Is Stained Concrete A Good Option For You?

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Stained concrete floors have been getting a lot of attention these days. If you have seen them first hand, you know why. The gorgeous resulting floor doesn’t look much like concrete at all. There are basic stains and then there are decorative concrete designs that are incredible. We are sure you have plenty of questions regarding stained concrete so let’s go over some of the basics.

What Is Stained Concrete?

Stained concrete is the art of staining a concrete surface. While the application doesn’t hide cracks or blemishes, it can add beauty to a concrete slab. It can be anywhere from a simple stain with one color to multiple colors to create an amazing piece of art. It is a popular way to “dress up” concrete floors and make them look more fashionable with a wide array of options.

Where Are Stained Concrete Floors Used Most?

Concrete is extremely strong. Yes, that is stating the obvious, but they are really hard and not necessarily comfortable to walk on. Most stained concrete floors are used as exterior floors. Driveways, walkways, pool decks, patios, and walls are the popular choice. Some people in California will use them as interior floors, like in a foyer or in the basement.

concrete flooring


The Benefits Of A Stained Concrete Floor

Other than the gorgeous look of stained concrete, there are other benefits to opting for this type of floor surface. The care of properly sealed concrete flooring requires very little work. Daily sweeping and occasional wet mopping will keep it looking beautiful for years to come.

Design options are numerous! You can choose between water-based or acid-based stains to create a natural stone or polished marble look. The concrete can be stamped to add texture and colored coatings for an artistic design.

beautiful stained floors

Other benefits include:

  • Low cost – especially if you are staining an existing concrete floor
  • Durable flooring options
  • Customize for heated flooring – add heat tubes or wiring before setting the concrete and you can have warm floors in the dead of winter.

Can My Existing Concrete Floor Be Stained?

Yes and no. Many existing concrete floors will need to be treated before they are stained. Depending on the condition of the concrete, this may be grinding it into a smoother surface or treated chemically. These substances will cause a chemical reaction that will cause smoothing out with a little assistance. Once treated, an acid or water-based stain will be applied.

It is important to note that not all concrete slabs will respond well to staining. Not all cracks and discolorations can be hidden and can be more noticeable through the staining process. Resurfacing is an option. Or you can get creative and use the imperfections to your benefit for a unique stained look.

If your existing concrete floor has been previously coated or sealed, it is not a good candidate for staining.


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Water-Based Stain Vs. Acid-Based Stain

With the mentioning of the two types of stains, one can easily get lost on the benefits of either.

Water-based stains come in multiple colors, more than their acid-based counterpart. With water-based, you can blend and mix colors to have an infinite array of options for design. With this option, you can opt for translucent tones or an opaque effect that adds depth to the design.

Acid-based stains are often used the most and this is because acid stains permeate the concrete. This means it won’t wear out for a long time and is perfect for high-traffic areas, such as by the pool. Acid stain is also a little tricky. The design and intensity of the color are based on how the chemical reacts to the slab of concrete. If a color isn’t dark enough, multiple applications may be necessary to achieve the desired look. These stains tend to be neutral or earthy tones, which also makes them a great outdoor stain. When it comes to application, there is an extra step of cleaning and neutralizing for 24 hours before applying a clear sealer, which will come with more time to set.

Both are excellent for being scratch-resistant and do not fade over time. You won’t even have to worry about pet stains. It will last you a long time and still look gorgeous.

The Cost Of Stained Concrete Floors

Keep in mind that staining concrete is labor-intensive and you should always seek out a flooring expert to do the work. For a single application of color and very little surface prep, you can expect to pay around $4-$10 per square foot. If you want multiple colors and designs, the cost will rise. Call our experts in California today and let us discuss the application techniques and staining options available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Will stained concrete fade?

A. No. Both water-based and acid-based stains permeate the concrete and are hardy enough to withstand lots of foot traffic and scratches.

Q. Is it safe to use bleach on stained concrete?

A. Yes, in small amounts. Stained concrete is stain-resistant so a dust mop and light wet mopping is all that is necessary. You can also use gentle floor wax.

Q. Can you lighten a stained concrete floor that is dark?

A. Yes. A professional can use the same type of stain to pull the color and lighten it if it is too dark for your taste.

Q. Can I get custom graphics as part of a concrete flooring option?

A. Absolutely. Many professionals are trained in stamping and other methods to create a custom look.


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We have been in the industry for 38 years; providing beautiful custom concrete overlays, decorative concrete staining and waterproofing for interiors and exteriors of homes and businesses.

Armor Coatings is run by true artists and we take the time to customize our products to suit our customer’s needs. From epoxy flooring to concrete artistry, Armor Coatings can transform any concrete pool deck, walkway, garage, or floor into something truly beautiful.

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