Comparing Concrete Colorant Brands

A shiny, polished concrete floor that has been stained a burgundy-brown. The concrete floor is located inside of a home, in a living room.

When it comes to decorative concrete, color choice can make or break the visual impact of your project. And quite an array of colorants are available, so it’s important to understand their differences. First, we’ve got integral colorants that mix right into the concrete, providing the ultimate consistency. Then there are acid and water-based stains, perfect for creating unique, dynamic effects. There are also solvent-based dyes, which are your go-to for vibrant, lasting color. Each type of colorant brings something special to the table—you can read more about the differences in this guide.

In addition to choosing the right colorant, it’s just as important to pick the best brand. In this article, we’ll discuss some of our favorite brands, recommended products from each brand, and how they compare based on color range, consistency and vibrancy, eco-friendliness, ease of application, and price.


the Butterfield Color logo

Sika is renowned for its innovative and high-quality concrete solutions and has been a reliable brand for over 100 years. Sika sells a wide variety of colorants, including integral colors and color hardeners.

At Stamped Concrete, we recommend Sika’s Uni-Mix™ Integral Concrete Colorant, Select Grade™ Integral Color, the Perma-Cast® Shake-on Color Hardener, and the Elements™ Transparent Concrete Stain.

Uni-Mix™ Integral Concrete Colorant

Uni-Mix™ is a blend of non-fading synthetic iron oxides and a water-reducer that’s used for integrally coloring ready-mixed concrete.

  • Color Range: 24 standard colors are available, primarily neutral, earthy tones ranging from Sonoran tan and Sandstone to darker colors like Charcoal and Soapstone.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: Integral colors like Uni-Mix™ are not known for their vibrancy but are very consistent. The colors shown in each chart are based on cured and sealed medium-gray Portland cement. Consistency will vary based on mixing techniques and color vibrancy will vary based on the concrete’s existing color and texture and the techniques and methods used to cure and seal it.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Average. Like most integral colors, Uni-Mix™ is relatively eco-friendly compared to high-VOC colorants like acid-based stains and solvent dyes.
  • Ease of Application: Easy to use/great for beginners. Uni-Mix™ comes with dissolving bags to eliminate handling mess.
  • Shelf Life: Indefinite in original, unopened containers in dry storage.
  • Pricing: Varies based on color and quantity. Ranges from $51 to $97 for six full sacks.
  • Best Used For: Concrete flat work, interior floors, and exterior hardscapes.

Select Grade™ Integral Color

Select Grade™ is a pre-measured integral colorant used for coloring ready-mixed concrete. Like Uni-Mix™, it consists of non-fading, synthetic iron oxides.
  • Color Range: 11 standard base colors, each producing up to four different shades. Colors are also neutral, ranging from light, earthy tones to dark shades.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: See Uni-Mix™.
  • Eco-Friendliness: See Uni-Mix™.
  • Ease of Application: Easy/great for beginners. It comes in pre-measured dissolving bags that get mixed into the concrete.
  • Shelf Life: Indefinite when stored in unopened bags away from extreme temperatures and moisture.
  • Pricing: $46 for one bag (each bag covers 2 cubic yards).
  • Best Used For: Interior floors, exterior hardscapes, precast applications, tilt-up applications, and cast-in-place applications.

Perma-Cast® Shake-on Color Hardener

Perma-Cast Shake-on Color Hardener is a dry shake color hardener that is always applied to freshly placed concrete. It is made with a proprietary blend of cement, silica quartz aggregates, synthetic metal oxides, and plasticizer. It’s known for being highly resistant to foot and vehicle traffic and extreme weather.

