Lafarge North America is putting some color in its catalog with its new line of Artevia colored concrete.
Artevia concrete is integrally colored with a palette of earthy tints that can be customized to fill special orders. The palette offers 38 colors in the United States, 18 in Canada. A greater variety of settings in the United States called for more color choices in the U.S. palette, says Greg Sheardown, vice president of Lafarge North America’s ready-mixed performance division.
The company supports the new line with a system that trains finishers in the art of decorative concrete. Lafarge markets the line with the promise of unique designs and textures, and the training program helps ensure that property owners see those results. Finishers are taught decorative techniques such as etching, polishing and saw cuts. Artevia concrete customers are then referred to those trained craftspeople.
The 38 U.S. colors are divided into three color groups with increasing levels of pigment. Generally, the more pigment in the mix, the more the color costs. Nine “Subtle” colors are the least expensive, including hues such as “Sandstone” and “Light Gray.” The mid-priced “Standard” group of 21 colors includes such shades as “Sangria,” “Salmon,” “Harvest Gold,” “Pewter” and “Mocha.” The top-of-the-line “Premium” group consists of eight rich colors, such as “Brick Red,” “Flagstone Brown” and “Kailua.” Prices vary within the groups, but to give one example, all reddish “standard” colors cost about the same.
Quality assurance and control are key elements of the Lafarge system, from concrete and pigment to service and installation, Sheardown says. “Any producer can provide you with a brick red. We have a quality-control system in place to make sure what you order is what you get.”
Lafarge North America is a leading supplier of cement, ready-mixed concrete and other construction materials to the United States and Canada. Artevia is the company’s first formal launch of products with integral color.
“We’ve sold integrated color before,” Sheardown says. “If somebody wanted to have it, we’d do it. But I think we’ve resisted it more than we’ve supported doing it.”
The company plans to release more colored decorative concrete products under the Artevia brand name. Next will likely be a line of colored exposed aggregate, which could be on the market by the end of this year, Sheardown says.
For more information about Artevia, visit the Lafarge North America Web site or call (703) 480-3600.