That’s right! A concrete overlay can give your ugly concrete patio, floor, or pool deck a makeover.
From a simple resurfacing to something quite decorative, the possibilities are amazing!
Being a concrete contractor since the early ’80s, I’ve seen a lot of concrete that needs a new surface.
Back then there wasn’t much for user-friendly products that would allow you to easily resurface a worn out, ugly looking concrete floor, patio, sidewalk, or deck.
But now, that’s all changed!
With today’s “just add water” bag mixes and “polymer modified” additives, it’s really quite easy to do a concrete makeover.
WHAT’S THIS CONCRETE OVERLAY STUFF MADE OF?
Most all manufactures of these overlay products have their own proprietary blends.
All you really need to know is there’s a blend of portland cements, various aggregates and polymer resins.
It’s the polymers in the overlays that make them special. The polymers are the “glue” that help make these products very strong and provide a tenacious bond to the existing concrete.
HOW DO YOU OVERLAY CONCRETE?
Well, like I said, it is quite easy. But you do need some training and practice before you just dive in on a project.
Some things to consider:
The concrete being resurfaced has to be structurally sound. If it’s badly cracked, settled or soft and powdery you’re probably going to want to replace it instead.
The surface preparation is essential if you want the overlay to last!
What you want for a finished look will determine which overlay product you use. Some overlays can be as thin as paper and some can be measured in inches.
CAN AN OVERLAY BE DECORATIVE?
Yes, this decorative overlay replaced old carpet and tile in a hotel lobby. The project totaled 4500 sq. ft. of stamped and hand-carved stones. The overlay material was a total of 1/4 inch thick over an old concrete floor.
Decorative concrete overlay with a stone pattern
This stamped concrete overlay was installed over an old, worn concrete patio that sloped towards the house. We resurfaced the concrete with our overlay, stamped a cobblestone pattern into it, and pitched the overlay away from the house to shed water.
Stamped concrete overlay with a cobblestone pattern
Micro-toppings and skim coats are ultra-thin, usually 3/16 inch or less. This type of overlay is used to resurface concrete floors to repair small imperfections or give the concrete a “new” canvas that can be stained like the one to the right.
A spray down or sprayed on the concrete overlay is great when you need some texture on the surface for slip-resistance or if you use a stencil to create a pattern like the one below.
Interior overlays are used when a concrete floor needs to be resurfaced and the owner wants an acid stained look or a polished appearance. These materials are so versatile you can get really creative.
Interior concrete overlay with a polished and stained appearance
Self-leveling overlays can fix a floor that’s not level. They dry very fast and can be walked on in a couple of hours. Some self-levelers can be polished and dyed for a great fast track finished floor.
Concrete resurfacing using an overlay can make an old, cracked, and pitted concrete patio look new again. This patio, I repaired the small cracks, lightly ground the surface, applied the overlay with a hand trowel at about 1/16 inch thick, then dragged a broom across the overlay to give it a broomed finished look.