Builders refer to the process of applying a coat over a concrete patio as "resurfacing." Resurfacing is desirable for several reasons, including covering cracks or surface damage and, during remodels, changing the "look" of the patio. Many compounds are suitable for resurfacing concrete patios and, although some of them are inherently attractive, some receive finishing treatment to improve their appearance. Learn about the appearance, characteristics and installation process of common resurfacing methods and you can choose the right one for your patio renovation.
Builders use concrete resurfacing to restore the original appearance of a concrete patio slab. Resurfacer ingredients include Portland cement and strengthening additives that prevent the compound from cracking and shrinking. Builders spread the resurfacing compound across a concrete slab with a large squeegee tool. In addition to spreading, the squeegee forces the compound into cracks and spalls. Resurfacer forms a very thin surface layer over the existing slab and, once cured, renews the appearance of an old concrete patio slab.
Concrete patios provide an adequate base for asphalt paving materials, sometimes called "blacktop." Asphalt is essentially a sticky, goopy oil product that binds a mixture of gravel and rock. Home improvement stores sell both premixed bags of gravel and binder and individual asphalt paving components. If the concrete patio base for an asphalt installation is severely cracked, the asphalt may eventually settle, become uneven or heave.
Often found in garages and automobile showrooms, epoxy floor coatings form a thin, durable layer over existing floors. Like repair epoxy or construction epoxy, epoxy flooring compound consists of a resin and a hardener. When mixed, the two liquid ingredients bond through a chemical reaction to form a solid material that feels hard as a rock and looks like plastic. Epoxy flooring resists deterioration and physical damage. Resins are available in various colors and sometimes mixed with flecks of decorative plastics.
Mortar and Tile
Mortar adheres to cement patios and provides a base for the installation of tiles and patio pavers. Prior to laying mortar and tile over an existing cement patio, tile setters clean the slab, repair cracks and holes with concrete or entirely resurface the slab. Mortar adheres well to cement patios, and slabs provide a stable base for tiles and pavers. Types of tiles applied atop cement patios include natural stone tiles, such as granite or travertine, unsealed ceramic tiles, such as saltillos, and glazed ceramic tiles.