When you think of concrete, you probably visualize a boring, grey slab.
Not many people associate concrete with color, but with the help of aesthetic treatments, it can really become a true work of art.
Before you start your next colored concrete project, it’s important to understand the advantages and ingredients involved.
Key benefits 1. Enhancing the appearance of your yard
The first and most obvious benefit of colored concrete is its aesthetic appeal. Whether you’re incorporating it into your new driveway or backyard patio, you’d be surprised at the difference a simple pop of color can make to your yard.
But beauty isn’t its only benefit.
2. Extra protection
The aesthetic treatments used to give colored concrete its pigment also provide a practical, wear-resistant coating and a beautiful finish. This will help your gorgeous slab maintain its fresh look over time, protecting it from weather and the damage of day-to-day use.
Understanding the two techniques
When it comes to concrete coloring, there are two main techniques:
1. Stirring the colorant into the concrete mix itself
This mixing technique is most commonly used in projects that desire one solid color. It works by mixing in a powdered pigment made up of inorganic minerals into the ready mix. This pigment is oftentimes made of chromium oxides and iron.
2. Stamping the concrete
Concrete stamping, on the other hand, is used for projects that require special patterns or designs. This method involves layering colorant on top of fresh concrete then stamping it with texturing molds. This colorant is either made up of synthetic or natural pigments.
Synthetic pigments are made up of metallic oxides and are created through industrial processes. During these processes, minerals (the raw material) are refined to change their physio-chemical properties.
These physio-chemical properties are what link each metallic oxide to their specific color. Cobalt oxide, for example, is a metallic oxide used to create blue concrete.
Natural pigments are derived from mineral deposits, and like synthetic pigments, they’re made up of metallic oxides and hydroxides. Iron is most commonly used to apply this pigmentation.
Get prettier, longer-lasting concrete by coloring it. At Port Aggregates, our professional concrete contractors are highly skilled in creating beautiful, precise pours every time. Contact us today to request a quote for your next project!