How to Stain Concrete: Adding Color to Cement Surfaces

 When deciding on flooring the homeowner now has several choices, you can use a more traditional flooring such as hardwood or tile or you can use concrete for a unique flooring. The advice below may seem straightforward, but it is following the directions and being diligent that provide the best results.

  1. Make sure the surface on which the stain will be applied is clean, free from unwanted defects, stains and markings and ready for coloration. When adding any translucent color to anything, the pattern and colors of the substrate will show through. It’s similar to applying a wood stain to a piece of wood with knots and wood grain. Concrete stain can actually highlight and intensify the variations found in the concrete — natural as well as man-made blemishes and markings.
  2. Use manufacturers’ color charts as a guide only. Because acid stains react differently to each type of surface, it is imperative to do a sample on the actual concrete or surface that is going to receive the treatment. The methods and timing for the sample installed should be the same as how the rest of the surface will be stained. Even though you may encounter variables during the onsite sample, it’s still the best way of predetermining how the stain will react with a specific substrate.
  3. If all concrete were the same, an exact application procedure could be developed. But that simply isn’t the case. Acid staining is as much art as function. You must understand the application technique as well as how much stain to apply. The installer’s experience and the skill level play an important role when choosing an acid-stain finish.

Potentially great jobs can turn into disasters because of improper application methods. Too little product won’t give complete coverage, nor will it etch the surface sufficiently to deeply deposit the color. Too much product can cause unwanted puddling and pooling, causing those areas to have too much color.

If you use the scrubbing method, remember to scrub with a natural flow and pattern. Otherwise, mop lines and obvious swirls may appear.

  1. Removing residue and neutralizing the surface is key to the success of an acid-stained concrete finish. Residue from the acid etching must be removed, and the surface should be neutralized to ensure proper adhesion of the sealant or coating system. Before it’s sealed, the surface is still subject to staining and damage at this point. Take care to thoroughly wet and neutralize the entire area to avoid boot prints, splashed residue marks and other man-made unnatural blemishes.
  2. Once the concrete is sufficiently dry, apply a sealant coating. Although the sealant is usually the last stage of installation, it must be done right; an improperly applied sealer system can show roller lines, leave lint and debris in the finish, or delaminate or flake off the surface. Experienced professionals can choose and apply the right sealer for the job, using techniques such as spraying, cross-hatch rolling, back rolling and buffing (in the case of a wax finish).

A lot of work goes into a stained concrete finish, and practice makes perfect. If you hire a professional, choose someone who has the skills that match the level of difficulty of the job at hand. Visit past work and talk to some of the former customers.

Even if you hire the best acid-stain concrete contractor in your area, his abilities will depend on the surface he’ll work with. It may not be possible to completely hide and blend in color on a badly stained and damaged concrete slab. The concrete slab is the decorative concrete artist’s canvas, so it must be kept clean and free from stains, spills, paint and other flaws. That will ensure that the finish will be everything you hoped for when you chose to use acid stain as a finish.

How to Create an Open Living Space

amazonas-nude-800x400

Are you feeling claustrophobic in your living space? I bet walls are taking over your home. These days’ homes are built with open floor plans. But if you have an older home you may want to start taking down some walls to open that space up. Nothing says beauty and elegance like an open floor plan. Removing walls is not something you will want to do without having a licensed contractor at least assisting. Continue reading →

Give Your Fireplace a Facelift with Tiles

3adb7a5fa32fb9eacda8d7163ddf8497

If you have a fireplace, most of the time they are the focal point of the room. What if your fireplace is an eye sore instead of a focal point? If you have an outdated fireplace you can lay tile directly over the existing surface. It’s like giving your fireplace a face lift. It’s not as difficult as you may think. In fact, it’s quite easy. And Plumbtile has so many great choices for tiles. Continue reading →

How to Install the Perfect Plumbtiles!

tile pic

You want to create that amazing outdoor space where you can have your family gatherings, but unsure of where to start. You can start with Plumbtile! Our experts are here to help you choose the perfect materials that will fit your design and preference. Please feel free to call our sales associates at any time: 1-866-758-6284. Continue reading →

Installation of Glass Tile

Glass Tile in your Dining Room

Glass tile has steadily risen in popularity these past few years, and as a result costs have been driven down as competition increases between makers. Even better, eco-friendly processes have become involved, and some makers boast 100% recycled glass tile lines.

However, some contractors are reluctant to lay glass tile because they are not used to the methods to set it down. It’s different from ceramic tile and if done wrong can be costly to re-do. Contrary to popular belief, it’s fairly easy to do, as long as you’re prepared appropriately.
Continue reading →

How To: Clean Your Bathroom Like a Pro

uhs_02137_11_lg

Whether cozy, sleek or luxurious, hotel baths are the perfect getaway. Now you can transform your bathroom into just such an escape. While you may not want to clean your entire bathroom every day, doing small things such as wiping down the counters, faucet and sink, and spot-cleaning the mirror can give your bathroom a daily perk-up. The rest is all in the weekly routine.

Continue reading →

How to: Table Top Mosaic

9

Sometimes our favorite furniture starts to look a little worn down, or we find a great piece at a thrift store or garage sale but it needs a little sprucing up. There are so many different ways to give that old table or night stand a fresh new attitude. The coolest way to give your furniture a new look would be to create a tabletop tile mosaic. Not only is it simple, but the pattern possibilities are endless.

Continue reading →

Installing Heated Floors

Plumbtile

Suddenly, the Christmas decorations are out and we are on our way to some brutally cold weather. What could be better than a heated seat in your car as the icy temperatures approach? Heated tile floor. It is easy to install, cheap to operate, and it won’t take up any extra space! Plus, your feet will love you for it. The concept of in-heat flooring is pretty simple. While installing new tile, a mat with a continuous heating element woven in, will be placed in the mortar underneath the tile, taking that icy chill right out. Continue reading →