If you’re undergoing a reno for your front steps or backyard patio and have been confused over whether to use concrete versus natural stone, you’re not alone.
In our latest fan question answered by Mike Holmes, HGTV Canada’s Twitter fan @NounouAcheson asks, “@hgtvcanada @Make_It_Right, what are your thoughts on stamped concrete for front steps and backyard patio vs other solutions? Is it durable?”
Mike Holmes replied, “Stamped concrete is basically pouring concrete and stamping it with a pattern to give it texture, so that it looks stone, brick, slate—usually a type of stone. People do it on decks or patios because it’s cheaper than the real thing. But stamped concrete has to be sealed every year. So it requires maintenance. And if it isn’t sealed the warranty is useless. But when it’s sealed it’s slippery, so it’s not the best solution for steps.
Plus, in North America many homeowners use salt on their steps and patio. But salt eats away at concrete, so the texture on the stamped concrete will start to wear away. A better option is interlocking stone with polymeric sand in between all the joints. Always hire a pro to do it. It’s more durable and you have a wide variety of options when it comes to the stones’ colour, shape and thickness. I like concrete, but it sounds like you want texture and stamped concrete isn’t the best way to get it. Go with interlocking stone. It costs more but it looks better, lasts longer and requires less maintenance.