Concrete is a quality material that can easily be used as a decorative element in the home. There are options for both inside and outside the home, from planters to furniture, water features and more. As you start to plan a project, you may find that terminology is being used that you are unfamiliar with or do not understand. By learning more about such terminology, you can easily find the right materials for your project needs. Check out a few terms below to familiarize yourself with common terms used regarding decorative concrete.


This term is used to describe an admixture that will shorten the set time for concrete or speed up strength development. This is an important term to consider when mixing your own concrete solution to create decorative elements for your home. With an accelerator, you can add strength and shorten your set time, which makes it a perfect option for when you are pressed for time and want to ensure the integrity of your materials.

Acid Stain

Do you have a concrete element, such as a patio or porch that you want to add color to? Instead of painting the material, you can use an acid stain. Also known as a chemical stain, this solution contains inorganic salts that are dissolved in acidic, water-based solutions that will react chemically with minerals of hardened concrete. The reaction creates a transparent color to provide a design element to your concrete. Colors of acid stain tend to be in the tones of brown and tan, even green or reddish tan.


This term is used to describe a condition affecting concrete where the surface dries too fast. This can be due to high temperatures when pouring concrete, the wind, or direct sunlight. It is important to consider this term when pouring concrete within your home. If you are creating a sidewalk or patio, you want to pour the concrete in a viable environment. Check the weather conditions and ensure temperature needs are met so that concrete can cure at the best rate possible to avoid issues like crusting.

Decorative Aggregate

This term is used to describe natural stones like quartz, granite and limestone that are used to enhance exposed-aggregate concrete. The material can also be used as a decorative topping for concrete installation. You can choose the natural stone used to get a certain design element for your new concrete addition.

Etching Gel

If you want your concrete to have a unique design element, etching gel can be used. The etching medium is often used with stencils to create designs within concrete surfaces. The gel is thick and can be applied with a brush. This helps to control the application and achieve the desired look.
These are just a few terms connected to concrete and design. By learning more about such terms, you can use the material to add decorative elements to your home. With so many uses, concrete is certainly a top choice material for home projects!


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Meet Lance Davis


Lance Davis is a third generation Concrete Contractor with over 10+ years experience in concrete repair and slabjacking. His company Davis & Sons Concrete has proudly served all of North Central Illinois, Rockford and the outer suburbs - and he would love to hear from you!

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