Frequently Asked Questions
Does Elite Crete only supply to the trade?
No – Both trade and domestic customers are welcome.
Can you recommend any experienced installers?
As with all trades, workmanship can vary for various reasons, especially where the weather is concerned. We can advise as to a selection of those tradesman we consider to be reputable contractors. However, we recommend that you should always do your own research such as reviewing their most recent projects.
Pattern Imprinted Concrete (PIC)
What is Pattern Imprinted Concrete?
PIC is the practice of laying fresh concrete, applying a colour surface hardener to the surface, and using a rubber imprinting mat to stamp a texture or pattern into the surface while it is still wet. Many patterns are available such as brick, stone or slate and can give instant curb side appeal when used on a driveway.
The colour of my imprinted concrete has faded slightly, is there a way to bring that back?
Yes, using our high solids sealer is a great way to revive faded driveways. We recommend reapplying our sealer every 18 months or so, depending on wear and tear.
If it still looks faded, then colour can be added by means of applying a tinted sealer (tinting pigments sold separately) or performing a ‘colour wash’. Both are not permanent fixes but work well for minor colour fading. In this case, call our office or come in to discuss the best course of action.
The colour of my imprinted concrete has faded significantly, can this be brought back.
Unfortunately, when the colour has worn from the surface there is no permanent way to bring that back. Methods such as using a tinted sealer or ‘colour wash’ can be used. However, this is only a temporary fix and will need tending to again in the future. Contact us or come in to discuss the best course of action.
Can I change the colour of my imprinted concrete?
We at Elite Crete never recommend attempting to change the colour of PIC. This is because when ‘painting’ over the original colour you will lose any definition that gives the area the stone effect and thus creating a monotone block colour. As well as this, it isn’t a permanent solution and will need constant upkeep to maintain. We only recommend resealing the area with our sealer which will bring life back to most drives.
How often should I re-seal my PIC?
The actual answer to this question is ‘as often as its needs’. However, we realise this is not very helpful to most. So, we give a rough guide of every 18 months to 2 years depending on how much traffic it gets and what kind. For example, a patio that only gets foot traffic can last longer than 2 years before needing to be re-sealed, a driveway that has multiple cars driving on and of multiple times a day may need it sooner. So, a certain amount of judgement is needed on behalf of the user.
What is Colour Surface Hardener (CSH) used for?
This product is used wherever colour is needed to be added to a plain concrete floor to enhance the aesthetics or any desired pattern. Additionally, it increases the concretes surface tensile strength.
Can it be used on existing concrete?
No – the product is only effective when trowelled into the surface of wet concrete.
How CSH is it applied?
After wet concrete is laid and trowelled flat whilst still workable, with a Bull Float or similar, the Colour Surface Hardener (CSH) is broadcast over the concrete surface then trowelled in. The surface will then either be further trowelled for a smooth finish or stamped with a pattern prior to the concrete setting hard.
Are the products easy to use and apply?
For very small areas limited experience may not be detrimental, as long as guidance is sought for health & safety and installation procedure. However, for larger projects such as patios, driveways etc, training and experience is essential.
How long do the products keep?
CSH – Has a shelf life of 12 months or more if kept off the ground and free from moisture. Once opened keep in an airtight container to extend shelf life.
Powder Release Agent – Has a shelf life of 12 months, ensure lid is replaced after use.
Solvent Based Sealer – Has a shelf life of at least 2 years unopened. Once opened replace the lid ASAP, shelf life is extended by not allowing the solvent to evaporate off.
Why do people choose stamped concrete?
It is an economical alternative to paving and natural stone for driveways, patios, and walkways. It also does not need the same level of maintenance because it has no joints where weeds can grow. When properly installed and maintained, stamped concrete will last for many, many years. You can also choose from an extensive variety of colours and patterns including cobble, brick, stone, slate and even wood effect.
How long will an imprinted concrete driveway last?
One of the main advantages of PIC is that concrete is the same material used in construction. Therefore, it is extremely durable and if properly installed the concrete slab should last until someone decides to dig it up. If properly maintained, the colour should last just as long. Another benefit is that as previously stated, colour can be added if needed. Making PIC one of the longest lasting driveway surfacing options.
Will my PIC drive/patio be slippery?
If the surface is to be sealed with a solvent based sealer, then it is necessary to add Elite Crete Sure Grip to the sealer to improve skid resistance. Failure to do so will result in a very slippery surface when wet. Other types of sealer such as a water based will not need this additive.
Resin Bound Stone
What is Resin Bound Stone?
Resin Bound Stone is a permeable surfacing solution that results from mixing resin and aggregates together in a forced action mixer. This creates a mixture that can be trowelled onto a surface to provide a smooth, flat finish.
How long will a resin driveway last?
If installed correctly a resin bound driveway should last for around 15 years or more.
Is a resin bound stone surface BBA approved?
Yes – But only if applied to the specified mix ratio of 25Kg x 1-3mm stone, 75Kg x 2-5mm stone, 6.25Kg C52 sand and 7.5Kg Resin (BBA approved)
Is a resin surface maintenance free?
No – Resin bound stone is classed as a low maintenance surface. Although weeds cannot grow up through the surface, moss and airborne seeds can take to the surface and grow. Weedkiller is advised to be used once or twice a year.
Why are there different sizes of stone?
There are generally 2 sizes of stone (1-3mm and 2-5mm) used in an ‘approved’ 4 bag (100kg) blend. They are mixed at a ratio of 1 x smaller grade and 3 x larger grade; this is to make the surface as strong as possible. It is also recommended to add a 6.25kg bag of kiln dried sand (C52 or similar) to further increase the strength. This mix design is required for the system to be complaint with the BBA approval.
Do I need to add sand to the mix?
Yes – to achieve the maximum strength a 6.25Kg bag of kiln dried sand (C52 or similar) is required.
Is it easy to apply a resin surface myself?
For very small areas limited experience may not be detrimental, as long as guidance is sought for health & safety and installation procedure. However, for larger projects such as patios, driveways etc, training and experience is essential. As well as this, the dew point of the aggregate must be closely monitored as moisture will cause the resin to ‘foam’ and fail.
How long do resin products keep?
The resin itself has a shelf life of 6 months from the date of manufacture, if stored between 10-30 degrees C.
The aggregate itself doesn’t ‘go off’ and is usable if kept dry. However, as the aggregate is a mined product, it is essential to only use aggregates that have been purchased at the same time to reduce the risk of colour variation.