If you want to learn how to color concrete, this page will cover the most popular ways concrete coloring is used.
One of the most popular methods to achieve colored concrete is to use an integral coloring pigment. This coloring admixture when mixed with concrete will give you a rich, long lasting, fade resistant color.
The layering of multiple colors allows many variegated tones to be produced that can mimic natural stone, brick, wood, and tile.
One main advantage of integrally colored concrete is the color extends throughout the entire concrete slab. If surface abrasion occurs or the concrete is chipped the color will not wear away.
Integral colors come in powdered, granular, and liquid form. They are added to the concrete mix at the concrete plant or on the job-site. It's mixed right in the concrete truck making the process very easy.
You can purchase the color from a concrete supply store and bring it to the concrete plant the day before the pour. Adding it at the plant allows the color to mix while in transit to the job-site.
We use a lot of Butterfield colors integral concrete color. It comes in bags like these. You throw the whole bag into the concrete truck, the paper dissolves and the color mixes with the concrete.
Cost is one drawback for integrally colored concrete. A bag of color will cost about $40 - $50 dollars US on average. You usually add one bag of color per yard of concrete. A 10 yard load would cost you about $500 dollars U.S. just for the color.
Color hardener is used to color the surface of the concrete. It's used a lot for stamped concrete. This powdered color is broadcast over the surface of the concrete soon after it is placed. The moisture in the concrete wets the powder and it is then floated into the surface with a hand float or a fresno.
Knowing how to color concrete and the techniques that are used to color concrete should help you decide which process will work best for your colored concrete project.
We also color a lot of existing concrete floors. To learn how to color concrete with stain or dye please click on those links above. Coloring concrete this way will give you a very different look with a wide range of colors to choose from.