Friday, 14 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

As we approach that time of year when things start to get quiet for outdoor tradesmen and we go off in search of warmer weather overseas, Northern Cobblestone would just like to wish all our customers past and present a "Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year".

Say It With Concrete...

And if you haven't sorted a present for your nearest and dearest yet, rather than traipsing round the shops, have you thought about a new driveway or garden patio?

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

Predictions for a white Christmas are favourable though, so you might not see our vans down your street too much over the coming festive period.

We'll be back in force in 2013 though, so get your orders in early.

Northern Cobblestone install pattern imprinted concrete driveways, paths, patios and more throughout Blackpool, the Fylde Coast, Lancashire and the wider North West.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

An Impressive Lancashire Driveway

Not one that Northern Cobblestone can claim the credit for, but the driveway at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire in the North West of England is certainly an impressive one:

True enough, it would look much nicer in pattern imprinted concrete rather than tarmac, but what it lacks in aesthetics, it certainly wins back in distance.

At half a mile in length, the driveway at Stonyhurst College is grand and imposing.

Although you can't walk around the college grounds themselves, there are some nice walks in the surrounding area, including one that follows in the footsteps of the author J R R Tolkein: Stonyhurst College / Hurst Green / River Ribble Walk

More Lancashire Driveways

And if we've whet your appetite, take a look at our website for more impressive driveways in Lancashire and the North West.

Note also that if you're looking for a good looking low maintenance paving solution for your place of business, Northern Cobblestone can also handle sizeable commercial paving projects.

Half a mile driveway? Not a problem!

Concrete and Clay by Unit 4 + 2

We haven't added to our blog for a while and whilst trawling through the internet for concrete related topics to write about, we came across the following:

From a band with an unusual name (Unit 4 + 2), the equally unusually named single "Concrete and Clay" was a #1 hit in the UK in 1969.


For those who aren't old enough to remember the song, the lyrics are as follows:
You to me
Are sweet as roses in the morning
And you to me
Are soft as summer rain at dawn, in love we share
That something rare


The sidewalks in the street

The concrete and the clay beneath my feet

Begins to crumble

But love will never die

Because we'll see the mountains tumble

Before we say goodbye

My love and I will be

In love eternally

That's the way

Mmm, that's the way it's meant to be

All around
I see the purple shades of evening
And on the ground
The shadows fall and once again you're in my arms
So tenderly

Repeat Chorus

Repeat Chorus

And that's the way
That's the way it's meant to be

That's the way

Whoa, that's the way
That's the way it's meant to be

Driveway Repairs

As you can see from the lyrics, the sidewalk within the song was clearly not installed by Northern Cobblestone - otherwise it wouldn't be starting to crumble!

If however, you have a deteriorated pattern imprinted concrete driveway, path or patio installed by another company, we may be able to help.

We offer pattern imprinted concrete repair, refurbishment and resealing services, restoring your installation to a high standard, without the need to start all over again.

Why not give us a call for a quote?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Ashlar Slate Stamped Concrete Paths and Patio, Kirkham

Some nice photographs of a path, patio and doorstep in ashlar slate style with mews cobble edging and a satin finish for a customer in Kirkham:


For pattern imprinted concrete in Kirkham or elsewhere on the Fylde Coast, give Northern Cobblestone a call.

Concrete Driveways in Blackpool and Beyond

Northern Cobblestone are based in Poulton-le-Fylde on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire.

From there we offer pattern imprinted concrete driveways, forecourts, paths, patios, pool decks and more to homes and businesses in Blackpool, Preston and surrounding areas.

The towns we serve include:

  • Blackpool
  • Chorley
  • Fleetwood
  • Garstang
  • Kirkham 
  • Knott End
  • Leyland
  • Lytham
  • Poulton-le-Fylde
  • Preston
  • St Annes
  • Thornton Cleveleys  

So if you're looking for driveways in Blackpool, Preston and beyond, give Northern Cobblestone a call.

How Is Pattern Imprinted Concrete Created?

Also known as stamped concrete, Pattern Imprinted Concrete is concrete that has been textured and coloured to imitate other materials such as brick paving, cobblestones, slate, granite, flagstones or even wood.

But how is it created?

The quick answer is "by adding colours and stamping moulds into freshly laid concrete". For more detailed information, read on...

Preparing The Ground

As with any paving project, the ground area needs to be properly prepared before any concrete can be poured. The existing surface is excavated to a depth suitable for the purpose of the paving and any debris is removed from site.

Following excavation, we will know what kind of sub base is available and an appropriate level of hardcore will then be added. This is then compacted to form a solid, level foundation on which to pour the concrete.

The preparation stage is also the time when any required remedial or alteration works to the drainage will done, along with the installtion of gate posts, manholes, steps, etc..

To provide a framework for the concrete to be poured into, temporary wooden barriers are then fitted around the perimeter.

Pouring The Concrete

The concrete itself is specially designed for pattern imprinting. It is air entrained and fibre enmeshed, meaning that whilst the concrete is setting (or curing), the fibres within it mesh together. This gives the whole slab much greater strength, making it up to 25% harder than standard concrete.

After pouring it to the required depth, the concrete is raked to ensure future rain water will flow in the desired direction and then floated to give a smooth, flat finish.

Whilst still wet, it is then ready for colouring and stamping.

Colouring The Concrete

Each colouring uses two agents which come in the form of a powder. Used together, these colouring agents help to create a textured two tone look upon completion.

Colour surface hardener (in your chosen colour) is distributed across the surface of the concrete by hand. Following which, the concrete is then re-floated, forcing the colour into the surface of the concrete.

The release agent, most often a darker colour, is then added over the coloured concrete ready for imprinting.

Imprinting / Stamping The Concrete

Interlocking moulded rubber mats with the selected pattern(s) are then used to stamp the concrete, creating a nice uniform finish. Starting at an edge or corner, we work our way across, standing on the mats as we go to imprint the concrete, thus avoiding directly stepping in it.

With imprinting complete, it is cordoned off overnight to avoid unwanted footprints.

Preparation For Sealing

Dependent on the weather, once dry, the surface of the concrete is pressure washed using detergents and release agent remover.

Once cleaned, "crack control joints" (also known as "expansion cuts") are created in the surface of the concrete using a diamond disc saw. Essential to reduce the likelihood of future cracking, with most patterns these cuts are barely visible.

Sealing The Concrete

Finally an acrylic sealant with anti-slip agent is applied. This protects the surface of the concrete and brings it to life, enhancing the colours beneath.

Want to know more? Why not contact Northern Cobblestone for driveways, garden paths or patios and you can see it in action.