Are you tired of the same grey concrete flooring in your garden, driveway, and patio? The solution to this gloomy problem would be colourful concrete flooring in all of these areas. Colored concrete, also known as decorative concrete, gives you the ability to stain and dye your traditional concrete flooring in different colours. Read this easy guide on how to make traditional boring grey flooring colourful and different.
The use of colourful concrete can be dated back to the 1900s. Companies primarily used this colourful concrete mixture to precast structures to create a façade for buildings. Today colourful concrete mixtures can be used to create unique designs, hide potential stains, and break up large, paved areas. The market for colourful concrete is a fast-growing business, but it does require a highly skilled technician who is trained in the manufacturing and application process.
How does grey cement turn into colourful concrete?
The colored concrete is made or manufactured in chemical plants or made using pigments mined from the ground. These ground and plant pigments come in three different forms which include granular, powder, and liquid. Each of these pigment forms has its own unique, universal use and advantages. The colored pigments are made of iron oxide particles that are 10 times smaller than the particles cement is made of.
When these pigments are combined with the wet cement mixture, the smaller particles of the colour surround and cover up the normal cement mixture’s large particles and this is how the colourful tint is created. The ratio of colour pigments is all dependent on the amount of cement mixture that is needed. The more cement mixture that is used, the more colourful pigments would be needed for the colour to be bolder or darker in colour. You will need to use more colourful pigments when working with grey concrete as it creates more earth-tone colours. If you want your concrete mixture to have lighter colours, you will need to use white concrete which is often more expensive.
If you perhaps already have grey concrete flooring and you want to make it more colourful, you have options. You can get a technician that specialises in this industry to do the job for you. The technician has the option of using colouring that is either a water-based stain or even an acid-chemical stain. This process, be it chemical or water-based, will colour your concrete flooring in no time.
Why would you use colored concrete?
There are many reasons why you would use colored concrete in today’s life. Colored concrete is used mostly for aesthetic purposes. It’s a great option for you to create some interesting designs as well as artistic presentations of the concrete. By using colored concrete, you can break up large areas of concrete. If you perhaps have a long driveway or large patio you can colour all the parts differently and make it more interesting than the traditional grey.
Many people often use these colourful concrete mixtures to replicate nature. For example, colouring green turfs or gravel paths. Matching concrete to the surrounding landscapes keeps the concrete discreet. It also helps the area look more alive and colourful rather than the industrial grey concrete look.
How to make colourful concrete using concrete mixers?
Before you can make colourful concrete, you will first need to know how to make grey concrete. To make concrete, you will need cement, water, gravel, or sand. You will typically start by pouring half a bucket of water into the concrete mixer. The right amount of water will be determined with time. If you throw in too much water, the consistency will be thin and unmanageable, and if you throw in top little water the sand, concrete, and gravel wouldn’t mix properly.
After the water has been added to the concrete mixer you will proceed to include all the material as previously stated. You can make use of a wheelbarrow to transfer the sand to the concrete mixer. The cement is then also added to the concrete mixer but use the instructions on the cement bag to make sure you use the right amount. After all the materials have been mixed and water is added as necessary this is usually the time colourful pigmentation is added to the mixture. Once again, the pigmentation that is added to the concrete mixer should be darker or more pigmented, depending on how deep of a shade you want the concrete to be.
Now that you know how to make concrete by using concrete mixers, you need to make use of the correct size concrete mixer for your project. If you need concrete for a small project such as making colourful concrete décor for your garden, you can make use of small concrete mixers or even manually handle the concrete mixture. If you have to do bigger jobs, such as paving the driveway or patio, you would have to make use of bigger concrete mixers for the job to get it done effectively. Concrete mixers aren’t necessary, but making use of the machines will allow the process to go faster as well as prevent lumps from forming in your mixture.
