Integral Colored Concrete
With integral colored concrete, the entire batch of concrete is colored all the way through. Integral colors are available in powdered, granular and liquid forms. The palette for integral pigments consists primarily of soft earth tones that integrate well with most landscapes and architectural elements.
The chief advantage of integral pigments is that the color extends throughout the entire concrete slab, so even if surface abrasion occurs, the color will not wear away. The pigments in integral coloring admixtures also are chemically stable and won’t fade over time from exposure to the weather or ultraviolet light.
Where to use: Integral pigments can be added to just about any type of new concrete. Popular applications include exterior flatwork, floors, walls and countertops. Integral color is ideal for achieving uniform tones with no variations. It also works well as a contrasting base shade for creating layers of color.Indoors, integral color is a good alternative to shake-on color hardeners if mess and cleanup are concerns.
Limitations: The main disadvantage of integral color is that the hues are subtle and less intense than what you can achieve with color hardeners. Cost can be another drawback. Because you’re coloring the entire batch of concrete rather than just applying color to the surface, you may pay 10% to 30% more for integrally colored concrete than for plain concrete. Generally the cost for labor won’t be any higher, since integrally colored concrete is mixed and finished just like conventional concrete.