The question we get asked all of the time is: How long will stained concrete last? The answer to this questions is it depends. It depends on:
- How was the concrete prepped
- What type of concrete stain was used
- What type of sealer was used
When staining concrete you want to make sure the surface is profiled the right way. The concrete stain needs to be able to penetrate into the surface and you also want to make sure the sealer will have something to grip onto. The way you prep the surface of the concrete will depend on what type of concrete stain you will be using and what type of sealer will be used.
The type of concrete stain used will also affect the longevity of the stained concrete floor. Acid stains will outlast any other type of concrete stain since it physically changes the color of the concrete. So if you are looking for a concrete floor that will last a very long time, the best type of stain to use is an acid stain.
The type of sealer you want to use depend on how much traffic will be on the floor. Thicker build sealers are better for commercial areas; however, they will still wear away. Once they develop wear patterns in the sealer it is hard to fix. For residential homes, an acrylic sealer will last a very long time if it is maintained properly with wax. For instance, my father has an acid stained floor with an acrylic sealer and has been maintained properly and has lasted 15 years with no wear patterns.
When you are looking for a cost affective, long term flooring, acid stained concrete is an excellent option. As long as you have the right installer, and you maintain the floor you will be satisfied.
We just got done staining this concrete floor in Devine, Tx with an acid stain.
The simple step’s we took to complete this stained concrete floor were:
- We first cleaned the floor using an auto-scrubber and detergent.
- After the floor dried enough we applied two coats of Kemiko Vintage Umber acid stain.
- Once the acid stain dried we neutralized the floor with ammonia.
- We then applied two coats of water-based acrylic sealer with two coats of floor finish on top.
Take a look at the photos of the floor below.
Check out this video clip of us using a stand up grinder prepping the concrete for an acid stain.
Acid staining can be a bit tricky when trying to achieve a certain color. When you are not happy with the color of the concrete floor after acid staining, the only practical way to remove an acid stain from concrete is by using a grinder to mechanically remove the top surface of the concrete where the acid stain is. After grinding the acid stain off, we recommend using a dye to re-stain the concrete floor.
There are a few tools that you can use to help clean the concrete:
- Floor Machine
- Shop Vac
- Scrubbing Pads
- Detergent (nothing that contains acid)
- Mop Bucket
The first thing we do when we clean concrete, is run the floor machine with detergent (typically dawn soap) over the whole surface to remove dry wall mud and any loose paint. This will help you see what is left on the concrete that needs to be removed.
If there is glue that is still on the floor, you might need to use a solvent such as xylene (make sure pilot flames are blown out) to remove it. If there is paint still on the floor, scrape as much of it of as you can, then go over the surface with xylene to remove any stubborn areas. If the whole surface of the concrete floor is painted, you will need to use a chemical stripper or grind the concrete. If you grind the concrete you will have to grind the whole area to make sure the surface texture is all the same. If the paint and glue remain on the concrete floor when acid staining, you will notice them.
After you have removed all the contaminants from the floor, use a mop with clean water to thoroughly clean the floor. Let the concrete completely dry out and then you are ready to acid stain the concrete.
Stained concrete flooring is a great option for kitchens. It is very durable and will withstand the heavy foot traffic in a kitchen. Stained concrete will also be easy to clean when food and liquids get spilled in the kitchen.
The photo below is a stained concrete floor in a kitchen we completed over a year and half ago, as you can see it still looks great with very little maintenance done.
We used a green and brown acid stain to stain the concrete floor, followed by two coats of solvent based acrylic sealer, and two coats of wax.
Stained concrete looks great outdoors, it can enhance patios, pool decks, sidewalks, and driveways.
When staining concrete outdoors there is a couple of things to keep in mind. The first thing we always tell customers is that darker colors will show water marks more than if the concrete was stained using a lighter color.
Another thing to think about is the surface of the concrete that is going to be stained. Smooth surfaces tend to look really nice when the finish coat of sealer is applied, it will be nice and shiny, but like all shiny surfaces they must be kept cleaned to remain shiny. Dust and dirt will very quickly reduce the shine of the surface. We learned this the hard way, when we first started out; we applied a smooth overlay on a driveway, stained it, and sealed the surface. When we were done, the driveway looked just like the owner had wanted it too, smooth and shiny. After a couple of weeks when the leaves started to fall the shine on the driveway was gone and you could see everything.
The other day I was called to look at a patio a DIY’er scored and acid stained. He was having problems with the lighter acid stain color making stain marks over the black stained border. I have never seen a lighter acid stain taking over a darker acid stain color, but after seeing this patio I now know it is possible for a lighter stain color taking over a darker stain color.
The process he used to score and stain his patio was: he first scored a border around the patio; he then sponged on a black acid stain on the border; after the stain had dried, he taped off the border and stained the middle of the patio with a lighter acid stain which bled under the tape and made rusty color stain marks over the black.
The most common way when scoring a decorative border around the patio and acid staining is to: first score the border; then stain the whole patio with the lighter stain; and then after the stain has dried, paint on the black or darker colored stain around the border. When doing it this way you will not have to worry about taping off the border and the stain bleeding under.
This concrete patio was acid stained with a vintage umber acid stain. We applied three coats of stain, neutralized it, and then sealed the patio with two coats of solvent based acrylic sealer.