Concrete is one of the most affordable and effective building blocks in use today. Unfortunately, many people avoid using concrete on their home projects because they don’t like its aesthetic. What those people don’t realize is that it’s quite easy to change the color of concrete to match whatever aesthetic you’re going for. Today, we’re going to go over some of our favorite ways of changing the color of concrete.
The best part about coloring concrete, is that if you do it correctly there is no need to tear or damage your concrete and have to repour. These processes will give you a great color, without harming or weakening your concrete.
Integral coloring is easy and effective, but it has to be done before the concrete is poured. The colorant can be liquid or powder, and should be added to the concrete during the mixing stage.
This method is usually only used for coloring large areas, like an entire floor. The other drawback to this method of coloring is that the color has to be monochrome, since the entire mix is being colored. Coloring the entire mix also makes this coloring method one of the more expensive ones since the entire slab of concrete will be colored, not just the surface.
The shake-on method is very effective, but also has to be applied at a specific time. Unlike integral coloring this method isn’t put into the concrete mix, but rather added to the concrete surface right after the concrete has been poured.
Shake-on colors are made of finely-ground pigments. That means that dry cement won’t bond to the coloring agents. By adding the colors right after the cement has been poured, the moisture in the cement mix will bond to the shake-on colors.
It is worth pointing out that because this method applies the color to the surface of the concrete, grinding or polishing will remove the color .
Acid stains are made up of a mix of acid, metallic salts and water. The acid has a chemical reaction when it hits the concrete that creates a mottled color effect. The upside to this method is the final color it creates is incredibly durable. Of course, it’s only on the surface so if the concrete itself is damaged it will affect the color.
Water-based dyes are one of the most popular concrete-coloring solutions, and for good reason. They are odorless, safe, quick to dry and easy to apply. Not only that, but this method is the best for mixing different colors together. This is the best solution for creating patterns or different color effects.
Concrete is a phenomenal building block that is affordable and durable. The ability to color the concrete to make it look less drab is such an incredible way to make concrete work in your home. Gray is not the only option.