QC Colour HARDENER is a formulated, dry-shake, coloured surface
hardener. It is used for colouring, hardening and conditioning
freshly placed concrete flatwork. QC Colour HARDENER is a surface-concentrated
colouring method that hardens and densifies.
Uses And Benefits
QC COLOUR HARDENER increases abrasion resistance and surface
density and reduces porosity.
Used in conjunction with QC RELEASE POWDER, QC COLOUR HARDENER
is the preferred product for creating vibrant colours for imprinted/textured
concrete. (See separate Product Information Bulletin for complete
instructions on QC RELEASE POWDER.)
QC COLOUR HARDENER is an excellent choice for the following
types of projects:
Coloured, imprinted concrete flatwork and a variety of architectural
concrete treatments that would benefit from improved pattern
transfer and increased abrasion resistance.
Surfaces which require increased abrasion and impact resistance,
such as street paving, warehouses, shipping/receiving areas
and distribution centers.
Interior and exterior surfaces exposed to heavy daily
wear and high impact use.
When concrete has been properly air-entrained, surfaces in
cold, harsh climates exposed to freeze-thaw cycles.
With its blend of select and gradated aggregates, architectural
cements, and plasticizers, QC COLOUR HARDENER creates surfaces
that are substantially harder and more wear-resistant than concrete
not treated with colour hardener.
QC COLOUR HARDENER is available in 25 standard colours and a
wide range of custom colours.
QC COLOUR HARDENER is an excellent choice for colouring concrete
in order to achieve lighter colours.
Light-reflective surfaces can be achieved through the use
of a selection of white or light QC COLOUR HARDENERS.
All pigments used in QC COLOUR HARDENER meet or exceed ASTM
C 979 for colour stability.
The synthetic iron oxide pigments used in QC COLOUR HARDENER
produce brilliant, streak-free, nonfading surfaces. The high-strength
pigments used in QC COLOUR HARDENER come from Bayer Corporation,
the world leader in colouring products with the most advanced
ISO 9002 certified production facility in North America. Bayer
synthetic iron oxide pigments are manufactured with the strictest
quality control standards for strong, pure colours that offer
excellent resistance to fading.
To produce enhanced and richer effects, white-based QC COLOUR
HARDENERS can be excellent base choices for the application
of QC PATINA STAINS. (See separate Product Information Bulletin
for complete instructions on QC PATINA STAIN.)
Due to extensive quality control measures in product manufacturing,
QC COLOUR HARDENER is designed to produce uniformity of colour
without colour drifts. In addition, use of colour hardener does
not risk day-to-day variances experienced in ready mixed integral
For high-traffic surfaces as well as commercial and industrial
surfaces, QC HEAVY-DUTY COLOUR HARDENER may be used. A detailed
Product Information Bulletin for QC HEAVY-DUTY COLOUR HARDENER
Before Any Application
subgrade preparation is essential. Subgrade must be well drained.
To create uniform load-bearing characteristics and to reduce cracking,
subgrade should be graded at a uniform thickness. Subgrade should
be moist, completely consolidated, and free of frost. The subgrade
should be dampened with water in advance of concreting. Concrete
should not be placed over freestanding water or over areas that
are muddy, frozen or soft.
concrete mix design is essential. Concrete should contain a minimum
of 5 sacks of cement per cubic yard of concrete. All aggregate must
be nonreactive. Water content should be at minimum, and the slump
should not exceed four inches. A normal or retarded-set, water-reducing
admixture may be used. An air-entraining admixture complying with
ASTM C 260 is recommended in all concrete flatwork that will be
subject to freeze-thaw cycles. The concrete mix must not contain
any admixture or additive that contains calcium chloride. During
cold weather, a nonchloride accelerator may be used. No high-range
water-reducing admixtures (super plasticizers) should be added unless
QC is consulted. Mixes containing fly ash may be more difficult
concrete pouring practices are essential. Weather conditions should
be considered during application. Follow ACI standards for installation,
especially in extremely hot or cold weather conditions. Concrete
mix should be controlled to provide good batch-to-batch uniformity.
Concrete should be placed and spread so that it completely fills
space inside the forms. Concrete should be consolidated by vibrating
to create a suitable surface for finishing. If tamping is
done, it should be kept to a minimum and concrete closest to the
forms should be spaded. Before the appearance of bleed water, the
surface should be screeded and wood-floated to the finished grade.
applying QC COLOUR HARDENER, a job site sample—using the specified
mix design, tools and construction techniques—is recommended. If
in doubt about application methods, consult QC CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS
(contact information can be found at the end of this bulletin).
is recommended that a pre-site meeting take place to include the
proper authorities and to assure site conditions are met.
concrete reaches the point when no bleed water remains on the surface,
QC COLOUR HARDENER should be evenly hand-broadcast or mechanically
applied on the surface.
