Concrete Stain

Acid-based chemical stains react with the minerals that make up a concrete slab. The end result is an etched surface in a range of earthy tones. Add a stamped design, and you can create the look of anything from natural stone to polished marble to stained wood.

These stains are semi-transparent, however, so be advised that they won’t cover any cracks or preexisting color. Proper surface preparation is key to any project, but it’s especially important when you’re using acid-based chemical stains.

Concrete Dye

Concrete dyes don’t react chemically to concrete—in other words, there’s not as much educated guessing going on when you apply a dye as there is when you apply a stain. Because dyes don’t bond to concrete, the color that comes out of the packaging is the color you’ll get, within reason.

Concrete is porous on its own, and the dye is made up of exceedingly tiny particles that will penetrate the surface, creating a striking end result. This process happens quite quickly, though, which means that there isn’t very much room for error.

Stained Concrete

The concept of staining concrete is similar to altering the color of materials such as wood. Instead of creating an opaque surface through paint, staining provides several hues and tones for concrete through different solutions and techniques. Practice makes perfect when staining concrete, and homeowners can master the art of creating concrete textures that resemble the shades of natural stone, leather, marble, and wood. Concrete is very absorbent, which allows a property owner to stain almost any color imaginable.

Stains are popular because they can be used on new and existing concrete. They produce subtle, earth-toned colors that appeal to many homeowners and blend well with natural surroundings. Typical stained concrete colors include tans, browns and terra cottas.

Because they penetrate the surface of the concrete, stains produce permanent color that is UV stable. That means that most stains can be used outdoors without fading. Stains are limited in that they are semi-transparent, meaning they won’t hide existing blemishes or patchwork.

Types of Concrete Staining

The first thing to consider when staining is deciding the base for your solution. Stains designed for concrete fall into two categories — acid stains and water-based stains.

Both types of concrete staining are ideal for rejuvenating dull surfaces inside and outside. A home or business concrete staining project may include the following applications:

  • Garage flooring
  • Indoor flooring
  • Countertops
  • Walls
  • Walkways
  • Patios

Acid stains are typically made up of inorganic metallic salts, hydrochloric acid, and water. The stains absorb into the surface of concrete for a reaction with calcium hydroxide to form a bond. Acid staining offers deep color tones of tans, browns, blues, and greens with marbling effects.

Water-based stains are non-reactive and exist as a mixture of acrylic polymers and pigments. These stains fill the pores on the surface of concrete for a wider spectrum of colors including translucent and opaque finishes. Generally, water-based solutions are more consistent as they don’t involve reactions in the concrete and are free of solvents and acids.

Colored Concrete

Concrete can be colored in four different ways: stains, integral pigments, color hardeners, and dyes. Each of these coloring methods produces different looks and comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Colored concrete floors advantages:

  • Durability: Colored concrete is highly durable and can withstand heavy foot traffic and wear and tear over time. It is also resistant to fading, chipping, and cracking, making it a great choice for high-traffic areas.
  • Low maintenance: Colored concrete floors require minimal maintenance, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run. They can be easily cleaned with a broom, mop, or vacuum cleaner, and stains can be removed with a mild cleaning solution.
  • Versatility: Colored concrete can be used in a variety of applications, including flooring, countertops, and outdoor paving. It can also be used in combination with other decorative techniques, such as stamped or polished concrete, to create unique and customized designs.
  • Eco-friendly: Coloring concrete floors is an eco-friendly choice as it does not require the use of additional materials such as tiles, wood, or carpeting. It is also energy-efficient, as it can help regulate the temperature of your home or building, reducing the need for heating and cooling.
  • Enhances aesthetics: Colored concrete can enhance the aesthetics of any space by adding color and texture. It can also create the illusion of a larger space, making it a popular choice for small rooms or areas.

Overall, coloring concrete floors is an affordable, durable, low-maintenance, and versatile option that can enhance the aesthetics of any space. With a wide range of colors and design options available, it is a great choice for both residential and commercial applications.

Coloring Concrete Integrally
Integrally colored concrete is only an option for new pours. Pigments are added to the concrete mix prior to placement, ensuring the color goes completely through. The color will not wear or chip away, nor will it not fade.

For integrally colored concrete, the options are primarily earth tones – browns, tans, grays and subtle reds. Subtle blues and greens can also be achieved. If you are looking for intense, eye-catching color, integral pigments are not the best option. Many contractors use integral colors as a base and add color hardeners, stains or dyes to the surface for an enhanced hue.

Color Options

Click on color image below for color group options.


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