A coloured concrete floor is a hard wearing finished surface, suitable for high trafficked areas both foot and fork-lift dependent on depth. Properly produced and protected coloured concrete floors should last for many years with the correct maintenance. Coloured concrete floors are becoming more popular within polished concretes.
There are three main methods of applying colour:
- Dry shake
- Surface-applied stains and coatings
Stains and coatings are used on existing or new concrete floors and will be the least expensive to apply but are not as sustainable. Dry shake applications are used on freshly placed concrete floors, such as industrial floors. Typically, these materials cost less than integral colour but the labour to finish the concrete floor is more intensive and costly.
Generally, integrally coloured concrete floors will have higher material cost coupled with a lower labour expense and is more sustainable as the colour is throughout and can be polished after years of use. With the integral method pigment is introduced into the mix within the truck mixer, either in liquid or powder form. As with any concrete material, the main focus is proper design, accurate production of the mix, and achieving the correct finishing technique and curing. Although the iron oxides used to produce coloured concrete do not fade it is easy for the surface to be damaged by efflorescence, dirt, and mould, which will partially hide the coloured surface. Applying a proper curing compound or sealer can protect the coloured surface and reduce the need for maintenance.
Minimum depths are 75mm for foot traffic and designed between 150mm – 350mm dependant on loadings for trafficked areas. Drying time for foot traffic is 24 hours - the concrete dries at approximately 1mm per day and should not be force dried. Due to fibres protruding through the surface we recommend only mesh or bar reinforcement is used on this type of application.
Integrally Coloured Concrete Floors
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