INTEGRAL COLOURS AND STAINS
Decorative concrete can enhance any indoor or outdoor living space. Decorative concrete includes stamped concrete, coloured concrete, wall stamps and wall-carved applications, concrete countertops, concrete furniture, fire tables, outdoor fireplaces, fountains, accent pieces, and much more!
Decorative concrete is unique, versatile, and durable. You will be able to enjoy your space for years to come!
At Hard Rock Concrete Supplies, we have the products and knowledge necessary to help you make your dream space a reality! Everything, from countertops and walls to floors, can be designed and created with you specifically in mind. If you can imagine it, we can help you create it!
Most of the decorative concrete mixes we carry are white in colour. This is so that you can produce nice, brightly coloured pieces. By adding a colour pack, you can integrally colour the piece. Integrally colouring a piece will produce a more uniform colour throughout the piece.
These concrete pieces may also be stained. Staining a piece will produce more highs and lows in the colouring. You can augment this natural highs and lows colouring system by adding water to dilute the stain and applying it in layers to create highs and lows where you want them. Layer different dilution ratios or different colours until you achieve the look you want. Integral colouring and staining are also possible.
Integral colour is generally a powder (although there are liquid integral colours on the market). These powders are added to the concrete mix at the time of mixing. At Hard Rock Concrete Supplies, we carry a few different manufacturers of integral colours.
Interstar integral colours are meant for large batches, generally in a concrete truck. These bags are premeasured per meter of concrete. Depending on the intensity of the colour you want, you may need 1 bag per meter of concrete, 2 bags per meter of concrete, or 3 bags per meter of concrete. Hard Rock Concrete Supplies has an Interstar Granastar Pigment Machine on site. What this means for you is that we can make the bags of pigment you need for most colours right here on site. We will not be out of your colour.
Colour packs are small amounts of pigment that are pre-measured for individual bags of concrete. These are made for Surecrete’s bag mixes, but they can be used for any concrete bag mix. Just keep in mind that the colour charts were made with Surecrete’s bag mixes in mind. The colour you achieve with a different manufacturer’s bag mix may differ from the colour chart.
Hard Rock Concrete Supplies carries Surecrete’s Eco-Stain. This stain is a water-based penetrating stain and is used when the concrete is gully cured. Because this is a penetrating stain, the concrete must be prepared to accept the stain. Concrete should be at CSP levels 1–2 for the stain to be able to penetrate properly.
Decorative concrete should always be kept sealed. This will keep water and contaminants from entering the concrete and washing out the colour, the sun from bleaching away the colour, and water from getting into the pours of the concrete and cracking or spalling the concrete.
Stamped and coloured concrete
Stamped-coloured concrete can look like almost anything. Want a wood plank look on your concrete? At Hard Rock Concrete Supplies, we have a wide variety of stamps, integral colour, release powders, clear liquid release, Eco-Accent (antiquing agent), and stain to help you attain your specific look.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between integral colour and stains?
Integral colours are generally powders that are mixed into the concrete as the concrete is mixed up. This makes the colour the same throughout the thickness of the concrete. Integral colours generally produce a more uniform olor. Colour can be controlled by either adding more or less powder to the mix.
Stains are used after the concrete has been fully cured. Stains generally produce more highs and lows than integral colours. The intensity of colour can be controlled. You can dilute the colour by adding water to the stain.
Can I integrally colour my concrete and stain it as well?
Yes, you can both integrally colour and stain your concrete. The stain we carry is called Eco-Stain, and it is a penetrating stain. What that means is that the stain will work with the colour of the concrete. If you integrally colour the concrete, then stain on top, you may achieve a different colour than you would if you had not integrally coloured your concrete.
What is CSP level 1?
CSP level one refers to the roughness or smoothness of the concrete. This corresponds directly to the openness of the pours of the concrete. CSP level one feels approximately as rough as 100-grit sandpaper. Concrete must feel this rough for the stain to be able to penetrate properly. Concrete must also be at this level for sealers to be able to bond properly.
What happens if the stain does not penetrate the concrete?
If the stain cannot penetrate the concrete properly, it will dry on the surface of the concrete. This will create a powdery substance on the surface that will brush or wash off very easily. This powdery residue will also be a bondbreaker for any sealer that is applied to the concrete.
Do I need to seal my coloured concrete?
Yes, you should always seal your concrete. Sealed concrete will last longer and stay looking newer longer than unsealed concrete. Concrete sealers keep water, moisture, sunlight, dust, wind, and other contaminants from getting to the concrete surface. Keeping the concrete sealed can extend the life of the concrete for years!