use different colours and effects.  Of course it goes without saying that the more complicated the design, the higher the cost will be for the installation, but some level of customisation will be available even with the most basic of designs.  When choosing a contractor to carry out the work, remember that this is a specialist operation, and cannot be undertaken by contractors with little or no experience.

If the pattern is complicated it is vital to request to see samples of previously completed work and to ask for customer testimonials or references to ensure that the contractor has suitable experience.  Concrete slabs are difficult and costly to dispose of and there is only one opportunity to get the pattern right!

Another key benefit is that pattern imprinted concrete is more or less impermeable.  The two most frustrating factors of a traditional paved drive are the weeds that grow through the joints and the water that washes away the bedding material and creates wonky or rocking slabs.  With a solid surface these two problems simply vanish making maintenance of the pattern imprinted concrete incredibly simple.  Care must be taken to provide adequate drainage for the water run off as there will be no absorption.  A simple gully or channel drain will do the trick if drainage is required.

Finally, one of the most attractive benefits of pattern imprinted concrete is its lifespan.  An initial outlay should see the concrete last for 20 years as long as it is properly maintained.  It is worth noting that installation is definitely a long term investment and any design or pattern should be able to stand the test of time.  A transparent sealing coat will be applied after the completion of the slab and this will have to be re-applied periodically depending on use.  For a driveway this will be more frequently than a garden patio for example.
Published: April 2017

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
25.04.2017

decorative concrete
Changing the look and feel of your house can seem like a daunting task.  If you want to spruce up the appearance of your garden or drive, you may imagine all kinds of destructive and disruptive work.  However, with modern technology, it is very easy to completely change the look and character of your house by making simple changes to your existing concrete.  Decorative concrete resurfacing has become increasingly popular and there are a number of different options to choose from.  The best option for you will depend largely on a number of factors including the existing surface, your budget and the overall desired effect. The main decision that will need to be made is whether you will be overlaying with a new product, or changing the finish of the existing concrete.  There are several ways to change the appearance of an existing concrete slab, but they will only be visually effective if the slab is in good repair to begin with.  Cracked or broken concrete will either have to be repaired first, or simply overlaid. If you have decided to modify the original slab, there are a number of techniques that can be used that will make a real difference to the look of the concrete.  One option is to acid etch the concrete.  This is a technique that uses acid to react with the concrete and create various affects such as natural stone and wood.  It is often used in conjunction with dyes to create stunning finishes that are both professional looking and durable.  Another option is to physically engrave the concrete, again this technique is used along side dyes and stains to mimic various paving and stone patterns. It is also possible to overlay the existing concrete.  Concrete stamping is when a new slab is cast over the original.  This is then dyed and stamped with various patterns to create a large array of different colours and finish options.  Sometimes called pattern imprinted concrete, this is gaining popularity in both personal and commercial settings. Once you have decided on your preferred method of decorative concrete resurfacing, the next step is to find a competent contractor.  This type of work is highly skilled and it is very important to appoint a contractor who has the right experience and who is able to produce high quality work.  Make sure that you view some samples and do some research before making a decision.  It may even be a good idea to view some examples of work that are 5 or 10 years old.  This will give you a good idea of the durability and maintenance required to keep the slabs in their best condition.
Published: April 2017

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
25.04.2017

Concrete block paving (CBP) and pattern imprinted concrete (PIC) – which one is the better choice for you? This will of course depend on your personal requirements and the functionality of your new driveway.

Each and every driveway is somewhat different from the next and each may serve a totally different purpose. So which of these options should you choose? Find out by taking a closer look at these two concrete choices for your new driveway.

Concrete Block Paving

Concrete block paving first came into fashion during the 1970's with a limited choice of colours and design styles. Since then the market has expanded massively and the industry itself has developed along with it.

Now there is a whole range of products and styles available to you, from traditional to contemporary designs. You now have a variety of colours, textures and materials to choose from to create your perfect driveway.

