Tips, tricks and product updates:
Get the Brickform newsletter!

Concrete Coloring Systems

While stains, dyes, and color hardeners can be applied topically to existing concrete surfaces, integral colors are mixed right into the concrete. Integral color is the perfect way to add color to new concrete pours.

Brickform Integral Color Products

Brickform’s Integral Color Products

We have three types of integral coloring products to choose from.

  • Powdered Integral Color is the most popular choice. This product comes in dissolving bags that can be tossed straight into the concrete truck.
  • Ultra-M1x Integral Color is a new version of our powdered color, but this comes with fiber added which increases the strength of the concrete.
  • Liquid Integral Color is a dust-free product that works similarly to our powdered integral color in that it disperses evenly throughout the concrete. It offers some shades of greens and blues that can’t be achieved with powdered integral color.
London Cobble
Brickform Powdered Integral Color in Sienna with Walnut Antique Release

Combining Other Coloring Products with Integral Colors

Brickform’s integral colors can be used as a base and these other coloring products can be used to enhance or accent the surface:

  • Concrete stains and dyes. Alters the appearance of an integrally colored concrete surface.
  • Color hardener. Can be used to create opaque finishes or as a complementary color to integrally colored concrete.
  • Antiquing agents. Creates a secondary color on an integrally colored surface.
Broom Finished Concrete

Pros and Cons of Using Integral Color

No coloring option is better than another—it just depends on what you want to accomplish. Here are some of the qualities of integral color:

  • Pigmentation throughout. Because integral color is mixed in when the concrete is mixed, the color pigmentation extends throughout the whole concrete slab. That means if the surface gets chipped, scratched, or worn out, the color underneath will be the same as the color on top of the surface.
  • Creates subtle hues. Integral colors are subtle and understated rather than vibrant and bold. They’re often used for coloring concrete to make it look like a natural material such as stone.
  • Less laborious than other coloring systems. Getting colored concrete with an integral color means that you just pour the concrete and finish it—no extra coloring steps required.
  • Costs more than plain concrete. Mixing the color in with the concrete does make the concrete itself more expensive, but sometimes the extra cost is offset by the reduced cost of labor.
  • Integral colors for cool concrete. When it comes to choosing a color for an outdoor surface, there’s more than just appearance to think about. Lighter colors reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat, keeping your surface cooler. This effect is measured using a figure called Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). The higher the number, the more solar energy is reflected. For example, new gray concrete has an SRI value of 35, while asphalt can have an SRI value as low as 0. Learn more here.

Learn about the differences between using integral color and color hardener.

Sealers for Colored Concrete

Sealers are necessary for protecting your concrete surface from wear and tear plus damage from a variety of contaminants. Brickform offers a variety of sealers that come in different sheen and gloss levels. You can also choose to include additives that provide traction or alter the appearance of the surface to achieve the design goals of the project.