  • Color Range: 24 standard colors, ranging from pastels to dark hues. Custom colors are available.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: Conforms with ASTM C979 for color stability and is known for providing consistent, streak-free results. This color hardener can also be used with other Sika products, including the Uni-Mix™ and Select Grade colorants™. When used with other products, note that the cured color will not exactly match the color displayed on the integral coloring chart.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Moderate
  • Ease of Application: Intermediate. With Perma-Cast, using the correct broadcast rate is required to achieve high-quality results.
  • Shelf Life: 2 years from the date of purchase in its original, unopened state, as long as it’s stored in dry conditions.
  • Pricing: $51 for one 50-pound plastic pail.
  • Best Used For: New concrete flatwork installations, abrasion-resistant interior floors, and freeze-thaw-stable exterior hardscapes.

Elements™ Transparent Concrete Stain

Elements™  uses the latest nano-pigment technology to permeate properly prepared concrete surfaces and create translucent color variations. Elements™ is also designed to mimic the appearance of reactive acid stains.

  • Color Range: 18 colors, ranging from neutral gray to vibrant blue.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: Most colors are UV-resistant, ensuring long-lasting vibrancy and consistent hues.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Very eco-friendly. Elements™ is a water-based formula and contains low VOCs.
  • Ease of Application: Intermediate. Please note that for best results, it should only be applied on clean, cured, and unsealed concrete. The surface must be neutralized before application and sealed after application. The stain must also be diluted (3 parts water to 1 part stain)
  • Shelf Life: 1 year fromthe date of purchase when stored in its original, unopened container in a dry room and kept at room temperature.
  • Pricing: $34 for four 32-ounce bottles.
  • Best Used For: Interior concrete floors, exterior concrete hardscapes, and cementitious overlays.

Solomon Colors/BRICKFORM

the Solomon Colors brand logo

Solomon Colors has been a respected brand in the concrete industry since the 90s and is known for providing many high-quality color solutions. Solomon offer a range of colorant products designed to meet diverse needs, including both residential to commercial projects.

Our team at Stamped Concrete recommends Solomon Colors’/BRICKFORM’s ColorFlo®. Color Hardener™, Ultra-M1x, Antique-It, Liquid Overlay Colorant™, and Blush Tone Acid Stain™.


Solomon’s ColorFlo® products include liquid and granular forms of dry integral color. They are designed to ensure uniform color distribution in the concrete mix, contributing to the vibrant and consistent appearance of the finished concrete surface.

  • Color Range: 18 base colors, most offering up to four shades. Colors range from earthy Clay to vibrant Brick Red.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: ColorFlo® is known for its consistency, but consistent color can only be achieved by using the same mix design throughout the job.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Average
  • Ease of Application: Intermediate/Advanced. Requires proper mixing guidelines for effective use.
  • Shelf Life: N/A
  • Pricing: Varies based on color. Ranges from $20 to $215 per 25-pound bag.
  • Best Used For: Concrete flat work, interior floors, and exterior hardscapes

BRICKFORM™ Color Hardener™

BRICKFORM™ Color Hardener™ is an engineered blend of pigments and aggregates used to color the surface of new concrete. This color hardener creates a dense layer, enhancing abrasion and impact resistance. It also creates clear, sharp impressions when used with imprinting tools.

  • Color Range: 40 standard colors, with custom color matching available. This color hardener can also be used with BRICKFORM’s Antique-It to mimic the look of brick, handset tile, or quarried stone, or with acid or water-based stains to add vibrancy.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: Engineered with UV-resistant pigments and premium aggregates to ensure clear and consistent color. Highly resistant to extreme weather, general wear, and normal abrasion.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Moderate
  • Ease of Application: Advanced. The color hardener must be applied and troweled into newly poured concrete and is best used with imprinting tools.
  • Shelf Life: 3 years, as long as the packaging remains sealed in its original plastic bucket and is not subjected to extreme conditions.
  • Pricing: Varies based on color. Ranges from $61 to $284 per 40-lb bucket.
  • Best Used For: Freshly poured concrete, still-plastic surfaces, concrete flatwork, and interior floors.



