Are you a DIY’er and need new flooring in your house? Stained concrete is the easiest flooring option for DIY project. When staining concrete you do not need any saws or special equipment. All you need is some safety protection gear and a pump up sprayer.
The hardest part about staining concrete is getting the color close to what you are looking for. The only concrete staining tip I can give you on colors is to always start with a strong dilution, meaning dilute the stain with a lot of water (if it is a water based stain) to make it lighter. You can always make the concrete floor darker, but once you have made the floor to dark you will not be able to lighten the color. You also want to consider what the floor will look like when it is sealed, most sealers will darken the floor.
Other then getting the color close to what you are looking for, staining the concrete is nothing more than spraying the concrete down using a pump sprayer with the stain in it.
If your in San Antonio and looking for concrete staining products, check out The Stain Store.
This last week we got a job consisting of removing VCT flooring and then staining the concrete afterwards. The building was an older building so the chance the mastic under the VCT contained asbestos, so we decided to strip the mastic off instead of using the grinder.
After we stripped the mastic off we had to clean the concrete with a floor scrubber and degrease the floor because of using a soy bean based mastic stripper. We then acid stained the concrete using the color cola and then sealed the concrete with a solvent based sealer.
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.
Acid Stained Concrete Floor
Stained Concrete Vintage Umber
Vintage Umber Acid Stained Concrete
A lot of times Saltillo tile is applied on a mud base that can be 2-3 inches thick. The Saltillo tile can be removed along with the mud base and then re-poured with concrete, but this can get costly. The alternative would be to apply a resurfacing cement right on top of the Saltillo tile. This process is the most cost affective way and when done right can last a lifetime.
The first step would be to grind the Saltillo tile down to make them all even.
Grinding Saltillo Tile
Saltillo Tile Ground Down
After the Saltillo tile is ground down, the next step would be to apply a epoxy primer with sand broadcasted in it.
Saltillo Primed With Epoxy
Once the tiles are primed, we apply a special repair mortar to help fill low spots in the floor.
Saltillo Tile Grouted
After the floor has been grouted, we apply the decorative overlay and then we can stain the concrete.
After Resurfaced & Stained
Are you staining your concrete floors, and don’t know whether to use a gloss or matte finish sealer? There are a few things you should consider when selecting the shine level of the sealer:
The first thing you should consider is how much maintenance do you want to do on the stained concrete floors. If you decide to have a gloss finish, the floors will dim down over time and will require to re-wax the floors to bring it to the same gloss level. Stained concrete with a gloss finish sealer will look great once you put it down, but if there are going to be dogs running on the floor the shiny surface will show scratches easier than a matte finish.
The other thing you should consider is the design of the house, matte finish sealer will provide a warmer feeling to the house. This type of finish gives a more natural look to the stained concrete floor than the gloss finish sealer.
Do you have a bedroom you want to re-do the floor in? Concrete staining is a very cost affective option for single bedrooms. We have just completed a master bedroom that was 300 square feet. We tore out the carpet, ground the concrete clean, stained the floor, and then applied a sealer to the concrete.
If you have a bedroom floor you want stained in San Antonio give us a call at (210) 422-6116.
Stained Concrete Master Bedroom
Stained Concrete in Single Bedroom
Small concrete walkway stained using a water based stain. The color used was Taupe from Butterfield Colors. The concrete was sealed using a water based sealer to give a natural low gloss appearance.
Concrete Walkway Stained
When concrete is in very bad condition cosmetically, the easiest way to repair the concrete is by resurfacing it. Concrete resurfacing involves: grinding the concrete to acheive a proper surface profile so the material will bond to the existing concrete, we then apply a base coat, and then a smooth coat or another base coat (depending if you want it rough or smooth).
The patio we worked on this week had a lot of things wrong with it. The first thing was it was very rough with a lot of pits that had to be repaired. We then ground the concrete to prepare it for the resurfacing material and to even out the construction joint where the two slabs butted up to each other. After resurfacing the concrete, we applied a stain and sealed the concrete. Once the patio was sealed we came back and re-scored the construction joint and filled with a self-leveling polyurethane.
Before Resurfacing & Staining
After Resurfacing & Staining
After Staining With Mocha
Stained concrete outside helps make the concrete more pleasing. It is one of the easiest DIY projects as the prep work and equipment needed to stain concrete is minimal. There are a few guidelines when prepping the concrete before staining:
- Pressure washing will remove most stains from the concrete. Be careful not to hold the nozzle to close to the concrete or you will etch an unwanted pattern that will show up when finished staining and sealing the surface.
- Oil stains can be faded with degreasers found at the hardware store. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the surface afterwards, because the degreasers will be very sudsy. The oil might not come out on the first try, a couple of tries might be needed. Some time you will be left with a shadow of where the oil stain was.
- Hard water stains can be removed with CLR or similar products, but do not use if you are planning on staining the concrete with an acid stain. This will deplete some of the lime the acid stain works with to produce the color in the concrete. If you need to use CLR you will have to use a water or solvent based dye to stain the concrete.
- For exterior surfaces that are very dirty and after trying the above steps still won’t come clean, the last resort would be to grind the concrete. You will need to rent a grinder from a rental place. This will take the top surface of the concrete off, so you will see some aggregate in the concrete.