Colored Concrete

How much does concrete color cost?

The cost will vary greatly depending upon the cement content of the mix and the color choice. The price range is from approximately $6.25 up to $131.00 per cubic yard for a 6 sack mix for the color only. The darker the color, the more expensive it is. Some of the more popular choices are about $50.00 per cubic yard for a 6 sack mix. Ask our dispatcher or a salesman for a quote on your job.

How can I ensure my concrete is consistent in color?

You need to know approximately how many cubic yards of colored concrete you will need. If pouring multiple colors, you should know how much of each color is needed. If you need more than 1 load, you should order your loads as close to the same size as possible.

Example 1- The job requires 21yds3 of concrete
You should order two 7 yard loads and a cleanup (the exact amount required to finish pouring the last 1/3) which should be 7 – 8yds3 depending upon your grade. This will help by making everything as consistent as possible, as opposed to ordering two 9 ½ yard loads and a 2 – 3 yard clean up which could come out to wet or dry because it is harder to control the consistency on smaller loads.
If you are pouring over multiple days, you should try to keep the days as close together (so you don't have changing environmental conditions) and keep the pours approximately the same size so everyone knows what to expect.
Example 2- The job requires 50yds3, but only feel comfortable pouring 15yds3 at a time
break your pour into four separate pours of approximately 12 ½yds3 each. It doesn't have to be exact, but you should try to keep it close. In other words, if it's more convenient to pour 10 yards one day as you reach a natural breaking point, and 15 yards on another day, that would be ok too.

Make sure your sub-grade is prepared properly. You should have a consistent depth across the slab and your sub-grade should be moist, but NOT overly wet. If you pour over the top of puddles or mud puddles, it will contribute to blotchiness in the slab color and increase the risk of efflorescence.

Make sure all the loads are poured at the same slump (see information needed to place an order). If water needs to be added, do so at the very beginning of the load and make sure that it gets mixed in thoroughly (should be 70 revolutions of the trucks drum at high mixing speed and should take about 3-5 minutes- all trucks have a drum counter, just make sure to tell the driver you want 70 revolutions of the drum). If not mixed sufficiently or if more water is added later in the pour, the part of the load that has more water than the rest will be more diluted, thus having a lighter color that the rest of the pour.

Consider environmental effects, especially if pouring on multiple days. Colored concrete tends to set up a little bit faster than plain concrete. If it's warm outside, you should consider using Delvo concrete retarder (slows down the chemical reaction for concrete by a specified amount). Typically, 1 – 2 hours retardation is a good idea with color, depending upon how far away the jobsite is from the plant, the environmental conditions and the experience level of the finishers. If nothing else, you should retard the concrete for the trip to your jobsite. This will buy you a little extra time in case you need it (better to have and not need than to need and not have, as the concrete won't wait!) and will help prevent the need to add additional unwanted water.

This will only lighten the color of the surface. If additional time is needed to finish working the concrete, use Con Film surface retarder. If broom finished, be careful not to wet the broom to much as this too will cause the surface color to be diluted, resulting in light to dark streaks as the broom goes from wet to dry.

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding concrete, our business, please do not hesitate to call our office at (209) 524-3177 or email us through our Contact Us page.