Why Is Concrete Grey?

Concrete is one of the most versatile and long-lasting building materials out there. Couple that with its relatively low cost and it’s easy to see why concrete has become one of the most ubiquitous building blocks of the modern age. When people take issue with concrete it’s not often for its performance, but rather its aesthetic. That signature grey color that concrete brings is considered drab by many. Why is concrete always grey? Let’s take a closer look. 


To start, it’s important to point out the flaw in this premise. The truth is, concrete is not always grey! While grey is clearly the most popular concrete color, concrete can be ordered in a vast array of different colors—it just tends to cost a bit more than the classic grey. 


Colored concrete costs more than grey because it requires additional ingredients to get a color. Concrete is naturally grey. That’s because every concrete mixture includes a significant portion of cement, which is made up of primarily iron ore. Since iron ore is always black in color, it tints the rest of the mixture grey when it’s heated and mixed with other concrete ingredients. 


Obviously, the mixture affects the color which is why there is a disparity between the shades of grey that concrete can be. It all depends on the mixture. 


That same mixture is what can be tweaked to add color to your concrete. Different dyes can be added to concrete before its been set to artificially change the color of the final product. The actual hue will change as the concrete sets, which is why it’s always worth testing your mixture in a small area before utilizing it for your entire project. 


The other popular way to change the color of concrete is to use different stains on the surface of the concrete after it has set. This is usually much cheaper than actually adding color to the concrete mixture, but it does have its limitations. Since only the surface of the concrete is affected by a stain, that grey color can be exposed as the surface because cracked or chipped. A color that is achieved through dyes in the mixture ensures that concrete is that color all the way through. 


Most people assume that concrete is grey and nothing can be done about. The reality is that there are a number of effective ways to manipulate concrete into the color you desire. Take the time to do your research and consult a professional if you find yourself having trouble. 


The folks at Razorback Concrete are always ready to help. Visit www.razorbackconcrete.com to learn more. 

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