Like high fashion, decorative concrete combines classic looks (think traditional staining and stamping) with the haute couture. Based on recent projects we’ve been seeing on the Concrete Network runway, we’re predicting a number of trend-setting looks for the upcoming season. Some take advantage of cutting-edge technologies and techniques, while others take a traditional approach but give it a twist. As you can see by the examples here, the design possibilities with outdoor decorative concrete continue to flourish, giving
contractors more and more options for creating unique, head-turning looks. Who knows what the trends will be next year, but we can promise you one thing: Decorative concrete will never go out of style.

Jim Peterson,
The Concrete Network

1. Glow-in-the-dark concrete

Turn down the lights, save on electricity, and install some glow-in-the-dark concrete. New photoluminescent coatings allow you to light up concrete so it casts a reflective glow at night. These surfaces are perfect for outdoor walkways, stairs, patios, and countertops. Learn more.

Glo-Krete: Glow in the Dark Concrete

Phosphorous Gives Illumination to Concrete Surfaces

2. Mixing it up

The new trend for outdoor patios, walkways and other pavements is to mix-and-match multiple materials, such as concrete, stone and interlocking pavers. The concept is similar to mixing different fabrics in an outfit to achieve textural contrast and interest.

Watch this video to see how it’s done: Concrete and Bluestone Patio


3. Going organic

Another trend is to veer away from the ultra-modern to a more natural look that takes advantage of the organic characteristics of concrete. There are a number of ways to give concrete a slightly worn, broken-in look, like vintage clothing. See this example:

Stained Concrete Driveway

4. Free-form shapes

It’s no longer hip to be square when it comes to decorative concrete. People are beginning to take full advantage of concrete’s ability to be molded into any shape, from geometric to curvilinear.

Check out these projects: Small Backyard Patios with Three Different Looks

5. ‘Undercover’ concrete

One of the best attributes of decorative concrete is its ability to impersonate other materials, such as brick, natural stone, wood, marble, and slate. What’s more, you get all the performance advantages of concrete but often at a lower cost than the material it’s imitating. See amazing examples of concrete in disguise