The Hardscaper Blog:

3 Problems With White Cement Concrete and How We Solve Them

Photo of project featuring white Sandscape Refined stairs.

What is White Cement Concrete?

White cement concrete is a type of concrete that uses white portland cement rather than traditional gray cement. This unique material is a popular choice for modern buildings and high-end residential projects because of its aesthetic appeal and high SRI value.

Designing with this product is an increasingly popular trend, but there are a few things you should know before you do. In this post, we’ll outline three problems that can occur when using this material and how Colorado Hardscapes solves them. So, if you’re thinking of using white cement concrete in a future project, be sure to read on!

Problem 1: High Cost

The biggest problem with white cement concrete is its cost. This material is significantly more expensive than traditional gray cement. This means that your project’s overall costs will increase if you use it. Fortunately, there are ways to offset this cost increase.

USAFA Air Gardens reflecting pools and bridges.

Solution 1: Apply less white cement concrete

Colorado Hardscapes offers two wet-on-wet overlay options. Both give you the desired look without paying an added expense to have white cement throughout the entire thickness of the concrete. 

The first option is our Sandscape Refined Product. Only about 1/8” thick, Sandscape Refined uses a color hardener applied to the very surface. This option guarantees that you only pay for the pigment you see. 

We achieve the light color through the use of silica sand in our mix. This sand has a neutral, light color compared to our typical “warm toned” sand. Check out this blog to see more benefits of Sandscape Refined.

The second way we can help create this effect on demand? By utilizing our Bomanite Revealed application.

This product uses white pigment as well as white aggregate, reducing the amount of white pigment added to the base. Moreover, Revealed is applied as an overlay and is only 3/8″ thick.

Both of these methods are more cost-effective and can still give your project that white cement look.

Wencel courtyard Microtop - ST Concrete Overlay - Colorado Hardscapes

Problem 2: White concrete is more likely to suffer from surface defects

White concrete can be difficult to work with. All concrete is time-sensitive, but the finer grind consistency of white cement creates a mix that sets up faster than standard concrete.

Anything set down on the slab during the finishing process can make a permanent impression and impact the final look of the finish.

Solution 2: Specify Quality Control personnel to be on-site during pours

It’s important to have quality control personnel on-site during the pour who can doctor up the mix as needed, adjusting admixtures such as air entrapment, water reducer, or viscosity modifiers. 

The commitment and cooperation between ReadiMix and the contractor ensure that the material is being placed and finished correctly.

At Colorado Hardscapes, our Finishers and Project Managers have extensive experience with white concrete and are comfortable with working with the product.

These extra measures will help to mitigate the risk of surface defects and ensure that your white concrete looks its best.

Problem 3: Susceptibility to staining

When it comes to white cement concrete, there are several factors that can lead to unwanted stains on its surface. Whether it’s grass, mud, water, oil, or food stains, these elements can leave unsightly marks on light-colored concrete, making the surface appear dirty.

Solution 3: Special finishes and sealers

To address this issue, we advise that you specify a Sandscape finish. This finish uses sand aggregate to create a surface that is less prone to staining than a broomed finish due to the sand aggregate poking through the surface.

If you don’t want a sand finish, it is possible to apply a special sealer that acts as a barrier between the concrete and harmful staining materials, reducing the risk of these stains penetrating into the material itself.

With these techniques in place, we keep white cement concrete looking cleaner and brighter for years to come.

Courtyard with white integral color on walkways showcasing decorative concrete.

If Anything, Know This…

White cement concrete is a beautiful, but expensive material that can be difficult to work with. However, by following the proper procedures and using the right products, the challenges associated with white cement concrete can be overcome, ensuring that your project looks its best.

If you have any questions about white cement concrete or any of our other services, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We would be more than happy to discuss your project with you and help you find the best solution for your needs.

Phone: 303•750•8200

Email: [email protected]