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Photo by: Progressive Hardscapes

4 Ideas for Turning Concrete into Stone

By Anne Balogh

Medusa of ancient Greek mythology was said to have eyes that could turn anything into stone. Today, it's possible for contractors to cast a similar spell, transforming ordinary concrete into natural stone of all types. But instead of using mythological powers, they employ techniques such as hand carving, stamps and texturing skins, and various coloring methods to achieve results so realistic that they often fool even the most discerning stone expert. Countertops that look like slate, floors that gleam like marble, and patios you would swear are hand-laid flagstone are just a few of the possibilities. Think it's all just a myth? Then check out these amazing concrete-into-stone transformations. Even Medusa would be impressed.

  1. Lava Rock Driveway
    Recreating lava using concrete is the specialty of contractor David Schwartz of RockMolds. He achieves the realistic effects using the company's special rubber texturing skins, molded right from the slopes of the volcano Haleakala. In doing so, he gives concrete the appearance of lava that flowed many centuries ago. For this project, he made individual poured-in-place concrete "lava" stones to create a stunning circular driveway.
  1. Stone-Patterned Patios
    Many contractors use stamps in patterns such as slate, flagstone and cobblestone to give concrete patios and other exterior flatwork the look and texture of natural stone. This method can be used on both new and existing concrete when covered with a stampable overlay. View a video showing the process.
  1. Hand-Cut Stone Overlay
    Instead of using stamps, Robert Lavin of Spektrem Concrete gave this concrete patio overlay the look of natural stone by sawcutting the joints into organic shapes and then using sponges and other tools to apply several colors of stain. To create the faux grout lines, he used tape as stencil while applying the topcoat of stain.
  1. Stamped Stone in Vegas
    Upon arrival, visitors to the Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino step out of their cars and are surrounded by old world charm. The carriage porch at the hotel has been colored and finished to look like brownstone insets between large slabs of limestone. Concrete was selected over natural stone because of its durability and ease of installation.