Pattern Imprinted Concrete Colours
Pattern Imprinted Concrete Colours
The range of concrete imprinted driveway colour choices range from charcoal black to the lightest yellow.
Choosing a colour that blends with the existing brickwork of your home, or one that provides a striking contrast will all be down to personal choice.
The two colour examples below are in the warmer red/brown tints, with terracotta being a very popular choice for stamped concrete, as it is a warm colour which matches many homes perfectly.
Terracotta colour pattern, on an imprinted
Mahogany colour pattern, on an imprinted
Concrete Imprinted Driveway Colour Mixing
It may surprise you to learn that the colouring of concrete is actually done on delivery of ‘plain concrete’ to your home.
Whilst it’s possible to mix colour with concrete beforehand, this will not provide the suitable strength and durability to the finished surface.
Therefore, colour surface hardener is used. As the name suggests, this acts as a surface hardener on freshly laid concrete, as well as providing……colour!
Charcoal colour on a pattern imprinted
Steel Grey colour on a pattern imprinted
Colour Surface Hardeners (CSH)
Colour surface hardeners need to be mixed (not batched) within stringent quality parameters that ensure consistency of colour.
This is important as the slightest difference in shade of colour will be noticeable on a completed pattern imprinted concrete installation.
It’s also important to check that colour comes from a reputable company such as PIC’s (they’ve been around since the 1980’s so they know a thing or two about colour).
A perfectly laid European Fan design on aconcrete imprinted driveway
Concrete Imprinted Driveway Colour Differences
Some larger driveway installations need to be laid over a couple of days. Because of this, they are the types of installation most likely to have a noticable colour difference.
Well, it’s not because of the colour surface hardener itself.
However, one batch of colour that is mixed may slightly vary by the slightest shade compared to another batch. To minimise the risk, it’s important to ensure the exact same mixing process is used for any additional ‘loads’ of concrete.
Experienced installers will be able to blend the join line of larger installations with ease – but they must have the same mix to work with.
Larger installations are anything more than 80 m².
If your installation will only need one load of concrete – applying colour to your concrete driveway will NOT be a problem.
Concrete Imprinted Driveway Colour Distribution
The distribution of colour surface hardener during any installation needs to be even. Otherwise the finished driveway or patio surface may look ‘patchy’.
There isn’t a fix for this after the installation has been completed, so the even distribution of colour is very important.
This is where it really pays off to use an installer with experience.
The question is – how much colour is needed for even distribution?
Approximately 2.5kg of colour surface hardener will cover a square metre.
Deliveries are usually in bags of 25kg. Therefore, an average size UK installation of 60 m² will require 6 to 8 bags of colour surface hardener.
Areas around driveway entrances, garage entrances and steps will require more colour and it’s best to have more rather than less.
Additionally, if lighter colours are chosen (sometimes referred to a ‘biscuit’, ‘silver grey‘ or ‘Bideford Buff’) then extra colour will be needed to stop “grey” concrete patches from showing through.
Biscuit colour pattern imprinted concrete driveway with Ashlar Print
An experienced and professional installer will be aware of this. Remember it’s in your own interest to check the correct amount of colour, prior to installation.
Another consideration is that care is taken with colour around existing areas such as walls and fences. If wet colour is splashed and not removed immediately, unsightly stains will remain…. another thing to look out for.
Grey colour splashed on walls cannot be removed at a later date….
Watch out for this.
Concrete Imprinted Driveway Colour and Finishing Touches
Release agents are powders that are put to use to ‘tone’ down colours.
They also provide a unique ‘two-tone’ effect.
Once an installation has been left for a day or two, most of the release agent is ready for the ‘wash off’.
Skill is necessary to ensure that just enough release agent remains on the surface, and excess removal is just right. If not, problems may occur at the sealing stage as adhesion (between sealer and surface) may become compromised.
We stress again – Make sure to use a professional concrete installer!
Release powder tones down red base colour during the printing process
Finally, however tempting it may be…. ‘to be different’, do not opt for the brighter colours. That is not to say that Champagne Pink won’t look nice on a patio area, but for a driveway?
Staying within the black, grey, reds and yellows is certainly best.
So what’s your colour?
Maybe you know somebody with an awesome coloured concrete driveway? OR maybe somebody with an awful coloured concrete driveway?
We’re DrivewayWise.com. Independent, unbiased information to help you make an informed decision to fulful your driveway aspirations!