terra cottaConcrete 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.  They also work well as providing a good colored “canvas” for various stain products like Tru Tint acid stain, water base stain or Re-Ax. 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.  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.  

When it comes to coloring your concrete in the simplest manner, Walttools Tru Hue integral color is the best choice going. 

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