Best Practices for Placing Decorative Concrete


Ordering Decorative Concrete

  • Use the same quality concrete mix desing and water/cement ratio and maintain a consistent slump thorughout the project. The use of admixtures from BASF available at Freeman Rock, Inc. can improve the concrete workabiltiy while maintaining lower water/cement ratios. 
  • To maintain color consistency, order decorative concrete in minimum of 3 yd increments. 
  • Calcium chloride accelerators will discolor the concrete surface. Use non-chloride accelerators from BASF available at Freeman Rock, Inc. to achieve fast concrete set time.

Placing Decorative Concrete

  • Place concrete on a well-drained sub-grade that has adequate and uniform load-bearing characteristics and is thoroughly compacted and dampened. 
  • Adding water on-site to achieve a higher slump will lighten the color. 
  • Place concrete close to its final position to avoid potential segregation. 
  • Do not place concrete over freestanding water or muddy, frozen or soft spots. 
  • Concrete placed in the shade may display variations in color. This is normal and will subside in time.

Finishing Decorative Concrete

  • Protect the concrete surface from rapid evaporation of bleed water. Use Confilm evaporation reducer from BASF available at Freeman Rock, Inc. as needed. 
  • Texture all surfaces adequately and uniformly for slip resistance. 
  • Finish all surfaces consistently and at similar times after placement. 
  • Finish the edges first and do all handwork in the same direction. 
  • Do not sprinkle water or add water to the surface during finishing operations. This will lighten the surface color. 
  • Over-troweling or burnishing the concrete surface will cause discoloration and darkening of the surface color.

Curing Decorative Concrete

  • For best results, all decorative concrete should be cured. Do not use plastic sheeting or water method to cure decorative concrete. 
  • Use BASF’s Kure 1315 water-based curing compound or a compatible curing compound available at Freeman Rock, Inc. 
  • Until it is completely cured, the color of concrete is normally less uniform and appears darker than the final color. 
  • Do not allow items to stand on the concrete during and immediately following the curing process.

From Master Builders Publication Lit # 2000071. BASF Construction Chemicals, 2008 / Printed in US BASF is a copywrited trademark.