Stained concrete is exactly what it sounds like! Concrete staining is cost effective, and is regarded by many as one of the best ways to add color to plain, concrete floors. This style of floor can mimic real stone with a significantly cheaper price tag and installment time. A wide assortment of designs are available with stained concrete, as colors and ideas can be stamped, scored, stenciled, and patterned. There are two types of stains that can be used to color concrete:
- Acid Stains: Acid stains are the tried-and-true original in regards to concrete coloring. Acid stains have been available for more than five decades and use a mixture of salts and acids to trigger a chemical reaction with the concrete’s lime content. This staining method provides deep breadth of pigment, a rustic appearance, and a natural color; some of the hues that can be achieved from acid stains are browns, tans, soft blue-greens, and terra cottas. Homeowners love the translucent color options that come with acid stains, as well as the longevity of color.
- Water-Based Stains: Water-based stains enter through the surface of the concrete and settle in the pores of the surface. Much like paint, this stain does not rely on a chemical reaction; rather, it relies on the deposits of pigments contained in the solution. Water-based stains tend to have a much wider choice of colors and an opaque and uniform finish. If you are looking for a beautiful motley of patterns and colors on the floor, we recommend the acid stain. Water-based stains do not discolor or fade due to time or UV rays, and are a great option for exterior concrete.
Something to be aware of: some acidic concrete stains may vary in color once they are applied to the concrete, depending on the age of the surface and quality of the floors. The properties of the cement, the finishing methods, and moisture content all effect the final product, which is why many reputable concrete flooring companies will test the product on a small sample of concrete first. If you have the option, we recommend staining brand-new concrete, as the color will be much more vibrant and intense when compared to old, weathered concrete. If you’re the kind of person who prefers to know exactly what the finished color will be, we recommend water-based over acidic stains.