So how long does a pattern imprinted concrete installation take?
A salesman will tell you that the normal turnaround is a week. But then again, they’ll tell you anything. It may sound impressive and is quite often possible (weather permitting), but an experienced installer will always give a more reliable and honest time frame. Best ask them.
How Long Does a Pattern Imprinted Concrete Installation Take? Preparation stage 1-3 days
Much will depend on the preparation stage. Digging through 200 m2 of 10 inch thick (steel reinforced) concrete is going to take a lot longer than pulling off turf and top soil!
A typical 60-80 m2 driveway can be ‘dug’ out in a day (with the help of a digger machine). All waste material will be neatly piled up at the front of a drive and ready to take away by a ‘grab man’.
A professional pattern imprinted driveway installer will have ordered the required amount of ‘stone’ (Type 1 MOT) to prepare the sub base. The ‘grab man’ will drop the stone in a neat pile and then load up his wagon with the piled up waste.
Always ensure a licensed waste carrier is used.
Once the waste has been taken away it’s time to spread out the stone for the sub base and ensure all falls (levels are correct). IF adjustments to manholes are necessary these should be completed at this stage. Sometimes, manholes may need to be lowered and sometimes they need to be raised. A skilful eye is needed to get the right levels to ensure no dips (no puddles) and correct falls for water to drain (either to bed or drainage).
How Long Does a Pattern Imprinted Concrete Installation Take? Laying Concrete 1-2 days
Generally, one load of concrete should be enough for a typical 60-80 m2 driveway installation. If access allows concrete can be poured directly onto the prepared sub base (avoiding time consuming wheel barrow pouring).
Once the concrete has been poured in it will be necessary to tamper and screed. Then pattern imprinted concrete ‘surface hardener’ will be applied (evenly) and then troweled in. It’s a judgement call as to when concrete can be ‘coloured’ and a major factor is how quickly the freshly laid slab is setting (the warmer it is the quicker it sets).
Sometimes, on larger jobs colouring may done as other areas are still being poured. A professional installer will always have adequate man power to be able to pour, screed, trowel in and colour at the same time.
This can take anywhere from 1-3 hours.
How long does a Pattern Imprinted Concrete installation take? Printing
Once coloured the slab will be left for a while and then ‘release powder’ is applied so that printing can begin. There’s no difference in the pattern chosen as all ‘printing mats’ are basically the same (just with different printing designs on).
Printing can usually be completed in 1-2 hours but as you can imagine this can be longer or shorter depending on the temperature, area of driveway and skill of installers.
The finished job will look like:
As long as the weather is fine the wash off and sealing can be done on the same day.