Ultra-M1x with Ultrafiber 500 is an integral colorant that combines coloring and fiber reinforcement in one product. It is designed to reduce plastic shrinkage cracking in concrete and is suitable for a range of applications where both color vibrancy and concrete strength are essential.

  • Color Range: 20 colors, ranging from neutral tones like Almond and Burnt Ochre to darker Ruby and Hazel hues.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: Coloring may vary based on chart examples as specific mix designs were used. The color will be consistent if the same mix design is used throughout the job.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Average
  • Ease of Application: Intermediate/Advanced. Requires proper mixing guidelines for effective use.
  • Shelf Life: N/A
  • Pricing: Varies based on color. Ranges from $42 to $93 per bag (one bag is good for one cubic yard).
  • Best Used For: Any exterior or interior project where plastic shrinkage cracking reduction is needed, like stamped or textured concrete, exposed aggregate, or large slabs.

Antique-It Dry Release™

BRICKFORM’s Antique-It Release® is a colored powder used as a bond-breaker and to reduce concrete build-up on texture mats. It also creates a waterproof barrier and leaves behind an antiqued appearance.

  • Color Range: 40 standard colors, ranging from dark brown tones to vibrant blue. Custom coloring is available.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: This dry-release powder is made with UV-resistant pigments, ensuring longevity and vibrancy in exterior applications.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Moderate
  • Ease of Application: Advanced/Professional. Must be applied to new, still-plastic concrete that has already been colored. Use of texturing mats or rollers is required.
  • Shelf Life: 3 years if stored properly in its original, sealed plastic bucket.
  • Pricing: Varies based on color. Ranges from $90 to $391 per 30-pound pail.
  • Best Used For: Any exterior project where a second color is needed. Antique-It should not be used as a primary coloring agent.

Overlay Liquid Colorant™


The Overlay Liquid Colorant™ is a premier admixture for the BRICKFORM Stampable Overlay, Micro-Topping, and SM Professional Grade product lines.

  • Color Range: 39 standard colors, including Nutmeg, Tile Red, and Ash White.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: This colorant is made with UV-resistant pigments to ensure consistency.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Very eco-friendly. This colorant is made with a non-hazardous water-based formula.
  • Ease of Application: Intermediate. Proper mixing is required. The colorant must be mixed (1:1) with BRICKFORM’s Stampable Overlay Micro-Topping or other products.
  • Shelf Life: 1 year from the date of manufacturer in its original packaging. Must be stored in a dry, cool location (above-freezing temperature).
  • Pricing: $72 for six 10-ounce bottles.
  • Best Used For: Creating colored overlays on interior or exterior concrete surfaces.

Blush-Tone Acid Stain™

The Blush-Tone Acid Stain™ is a chemical stain containing mineral salts, which react with the lime in the concrete to produce permanent coloring that mimics aged stone or masonry.

  • Color Range: 10 standard colors, including Amber, Ebony, and Turquoise.
  • Consistency & Vibrancy: Produces permanent, multi-colored, vibrant colors with natural shadings. Consistency may vary, as it produces variegated colors.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Poor. Acid stains contain VOCs, which can be dangerous when working in indoor environments.
  • Ease of Application: Advanced/Professional. Acid stains can be difficult to work with and are not suitable for certain surfaces, including older/weathered concrete and tightly trowelled surfaces. There are also some surface limitations based on the acid stain’s color. Testing is always recommended before application, and the concrete must be properly cleaned and neutralized before application. Please read our guide for more information on how to apply Blush-Tone Acid Stain™.
  • Shelf Life: 2 years, as long as it's stored out of direct sunlight and above-freezing temperatures, and the container is tightly sealed.
  • Pricing: $65.50 for a one-gallon container.
  • Best Used For: Interior and exterior projects, horizontal and vertical concrete surfaces, and on integrally colored or color-hardened slabs. Please note that the Jade, Olive, and Turquoise colors are for interior use only.

Find the Right Colorant Today

Do you still need help choosing the right colorant for your project?

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