The Pros and Cons of Block Paving

Block paving offers an attractive and long-term finish to complement any property. With the amount of choices available to you, there really is something to suit every taste and desire. Therefore, the most obvious benefit of CBP is the aesthetic appeal. The material is also extremely durable and will last a very long time with proper maintenance.

Movement is also relatively simple, should you need to uplift a section of your driveway and/or relocate. Areas can be reinstalled with minimal fuss, so you don’t have to worry about the possibility of having to ruin all of your hard work.

Block paving can be supplied as permeable too, so there is no requirement for additional drainage efforts.

The only significant drawback to CBP arises with the use of an incorrect sub-base material. If your driveway appears to be sunken or movement occurs then this is a good sign that the subbase material is unsuitable. This should not be a problem if you use an experienced and professional surfacing company, such as Premier Surfacing Ltd.

Imprinted Concrete

In comparison, pattern imprinted concrete is relatively new to the industry but the trend is ever growing in popularity. The process involves pouring a layer of concrete over a suitable subbase and then colour is applied before being hardened.

The wet concrete will then have a patterned matt applied to it in order to create your desired effect. The main aim of this material is to replicate another and therefore provide a more interesting finish to plain concrete.

The Pros and Cons of Imprinted Concrete

This is a very popular alternative for many people due to the magnificent finish and image it provides. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the material’s ability to cover large areas of land quickly. When compared with CBP, PIC has just as many design options but the finished product can sometimes be lacking in aesthetic appeal if the patterned matts aren’t aligned properly.

The main downside to pattern imprinted concrete is that it can be prone to occasional cracking, which can become an issue if left to develop over time. Extra consideration should also be taken towards drainage as PIC is non-permeable.

Without adequate drainage your driveway will not meet planning regulations for surfacing gardens and if any service work is required underground you will have to rip out the PIC and re-patch it again once finished.

The sealant used on PIC will need to be reapplied every 2-4 years, especially on a driveway with heavy traffic. So this choice of material is not the most durable and will require some level of frequent maintenance. This sealant can make the surface slippery in cold weather conditions too, making it slightly dangerous for the elderly and children alike.

Which One is Best for You?

As you can see above, both materials have their own advantages and drawbacks, but PIC perhaps shows more cons and therefore acts as the inferior option. CBP allows you to choose from a multitude of shapes, colours, styles and finishes for the ultimate tailored driveway.

Ultimately though, your decision will depend on your personal taste, requirements and budget. If you still can’t decide though, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help!

Published: April 2017

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
24.04.2017
There are lots of ways to get creative with driveway and patio designs beyond the standard tarmac or asphalt options. Both of these make for practical, long lasting quality surfaces, but there are plenty off opportunities beyond them to enhance the appearance of your home. Here are just a few ideas...

Choose A Different Base

Block Paving and Imprinted Concrete are two popular choices when it comes to designing unique patios and driveways. Block paving allows for a range of different designs, patterns and shapes in either a traditional or contemporary style. You can choose the colour, texture and material of your individual blocks to create a completely personalised and bespoke finish. The block paving can be as simple or as intricate as you like. The beauty is in the complete versatility it brings. Imprinted concrete is made by pouring concrete onto the area and then adding colour and a printed design whilst the concrete is still wet. You can choose from a range of designs, opting for the one that suits your home and personal taste.

Lighting

Many homeowners are choosing to add lighting features to their patios and driveways for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the addition of lighting can help with safety and security, as illuminating your drive or patio can deter burglars and thieves. But in addition to helping keeping your property secure, lighting features also allow you to get creative with the exterior of your home. Options include overhead lighting, solar spotlights, rope lighting to line a walkway or coloured lighting to create a certain mood... The world is your oyster when it comes to lighting!

Get Creative With Your Features

Incorporating interesting or unusual features in your patio or driveway can allow you to achieve a really creative and attractive end result. Standing out from the crowd with the exterior of your home is never a bad thing, and there are so many different things you can add to achieve this. Whether it’s gravel pits, stone features, dedicated walkways, statues or whatever you want - let your imagination run wild! As domestic and commercial surfacing specialist we can help you create the patio or driveway of your dreams - however creative you want!  Contact Us today to get started.
Published: April 2017

We’re very happy our new imprinted concrete driveway, the quality of workmanship is second to none and we would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all.

