The range of concrete imprinted driveway colour choices range from charcoal black to 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.
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 the this acts as a surface hardener on freshly laid concrete, as well as providing……colour!
Colour surface hardeners (CSH) need to be mixed (or 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 important to check that colour comes from a reputable company such as PICs (they’ve been around since the 80s so know a thing or two about colour.)
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 having a noticeable 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 this 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 Square Metres Plus.
IF your installation will only take one load – this will not be a problem.
To find a professional and reputable imprinted concrete installer local to you. Fill in your details in the form on the right.
Concrete Imprinted Driveway – Colour Distribution
The distribution of colour surface hardener during any installation needs to be even, otherwise the finished driveway/patio surface may look ‘patchy‘. There isn’t a fix for this after installation, so the even distribution of colour is very important.
The question is – How much colour is needed for even distribution?
Approximately 2.5 kg of colour surface hardener will cover a square metre. Deliveries are usually in bags of 25kg. Therefore, an average size UK installation of 60 square metres 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.
An experienced and professional installer will be aware of this. Remember, it’s in your best 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.
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 be compromised.
We stress again…..Make sure to use a professional concrete installer! Contact us using the form above.
Finally, however tempting it may be… ‘to be different‘, do not opt for the brighter colours. That’s not to say 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?
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