What to Know about Staining a Concrete Floor

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More and more people are considering concrete as a flooring option in their homes, thanks to its durable and fuss-free nature. Yet many people hesitate to choose a concrete floor out of concerns about its appearance. If you would like to improve your knowledge of the ways in which concrete flooring can be beautified, read on. This article will discuss the versatile world of concrete staining.

Staining Concrete

Concrete stains are a versatile, long lasting, and relative inexpensive way to alter--and in some cases completely disguise--the appearance of a concrete floor. Unlike paint, epoxy, and other methods of covering concrete, stains won't wear away as time goes on. In other words, they are not liable to peel, flake, or fade.

This benefit has to do with the fact that a stain does not merely sit on the top of the concrete. Rather it is especially designed to penetrate downward through the concrete's pores. This frees it from degradation caused by surface wear. It also means that multiple stains can be applied, this allowing more complex and interesting visual results.

Acid Versus Water Staining

Concrete stains come in two main types: acid and water based. Both of these share the positive qualities discussed above. The principal difference between them are the particular aesthetic results they achieve. You see, acid based stains are designed to interact chemically with the concrete's calcium hydroxide. As a result they are able to closely mimic the look of natural flooring options such as marble and granite.

The drawback of acid based stains is that they don't come in a very wide color palate. For those who hope to deviate from the muted earth tones associated with acid stains, water based stains may be a better choice. These stains are available in a full range of colors. Better yet, just like paint, they can be blended to produce interesting and unique hues.

Stains Compared to Dyes

Concrete stains are frequently confused with another related product: concrete dyes. Dyes are most closely related to water based stains in that both are non-reactive substances. As noted above, acid based stains utilize the chemical reactivity of concrete to generate interesting mottled patterns and other effects.

Yet there is still a big difference between dyes and water based stains. The range of colors, as well as the option to customize blended hues, puts stains in class all their own. Dyes are also less stable as time goes on and can lead to undesirable color transfer should the floor become excessively wet.

For more information about concrete and concrete stains, talk to a company like Mershon Concrete.