Anita Hancock
Shropshire
24.04.2017
Pattern imprinted concrete and block paving are two of the most popular choices for driveways and patios. They offer something a little more interesting than plain concrete or tarmac. But how do you choose between imprinted concrete or block paving? And how do you know which one is best for you? First of all, the methods for each driveway option are completely different: Pattern Imprinted Concrete - a suitable sub-base is laid down and then a layer of concrete is poured over the top. Your chosen colour is applied and whilst the concrete is still wet, a specific pattern is imprinted to create your chosen effect. Block Paving - individual bricks or blocks are laid down in a predetermined pattern. You can choose the colour and material of the bricks, as well as the design of the overall pattern. There are pros and cons to each driveway choice but overall, they are both excellent options to choose. We’ll have a look at the similarities and differences of both types of finish.

Durability

Block paving is extremely durable, slightly more so than pattern imprinted concrete. However, over time, and if the blocks aren't laid properly, they can start to spread or loosen. Some sink-age can occur with specific blocks too if a heavy vehicle is parked for long stretches or if there is heavy foot traffic. Pattern imprinted concrete won't spread or loosen because of the solid base that is formed, however, it does have a shorter shelf life overall.

Installation

Pattern imprinted concrete has a little bit of a quicker installation process which is reflected in the price, compared to block paving. You can cover a large area fairly quickly via pattern imprinted concrete whereas block paving is a slightly more laboured process.

Maintenance

Both types of finishes do require some maintenance to ensure that they retain their longevity and that they stay looking well. Pattern imprinted concrete requires the sealant to be reapplied every 2-4 years, whereas with block paving you really just need to give it a clean and a brush to keep it looking good, although beware of weeds...

Weeds

These nuisances find their way into seemingly every nook and cranny! There’s more chance of this happening with block paving simply due to the tiny gaps that will be left between each block or brick. While these gaps are perfectly normal and just occur where each block meets the next, it does mean that pesky weeds can sneak their way in. You just have to stay on top of the maintenance to keep them at bay. Whilst weeds can occur with pattern imprinted concrete, the likelihood is very very low. Price Block paving is more expensive than pattern imprinted concrete because you’re buying individual bricks rather than just concrete and colour. However, block paving is more durable and is cheaper to repair, so that’s something to factor in when weighing up the price difference.

Drainage

Block paving requires no additional drainage and is classed as a permeable option. Pattern imprinted concrete however is a non-permeable option which means you must incorporate proper drainage solutions. This is vital to comply with garden and patio regulations that are in place.

Repair/access

Block paving bricks can be easily lifted up, and replaced, if access is needed underneath or the bricks need repairing. There is minimal disruption and once the blocks are replaced it usually looks as good as new. With pattern imprinted concrete it’s a bit trickier to gain access underneath and afterwards, can look a little disjointed. It’s much easier to tell when you’ve had to repair pattern imprinted concrete which leads some people to have the whole driveway or patio replaced. This can obviously be very expensive.

Aesthetics

Most people generally prefer the look of block paving compared to pattern imprinted concrete. That isn’t to say that pattern imprinted concrete doesn’t look good. Quite the opposite in fact. You can create intricate designs that attempt to mirror the look of block paving or Indian stones in a more time-effective and slightly cheaper way.

Conclusion

Whether you choose block paving or pattern imprinted concrete, you need to ensure that you use a reputable, skilled paving company who can do the job to a high standard. Then, no matter which option you choose, you’ll be happy with the result. There are some differences between the two options and whether these affect your decision will depend entirely on your own circumstances. We’re specialists in block paving and pattern imprinted concrete, so whichever you choose we can both help from offering advice right through to laying your chosen surface.  Contact us to discuss your requirements and we can get started on your perfect exterior today!
Published: April 2017

I would not hesitate in recommending Premier Surfacing to all of my family and friends. A first class job done.

Mr & Mrs Naggington
Market Drayton