Guide To Using Concrete Color Pigment

By Sally Delacruz

Concreted surfaces can be more than just floors these days. Versatility with coloring, texturing, and installation provides more options. People can choose this material for counter tops, table tops, bar tops, and even as a non-traditional flooring. Concrete color pigment helps with choices, but it is important to understand the proper use and types.

Also known as integral and surface pigments, these types of coloring are available in a powder or liquid and each have specific mixing requirements. Liquid pigments, for example, are often in a concentrated form and need to be diluted with water before adding to the cement mix. There may also be specific requirements for how different pigments are used. Some liquid versions may have to be applied to the top of the concreted surface after it has cured instead of adding it to the mix before spreading.

The most common types of pigments are iron oxide versions. Out of the three main groups of pigments, these ones are the least expensive, often because they have limited colors and more detailed or difficult application instructions. They have very few colors to choose, but they are ideal if you are looking for earth tones in the brown and dark yellow range.

The second group is pigments that are made of special metal oxides. There are a few more choices for coloring in this group. Blues, purples, and reds are available. For greens, chromium oxide can be used. If you want a bright white, you can choose titanium oxide. Application is a little more simpler than the first group of pigments, but often not by much.

The most expensive pigments are the synthetic versions. Although they do cost more, they also provide the largest amount of colors to choose from. They are also typically more potent which means you will use less when you mix them in or apply them to the surface. Colors range from vibrant canary yellow to bright violet, and almost everything in between.

Powdered versions are typically found in cans or dissolving bags. They will be loose and find or granulated. The granulated powders are better suited for use in commercial mixers or trucks because the constant, rough mixing breaks up the granules. Loose and fine versions are designed for smaller mixers, such as the ones that can be rented by individuals who are doing their own projects at home.

Pigments in liquid form need to be mixed thoroughly before adding them to the mix or applying them to the surface. The pigments are suspended in a liquid that keeps it from settling and allows time for measuring and mixing. They should be mixed while still in the container as well. It is important to pay attention to the usage instructions and whether or not it needs to be diluted.

There are some pigments that provide extra protection for concentrated surfaces. Particularly with synthetic and liquid versions, it is possible to have pigments that provide some water resilience or other type of extra protective measures. Surfaces that can be polished are often great application instances for these types. They can also be ideal choices for concreted surfaces that are stamped.

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