Actually, deciding which option is best for you depends on the overall look and feel you want to create. It also depends on the state of your concrete – whether it’s freshy poured or already hardened. For the ones with finished concrete, stenciling offers a do-it-yourself way to dress up concrete floors and patios. For others, stamping is the way to go when freshly poured concrete has not yet hardened.
The Stamped Concrete
Concrete stamping, with a dye added to the concrete, recreates the look of an individually paved, brick or stone driveway. Concrete stamping must be finished before the fresh concrete sets. Color hardeners and release agents go onto the concrete before the stamping begins.
Laborers must be experienced in this kind of work. Workers must also work quickly to complete the stamping with large polyurethane forms before the concrete hardens. After stamping, laborers complete any detail work, remove residual release agents, add a curing compound, install joints and, finally, seal the concrete.
The Stenciled Concrete
The stencils create the mortar joints in the concrete, depending upon the look you choose, bricks, tiles or pavers. Different from Stamped Concrete, stenciled concrete allows to DIY. Stencils are easier for workers to apply because stencils are made from disposable paper.
Because workers don’t need to be on the slab while creating stencils, larger areas can be completed at one time when compared with stamping concrete. Stenciled concrete works best when looking for more stable surfaces on patios to support furniture.
Differences Between Stamping and Stenciling
Stamped concrete requires the use of large polyurethane forms that stamp the image into the concrete, while contractor stenciling involves adding paper to the concrete that follows the mortar joints of the chosen pattern.
Stenciling is an easier process when compared with stamping because it can be applied by workers without a lot of experience, working from outside the concrete forms.
Stamped concrete is best for outdoor surfaces, while stenciled concrete can be used indoors and out.
About the cost, normally, average installed prices of stamped concrete range from $7 to $14 per square foot, although more elaborate designs may cost upward of $18 per square foot, As a comparison, stenciled concrete ranges from $15 to $30 per square foot, depending on the dyes, stencils and densifiers used.