What Is Colored Concrete?

by | May 3, 2018

Colored concrete, also known as decorative concrete, allows traditional grey concrete to be stained and dyed different colors.

Concrete has been colored as far back as the early 1900s and was primarily used by companies who made precast structures for building facades. Today, it can be used to create unique designs, break up large paved areas, or hide potential stains.

It’s the fastest growing market in the concrete business and requires highly skilled technicians who are trained in the application process to manufacture it.

How Is Concrete Colored?

Colored concrete is made using pigments mined from the ground or manufactured in chemical plants. These pigments come in three different forms: powder, liquid, and granular. Each of these different pigment forms have their own advantages and are used universally.

These colored pigments are made of iron oxide particles that are 10 times smaller than the particles that make up cement. When pigment is combined with wet cement mix, the smaller colored particles surround and cover up the cements’ larger particles, creating a colored tint. The ratio of color pigment is based on the amount of cement mixture used, so the more cement mix involved, the more pigment needed for a darker, bolder color.

More pigment is needed when dying gray concrete. This creates darker, earth tone colors. If you want lighter colors, you will have to use white concrete, which is more costly.

If you already have existing gray concrete, you can color it with either a water-based stain or an acid chemical stain.

Why Use Colored Concrete?

There are numerous reasons to use colored concrete today. Mostly used for aesthetic purposes, colored concrete is a great option for creating interesting designs and artistic presentations of concrete.

Colored concrete can be used to break up larger areas of concrete. If you have a large concrete patio or long driveway, coloring all or parts of it can make it more interesting than having it be all gray.

Many people use colored concrete to replicate nature, like green turf or textured gravel paths. Matching concrete with the surrounding landscape keeps concrete discreet and can limit the industrial look gray concrete has.

How to Take Care of Colored Concrete

There are several way for you take the best care of it as possible:

  • Be sure to have your colored concrete cured properly to prevent surface cracking.
  • Colored concrete can fade because of exposure. It’s not the pigment that fades, but the gray in the concrete itself. Be sure to have a professional concrete company mix your colored concrete and have it protected with a sturdy clear sealer.
  • Keep your concrete clean to preserve the color. This will also decrease the amount of dark or discolored spots on your concrete.


If you are interested in colored concrete or want to know what other products and services Knight’s Companies offers, contact us today.

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