When you think of concrete, do you think of a white slab without any variety, texture or pizzazz?
Well, think again. Concrete has become one of the most versatile hardscape construction materials for Atlanta commercial properties.
Concrete can be stained, stamped, colored, broomed, washed and even seeded with decorative stones. And the best part is concrete costs less than flagstone, pavers or other popular hardscapes.
5 Concrete Finishes For Every Budget
If you have a large commercial hardscaping project and you need to get it done on a budget, consider the different styles of concrete that will dress up your property without breaking the bank.
Here are five concrete finishes that will suit any commercial property manager’s budget.
Standard Gray Broom Finish
This is the most common color and finish we’re used to seeing with concrete. It comes straight from the plant to the truck and to the ground.
The finish can be light or coarse broom. While it’s not fancy, it does provide a non-slip surface, which is why it’s usually done for sidewalks, patios and driveways.
It’s clearly the most budget friendly at $3.50 to $6 per square foot, but it doesn’t provide as much of an aesthetic punch. Save this for your less visible hardscape areas where practicality is the prime purpose.
Some examples are general driveways, hardscape areas in the back of a building or delivery areas.
To create colored concrete, a pigment is added at the plant and mixed in with the load so that the color is fully integrated into the concrete. This ensures the color is mixed through the concrete versus just painted on the surface.
Colored concrete is usually used to highlight a hardscape feature, such as a walkway, and it can be used along with stamped concrete to create a truly pleasing design.
Colored concrete can be used in any application and falls in the middle of the budget scale at $6.50 to $8 per square foot. If your budget has room for decorative concrete, color can provide the most bang for your buck.
An option that adds dimension to a standard concrete surface is exposed aggregate. This multi-step process exposes the aggregate in the concrete mix so small rounded stones are incorporated in there.
Then the concrete surface is brushed before the concrete sets, exposing the texture and slight color variations of the authentic pebbles. This is usually done with a colored concrete, adding interest to an otherwise featureless expanse for a relatively low cost. However, this is still on the higher end of the budget scale for concrete.
We use a two-step process to create a rock salt concrete finish. First, the concrete is finished and then rock salt is cast over the surface and lightly rolled in. The surface is then washed, dissolving the salt and leaving small holes, giving the concrete a unique texture. We use this a lot with colored concrete and on pool decks. This finish falls in the middle of the concrete budget scale.
Just as it sounds, stamped concrete is achieved when we place textured, rubber panels of various sizes over an area of newly poured, curing concrete and apply a bit of pressure to make an impression. Once the concrete sets, the panels are removed to reveal a permanent pattern. Brick, flagstone and slate are common form patterns we use.
Stamped concrete is a great, cost-effective way to add a three-dimensional look to hardscapes without paying the same prices as actual brick, flagstone or slate pavers. This is used on patios, basement slabs and commercial plazas and is often created with colored concrete.
This finish falls on the higher end of the concrete budget scale at $8.50 to $10 per square foot. The lower end of the price range includes a basic pattern in one color. If you want multiple patterns and colors, as well as custom effects, this will fall on the higher end of the price range.
Commercial Hardscaping With Concrete For Every Budget
Used in a variety of clever and creative combinations, concrete is a versatile and cost-effective way to create amazing hardscapes on your Atlanta commercial property. By commercial hardscaping with concrete, you have unlimited options when it comes to creating unique surfaces to enhance your property and boost its value. The size of the project dictates cost, as well as additional expenses like grading and excavation.
HighGrove Partners can show you the variety of options available and help you create the perfect hardscape for your needs, as well as maintain it. Give us a call at 678-298-0550, or use our simple contact form.
In the meantime, be sure to check out our 2015 Commercial Property Trends Report below for more tips and trends to help your commercial property stay in demand and become more attractive, more valuable and more sustainable this year and for years to follow.Last modified: June 3, 2021