With colored concrete, the creative options are endless. By using colored concrete we can transform a room or patio from a plain gray floor to a spectacular surface. A broad range of colors and finishes are available to create that custom look. We can even match an existing color palette or create a custom color.
Colored concrete can be paired with other decorative concrete finishing techniques such as broom finishing, sandblasting, exposing of aggregate and more. Multiple colors can be used side-by side to define large areas or you can inset materials such as granite, marble, tile or personal items to create a one-of-a-kind design. Color can also enhance unsightly paths and help blend in with the surrounding landscape.
Concrete coloring agents range from earth tones to vibrant hues and can be added to concrete by several methods. Color can be added into the mix (integrally colored), dusted on the surface (dry shake), hand applied with brushes, trowels, sprayers as liquids or powder forms (stains, dyes, tints, toppings).
What is Color Hardener?
Color hardener is most often used on imprinted concrete: a color hardener (base color) is trowelled into the surface and then a release agent is added before stamping to provide highlight and keep the stamps from sticking. Both of these colors are chosen from the Bomanite Color Hardener/Release Agent Chart, but because the colors can be mixed in different ratios the color choices number in the thousands.
Color hardener may also be used on non-imprinted or standard concrete to give it color. Blues and other more dramatic colors are possible with color hardeners that aren’t possible with integral colors. A special finish called a shake-on finish is achieved using color hardeners and results in a more variegated color in the concrete.
What is Integral Color?
Integral color is mixed into the concrete when it is batched and can be used indoors or outdoors. Custom finishing techniques are most often used with integral color.
What is Non-Reactive or Con-Color?
Non-reactive (sometimes called topical) stains do not react chemically with the concrete as reactive stains do, and will mask some surface defects rather than enhancing them. Non-reactive stains typically have bolder colors and may be used on interiors or exteriors.
What is Reactive Stain or Patène Artectura®?
Reactive stains (also called chemical or acid stain) can be applied to new or old, plain or colored concrete surfaces. The acid in these stains opens the surface of the concrete. This allows the metallic salts to reach the free lime deposits. These Metallic salts react with the lime and this reaction produces the final color.
Reactive stains are a good way to achieve a mottled look on a concrete surface. This system does not hide surface defects, but works in conjunction with the existing floor to produce a variegated finish