The most common type of concrete floor is stained concrete floors. Due to the variety of styles and approaches, they deserve special attention. This finishing method is available both for freshly poured concrete floors and for the renovation of existing concrete floors. This type of concrete floor is used in both residential and commercial buildings. All thanks to the durable coating and the variety of designs.
To use the simplest description, a painted concrete floor is a concrete slab with paint applied to the surface. Types of surface finishes are different, both in application and in capabilities. Like everything, they have their advantages and disadvantages.
The stain for concrete is absorbed into the surface of the concrete slab and creates a very durable coating. Unlike paint, a concrete stain is translucent, allowing the unique surface of the concrete to be seen through the coating. Installation of such a floor does not take much time, and the price is similar to or even lower than similar types of floors.
Acid stain is the most common and used type of stain for concrete. The use of more than 100 years allows us to speak about the reliability and durability of such a coating. Most people imagine just such a type of coating when it comes to stained concrete floors. A special feature is the brown (as well as its shades) color of the floor finish.
The acid stain penetrates concrete, reacts with the calcium in its composition, and thereby changes the color of the concrete to brown. The surface becomes resistant to UV radiation and does not fade in the sun, which is an advantage of such a coating. This plus allows you to use such a surface on outdoor floors.
Painted concrete, on the other hand, will lose color, and unevenly. It ruins the look a lot. The second advantage will be the high durability of the coating, which allows it to be used in places with high traffic.
In the end, the coating is similar to the pattern of marble. This is due to the different content of lime on the surface of the concrete slab. This type of concrete floor is very suitable for loft-style design or rustic-style commercial buildings. At the same time, the concrete slab can be quite old and worn out, acid stain will fulfill its task by 100%.
It's time to talk about the disadvantages. The main disadvantage is the small number of colors available to implement the design. The main colors that can be distinguished are earth tones, black, light blue, and green. The second disadvantage is that it takes an average of 24 hours to complete the floor covering.
In addition to the above, floors with such a coating are additionally covered with a sealant. It is worth remembering that polyurethane sealants are used for interior floors, and acrylic sealants are used for exterior floors.
If you don't like the limited colors of acid stains in terms of style or design, you need to look at water-based concrete stains. The use of water-based concrete stains allows the use of a wide range of colors. This type of concrete stain is applied in the form of small pigments on the concrete surface, creating a uniform surface. Based on the possibilities, you can draw anything on the floor if it is required by design. It is worth noting that water-based concrete stains are opaque.
The properties of water-based concrete stains are UV-resistant but not as durable as we would like. Therefore, their use for outdoor floors is not recommended.
It also requires the use of sealants for additional protection, as well as regular checks for damage. If necessary, the sealant is applied again.
The main advantage is fast drying and lack of odor and flying compounds in the composition. Therefore, their use in residential premises or retail outlets will have a positive effect.
Concrete dye consists of ultra-dispersion pigments in a solvent. They do not react in any way with concrete-like acid stains. They have the highest transparency and natural appearance, which allows them to be used on polished concrete or concrete pavements.
Concrete dyes are very uniform in color and require a high level of workmanship because the drying time is very short. Unfortunately, Concrete dye is not UV resistant. This limits their use only for interior work.
The advantage is the wide choice of colors.
Integral concrete color is a pigment that is added during the production of concrete before the poured concrete slab. Due to its characteristics, it is used exclusively in new construction.
The main advantage is that the concrete slab is colored uniformly throughout. As the surface wears and ages, you will not notice changes in surface color.
All concrete structures are also visible, providing a modern look. Depending on the surface design, such a floor can compete with natural stone floors.
UV resistance allows this type of concrete floor to be used outdoors. Paths in your garden or coverings around an outdoor pool will look great from it. It is the lack of requirements for applying a sealant that allows it not to be slippery when water gets on it.
Depending on the color of the pigment, the cost of concrete work can rise to 20% (especially the expensive green pigment). But at the same time, the price increase can be ultimately reduced by the absence of additional work with it, such as the initial and repeated application of the sealant.
An important element should be the preparation of the concrete surface. This is especially important for old floors.
For Acid Stains and Water-based concrete stains, the surface must be treated with a special buffer compound. Older floors will most likely require surface treatment with a planetary concrete grinder.
The concrete dye should only be used on professionally polished floors. Sufficient time should be allowed to remove dust before work and be careful not to ignite materials. In this case, it is better to entrust the work to local pros.