How To Cover Boring Concrete Walk

jennifer1(z6 MO)May 10, 2006

We have a very boring straight old concrete walk coming up to our house from the sidewalk to our front door. Does anyone have any ideas on how to transform it into something cozy? I wanted to try just laying bricks on it (since it's nice and flat) but my husband said then that would make a step up from the sidewalk and people would trip! We don't have the $$ to have it repaved with a colorant in it (another idea I had). Any suggestions would be appreciated! It only has one small area that is a little broken up - the rest is solid and intact . . . just ugly! Thank you!

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reyesuela(z7a)

If you want the look of a colorant, why not just stain it?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 9:58AM
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barefootinct(6a)

There was a recent thread about staining and etching concrete. It included some lovely examples of work by a poster named punamytsike. I've included a link to the thread below.

Patty

Here is a link that might be useful: thread on stained concrete

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 11:54AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I agree that Punamytsike's work might be the answer to your prayers.

But regarding brick, I have exactly the same problem, and it took me a while to figure out why I thought people would trip when I know that plenty of other front walkways have steps in them and you don't see bodies littered all over the property. I've concluded that the problem is that my property itself is dead flat and offers no visual clues that a step is coming. So I agree with your husband on that one.

I have a book in which they show the use of slate tile to cover a plain concrete walkway. Here, they suggest taking out and repouring the first few feet of concrete to make the slate tiles flush with the city sidewalk. Even this would make me a bit nervous as I am the type of person who can trip over absolutely nothing, and this would still be an unanticipated grade change. The book offers several other walkway improvement options, however, and might be worth your time: it is in the Taunton Home series ("Do it Now Do it Fast Do it Right") and is called Patios and Walkways.

Having said all that, the surface of your walkway is only part of its ambience. You might be able to accomplish "cozy" by putting a little boxwood hedge along each side, or just edging it with a row of bricks laid flush with the surface. Some friends of mine did this, and the impact, especially in the context of the relatively small effort required, is astonishing. They did similar brick elsewhere in the yard which helps the edging look really integral to the design.

Finally, if you ever do dig up and replace the walkway I just discovered that it is possible to recycle old concrete here at local concrete plants. Now that I know that I don't have to landfill the stuff, I have a MUCH longer list of projects to do that I just couldn't justify before!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 12:21PM
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