Stamped concrete flatwork is now an option for creating variety in sidewalks. Aluminum and plastic stamping tools were the first to provide contractors with a low-cost, eye-appealing alternative to hand-laid units. They produce regular patterns such as hexagonal tile, cobblestone, and running bond brick. To add variety, several stamped patterns can be mixed or different colors used. Plastic mats then enlarged the scope, permitting irregular patterns and textures to be stamped. The pattern impression left by mats isn't as deep as that produced by platform tools, which can be advantageous in preventing tripping hazards.

Using newly developed graphic patterns on plastic mats, contractors can go one step further in imprinting custom-designed flatwork. Intricate flowing paving patterns - repeating or free-form - can be combined to create one-of-a-kind surfaces. Compared with the cost of setting ceramic tile or laying brick or slate, the in-place cost of stamped concrete is a real bargain. You can get a rough estimate of stamped concrete cost by doubling the cost of a conventional concrete surface. Cost per square foot depends on slab thickness, size of the job, complexity or forming, and access conditions.