by Shari Held

What You Should Know

Trying to decide whether to go with a stamped or stenciled concrete finish for your next project? Deciding what kind of look you want the finish to have – wet and shiny, soft, or natural? The type of sealer you use plays a role in achieving and maintaining that look.

“When thinking about a decorative finish, make sure you also consider the frequency and cost of maintenance,” says Ben Driskell, owner and operator of Flatmade Concrete. “Each sealer and finish requires a different amount of maintenance.”

Here’s a basic overview of what you should know when it comes to concrete finishes and maintenance needs:

A standard brushed finish is practically maintenance-free. Just wash it down when it gets dirty. Using a sealer is suggested. A penetrating sealer doesn’t provide a high-gloss and it won’t darken the finish, but it protects your concrete with little to no maintenance required.

If you aren’t opposed to occasional maintenance, but prefer a more flexible maintenance schedule, consider an exposed aggregate, decorative concrete finish such as pea gravel, or a shimmering sand matrix finish. You’ll need to wash and reseal this type of finish only every two to three years.

A high-end, decorative finish such as stamped or textured concrete, which often has a secondary color that is protected by the sealant, requires more maintenance to keep it looking its best. On average, you’ll need to wash and reseal this type of finish every year.

But, sealing is not an exact science. The timing of the washing and sealing maintenance cycle is different for each concrete project.

“Sun exposure, traffic wear-and-tear, and exposure to deicing chemicals all play a role in the life expectancy of your sealing,” Driskell says.

For high-quality decorative concrete work, connect with Flatmade Concrete by phone at 317-446-5549, or e-mail You can also visit them online at to learn more about their services.