After 34 years, the concrete on Glenda and Tom Boozer's driveway needed some help.
"Everyone comes through my carport to come into the house. Cars had been parked there, oil leaked. It looked terrible," Glenda Boozer said.
Their friends, Brenda and Clayton Rawl, had a similar situation with the concrete carport at their home, which had been poured 30 years ago. It was showing signs of wear and didn't match the newer concrete pathway behind the house.
"We were looking for a product to put over the top of both" to make the surfaces look uniform, Brenda Rawl said.
Enter EverStone, a river rock-and-epoxy mixture used over driveways, porches, patios and pool decks -- and even indoors. Both the Boozers and the Rawls used it to update their aging concrete.
That is a typical use for EverStone, said Janine Peterson, who owns and operates EverStone of South Carolina with her husband, James.
"Concrete can get old. It gets moldy and it cracks," she said. "The biggest thing we sell for is pools."
EverStone covers cracks in concrete around pools or covers pool decking that shows its age. It also is good for driveways and front porches, where concrete often cracks.
"Sometimes people [install EverStone] before they go to sell their house. It cleans everything up a good bit," she said. "Walks and front porches are a big area for us."
EverStone is only as good as the surface it is put on. So if the concrete has deteriorated so much that you can pick up big chunks of it, EverStone won't work, she said.
It can be put over wood decks if durarock panel is installed first. The EverStone goes on top of the durarock.
EverStone is applied with a hand trowel on concrete, ceramic tile, wood and brick. The company can add custom designs, such as angelfish, herons or starfish.
"We can do anything that can be made into a silhouette," Janine Peterson said.
The cost depends on the condition of the property and the size of the job.
"We've done little front porches to great big $28,000 jobs," she said.
An average pool ranges from $5,000 to $20,000.
EverStone comes in 29 color combinations -- all colors of natural river rock from all over the United States. Using small rocks helps make the texture feel smooth.
"It's extremely comfortable. For it being rock, it's unbelievable," Peterson said. "At [our booth at the state] fair, we tell people to take their shoes off and walk on it."
With many outdoor-flooring options on the market, here are some of the newer items:
* Trex Accents. A line of composite decking made to resemble wood, by Trex Co. (www.trex.com). Products are available at area lumber yards, including 84 Lumber Co. Composite decking, with its man-made wood-replacement material, has been around awhile, but it often doesn't resemble wood decking. Made of waste-wood fiber and recycled plastic grocery bags, Trex decking is weather-resistant, slip-resistant and insect-resistant, and won't rot, crack or need stains or sealant. All it needs is periodic cleaning. Trex products can be cut, drilled, routed and nailed, like wood, but products are splinter-free. Trex decking is available in five colors and various patterns, and it can be painted.
* Stamped concrete. This is concrete patterned to resemble brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile or wood. It can be used on pool decks, driveways, entryways, courtyards and patios. Colors and patterns for stamped concrete often blend with other stone or tile elements at the residence.
* Spray-Crete. A combination of Portland cement and acrylic products, Spray-Crete is designed to be applied to an existing concrete or similar surface. It offers resistance to stains, oil, cracks and mildew. Available in many colors, textures and patterns, Spray-Crete is sprayed directly onto the surface.