Types of Concrete Finishes for Patios and Walkways

by | Mar 1, 2024 | Commercial Concrete, How To Concrete, Residential Concrete

It’s March in St. Louis and Old Man Winter is slowly packing up his things and moving on. To you as a homeowner, this means it’s a great time to give your patios and walkways a once over. Are they showing their age? Are you seeing trip-hazards in the form of cracked, uneven pavers out there? Or do you have an ancient concrete patio that’s outlived its usefulness?

If so, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. You work hard. You deserve a nice outdoor place to retreat to, throw parties, and enjoy with your family. Now is an excellent time to call Ortmann Concrete and get yourself on our spring calendar so you can begin BBQ season in style with a new patio.

We have dozens of ideas for you! Ways to turn your ho-hum outdoor living space into something that you want to show off and enjoy. Let’s get started by looking at a few of the many types of concrete finishes for patios and walkways.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete offers the appearance of pavers without all the accompanying headaches and maintenance of cracked, separated pavers, weeds taking root between the cracks, and concerns with tripping hazards. Whether you appreciate the rustic look of stone or flagstone, or prefer the clean, modern appearance of brick, stamped concrete will deliver.

To create this kind of finish, we just have to know what you’re looking for. We “stain” the concrete with the color or your choice. Then we use special tools that “stamp” the surface of the freshly poured concrete, creating the look you want.

Of the concrete finishes for patios and walkways available, this is the most labor intensive, but it is well worth it. It is a great look for screened-in porches, patios, walkways, and driveways.

Trowel Finish

The trowel finish is named after the tool that is best known for creating the look. It’s another popular option for concrete patios and walkways. And it’s ideal if you’re seeking to compromise between a smooth, sleek look and a textured appearance.

Once we’ve poured and spread the concrete out evenly, we use a trowel to create customized patterns. On larger jobs, we use power trowels, but for smaller spaces like patios, we rely on hand trowels. The most popular pattern is a “swirl finish” and offers a curled, overlapping pattern.

While this is most popular in garages, basements, and warehouses, we’ve found that it looks great in backyards too.

Broom Finish

Broom finishes are a budget-friendly solution for areas where slip-hazards are a concern. For example, if you have kids who use your patio as a play space, then making sure they can run across the patio or down the walkway on wet days without slipping is important. It also works well around swimming pools.

As the name suggests, we use a broom to create this textured concrete finish. By “sweeping” it over the surface of still-moist concrete, we make tiny grooves that ensure that no one slips if the surface gets wet.

Salt Finish

A salt finish is a common choice for patios and walkways that are near swimming pools, as it’s evenly textured, but not as noticeable as a broom finish.

We create a salt finish by sprinkling rock salt crystals on the top layer of the moist concrete. As it dries, the salt creates finite pits in the surface. After the concrete is dry, we rinse off the rock salt, leaving behind an attractive, but textured surface.

Our clients really like this method because it creates a skid-proof surface with subtle texture, not unlike an exposed aggregate finish.

Speaking of An Exposed Aggregate finish

There are several methods of accomplishing this finish. And which one we use depends on where it’s located and the look the client wants. We remove the top layer of nearly dry concrete, then spread aggregate uniformly, pressing it into place to ensure that there are no air pockets. Then we polish the surface until it is smooth. This is popular in indoor/outdoor areas such as covered porches.

Other Finishes Types of Finishes for Patios and Walkways:

The following types of concrete finishes for patios and walkways are not necessarily in our wheelhouse, but also have much for recommend them.  We may be able to recommend someone who will work you to give you the appearance you want.

– Color chips Finish

– Dyed Finish

– Engraved Finish

– Etched Finish

– Flashed Finish

– Marbleized Finish

– Micro Topping or Over Lay Finish

– Sand Blasted Finish

Are you ready to meet with us about your own patio and walkway upgrade?

Ortmann Concrete Incorporated is a full service residential and commercial flatwork company! We work daily with homeowners and small business owners, creating professional custom concrete steps, walkways, stairs, driveways, fire pits, retaining walls, pool decks, patios, garages,

But that’s not all we do! Be sure to check out our entire line of services in the menu above! And make sure to drop by our gallery and to look at our new line of Bellattextm concrete countertops and tabletops!

Ortmann Concrete is proud of our workmanship. We will show up at the agreed upon time and do the job right from beginning to end. We maintain an orderly worksite and clean up behind ourselves. When we leave, all you have to do is enjoy your new flatwork. As you can see from this testimonial from one of our many happy customers:


If you read one review on Ortmann Concrete, this should be it! I cannot say enough about the Ortmann crew. I have used them probably 5x, for patios, sidewalks, driveways, staircases, and their beautiful Bellattex countertops. Let me give you an example of the difference and why I keep going back to  

Doug and his team did a fantastic job on our large project. New patio, driveway and steps. We would highly recommend this company for any of your concrete needs. We love our new patio. Thank you Ortmann!!

—J. Bauer

OCI is locally owned and operated. And we are a member of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, and certified by the American Concrete Institution. Our company is the proud recipient of the Angie’s List Super Service Award. We are proud that our reputation for quality has been recognized by customers on three different platforms: Facebook, Angi’s List, and Google Reviews.

Call us so we can help you choose from the types of concrete finishes for patios and walkways and get you on our calendar!