COLOUR HARDENER is usually provided in two shakes, with two-thirds
of the product being applied in the first shake and one-third of
the product being applied in the second shake (while also holding
back a small amount for touch-up work).
the first shake has been uniformly applied and has absorbed water
from the slab, the surface is floated. Wood floats are recommended
during this first application.
the second shake perpendicular to the first application in a uniform
manner. Magnesium or fiberglass floats may be used after the second
application, providing all bleed water has left the surface.
cuts should be made as soon as possible without disturbing the joint
should be taken to prevent hard-steel trowel burns, especially at
tooled joints and edges.
dry, hot or windy conditions, the use of an evapouration retardant/finishing
aid may be considered.
high-traffic surfaces as well as commercial and industrial surfaces,
QC HEAVY-DUTY COLOUR HARDENER may be used. A detailed Product Information
Bulletin for QC HEAVY-DUTY COLOUR HARDENER is available.
Application to Vertical Surfaces
COLOUR HARDENER may be used to finish vertical surfaces such as curbs
or the faces of step risers, but the product is not designed for
use on large areas of vertical surfaces.
“plaster mix” of QC COLOUR HARDENER may be used when doing steps
or other vertical surfaces. To create this mix during the final
set stage of the concrete, add only enough water to QC COLOUR HARDENER
to achieve a workable consistency. Then apply the “plaster mix”
to the vertical surface while the concrete is fresh and finish as
Curing and Sealing Concrete
curing concrete treated with QC COLOUR HARDENER, choose from a variety
of QC cures appropriate to the project’s needs: QC CLEAR CURE, QC
COLOUR CURE or QC COLOUR WAX (See separate Product Information Bulletins
for complete instructions on these products.) QC CLEAR CURE and
QC COLOUR CURE conform to ASTM C 309. If further protection is needed,
then new, nonwrinkled, nonstaining, reinforced, kraft-curing paper
may be used.
a membrane-forming cure is not appropriate, then new, nonwrinkled,
nonstaining, reinforced, kraft-curing paper cure may be used or
QC SURE CURE, a nonmembrane-forming cure, may be used.
sealing concrete, choose from a variety of QC sealers appropriate
to project’s needs: QC CEMSEAL, QC SOLVENT-BASED SEALERS, QC CEMGUARD
or QC SURPRO. (See separate Product Information Bulletins for complete
instructions on these products.)
It is highly recommended to develop and follow a routine maintenance
schedule for all coloured concrete so that it maintains a top-quality
appearance. Coloured concrete installations should be routinely
inspected, cleaned and resealed as required by the local conditions.
Cleaning and resealing schedules will depend on a number of factors
including, but not limited to, volume and intensity of traffic,
maintenance procedures and weather.
Inconsistencies in job site conditions, finishing practices
and curing methods may produce variations in the colour of the
All aggregates in the concrete substrate must be nonreactive.
– Actual coverage may vary depending on colour choice, application
method, and other local conditions. For high-traffic surfaces
as well as commercial and industrial surfaces, QC HEAVY-DUTY
COLOUR HARDENER may be required. A detailed Product Information
Bulletin for QC HEAVY-DUTY COLOUR HARDENER is available.
for Dark and Medium colours – 60-80 pounds per 100
for Medium and Light colours – 80-100 pounds per
100 square feet.
for Light colours – 90-120 pounds per 100 square
for White QC Colour Hardener colours – 120-150
pounds per 100 square feet.
QC COLOUR HARDENER comes in 60-pound plastic-lined bags. Also available
in 60-pound pails at an additional charge.
QC COLOUR HARDENER has a shelf life of one year if stored in dry
For handling and use, consult the corresponding Material Safety
Data Sheet before using product.
QC COLOUR HARDENER, a proprietary product, is warranted to be of
uniform quality within manufacturing tolerances. Since control is
not exercised over its use, no warranty, expressed or implied, is
made as to the effects of such use. Seller’s and manufacturer’s
obligation under this warranty shall be limited to refunding the
purchase price of that portion of the material proven to be defective.
The user assumes all other risks and liabilities resulting from
use of this product. If you have any questions, please contact QC
Specifications (Short Form)
All horizontal surfaces and adjacent vertical surfaces designated
in plans or specifications as having a colour hardened surface shall
be coloured with QC COLOUR HARDENER, using _________________________
[name of colour(s)] with a minimum of _________________ pounds per
100 square feet. Apply __________________________ [the appropriate
QC curing product] as soon as possible, following final finishing
operations. For all QC curing products, please refer to the respective
Product Information Bulletins for complete product information and