Let’s get back to basics with our flooring, shall we? Why pay so much for special carpet or hard wood floors when you could revitalize the bare concrete that’s already there?! Staining your concrete floors can be a lot simpler than you may think, and the result is absolutely priceless. Stained concrete can give a space an entirely contemporary feel because of how minimalistic the flooring is. If you’re thinking about replacing your carpet or refinishing your floors, we highly recommend considering this option as well. When you pull up the carpet, the concrete should already be there or under a plywood subfloor. Then, all you have to do is stain and not worry about the costs of putting in either wood or carpet! We know you’re thinking, “It can’t be that easy!” and of course it’s not! That is why we’re here to guide you along the way.
To begin staining, you first have to make sure the surface on which the stain will be applied is clean, free from unwanted defects, stains, and markings, and ready for coloration. When adding any translucent color to anything, the pattern and colors of the substrate will show through. It’s similar to applying a wood stain to a piece of wood with knots and wood grain. Concrete stain can actually highlight and intensify the variations found in the concrete — natural as well as man-made blemishes and markings. Use manufacturers’ color charts as a guide only. Because acid stains react differently to each type of surface, it is imperative to do a sample on the actual concrete or surface that is going to receive the treatment. The methods and timing for the sample installed should be the same as how the rest of the surface will be stained. Even though you may encounter variables during the onsite sample, it’s still the best way of predetermining how the stain will react with a specific substrate.
Removing residue and neutralizing the surface is vital to the success of an acid-stained concrete finish. Residue from the acid etching must be removed, and the surface should be neutralized to ensure proper adhesion of the sealant or coating system. Before it’s sealed, the surface is still subject to staining and damage at this point. Make sure to thoroughly wet and neutralize the entire area to avoid boot prints, splashed residue marks, and other man-made unnatural blemishes.
Then once the concrete is sufficiently dry, apply a sealant coating. Although the sealant is usually the last stage of installation, it must be done right; an improperly applied sealer system can show roller lines, leave lint and debris in the finish, or delaminate or flake off the surface. Experienced professionals can choose and apply the right sealer for the job, using techniques such as spraying, cross-hatch rolling, back rolling, and buffing (in the case of a wax finish).
A lot of work goes into a stained concrete finish, and practice makes perfect! If you hire a professional, choose someone who has the skills that match the level of difficulty of the job at hand. Visit past work and talk to some of the former customers to make sure you’re making the right choice! Now that you see how complex staining concrete can be, we hope you think the finished product is worth it. Take it from us, you’ll fall in love with your stained flooring after all of the work is done!
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