Stained Concrete is the simple art of coloring OR "STAINING" ordinary or natural plain concrete. Concrete staining traditionally refers to acid staining but for the sake of confusion, we will refer to it as simply adding color (stains, dyes or pigments) to a natural concrete surface (it can be new concrete, old concrete, resurfaced or an overlay). Ordinary, old and unsealed concrete can be transformed with stains and color in so many unique ways today. Some applications are suitable for interior and exterior applications too. We’ve been transforming & staining concrete floors in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas for almost TWO DECADES NOW!
DECORATIVE APPLICATIONS OF STAIN, DYE & COLOR FOR CONCRETE
Take your plain ordinary concrete (interior & exterior) to another level with concrete staining! Serving all of the great state of Texas!
acid stained concrete for earth tones
semi-transparent way to color concrete
penetrating dyes to color & pigment concrete
lithium stains with NANO technology
Sealing natural concrete floors
pigmented or colored sealer when an opaque look is desired
Stained Concrete has been around longer than most people realize. Decorative Concrete began with architectural concrete projects playing with colors and designs probably in the 1950's or earlier. Associated with painting, concrete staining has some similarities, however acid staining, in particular, is a unique way to color concrete and produce permanent deeper hues of color that can mottle with the concrete as it reacts with the concrete surface. Typical acid stains are more earth tones in nature.
It is imperative that acid stains penetrate into the concrete floor surface to have permanent effect and useful value, otherwise, the product sits and dries on top of the floor & no reaction occurs. A concrete surface must be porous enough for the acid stain or other penetrating dyes to perform how they are designed. This can be achieved in different ways depending, again, on the current floor conditions or environment of the install. For example, and aggressive diamond grind may be needed on a really rough, painted or coated patio, or a tightly troweled concrete floor may need to be honed with some lower grit resinous diamonds to open the floor up, or maybe an acid etch or acid wash might be useful to open up the concrete to receive the color application (to name a few).
Not all concrete is the same and not all projects have the same approach!
Furthermore, stained concrete requires maintenance, just like anything that is used. Your concrete floors take abuse every day and they will show signs of wear, use, & neglect sooner than you think. Contrary to popular belief, concrete IS NOT as hard and long-lasting as we think. Just look around and you will see the effect nature, rain, foot traffic, etc has on it. It is constantly in need of repair & maintenance.
So it is with stained concrete! A decorative concrete floors life cycle is directly related to the environment and wear patterns of that space. Therefore, a suitable sealer or concrete coating should be specified and maintained properly so that the colors or stain NEVER WALK OFF leaving you with a worse problem and an expensive remedy.
Water-based concrete stains introduce a wider palette & variety of colors and offer a non-acidic or reactive application for the user. Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) qualities is sometimes imperative in homes and businesses where the air must be clear and the environment safe for the client or in confined spaces with neighbors. With the science & technology of today, we have better water-based solutions with the addition of lithium and bonding properties for our color applications.
Most water-based stains are semi-transparent, slightly building color on the surface, unlike dyes and acid stains, which are designed to penetrate into the concrete surface. Water-based stains are great for lower traffic sites and/or need to be sealed with tougher wear resistant coatings for protection & performance.
Solvent-based dyes have been a great addition to the concrete staining & coloring community. Though solvents have higher VOC's, the palette of color options is endless, also giving the decorative concrete floor artisan quicker turn around and great color solutions for most concrete floors. Dyes are non-acidic, and can be mixed with acetone or denatured alcohol traditionally. We also use penetrating agents for the pigments to enter deeper into the concrete pours for deeper lasting color applications.
With the additions of penetration formulas and hardening systems for concrete, lithium-based stains & sealers have given exterior concrete & decorative concrete projects increased durability in high traffic conditions. Great for pool decks, water parks, and highly exposed areas, these stains penetrate effectively and stand up to the harsh elements of nature, including UV stability against the sun's harmful direct rays.