Concrete Integral Color

Integral color is very traditional and using it consists of simply adding a pigment to the concrete as it is mixing, either in the redi-mix truck or by hand. It is often referred to as concrete dye, though it is not a dye at all. It infuses color all the way through the material and produces long-lasting, fade-resistant color, so it is often a choice for slabs that will endure a lot of traffic and abuse, as chips are not as noticeable. Integral color often provides the “background” color for the contrasting colors of Accent Release, Antiquing Agents, or Concrete Stains. Walttools Tru Hue colors are very potent and there is a huge variety of colors to match most environments. Walttools Tru Hue Integral color is packaged in convenient, repulpable paper (dissolvable) bags, and are added into the redi-mix concrete truck based on the number of yards being poured. 

With integrally colored concrete, the entire batch of concrete is colored, thus future chips and abrasions will not expose the stark white spots as when using a surface color method.  The Tru Hue color palette includes a variety of earth tones that will blend will any landscape design or integrated architectural colors.

Using Integral Color

Concrete integral color is the most common (and maybe still the easiest) way to color your concrete projects. Integral colors are finely ground oxide pigments that are thoroughly mixed with the concrete before it is poured, allowing you a wide range of coloration based on how much color is put on.  How much is put in is calculated by loadings based on total cement used in each yard of concrete.  1 percent, 2 percent, 3 percent and 4 percent are what you will find most of the time.

Economy loading 1 percent, is great for stamping purposes. They are softer colors that are just enough to remove the “gray” and work very well with darker, contrasting releases OR tique wash products like Tru Tique.  Walttools has 13 standard colors that fit this category. At $12.50 per yard compared to $30 or more, the savings can get ridiculous for those doing a lot of concrete stamping. These colors are also great when one wants to add stains, borders, etc.

Double that up and you have 2 percent loading.  This is where the pigments become able to show themselves as they really are. The same pigments as one percent now produce stronger hues, overcoming the gray. These are more common when doing interior floors or a simple broom/trowel finish surface without using any contrasting color products like release or stains.

3 and 4 percent loading produces quite strong colors that give a bold statement. They are less often used for stamping because they may not allow enough contrast from release or antique products. The price on these amounts can start to get pretty high. Still, Walttool Tru Hue colors such as Brick Red and Charcoal will run $50 per yard but that compares very well to $65 to $80 or more from others. They do very well when machine troweled giving a very bold, burnished look.

Walttools Tru Hue colors are packaged PER YARD so you do not have to worry about any math except making sure you have the same number of bags as yards of concrete.  A few colors that may require more than one bag per yard are identified in the description and those orders are filled accordingly. Lastly as a general rule to calculate yardage, plan for each yard of concrete occupying 80 square feet(82) when doing a standard 4 inch pour. So if you measure for your pad and it’s 20 feet by 30 feet, then multiply 20 times 30 and get 600.  Divide 600 by 80 and get 7.5 yards.  They will round up to 8 so order 8 bags of the color you want.  

Most colors are based on a ONE bag per yard scale.

  • Pre-packed Tru Hue integral colors are conveniently packaged in one-bag-per-cubic-yard, "repulpable" paper bags for easy addition to ready mixed concrete. In addition to ready mixed concrete, Tru Hue Concrete Color is widely used in various concrete applications starting with decorative concrete flatwork, as well as concrete countertops, pre-cast, tilt-up panels, mortar, architectural concrete block, stucco, cast stone, and many others.
  • This integral color is made from pure/natural and synthetic metal oxide pigments, and it contains no fillers or extenders, which are often used by some companies to increase weight, thus increasing your price.
  • Easy to order: just purchase one unit* for each cubic yard of concrete. The weighing has been done for you!
  • Color temperatures of computer monitors vary. Various concrete finishing factors may result in variation of end result.
  • Bulk prices also available. Just call.

* Select colors are made by combining certain bags.  These colors are noted individually on their page.

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