- Concrete Patio Info
- Concrete Patio Pictures
- Patio Placement and Layout Tips
- Patio Sizes and Dimensions
- Choosing Patio Surfaces and Materials
- Patio Designs and Ideas
- Stamped Concrete and Other Popular Patio Finishes
- Stamped Concrete Patterns
- Resurfacing Concrete Patios
- Exposed Aggregate
- Advantages of Concrete Patios
- Concrete Patio Cost
- Benefits of a Concrete Patio: The top reasons to install a concrete patio
- Maintenance is a Breeze
- Other Resources
- Review our Comprehensive Section on Stamped Concrete
- Concrete Contractors: Find Products and Supplies in Your Area
- Design Ideas: Concrete Patio Info
Color Options for Concrete Patios
Outdoor rooms for dining and entertaining are more popular than ever, and to dress up their outdoor spaces, more homeowners are adding color to their hardscape designs, often starting with the patio. One of the biggest advantages of concrete is that it offers more color options than any other patio material. There are numerous ways to color concrete, including adding the color integrally to the concrete mix or applying it to the surface in the form of color hardeners, stains or dyes. You can also combine various methods to achieve unique color effects. See these ideas for enhancing your concrete patio with color.
Many homeowners tend to favor natural earth-toned color schemes for their concrete patios, such as browns, tans, and terra-cotta reds. These neutral colors blend in beautifully with most landscapes and exterior home colors.
By using a combination of coloring methods, it’s possible for contractors to simulate the look of natural stone, such as slate, travertine and bluestone. Often various antiquing agents and stains are applied to a base color of concrete to achieve these multi-tonal effects and the look of natural weathering.
After brown and tan, dark gray is probably the most commonly used color for decorative concrete patios. It can be used to imitate stone, but also makes a great backdrop for bolder accent colors.
Instead of blending your patio in with the landscape, don't be afraid to use a broader palette of hues to add more interest and make the patio a focal point. You can even use color to adorn your patio with custom artwork, such as floral patterns and sunburst designs.
You can give your patio the look of a faux-tile floor by cutting it into a checkerboard or diamond pattern enhanced by contrasting colors of stain. This elegant look is ideal for formal outdoor rooms and can often be color matched to an interior tile floor.
Integral pigments are one of the most popular methods for coloring newly placed concrete patios. These admixtures color the entire patio slab, not just the surface, so the color won't wear away or fade. Stamped concrete contractors often use integral color in combination with topical coloring mediums, such as color hardeners and stains, to replicate the variegated, multi-tonal appearance of natural stone.
Dry-shake color hardeners and pigmented release agents come as powders that are hand broadcast onto the freshly placed concrete and then worked into the surface with a float or trowel. Unlike integral pigments, which color the entire concrete matrix, hardeners color only the top surface layer. Because the color is concentrated at the surface, it tends to be more intense than integral color.
Acid, or chemical-based, concrete stains are commonly used as accent colors for patios and generally come in earth-tones that blend in beautifully with outdoor color schemes. They can also be applied by hand to create custom patterns and designs.
See colors: Stain color chart
Water-based stains penetrate the concrete to produce permanent color, ranging from translucent to opaque depending on the product. They go beyond the subtle color effects of acid-based stains and come in a much broader color palette, so they are ideal for creating custom artwork on concrete. Most manufacturers offer dozens of standard colors.
Concrete dyes, unlike stains, don’t rely on a chemical reaction to work their magic. Instead, they penetrate into the floor to achieve complete, permanent color saturation. Dyes are available in water- or solvent-based formulations and in a vast array of colors. But not all dyes are formulated for exterior use and tend to be less UV resistant than concrete stains, so be sure to choose the right product for your application.
See colors: Dye color chart