Stamped Concrete Colors
Before you choose a color for your stamped concrete project, it would be wise to understand how colors are added to your concrete. In this article we will discuss base colors, release colors, concrete color manufactures and more. Should you have questions on the stamped concrete methods and processes, the concrete contractors here or a local distributor can assist you in choosing the perfect concrete color for your project.
Concrete Base Colors
One of the simplest ways of picking a base color for your concrete is to match the existing colors of the structures or surroundings. Look at your roofing, siding or the landscapes around your home. You can also use complimenting colors to add some pop to your stamped concrete construction.
There are two ways to add color to concrete for the decorative project. Let’s look at them.
Integral color additives for concrete are added either at the concrete redi-mix plant or on site by your concrete contractor. Doing this will make the entire thickness of your concrete the base color you choose. Another benefit to adding the color to the entire mix is that should you get a chip or crack, the color is all the way through the concrete and won’t be gray or look like regular concrete.
Integral colors can come as liquid or dry pigment powder. Your concrete contractor will make the best recommended type for the color you wish to achieve.
Integral additives make the entire concrete mix the color that is added. Unlike our next way to add color to your concrete…dry shake color hardener.
Broadcast or shake-on color hardeners are another way to add color to your stamped concrete. Color hardener is added, sometimes hand thrown on to the concrete, after the cement finishers pour the concrete in place. They cast the hardener pigment on the surface of the cement and trowel it into the concrete. As you can imagine, the color is only on the top portion of the slab about ⅛ to as much as a ½”. Unlike integral colors, if you get a crack or a chip, you may see the standard cement color.
Color hardeners can be added to integral concrete mixes, to achieve even more color options. Many stamped concrete contractors use this method. They may add a light color to the concrete truck when it arrives on site. Then as they start the concrete finishing process, add a dark or several darker color hardeners on top of the mixed in color. The possibilities are endless.
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Concrete Release Agent Colors
Another way color is added to your stamped concrete is with release agents. To keep the concrete from sticking to the pattern mats, a release agent is used. The release agent can be colored as well, which adds an accent color to the concrete. When picking the release color, be sure to use a color that accents your base color. To get the best looking stamped concrete job, your stamped concrete release colors should be darker than the base, no matter what type of base method (integral, broadcast hardener) you use.
Release agents are applied prior to the concrete stamp mats being used to texture the surface. Thus keeping the wet concrete from adhering to the mats. When the mats are pounded into the concrete, the release color gets smashed in during the process.
Sealing the Colored Concrete
Sealing your stamped concrete is a very important part of the process. When the concrete pour is over and cleaned up, you will see the base color, along with accent colors of the release agent. However, the finished look and color will not appear until the concrete is completely cured and sealed.
Sealing concrete helps strengthen the concrete. It also makes the concrete slab surface more durable. A good concrete sealer will enhance the colors in your decorative concrete project.
Speaking of colors, your concrete cure and seal can be tinted to add even more color or antiquing to your concrete. Talk to your concrete mason contractor about adding a tint to the sealer.
Brands of Concrete Color
Below you can find the concrete color charts from the leading concrete pigment manufacturers. These companies lead the decorative concrete industry.
Butterfield is a leader in decorative concrete finishes. They are based in Illinois and have been around since the mid 90’s. Over the years they have worked with contractors, architects and designers to achieve a high level of expertise in the stamped concrete industry.
You can see their integral concrete color charts here and their colored hardeners here.
Davis Colors is one the oldest companies in the concrete pigment industry. It was started way back in 1952 by Frank Davis. According to their website, “Without our pigments and additives, the world would be a very different place.”
At the time of this article, Davis Colors has 59 colors you can add to your concrete.
Solomon has been around for over 90 years. As a leader in architectural concrete products, they are family and employee owned. Their HQ is in Springfield, Illinois and they have another facility in California. They support many concrete industry groups including; American Concrete Institute, American Society of Concrete Contractors, Decorative Concrete Council, and Decorative Surfaces Solutions Group.
You can see their many colors on their website here.
Top Stamped Concrete Base Colors.
Though there are hundreds of concrete colors to choose from for your driveways, sidewalks and patio projects. These are the leading concrete colors.
Remember, you can mix colors to achieve your own color or let the decorative concrete experts here help you pick a custom color. Making a custom decorative concrete color is like making a recipe, a little of this color, some of this color and a lot of this color.
Anyhow, here are some of the best colors for the base pigment in your concrete designs.
Tan/Beige Concrete Colors
For an earthy or natural look, any light color of dirt or dried grass look will work. If you are planning on using a natural stone stamp pattern, think of the colors of rock and stones in nature.
If you like to relax on your stamped concrete patio, these tan colors will work well. They don’t radiate the sun as much as darker base colors. Making it a cooler place to relax.
- Doeskin by Solomon
- Miami Buff by Davis
- Harvest Wheat by Butterfield
Gray Concrete Color Additives
If your plans are for an ashlar slate stamp pattern or want a light slate stone’s look, these colors are a good start to your design. For Cobblestone patterns these shades of gray work well.
Grays work well on textured concrete pool decks and cobblestone fan pattern sidewalks.
- Pewter by Butterfield Colors
- Outback by Davis Colors
- Fog by Solomon Colors
Brown Concrete Pigments
Brown concrete base colors are great if you are looking for a wood or plank look for your stamped concrete. Brown is also good if you are making a walking path through your garden or woods as the color does well to mimic nature.
These colors look great for a stamped driveway on homes that have earth tone siding or stucco on the exterior.
- Mocha by Davis Colors
- Bamboo by Solomon Colors
- Cliff Stone by Butterfield Colors
There are a lot of colors and color combinations to pick from when planning your stamped concrete project. If you are in Burlington County, New Jersey get in touch with our decorative concrete professionals here. They will guide you with choosing the colors that best fit your needs and the look you are after. Our concrete contractors are the best in the area, when it comes to stamped concrete.