Concrete finishing is a skill that is called for at the end of a concrete pour. A concrete finisher and his team can make concrete look like wood, slate or other more expensive building materials. In addition, large expanses of concrete can be scaled down by adding visual detail.
Concrete ordered from Lehigh Hanson Canada (LHC) can be produced in a variety of colours by mixing in pigments which become an integral part of the concrete.
Colour in a given mix design can vary slightly from load to load, so additional steps need to be taken in preparation.
- Consistency of slump: if a higher slump is required, a superplasticizer is recommended
- Special care needs to be taken with addition of water
- Plan for where one load ends and another begins to minimize colour discrepancy
- Use only non-chloride accelerators as calcium chloride can dramatically change the colour of any concrete
- As with all concrete, coloured concrete should be cured for 3 to 7 days. The age and temperature of the concrete when it is poured will affect the colour, in addition to the type and consistency of subgrades and forms
- Sealers should be applied once the concrete has matured and the interial moisture content has been reduced to prevent mottling.
Patterns and textures
Concrete can be pattern-stamped with special tools to create the look and feel of slate, cobblestone, brick, tile and many other textures. An exposed aggregate finish gives traditional concrete a more natural look. Exposed aggregate is achieved by washing away the surface mortar just as the concrete hardens.