Frequently Asked Questions

We have tried to answer some of our commonly asked questions about colored concrete. If your question isn’t answered here or you need more information please give us a call or ask by using our contact form. The text on this page is not intended to be professional advice but to basically answer your questions.

Does colored concrete fade?

A. The color will not fade, but the concrete can fade. The active ingredient in colored concrete is pure inorganic pigment. The pigment is made by a process of oxidizing metal, in essence, turning metal into a pigment powder. Therefore, the resulting pigment concentrate is impossible to fade. Concrete, on the other hand can and usually does change with time and weather exposure. Uncolored concrete, which can turn yellow, erodes and darkens as it accumulates dirt, dust and grime from the environment. Left unprotected or weakened by a poor mix design or finishing job, the surface of concrete “dusts” and erodes slowly. Keep your colored concrete fresh and looking new by protecting it with periodic applications of a good, high quality clear sealer.

Where can I get colored concrete?

A. If you’re a homeowner, contacting Redi-Mix Colors is the best place to start. If you’re an architect, specify the product color you want in the plans or specifications.

How much does color add to concrete cost?

A. When budgeting for your project, adding color adds approximately 10% to 30% to the cost of the concrete. Coloring will only add a fraction to the total installed cost because most colored concrete is mixed and finished in the same way as uncolored concrete.

My new colored concrete is darker than the color I chose, why is that?

A. Freshly poured concrete is always darker than when it is fully cured and dry. This is true for uncolored concrete as well. It is best to wait 7 to 10 days until the new concrete has hardened and dried. If the concrete is on a wet sub-grade or there’s underground water, it may stay darker longer.

Why does my colored concrete have darker spots than in other areas?

A. If your concrete is new and less than two weeks old, it could still be drying. If some of the dark spots are staying dark while the rest of the concrete is drying out, you may have entrapped moisture. Entrapped moisture appears as random dark areas which can be completely different in shade from unaffected areas. It may also follow areas where the concrete was hard troweled or where edging and jointing tools were used. You can remedy the entrapped moisture by scrubbing the dark spots with a stiff bristle brush and rinsing with water. You will need to repeat this process over a few days and the dark spots should lighten up. If your concrete is older than two weeks, you will want to wet the dark spots with water, pour on some white vinegar and scrub with the stiff bristle brush. The entrapped moisture dark spots will take a few treatments to disappear.

Do I need to apply a sealer?

A. Yes, all concrete can benefit from being sealed against stains and water damage.

Can you guarantee the final color will match the color card?

A. Unfortunately we cannot. There are several factors that will affect the final color: the cement color, the sand color, the amount of water used, and the finishing methods. We can only guarantee that our color additives will match our standard, that is, they will be the same from batch-to-batch and year-to-year.

What does sack content or 5-sack mean?

A. Sack content or mix is specified when ordering concrete, the amount of 94 lb sacks of cement in a cubic yard of concrete. Concrete is typically referred to as a 5-sack mix (or 5-1/2-sack, 6-sack etc.).

What is release powder?

A. Release powder is a dry pigmented powder that allows the clean release of stamping tools, while at the same time creates a highlighting color (also known as an antiquing effect).