Is Stained Concrete flooring a Good Option

Is Stained Concrete flooring a Good Option

Is Stained Concrete flooring a Good Option?

January 4, 2008

Brian Waspi My Dream Home Registry

When you are considering the flooring for your new home there are many things to keep in mind. Most of us are working on a budget so we want something that looks good, will last a long time, and not require a lot of maintenance. One of the newer trends in flooring is using stained concrete. Here are a few tips on how to decide if using stained concrete is a realistic option for your home.

Not Just Shades of Grey Anymore

When most of us think of concrete we think of a dull grey surface that you use to see on basement floors. This is now longer the case. You can now get stained concrete floors in several colors. Here is how the coloring process actually works.

Acid Stained Concrete Floors

Coloring concrete this way is through a process called acid staining. The entire process of what is done is a little technical but here is how it works. You take your base concrete floor, it can be a new slab, an old floor, and it can already be painted or just plain. Then you apply a mixture of chemical stains, they refer to it as an acid stain, but the acid is not what actually colors the concrete. Stay with me, here is where it gets a little technical.

What actually stains the concrete to create the color is the reaction between a substance in the hardened concrete called hydrated lime and the water based acidic mixture that contains metallic salts. The very top layer of concrete becomes porous when the acidic mixture is applied. This opening lets the hydrated lime and the metallic salt to react. The water in the solution acts like a catalyst for the reaction and it can last up to one month.

There are a lot of different factors that will affect the actual coloring. Most companies that do this process offer shades of black, brown and a blue green coloring. The way your floors will actually take the color depends on the level of lime in the concrete. The more lime, the more rich your color will be.

The Pros of Stained Concrete Floors

Having stained concrete floors has many benefits. If you are building a new home and begin the process as the slab is being poured it will cost you approximately the half the amount as putting in hardwood flooring. But it is important to make the decision to do it before the slab is poured.

The maintenance need for keeping the floors clean is very simple. You only need to sweep them occasional and wash them regularly with just plain water. You will need to periodically wax them so they maintain their look. It is a great feature and helps with the rest of house’s cleanliness especially if you live where it snows a lot or if you live where the conditions are very sandy.

This is a very environmentally friendly flooring option. You are saving trees by not using any hardwood flooring, and you are cutting out the manufacturing pollution that is generated while making carpet. It will also help with your energy bills. Concrete maintains its temperature very well and does not heat up to quickly and it does not cool down to fast.

If you are an allergy sufferer then having stained concrete floors is an ideal situation. It keeps allergens to a minimum. There is no way for the allergens like dust and pollen to get trapped like with carpeting.

Is Stained Concrete flooring a Good Option

The Cons of Stained Concrete Floors

There are not that many cons to having concrete floors. One of the only cons is that if you decide to do this after the slab is poured it becomes very expensive because the concrete now has an entirely different process to go through to get ready to accept the acid stain.

This is also a project that will be quite hard for the average person to do it themselves. It is not like painting a wall where if you don’t like the effect you just go buy some more paint and redo it. If you take this on yourself and make a mistake it will be costly. So make sure that you first seek a professional for advice on how to do it correctly.

Even though you can have several types of designed scored in the floor and different types of finishes stained concrete floors are limited in their color choices. They can use the colors to mix and give you different effects, but they will only be within 3 color tones.

Getting Them Done

If you decided that you want to have stained concrete floors in your home seek the help of a profession concrete contractor. This project is labor intensive so if you are going to try it yourself make sure that you take all the necessary precautions and do your homework.

This article is sponsored by My Dream Home Registry. the gift registry for everything home. Visit them on the web at

Brian Waspi is the owner/co-founder of My Dream Home Registry. the alternative gift registry service centered on the home. Articles are submitted as part of our ongoing quest to furnish unbiased information about interior design and home remodel.

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