One of the most popular choices when finishing polished concrete floors is leaving the concrete in its natural color. Much like different species of wood will have different color tones, each concrete floor has its own color tone as well. This can be a beautiful way to showcase the natural characteristics of the surface. 

What Determines Concrete’s Color?

The color of the concrete can have several factors, such as cement, sand, stones, finishing process, how much water was in the mix, or the temperature of the day it was poured. Even the same concrete slab can have various tones throughout the surface, and two slabs with the same mix design can look different when poured on different days. 

How Can You Make Concrete More Gray? 

Sometimes, when offering natural concrete options, the concrete can have a brown tone to the finish. If this is not wanted, we can add a gray penetrating dye during our polished concrete process.

Acetone vs. Water-Based Dyes

Many of our penetrating dyes use an acetone carrier to carry the penetrating pigments into the concrete surface. These produce vivid colors on a polished concrete floor. 

Joints filled between geometric, stained concrete cutouts
This installation at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is a great example of the vivid saturation of penetrating acetone dyes.

However, we use a water-based gray dye when we want the concrete to have a natural gray look. This imparts a softer gray tone that is almost indistinguishable depending on the concrete floor’s tone. 

With this dye, it’s a subtle way to have a gray tone but keep the concrete looking natural. 

400-grit, Polished Concrete in Northeast Indiana
A finished floor with a penetrating water-based grey dye was applied to the floor at Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

Any of our dyes will take differently to each concrete surface, and the overall finished look is dependent on the tonality of the existing concrete floor and the depth of grind chosen.


Reach out for a quote and recommendations for your specific project’s needs, our Project Leaders are here for you to get BEST WORK for your floors.