Stained concrete has become a popular choice for interior floors. Many advantages of stained concrete flooring include: multiple color and finish options; reduction in allergens; low maintenance surfaces; and cost-effectiveness.
Stained concrete appeals to many people who want to achieve unique decorative effects for a reasonable cost. Stain can be used to create an infinite array of colors and special effects on both interior and exterior surfaces. Concrete stain does more than simply add color. Rather than produce a solid, opaque effect like paint or colored coatings, stains permeate the concrete to infuse it with rich, deep, translucent tones. Some stain verbiage will use adjectives such as “antiqued,” “variegated,” or “mottled” to describe the distinctive look. Even when treated with the same staining product in the same shade, no two concrete floors or walls will look alike due to factors such as the composition and age of the concrete and surface porosity.
Acid-based concrete stains are made up of inorganic metallic salts dissolved in an acid and water solution. They penetrate into the surface and react chemically with the concrete to form a permanent bond. The color they impart is translucent rather than opaque, resulting in deep, rich tones and attractive marbling effects.
Non-reactive water-based stains (typically a blend of acrylic polymers and pigments) fill the pores of the concrete surface to produce a colored film or coating to give a vibrant translucent finish. The key difference is that no chemical reaction takes place, so the color is more consistent. These products are also low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and safer to apply because they are free of solvents and acids.
If you want to go beyond the subtle drama and subdued color palette of acid staining, water-based acrylic stains will give you a wider spectrum of hues to choose from. We offer dozens of standard colors, including black and white and even metallic tints. And in many cases, the different colors can be mixed, like water-based paints, to broaden your options.
Because stains penetrate into the concrete surface, their color is durable and long-lasting. When applied to properly prepared concrete, the color will not fade, chip, or peel away.
Although concrete stain is permanent and won’t flake off like paint, it penetrates only the top layer of the concrete surface and will eventually wear away as the surface is worn by traffic or weather exposure. To prolong stain life, you should protect exterior stained concrete surfaces with a clear sealer and interior floors with a good floor wax. To keep your stained concrete looking its best, you will also need to clean it periodically by dry dust mopping and occasional wet mopping with a neutral-pH cleaner.