Understanding Paving Colours

Below is a quick overview to help understand colour and the different variations you may encounter.

Get samples to be colour sure

It's great to look at photography, but essential to choose by seeing a few samples.   You can quickly and easily obtain a product sample in your desired colour from either your Brett Approved Installer or your local Brett Stockist.  If you don't know who that is, visit our Where To Buy page to find someone local to you.

The sample will give you a good guide as to how your product will look once installed.  However, variations in colour are still possible across our product range due to a number of different factors:

  1. All concrete products are manufactured from a mixture of sand, cement, aggregate and pigment which can give variations in colour mix shades from batch to batch and site to site.
  2. Natural Stone products will vary in colour depending upon where it is quarried from and how the stone is processed prior to arriving with you.

These variations are impossible to prevent but do bring character to your paving.

When you choose a colour from a photograph there are many factors that can change how the product looks:  what time of day the photograph was actually taken; climatic conditions and the printing of the photography in the brochure - can all cause variations.

How colours can appear differently

This section is intended to explain how you should view colours when you are selecting the best one for you.  Let's start by looking at 2 images showing the same colour (Silver Haze) at two different locations, shot at different times of day and showing different product types.

The images below illustrate how colours can differ due to climatic conditions but also how the different manufacturing processes and finishes involved can influence appearance - for instance, Regatta TRIO has a riven surface to give a more natural aesthetic, whilst Beta has a smooth surface - all of these factors can alter the appearance of colour.



Getting to know Brett Colours

Concrete is a man made product and is available in two generic types as follows:

Single Colours

These are the easiest to get to grips with.  Each single colour product uses a single pigment to colour the concrete it's made from, or in the case of 'Natural', no pigment at all which means it can vary the most in terms of colour depending on the aggregates used in its manufacture.

The single colour products available from Brett Landscaping are Natural, Charcoal, Buff and Red.


Any other colour from the Brett Landscaping concrete paving range will be a multi-coloured product, these all use more than one pigment within the manufacturing process to get the ideal colour mix.  Some of our products, for example Aura, also have a sparkle in the aggregate to complement the colour blending.

These colours go randomly in to multi-colours; for example, the ever popular Brindle is a mixture of red and charcoal pigments as shown below.

If we look more closely, we can see that the result of the manufacturing process is blocks that vary from one end of the spectrum through to the other.  Here we can clearly see four distinct colour mixes.

Typically, each pack will include a random selection of these colour mixes.  Packs can visually look quite different when they arrive on site, but once mixed together, the result is a naturally good looking, multi-coloured driveway.

Because of these facts, when getting samples of a 'multi colour' product it is imperative to get more than one block (a minimum of three is recommended for the final decision maker).

Such colour mixing has more variations when the pavling block colour has three pigments randomly placed in it.

Colours can also appear differently if blocks have been tumbled - such as Aura or Alpha - which give an aged appearance but can also affect colour appearance.

Natural Stone

It is far more difficult to be exact when it comes to defining colours within any naturally occuring material because there are so many interacting elements in the multi-million year process by which the material is formed.

Broadly speaking there are three types of natural stone:

  1. Sedimentary rocks including Sandstone and Limestone.
  2. Igneous rocks such as Granite.
  3. Metamorphic rocks such as Slate.

Igneous rocks tend to be very dense and uniform in appearance, making them ideal for applications where consistency is essential - for example to complement sharp modern designs.

In contrast, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks have far more variations in both colour and texture; for instance naturally occuring Iron Oxides which generally provide the red/brown colours found in a natural sedimentary stone product such as Sandstone.

These Minerals can create veins which run through a rock and create amazing patterns.  This can be further enhanced by fossil deposits - as frequently seen within Fossil Mint - which add further interest to an area paved with natural stone.

These variations are not faults in the product but naturally occuring phenomena which give long lasting beauty to natural stone paving - a beauty that generally improves over time as the stone weathers in to its surroundings.

Across the range of Brett Natural Stone paving, the other factor which can impact upon colour is the effect of processing; for example looking at the Modak within our Polished and Riven Sandstone ranges, the appearance is dramatically changed between a polished stone and a textured stone.

These variations can be used to create amazing designs where the difference can be used to provide dramatic highlights and contrasts within a paved area.