Integral Colour vs Concrete Stain

Integral Colour vs Concrete Stain

Integral colour and concrete stain are two different methods of achieving a coloured look on concrete surfaces. Integral colour provides more consistent and vibrant colours, however, it’s difficult to create a multi-coloured pattern with integral colour due to its uniformity. 

Concrete staining provides a more textured finish, as this process is applied in layers. An issue is that it can be challenging to achieve consistent results and over time the colours can fade. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, but it’s important you choose the process which is right for you.

Advantages of Integral Colour

One of the main advantages of integral colour is that your entire concrete slab has colour throughout. This means that if any scratches occur, the slab isn’t going to lose any colour.

Another advantage which stands out for consumers is the fact that the colours don’t fade or wear away over time. The pigments are chemically stable, therefore exposure to ultraviolet light and the weather won’t cause the colours to fade.

Negatives of Integral Colour

A negative of integral colour is that there are a limited number of colour or stain choices available. The colours that are available for integral coloured concrete are usually earth tones, which are mostly used to match the appearance of most homes.

Advantages of Concrete Stain

Concrete stain adds colour and personality to your home, however with a variety of concrete stains available, you can choose the perfect colour to match your property or create a unique look that will make your patio stand out.

The process of concrete staining is easy to do, and can be completed in hours if you are equipped with the right tools. You can complete this project by yourself over a weekend without hiring a professional contractor.

Staining concrete patios is also quite cost-effective compared to other options such as tile or stone. The cost will depend on the size of your patio, however as long as you have the correct equipment this process should be relatively inexpensive.

Another advantage of concrete staining is that it can help protect your patio from the outdoor elements. Stained concrete is more resistant to fading and discolouration from sunlight and water damage.

Negatives of Concrete Stain

A negative that contractors associate with concrete stain is that it requires maintenance. You will need to reseal your surface every one to three years, depending on the fade and wear over time. The concrete stain must be applied correctly, otherwise, it can severely damage your concrete patio. If the stain is applied too thickly, it will discolour the concrete.

Sealing incorrectly can cause more harm than not sealing at all. Sealing too thickly can etch or discolour the concrete, which can cause the stain to fade quickly or peel off.


Both integral colour and concrete stain are effective ways of looking after your concrete. However, most contractors tend to choose an integral colour as their method of choice. It is much easier to use, as no application is required.

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