An increasingly popular choice for people thinking of creating or updating their patios is concrete. Because of its relatively inexpensive price-tag, along with its durability and versatility, concrete is fast-become a very popular choice indeed. People are discovering that with concrete they can achieve a variety of effects, including the look of outdoor tiles and other patterns. Here are four of the most popular kinds of concrete patios.

Acid Stained 

If you’re worried about flashbacks to the 70′s, don’t be, acid stained concrete is both durable and very stylish. In this method, acid is poured over the still-wet concrete and reacts with the chemicals present. The result is an array of colours that mingle and blend to create a natural stone look or a more vibrant and colourful design–the choice is yours! The colours from acid stained concrete will never fade and remain intact for the life of the concrete itself.

Exposed Aggregate

This is the name given to concrete that appears quite course with whole pebbles and other bits and pieces evident in the slab. This gives a very interesting texture and feel to the concrete area, and can be enhanced by mixing coloured glass or bits of tile in with the concrete before it is laid. You may prefer to use this simply as a border around your patio, or be more liberal with it, but whatever you decide, exposed aggregate definitely gives you the opportunity to be different.

Poured Concrete

When we think of poured concrete, we typically think of big, boring grey slabs with very little personality. This does not have to be the case with your concrete patio at all! Pouring concrete gives you the chance to experiment with colour—you can mix two different colours of concrete (neither of which have to be grey, FYI) and then lay them in a pattern–you could create your very own outdoor checkerboard, or for those more adventurous, a concrete mural!

Stamped Concrete 

For those who love the look of tiles or pavers, but want the sturdiness and durability of concrete, you should consider stamped concrete. Here, concrete is poured on the patio, and designs and texture are impressed upon it using a stamp while the concrete is wet. There is no limit to the amount of patterns and designs you can create. Some popular designs include flagstone, brick, tile, stone and even sandstone pavers. In order to achieve these looks, the concrete needs to be prepared using specific dye, then poured and stamped with the appropriate design.

These are just four of the many options open to you when you choose a concrete patio–your imagination is your only limit, so get creative!