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Laying Textured Pattern Imprinted Concrete

Textured pattern imprinted concrete is poured the same as conventional mass concrete. We can reproduce the look of cobble, slate, stone or brick by using specially contoured textured mats and any one of our colours to match your surroundings.

Supplies Needed

  • 25 kilo bag of colour hardener: spread rate 10-12 square metres

  • 10 kilos of release agent: spread rate 70-80 square meters

  • 0.6g of multimesh sufficient for 1 cubic meter of concrete

  • First coat of sealer – 1 litre spread rate 4 square meters

  • Second coat of sealer – 1 litre spread rate 7 square metres

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Site Preparation

Site preparation must be carried out in accordance with good building practice. The site level must be taken down until a firm sub base is reached then hardcore, scalpings or similar material should be compacted until the required levels are reached (where possible this compacted base should extend beyond the area to be concreted). Reject sand or a similar material should then be spread over the compacted base to fill any unevenness on the preparation work. This should then be compacted using a ‘whacker plate’ until the sub base is offering a level surface to pour the concrete on - this will eliminate any stress points in the finished slab. Shuttering should be firmly fixed into position using metal shuttering pins and strong timber, check falls away from building or place suitable drainage channels for surface water. Note – under no circumstances should concrete be poured onto bare earth.

Pouring The Slab

If pouring in hot weather, saturate the sub base with a water hose to eliminate excess suction in the ground (polythene sheeting may also be laid over the sub base to reduce over quick drying of the slab). Using a concrete rake, make the ready mix concrete as level as possible - use screed rails if necessary. When placing the concrete make sure that air pockets are eliminated and ensure that the concrete is well compacted where it meets the shuttering.

Apply The Colour Hardener

The colour hardener needs a cream ‘fat’ to take to, this can be achieved using the rollercrete. This tool will get the fat up without bringing up too much surface water. The surface of the concrete should be smoothed over using a bullfloat (or a wooden, plastic, magnesium or laminated resin hand float). The colour hardener should be applied using the ‘broadcast’ method, then when the colour hardener has absorbed moisture from the slab, smooth in using the bull float (making sure that the colour is even – applying more if necessary). The slab should then be left until the surface sheen has gone off, then finish using a steel float. This will close the surface of the concrete and give a better finish to the job. Note - do not apply colour hardener if there is surface water visible as this will weaken the colour and result in a poor finish.


Use an edging tool to round off the edges of the slab to give the job a better finish and stop any breakaway of the edges.

Applying The Releasing Agent

When the slab is ready for imprinting, you should be able to press your thumb firmly into the surface to about 3/8″ and still feel resistance in the slab. If the concrete is ready throw on the release agent until the surface of the slab is thinly covered (before using the release agent stir it up thoroughly – this will stretch the release agent further).

Placing The Textured Mats

When the slab is ready for imprinting, place the first mat in position on the surface of the concrete and gently put your full weight on it, if the mat moves under your feet get off and allow a bit more time for the concrete to firm up. When you have placed your full set of mats on the concrete surface, tap them using a pounder until they bottom out on the concrete. Take care to place the mats very close together to eliminate any ‘squeeze up’ of concrete between them to ensure that the tops of the mats are level. Working as quickly as possible, lift and replace the mats until the whole area is imprinted.


When lifting the mat, care should be taken to eliminate dragging - grasp the mats by the handles, place your thumb towards the centre of the mat and put the mat under tension by lifting the handles and pressing down with the thumbs (this will break any seal between the mat and the concrete surface and will give you a good clean lift).


Always try to position the mats so that you are standing above the next mat to be lifted - do not try to reach to the side to pick up a mat as you will drag the surface and spoil the print.


When using the soldier course mats, place a piece of hardboard or cardboard (cut to the same size as the soldier course mat) on the surface of the concrete print with the mats such that the overlap gives a good print up to the cardboard. The cardboard should then be lifted and the soldier course mat used to print the blank strip left. If you place the mats on the surface too soon you will get some amount of ‘squeeze up’ between the mats – do not attempt to repair straight away, leave until the next day when the concrete has hardened and chip off using a trowel or specialist jointer.


Once the concrete has hardened sufficiently wash off any excess release agent, allow the surface to dry and apply the clear concrete sealer by brush in two coats.

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