Colored concrete surfaces are not only beautiful, they are long lasting and easy to clean and care for. And the range of available colors, textures and patterns might, well, floor you.

Subtle earth-tone shades (like this patio in “Fiesta” pictured above and below) are very popular with Northwest Washington homeowners—there are a variety of options available from black to grey to tan and terracotta.

So how are concrete patios, driveways and sidewalks colored anyway? It all starts with a traditional or pervious mix of concrete.

Colored concrete uses a process that adds liquid or powdered to the concrete mix, followed by additional tints and sometimes topical applications of stains and sealants.

Decorative design features like stamping and scoring the surface so it looks like slate or tile, can also be added along the way.

The results can be a solid, consistent block of color or a surface that has a beautiful, layered look that simulates natural variations of tone and color.