color pigments
Photograph: Kristine Larsen
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Pick Your Pigment

Many concrete countertop companies offer thousands of custom color options. The color comes from powder or liquid mortar dyes added to the concrete mix. The earlier the dyes go into the hopper, the more uniform the color.

Lincoln dumps in his pigments anywhere from 5 to 13 minutes into the 18-minute mixing cycle, depending on the desired effect. "Some customers prefer a blotchier look," he says. "It creates more character." The amount of dye is usually between 1 and 10 percent of the amount of portland cement in the mix.

Adding any more will compromise the countertop's strength. As for color trends, Lincoln finds that Easterners are partial to steely grays and snowy whites, while West Coasters opt for funkier reds, blues and vibrant oranges.
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