Flatwork is a broad construction term used to refer to any horizontal flat building surfaces. This includes walkways, foundations, patios, ramps, concrete slabs, driveways, and parking lots. Flatwork is constructed using a frame and a sub-base, made from either aggregate rock or rebar. Flatwork made with concrete is very popular.
Concrete flatwork, as its name implies, is any flatwork constructed from poured concrete. Concrete is the preferred material for most flatwork because it allows the formation of perfectly flat and even surfaces.
Benefits of Decorative Concrete Flatwork
Concrete is the preferred material of most homeowners for driveways and other outdoor spaces. While concrete is more expensive than other types of materials, it is also more durable, fire-resistant, and low-maintenance.
Here are some of the top benefits of choosing decorative concrete flatwork:
- Concrete is an aesthetic upgrade since you can choose from various design options ranging from clean, classic looks to intricate custom patterns.
- While concrete is more expensive than materials such as asphalt, decorative concrete is a lot cheaper than using actual brick or flagstone.
- Decorative concrete flatwork offers superior long-term performance. They are definitely built to last.
Concrete Flatwork Cost
Compared to using other types of paving materials such as asphalt, concrete costs more, but it also lasts longer. Concrete is durable and resilient to environmental factors such as rain damage or tree root growth. It is definitely the more cost-effective option since you don’t need to replace or renovate it regularly.
Concrete flatwork cost varies depending on the size and thickness of the surface, reinforcement, sealers or coatings, and any other special designs. There are free concrete flatwork calculators online that take into account these factors and help you calculate an approximate cost. Generally, homeowners should be prepared to spend between $5.03 to $6.79 per square foot.
Concrete Flatwork Tools and Equipment
Depending on the kind of flatwork you are working on, you are going to need different types of concrete flatwork tools and equipment to complete the construction process.
Below are the most common ones:
- To ensure precise and level placement, you’ll need trowels, electronic levels, and screeds.
- Laser levels are now the standard tools for extensive leveling projects, which is often required for concrete flatwork. Laser levels send a beam of light that remains true even over long distances.
- For bigger flatwork such as slabs for plants, warehouses, or retail stores, you’ll need specialized, laser-guided screeds.
Concrete Flatwork Design
If you are looking for high-quality and striking designs, always consult reliable concrete flatwork contractors to help you with your project. They can offer valuable insight regarding the project and provide you with recommendations that will suit the space, your personal preferences, and your lifestyle.
No matter what type of concrete flatwork you want to build, always strike a good balance between structural integrity and decorative function. To create durable flatwork, a combination of precise aggregate mixing, rapid delivery to ensure that it cures properly, and careful application should be employed.
When it comes to design, on the other hand, you have a few options. The great thing about concrete is that it can be cast in so many colors, from pastels to earth tones. These colors are usually produced by mixing mineral pigments throughout the concrete.
You can also experiment with finishes and textures since today’s technological advances allow you to use concrete to take on a wide range of flatwork art, shapes, textures, and patterns.
Here are some examples:
- Use smoother finishes for indoor spaces since they can be slippery when wet.
- For exterior spaces, try using brush-textured flatwork to provide dimension and enhance grip and safety when the surface is wet.
- You can dye and finish your driveway to make it look like you used stone or bricks, instead of concrete. This gives you a more luxurious and cohesive feel, without costing you as much.
- For your basement floor, there are dyes and stains that you can use to mimic the appearance of hardwood. It’ll make the space look warm and comfortable, without compromising structural integrity since hardwood flooring is never a good idea for basements.
- If you have a beachfront property, try embedding stones, marble, shells, pebbles, granite chips into the surface. You’ll need to brush and wash away the surface mortar as the concrete starts to harden so that the embedded material becomes visible.
Concrete Flatwork Repair
Although concrete is one of the most durable materials in construction, it can still get stained, damaged, or tarnished. In most cases, power washing can get rid of surface dirt or stains.
However, for more serious damage such as cracks, chips, flaking surfaces, cracked edges, or settling, hire a concrete repair service for professional assistance. A concrete restoration service can help you get your flatwork back to its former glory.