Staining concrete is one of the most popular applications for developing and changing simple concrete slabs. Frequently tagged as colored concrete, homeowners, designers, and builders are drawn to stained concrete because of the distinctive results that can be accomplished by merging colors, application techniques, and timing on cement flooring and other substrates. The results are restricted only by the imagination of those involved in the stained concrete process.
Due to the fact that concrete is porous with a neutral tone; it is the ideal blank canvas for topically applied coatings. Using acid-based chemical stains, decorative residential and commercial concrete contractors have been able to attain rich, earth-toned color schemes similar to natural stone, marble, wood, or even leather, giving a completely custom look to cement floors, concrete driveways, patios, walkways, pool decks, concrete walls and more.
Most of the commercial acid stains are a mixture of water, hydrochloric acid, and acid-soluble metallic salts. They penetrate the surface and chemically react with the hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) present in the concrete. The acid in the stain lightly scrapes the surface, allowing the metallic salts from the acid stains to penetrate more easily. Once the stain reacts, it becomes a permanent part of the concrete and it will not fade, chip off, or peel away. Like stains for wood, acid-based stains are translucent and the color they produce will vary depending on the color and condition of the substrate they are applied to.
Each concrete slab will accept the stain in varying degrees of intensity, creating natural color variations that bring character and distinction to each flooring project. What acid stains don’t offer is a wide color selection. You will mostly find them in a limited array of understated earth tones such as tans, browns, terra cottas, and soft blue-greens. However, newer products on the market such as water-based penetrating stains and water- and solvent-based concrete dyes are greatly offered new colors ranging from soft pastels to vivid reds, oranges, yellows, and purples.