Give your home improvement projects new life and design with a variety of colour options for freshly poured or already existing concrete.
Concrete is a versatile, durable product that has its uses in a variety of places in a Melbourne home or business. From driveways to kitchen floors and benchtops and everything in between, concrete has proven time and time again to be up to the challenge.
But one of the drawbacks that people often highlight is the plain, grey colour that is natural to the mixture. So here’s the industry secret we’re ready to reveal… utilitarian surfaces don’t have to look dull when it comes to concrete.
All you need are the right hues, materials, and techniques to colour your concrete exactly how you want.
However, there are a number of different ways you can add new life to your concrete. Some are better suited for forethought and planning before your concrete is poured. Other options are available if you already have a slab in place and want to spruce things up.
To help, we’re going to take a closer look at five different methods and what is involved with each.
Why colour your concrete in the first place?
There’s nothing wrong with a fresh grey slab of concrete, unless you’re looking for a bit of variety of design elements in your final product. In that case, adding colour can also add character to whatever concrete surface you have in mind.
Coloured concrete in darker hues can hide stains and tyre marks better than a standard grey or tan colour. They can also add texture to the look of the surface making it have the appearance of other materials. Coloured pigments are often used when concrete stamping or stenciling to make the design work pop even more against a secondary colour or with all of the texture that stamping can provide.
Adding colour can also add strength or hardness to the concrete itself.
This makes the concrete surface resistant to foot traffic, vehicles, and wear marks from work done on the surface. When done properly, the colour pigment will resist fading over time. That’s because oxides that are mixed into the concrete itself before it is poured in place are resistant to fading themselves. You just need to be sure that the ratios are right, or you can compromise the durability of the slab.
Which means that, while you might be tempted to tackle your concrete project yourself, going with an experienced professional is a much safer (and economical) choice. They’ll be able to choose the best method for colouring your concrete based on your project, needs, and other factors. They’ll also be more likely to get the process right the first time, which is critical for a properly poured and enduring slab.
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Five different methods for colouring concrete
It might sound simple to colour concrete, but there are actually quite a few ways that this can be achieved, depending on the type, condition, and state of your existing (or yet to be poured) concrete.
Here are five of the most popular methods used by the professionals in residential applications and a few details about how each is carried out so you can better understand your options.
This method is a go-to option for people who have a slab in place already and don’t want to go to the trouble of resurfacing or replacing what they have. Instead, concrete floor paints are specially designed for application in these instances. Keep in mind that paint can scratch or come up over time and is best for areas with lighter foot traffic since it will need ongoing maintenance and refreshes. The paint is simply rolled on and allowed to dry before use.
Similar to painting, you can either acid or water-based stains to add a different look to your concrete slab. Some stains are more transparent than others, so be sure to understand how the stain will take to your concrete before you apply it. In general, water-based stains will have better coverage. Using brushes and rollers, you can apply stain evenly and wipe away any excess for a unique finish.
If you are going to pour new concrete, you can work with a pigment to colour the material integrally before you get started. This is a great way to get an even colouring that is designed to last. These pigments are made from oxides that are mixed in with the concrete while it is still wet. The concrete is then poured and dries with the colour incorporated in the concrete itself.
Whether you have new or existing concrete, you can also add a layer of epoxy resin to protect the surface. This is can also be given a decorative flair with solid colours as well as flakes and metallics that can make a concrete surface truly unique. In these instances, the epoxy resin is blended with the colouring agent or mixed with aggregate like a multicoloured flake to create a custom design. The epoxy is then poured over the concrete slab, providing both protection and design elements.
For a colour that is a bit quicker and thinner to apply, consider a tinted sealer. These water-based sealants can often be sprayed on over existing concrete that already has colour to enhance the look and depth of the pigments. It also helps to protect the concrete itself by making it less permeable to liquids and oils that can spill on the surface.
How to decide on the right colouring method for you
If you already have a concrete slab and are looking for a new design aesthetic, epoxy resin might be the best option for you. This gives you the benefits of extra protection and value from the durability of the resin while also offering the most design options. Epoxy resins can be mixed with different colours and additives to make one-of-a-kind floors and benchtops.
When it comes to a new concrete, integrated colour using oxide pigments is usually the best choice. This ensures that the colour remains even throughout the application and will not wear or degrade over time.
Get your concrete colour done right with Concept Concrete
Whether you’re looking to colour existing or new concrete, going with the professionals is the best option for the best outcome. Concrete is lauded for its long-lasting durability; that’s why you want the job done right the first time and, hopefully, the last time.
Concept Concrete offers only high quality and professionally done projects with workmanship backed by a renowned reputation. We are proud members of Master Builders Association and a registered building practitioner with a team of highly trained and expert concrete installers and technicians. We offer designer concreting that achieves every homeowner’s goal with hassle free projects and free onsite quotes.
We can take a look at your existing slab or plans and let you know the best way to add colour and design elements to your project. Concept Concrete prides itself on professional service that comes with custom designs and a modern, yet timeless, aesthetic.
For more information and a free assessment, call us on 1300 366 343 or request a fast free quote online today!