Concrete Stain: Using Acid Stain vs. Acrylic Stain
Using concrete stain is an easy and inexpensive way to spruce up that boring gray concrete and bring some color and life to your patio, porch, basement floor, etc. Instead of paint, you want something that's not going to chip or flake and let your concrete maintain some of its natural appearance. You've probably heard of acid stain
and maybe even seen some examples of how these stains can transform the look of a concrete surface. There are also acrylic stains
designed for concrete which may be more suitable for your situation and taste.
Advantages of Stained concrete Floors in Chicago:
- Durability: One of the best qualities of stained concrete flooring is its durability and resistance to wear and tear. Chicago Stained concrete floors offer all of the durability of concrete flooring including high compressive strengths. They will also not warp, buckle, or flake like some other flooring options. Additionally, stained concrete floors are ultraviolet light resistant to resist fading or discoloration. Finally, unlike some concrete paints, concrete stain will not chip or peel.
- Beauty: Properly designed and installed concrete flooring is capable of capturing the look of far more expensive flooring options including granite, marble, travertine, sandstone, flagstone, and slate. This can give your flooring an elegant and stylish look at an affordable cost. Even single color concrete floors can provide a unique look, allowing them to stand out beyond any commercial or industrial application.
- Energy Savings: Concrete floors have an ability to absorb, store, and slowly release heat and coolness. Because of this “thermal mass” property, exposed concrete floors, such as stained concrete floors, can reduce the load on heating and air conditioning equipment by moderating indoor temperature swings while outdoor temperatures may vary drastically.
- Low Maintenance: Stained concrete floors require very little maintenance compared to other flooring options. These floors can simply be swept and mopped clean as needed while maintaining their overall look and elegance. Occasionally, stained concrete floors in high traffic areas may need to be buffed or repolished to maintain their shine.
- Optimal Indoor Air Quality: The four main sources of indoor air quality are (1) allergens, such as dust mites, mold, mildew; (2) retained moisture and dampness; (3) odors from smoke and cleaning agents; and (4) volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) emitted from some building materials. Stained concrete floors eliminate all of these indoor air quality problems because they do not allow for the growth of mold and mildew, will not collect dust mites, easily allow moisture to evaporate, can be cleaned easily without harsh chemicals, and can be installed with a sealer that contains low or no VOC’s.
- Water Resistance: Stained concrete floors allow low amounts of moisture to pass through without leaving behind any negative results or effects. Stained concrete floors will not warp or rot, grow mold or mildew, or discolor like many other flooring surfaces when exposed to moisture from above or below.
- Sustainability: There is an important and recent trend towards using environmentally friendly and sustainable building materials and methods when building and remodeling commercial and industrial buildings. Because concrete is energy efficient to product, is made from local products, and uses recycled or waste products when manufactured stained concrete floors are a sustainable building material. Other environmental benefits of stained concrete floors are that they promote optimal indoor air quality, reduce operating costs, have little construction waste, and will not ever need to be replaced.
Looking for stained concrete floors cost in Chicagoland? You may ask "What does it cost per square foot to stain concrete in the Chicago area?" or "how much does stained concrete cost?" Aardvark Painting Inc. has the answers;
- Simple stain applications that include cleanup and a final sealer coat and involve minimal slab preparation will cost about $2 to $4per square foot depending on several variables.
- Larger projects typically have the lowest square-foot prices.
- Stain applications with saw-cut patterning and different colors between sawed lines cost $4 to $10 per square foot.
- Applications with sawed patterns and multiple color buildups are priced at about $8 to $15 per square foot.
- Sandblast stencil work, including stain, cleanup, and sealer applied only to the stenciled area, runs $12 to $25 per square foot of stencil area.
Our Other Types of Epoxy Floors:
concrete floors, acid stains vs concrete dyes
As more and more people are becoming aware of the attractiveness and practicality of using concrete floors in their living and working spaces, stained and sealed concrete is becoming increasingly popular. There are acid stains and concrete dyes that have been developed to add color to concrete. Often I am asked about the difference between using acid stains and concrete dyes in the coloring process.
To put it simply, acid stains react with and change the color of the concrete, while concrete dyes simply add their color to the concrete. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both processes, either process can deliver a unique and beautiful finished product. Sometimes we combine processes on the same floor and really get creative!
The metallic chlorides suspended in acid stains react with free (chemically active) calcium in the concrete to change the actual color of the concrete's surface. This reaction can be affected by trace minerals in the concrete, by temperature, humidity and sometimes I think it’s affected by the phase of the moon and the alignment of the planets! Not only do different slabs turn out differently using the same product, I have seen the color of sections of the same slab turn out differently using the same product on different days. This is not necessarily a bad thing. This is simply part of the beauty and mystique of using acid stains to color a floor. You won’t know what your finished product is going to look like until you seal it.
Concrete dyes are colloidal suspensions of color pigments. Done right they penetrate into the concrete’s surface and stay there. The color intensity can be controlled by the color density of the dye. Keep in mind that you are adding color to the existing color of the concrete. You want to preserve the character of the concrete. Add too much color and you have “painted” the floor. When properly applied, these dyes create a beautiful effect and give you a lot more versatility and predictability regarding color selection. They also are a good choice for concrete that has been contaminated or discolored.
Either way, the colored floor has to be protected with a good sealer. There are a lot of choices and this is where you better do your homework or at least know that your applicator has done his (or hers). The wrong sealer, or the right sealer improperly applied, can turn your project into a nightmare you can’t wake up from. I’ll write more about sealers later.
***********All pricing varies due to the condition of the floor and other variable determined at the time of the estimate