Your driveway is often the first thing people notice when they come to your home. A plain grey concrete driveway can look drab and boring. But you can quickly transform your driveway into a vibrant, eye-catching feature with coloured concrete. Coloured concrete offers a rainbow of options to dress up your driveway and give your home exterior a pop of personality.
What is Colored Concrete?
Coloured concrete is concrete that has pigments added during the mixing process to give it a variety of colours. The pigments are made from inorganic iron oxides in red, brown, yellow, and black hues, allowing concrete finishers to create a broad spectrum of rich and earthy tones.
The pigments blend into the concrete mixture before it is poured and finished. As the concrete cures and hardens, the colour becomes an integral, permanent part of the concrete. The colouring will last for many years with minimal fading.
Coloured concrete uses the same installation techniques as standard grey concrete. It can be poured, stamped, stencilled, stained, polished, engraved, or finished differently. The colour provides a vibrant background for any decorative concrete finish.
Benefits of a Colored Concrete Driveway
There are many great reasons to choose coloured concrete for your driveway:
Adding colour is one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. Rather than blending into the landscape, a coloured driveway becomes a landscape feature, drawing the eye and making a solid first impression on visitors.
You can match your home’s colour scheme or contrast with it. Bright reds, warm tans, deep greens – the options are practically endless with concrete colour mixes. A coloured driveway announces that your home is unique and reflects your style.
Properly poured and cured coloured concrete is as durable as traditional grey concrete. It retains its colour for many years with little maintenance required.
Coloured concrete won’t chip, crack, or fade like paint or coatings. It stands up to heavy vehicles, harsh weather, and high traffic without showing signs of wear. The colour is UV stable so it won’t degrade from sun exposure. With coloured concrete, you can install a vibrant and flawless driveway for decades.
A coloured concrete driveway requires little long-term maintenance compared to other driveway materials. There’s no need for re-painting, staining, or re-colouring over time. Standard concrete cleaning and sealing are all needed to keep your driveway looking new.
Coloured concrete won’t fade, stain, or show tire marks like some finishes. You can wash it with soap and water to refresh the look. It’s one of the lowest maintenance driveway options you can choose.
With coloured concrete, you can do more than tint the entire slab one colour. You have the creative flexibility to create custom designs, patterns, and textures.
Concrete artisans can use stencils, stamps, scoring, and embedded materials to produce decorative effects in different colours. For example, you can stamp a tile pattern in red on your tan driveway. Other options include logos, landscapes, geometrical shapes, and more.
If you later want to change the look, coloured concrete can be re-stamped, stencilled, or stained in different designs as your tastes change over time. The colouring allows for creativity and customisation not possible with plain grey concrete.
Coloured concrete is competitively priced with bare concrete. In some cases, installing coloured concrete may only cost 10-15% more than a standard concrete driveway. Coloured concrete is often much less expensive than other decorative paving options, like stamped asphalt, pavers, or engraved stone.
The colour is integral to the concrete, so you avoid the extra costs of applying dyes, stains or acrylic coatings that can wear over time. The long lifespan and minimal maintenance of coloured concrete make it a very cost-efficient investment for your home.
How to Choose a Color
Choosing a colour may be the most challenging part of designing your new coloured concrete driveway!
When selecting a colour, first consider the overall aesthetics of your home. Do you want your driveway colour to coordinate or contrast with the colours of your home exterior? Coordinating provides a cohesive, flowing look while contrasting makes the driveway “pop” as a distinct design feature.
Next, think about the impression you want to make. Warm reds and browns evoke classic, welcoming charm. Cool greys and sophisticated charcoal have an upscale, elegant vibe. Earth tones like tans, buffs, and gold create a calming, natural look.
If you want something bold and eye-catching, consider vibrant colours like bright red, emerald, sapphire, or a custom colour-mix hue. More brilliant colours can make smaller driveways appear more significant as well.
Don’t forget to factor in your lot setting—softer colours like grey, taupe, and beige complement natural or wooded surroundings. Bolder colours show up well on open, bare lots.
Review colour charts from suppliers to see the full palette of standard coloured concrete options. Many companies can also create custom colour mixes. Seeing actual samples is extremely helpful before committing to a final selection.
Coloured concrete’s versatile nature allows for various decorative options beyond a single solid colour. Some ideas for elevating your driveway’s design include:
- Using multiple colours creates bands, borders, geometric patterns, or a gradient blend.
- Stamping or embossing textures, like stone, brick, slate, cobbles, wood plank, or other impressions.
- Incorporating glass, metals, tiles, or aggregate for ornamentation.
- Integrating monograms, logos, or addresses into the design.
- Adding scored lines, saw cuts, or etchings to make shapes, divide sections, or simulate grout lines.
- Stenciling creative motifs like plants, landscapes, animals, symbols, or other graphics.
- Polishing, etching, or otherwise finishing the surface for distinctive visual effects.
Don’t be afraid to get creative! Consult with experienced coloured concrete contractors to transform your ordinary driveway into a stunning work of art.
Hiring a Contractor
Installing coloured concrete requires particular expertise to achieve the best visual results. Here are some tips for finding the right contractor:
- Look for an established company specialising in decorative or coloured concrete installation for several years. This ensures they have mastered the techniques for colour mixing, pouring, finishing, and curing the concrete properly.
- Ask to see examples of past coloured concrete work and read customer reviews. This will give you an idea of the quality and artistry they can provide.
- Make sure they use high-performance, fade-resistant pigments explicitly designed for exterior concrete. This provides maximum colour stability and longevity.
- Inquire about their process. Look for contractors who hand mix each batch on-site to control colour consistency and adjust as needed.
- Be sure they have proper training and certification through organisations like the American Concrete Institute and the Decorative Concrete Institute. This demonstrates their skill level in working with coloured concrete.
Finding the right contractor will ensure your coloured concrete driveway looks fantastic for years
Dazzle Your Driveway with Color
A coloured concrete driveway is an ideal way to upgrade your home’s entrance, add curb appeal, and express your style. With so many colour options, textures, and designs, you can create a unique driveway that dazzles your guests. Coloured concrete offers long-lasting durability and beauty with minimal upkeep required. Turn the “runway” to your home into a vibrant feature that has looked fantastic for decades by incorporating coloured concrete into your driveway design.