Innovation: The need to innovate has driven mankind to discover and invent new things. Some of these innovations are the result of waste products. Such is the case with colored concrete. F.D. Davis Company, in the 1950s, pioneered the idea of adding powdered iron oxide to concrete mixes to variegate the color of concrete. This addition of iron oxide, which itself was wasted during manufacturing at chemical plants, changed the color of gray concrete to a warmer hazel palette.
Concrete is essential to make buildings. In newer structures, one sees less and less of the conventional gray colored concrete. This is because more people prefer colored, stamped or stained concrete. Over the past sixty years, colored concrete has been developed even more to give consumers a variation in not only color, but design as well. Contractors now offer colored concrete, stamped concrete and stained concrete.
As has been explained above, colored concrete gets its color from iron oxide pigments. What was a waste product in the 1950s is now manufactured in the chemical industry as an essential product for making colored concrete. Concrete is colored in various ways and can be found in shades of pink, purple, blue, green, orange and brown. Concrete companies also sell colored concrete in a ready to mix form in a huge variety of colors.
Stamped concrete is concrete made to look like cobblestones, bricks or stones. This is done by adding color and texture to the concrete. This is an economical way to give the illusion of bricks or stones without actually investing in the same material cost. Stamped concrete can be used for walls and flooring. It is most often used for pathways, parking-lots and porches. It is now even being used inside houses and buildings to give the effect of bricks and stones.
Concrete is also available in varied patterns and designs. For those who prefer a marble finish or a darker woody finish, stained concrete is the go-to choice. It not only gives the desired effect but also does so with a rich and clean finish. Staining only enhances the concrete and does not do away with existing flaws.
There are two staining methods for concrete. Acid stained concrete is made when hydrochloric acid reacts with the concrete to stain the surface. This method of staining does not fade away with time, however, its colors are limited to the more natural terracotta, blue-greens and turquoise tones. Water stained concrete is made when the water-based stain seeps into the concrete, allowing it to bond with the concrete. Water-based staining can give either an opaque or a translucent effect, whereas acid-based staining only gives the latter. Water based staining is available in a wide range of colors and is not restricted to the palette of acid-based staining. One can even achieve a metallic tint in water-based staining.