How to clean concrete mixers after use:
If you do decide to invest in a concrete mixer or even hire one for your projects, you will need to know how to clean the mixer after use. The first rule of cleaning concrete mixers is to always clean the mixer while the concrete is still wet. This is due to the simple fact that concrete gets hard and then requires some complex chemicals to break the concrete down. Some of the materials you would always need when cleaning concrete mixers are water, a pressure washer, bristled brush, chemical concrete remover, and chemical applicators.
Follow the steps to clean your concrete mixer:
- The first thing you should do when cleaning your concrete mixer is fill the machine with a reasonable amount of water.
- Secondly you want to add a couple shovels of gravel. This is a trust-the-process type of step.
- Next you want to turn the mixer on and allow it to spin for a while.
- The gravel that you were previously concerned about will now move around with the water and scrape off any of the concrete that has been left on the sides.
- It would be beneficial if you tilt the machine in order for the gravel and water mixture to reach the edge of the machine.
- When you can see that all the concrete has been removed, you can now drain the mixture in an appropriate place.
- In this step you can make use of a pressure washer to remove any of the remaining residents from the interior or exterior of the mixer
- Lastly, you can let the machine dry off before you store it away.
Some additional advice that you should consider is:
- If you need to scrub any of the surfaces of the mixer, a stiff toilet brush seems to work surprisingly well.
- Crete-lease can be applied to the exterior of the mixer which prevents concrete from sticking to the surface.
- Pressure washers offer an alternative to the chemical although they may not be able to remove the hardened concrete they can, however, clean out the wet concrete mixture.
Four benefits of colouring concrete:
There are so many benefits of colored concrete as a medium for decoration as well as buildings. Here are the four many benefits.
As concrete is a moldable material it provides you with flexibility in your designs. The flexibility that concretes and the addition of colour provides you with designs with products that are far greater than other architectural materials. With concrete, you also can create textural finishes and effects.
Concrete can be defined as durable, as this material can last for many years with very few maintenance requirements. If you choose to use colourful concrete for your surfaces, flooring, or other items you will create something permanent and cost-effective. By adding a touch of colour, you can spice up any space. Due to the durability of concrete, colourful concrete driveways are possible and have become a trend among homeowners.
It doesn’t matter if you choose to colour the inside or outside, the benefit of concrete is the fact that the colour doesn’t fade and it’s weatherproof. The colour will never be lost no matter how much rain or sunlight the platform receives. Another benefit of colourful concrete is the fact that it’s permanent and you don’t have to worry about repainting these surfaces which saves you time and money.
4. Colour consistency:
There is a wide range of different colours available for you to choose from when wanting to colour your concrete. The type of powder or chemical that is added to the concrete mixture is also done in such a way that the colour is the same in every batch. So, whatever your design might be you can be reassured that the concrete will be looking effective and consistent.
DIY tips for colored concrete:
Making concrete colourful is very straightforward and it follows the same procedure you would use when you make standard concrete. The only real difference is the fact that you will add a powder to the mixture in order for the colour to be displayed in the mixture. If you follow the steps according to the packaging, you can also create colourful concrete. Here are some tips for all your DIY projects.
1.Keep the costs lower by shopping around for concrete powders:
There are many different places where you can shop for concrete colourful powders such as in stores or online. Most of the powders that are used for these reasons are very easy to use. The powder can be added in various amounts all depending on what colours or shades of concrete you want. By shopping around for these powders, you can buy cost-effective ones and have choices to find the right color for your project.
2.Wear protective clothing and equipment:
Since you are working with a colouring agent it’s beneficial to wear protective clothing. This will prevent your skin and clothes from being damaged during your DIY experience. Any other safety gear that you deem necessary is important when working with colouring, especially for dyeing concrete.
How to maintain colored concrete:
There are several ways to take the best care of your colourful concrete. If you cured the colourful concrete properly it will prevent the concrete surface from cracking. If the concrete mixture with colourful powder is not mixed well, the colourful concrete shade will fade therefore it’s important to have professionals take on these projects. If you keep your concrete platform clean it will preserve its colour.
We hope you have learned a lot about colourful concrete and the role of concrete mixers in the process.