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Stained Concrete

Stained concrete is growing greatly in popularity. Stains react with the current concrete to form a permanent color that generally has a marble or mottled look. If your concrete is in bad shape an overlay may be needed to achieve a clean canvas, followed up with one of many concrete staining options (acid stains, dyes, and water based stains).

Note: Stained concrete and Polished concrete are not the same thing. Polished concrete involves working through successive diamond embedded heads to mechanically hone the concrete to a particular sheen (color can be added). On the other hand, stained concrete involves preparing the concrete by removing paints and cures so the concrete will accept a stain….the sheen is achieved by putting on a clear sealer. Prep is the key for a good stain out come. We use a Lavina® concrete polisher for prep on every job. Stained concrete typically requires a couple of passes with diamond heads to prep while polished concrete is a 5 to 12 step method.

Stained concrete floors are a great option for basement floors, restaurants, garage floors ect. because of their affordability and elegant look. If your looking for a “ballpark price” for stained concrete click here.

By using concrete stains a beautiful marble or mottled look can be achieved providing a great concrete floor that is highly durable. Concrete provides the perfect canvas for us to create unique “pieces of art”. Decorative saw cuts or other measures can be taken to further enhance the concrete surface, and give it the look of tile or any design imaginable.

There are generally three types of stains (color charts for stained concrete we generally use are below); acid stains, acetone based stains or dyes, and water based stains. Acid stains react with lime in the concrete forming a permanent stain that is highly durable. Every slab of concrete is different and therefore accept the stain differently. This means that colors vary from slab to slab making each job unique. Acid stains come in about 12 different colors which are generally earth tones. In order for the concrete to be acid stained it needs to be completely clean and free from sealer. Most stains are usually sprayed down in an inconsistent manner. Different techniques and the use of rags and mops can be used to achieve more creative effects. After the stain has been put down a residue is built up which needs to be neutralized and thoroughly cleaned before sealing and waxing the stained concrete floor. Acid stains were once the main choice in concrete stains, but are quickly going by the wayside with newer and more effective and efficient methods of staining available such as acetone based dyes and water based stains. If you have sealer on your floor it either has to be removed or you need to consider the acetone based stains or dyes.

Acetone based stains or dyes also react with the concrete and provide the customer with more vibrant colors as well as more control of the final color compared to acid stains. These stains are great for floors that require a more consistent color, but can also have the mottling effect if so desired. This stain has the most versatility and vibrancy, and is much less time consuming to apply.

Water based stains are also increasing in popularity largely in part because of the health concerns as apposed to other staining methods. They are also more user friendly.

Stains are most often sealed with a commercial grade two component polyurethane sealer unless the situation does not allow this product and another sealer is more appropriate. The beauty of this polyurethane is it’s high scratch resistance and you don’t have to wax it.

The sealer or topcoat that is put on is MUCH MORE important than what “kind” of stain is used (be sure and understand the difference from cheap solvent acrylic concrete sealers to two component sealers…there’s a big difference). Generally a higher solids sealer is more durable. If your staining your basement concrete be sure to use something that will allow the floor to breathe…that is why our concrete polishing is popular.

Stained Concrete System Gallery

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