Homeowners today demand much more than just functionality with concrete pathways. After all, walkways are a highly visible part of your home’s landscaping and make an important first impression.
Thanks to recent advances in materials and construction technology, Crescent Homes Maui offers a wealth of choices for creating decorative concrete walkways. Concrete is being used to mimic the look of brick, stone, tiles, pavers or tiles without the expensive labor required to lay these materials by hand. It’s just one reason why concrete is such a big trend for restaurants, retail and commercial spaces.
Customizing Concrete With Color
Since you invest so much into the beauty of your own home, why settle for a plain, gray walkway in a dull design? Adding permanent color is one of the easiest ways to give a concrete walkway more distinction. All of the following can be used in outdoor applications:
- Integral color: This coloring agent is added to the concrete at the manufacturing plant and provides a permanent, uniform hue that extends throughout the finished concrete. If any chips, scratches or wear occurs they won’t expose any uncolored concrete. Integral color is limited to earth tones and pastel shades.
- Dry-shake color hardeners: Dry-shake color is cast onto the fresh cement and then floats up to the surface. The hardeners produce brighter hues than the integral agents and come in a broader range of colors. Dry-shake color is also UV resistant. However, dry-shake color is more labor intensive to install. Unlike integral color, dry-shake hardeners can be used on overlays placed over existing concrete.
- Powdered or liquid release agents: This color category is often used with walkways that have a stamped pattern. The coloring agents help prevent the stamping tools from sticking to the concrete and spoiling the texture. They are sometimes used in combination with integral or dry-shake color to create an antique finish.
- Stains: Acid stains create a translucent, mottled color that is very realistic. They are limited to earth tones and soft blue-greens. Water-based stains have a nearly unlimited color palette and can be mixed to create custom shades, from translucent to opaque. Both acid- and water-based stains are highly UV resistant, and both can be used in overlays on top of existing concrete.
Add texture and interest to a concrete walkway
In addition to adding color to a concrete walkway, texture and/or patterns can be used to create a one-of-kind look. These include broom finishing, stamping, shadow effects, swirled and fan patterns, or a look that mimics a natural element.
- Stamped concrete: Stamped concrete has become a hugely popular design trend in recent years thanks to its versatility. Rubber stamps are used to make concrete walkways look like brick, slate. flagstone or even wood planks, at a cost that is significantly less than the real materials. If you love Hawaiian-inspired themes, you can choose a stamped pattern of ferns, palm fronds, sea shells or even sea turtles. Patterns and textures can be chosen to compliment the other hardscaping elements around your home and garden.
- Stenciled concrete: Stenciling is done with disposable paper stencils to impart patterns in fresh concrete. The pattern can be applied with different techniques, including dry-shake color, chemical stains or dyes; troweling or spraying a thin concrete overlay or skim coat; or giving the concrete a light sandblasting. The result gives the stunning appearance of separate elements that have been mortared together. Stencils for concrete come in hundreds of patterns that can be as simple as brick to as ornate as filigree work.
- Decorative concrete scoring, sawcutting and engraving: With concrete saws or hand tools, permanent patterns can be grooved into a walkway. This work can be enhanced with color to produce artistic effects.
- Exposed aggregate finishes: Exposed aggregate walkways are a great choice aesthetically as well as for safety in areas where slipping is a concern. The exposed pebbles come in a broad range of size and hues. For a more decorative look, the aggregate walkway can be combined with concrete work that has a contrasting color, pattern or finish.
Protect your investment
Concrete walkways are wonderfully durable and low maintenance. But in order to keep them looking their best and also to minimize the effects of a tropical climate, saltwater and chlorine, the concrete should periodically be cleaned with an appropriate product. Afterward, it’s important to apply the correct type of sealant.
How often this maintenance work is done depends on the weather, exposure to sun, pool or ocean, and the amount of foot traffic. The concrete team at Crescent Homes Maui will be happy to assess these elements at your home and advise you on the proper care of your walkway.
Concrete walkways vary in cost
On average homeowners can expect to pay from $6 to $12 per square foot or more for a concrete walkway. The final price depends on the walkway’s length, shape, thickness, design, finish and the amount of prep work needed. A stamped or stenciled concrete walkway with multiple colors can go as high as $20 per square foot because of the extra steps involved.
Note that replacing an existing walkway that is in disrepair can be expensive and run additional $5 to $8 a square foot.
Take the first step to your concrete walkway
The right concrete walkway makes a stunning addition to your island home. It can also be a smart investment in its resale value. If you’re considering adding a new walkway, or replacing or refinishing an existing walkway, give us a call. Crescent Homes Maui is ready to answer any questions and listen to your ideas for this important project.