Concrete resurfacing techniques and the materials being used have improved tremendously in the past few years. It used to be that old cracked concrete with surface staining and scaling had to be removed and replaced if you wanted to improve the look.
By resurfacing concrete instead of tearing it out you'll save money, time, and the mess of jack hammering and disposing of the concrete slab.
If you are going to resurface concrete, a polymer modified concrete overlay is probably your best bet. In my opinion these are best left to a professional, but if you have a small area you can probably do it yourself.
These come in a wide variety of mixes, some go on very thin from 1 inch down to feather edge, some come with bigger aggregates and can be applied up to 3 or 4 inches thick.
There are also many color and pattern options to choose from. If all you want is a skim coat to apply a concrete acid stain, you can do that. If you want to cover an old dull gray patio with a 1/4 inch thick stamped concrete overlay, you can do that too.
Is your driveway stained and discolored? Then maybe a spray down overlay with a stencil pattern will dress it up like new again.
The most important part of resurfacing concrete is preparing the existing concrete surface for the overlay. Overlays are designed to bond to concrete very well. But they must have a clean, solid base to adhere to.
Also see concrete surface preparation for more tips on how to prepare a concrete surface for an overlay or some other kind of concrete coating.
Check out all the different concrete resurfacing applications before ripping out that old slab or covering it up with some other kind of flooring, I think you'll be glad you did.
For information on other concrete overlay applications click on the links below.