Stained concrete floors have unrelenting and unique style, so you understandably are eager to bring this look into your home. As is the case with any type of flooring, however, you need to understand what it takes to install and maintain this type of surface before you move forward with your project. With a closer look at what concrete floors offer, you may decide that now is the right time to get started with the installation process.
The Benefits of Stained Concrete Floors
With stained concrete floors, a special type of stain is applied directly to the slab foundation that your home sits on. There is no sub-flooring layer. With this in mind, you can see that stained concrete is an affordable and relatively green flooring option for homes compared to some of the other options that you may be thinking about. The stain is absorbed into the concrete, so it is highly durable and resistant to fading and scratching. Because of these qualities, it has incredible longevity. More than that, you can choose from a wide range of stain colors to meet your specific decorating needs. The stain can even be applied using various decorative techniques to elevate the style in your home. While professionals are typically called in to complete a decorative staining project, a general concrete staining project may be easy enough for some homeowners to tackle on their own. With a do-it-yourself approach, concrete staining may be an even more affordable flooring option. However, it can be labor-intensive and time-consuming.
How to Stain Concrete Floors
Before you can stain your concrete floor, you will need to choose between an acid-based stain and a water-based product. Acid-based products are available in fewer color choices, and they will show the natural striations in the concrete to deliver a beautiful effect. Typically, the hues available have a natural tone. These types of stains are generally a better option for high-traffic areas of the home because of their durability. In contrast, water-based stains are a more environmentally-friendly solution, and they are available in a wide range of colors. The stain is more opaque, so it will not show the concrete’s striations as easily as an acid-based stain product will. Keep in mind that this type of product must be used if the concrete has already been sealed.
After you have selected the stain product and color that you want to use, you will need to prepare the surface. Staining concrete can be a messy project, so remove all items from the room. Some people will also remove the baseboards before applying the stain. The concrete should be set for at least a month, and it must be perfectly clean. Use a vacuum to suction all dust and dirt off of the floor, and follow this up by cleaning the floor with a damp cloth. If grease or other stains are present, you may need to use special cleansers as part of the preparatory efforts. The floor should be dry for at least 24 hours before you proceed with the stain application process.
The stain should be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and it is usually applied with a roller or a brush. Be aware that the process differs slightly based on the type of stain that you have selected. If you intend to use a decorative technique, you will need to take special steps during the application. For example, you can produce a marbling effect on your floors by utilizing two or more distinctive stain colors. Painter’s tape and stencils may be used to create artistic details across the floor. With etching and cutting efforts, you can create texture on your floor. One of the reasons why this may be a preferred decorative technique is if you are trying to achieve the look of real wood floor. You can also use sponges, rags and other supplies to produce other types of decorative techniques.
Regardless of the type of stain and decorative application techniques that are used, the stain should dry thoroughly before you move on to the next step. Special concrete sealant should be applied over both types of stains. The specific type of sealant and its application instructions are dependent on the use of acid-based stains versus water-based stains. Water-based stains may also require the additional step of floor waxing after the sealant is applied. Allow the top later to dry for at least 24 hours before you walk across the floor or return your furniture to its normal position in the room.
Maintaining Your Stained Concrete Flooring
One of the many reasons why people are drawn to concrete floors is because of their easy care. Generally, you may need to sweep the floor every day or two, depending on the amount of traffic in your home. Weekly, you can use a damp mop for more significant cleaning efforts. From time to time, a mild floor cleanser can be used for deeper cleaning needs. The top sealant coat on the concrete will wear off over time, so this sealant will need to be re-applied periodically. The exact frequency will depend on the type of sealant that was originally used and the amount of foot traffic in the room. Water-based stains also require re-waxing for the best results.
When to Schedule Professional Concrete Floor Staining Service
Are you thinking about installing stained concrete floors in a new construction home? Are you excited about replacing your established home’s existing flooring with concrete? Regardless of your situation, staining a floor can be a do-it-yourself project. However, it is also hard work, and the amount of skill required to produce beautiful results with decorative techniques may exceed your abilities. The last thing that you want is to get started with this project only to discover that you do not have the time, energy or skill required to follow through and to complete the project yourself. If you have any uncertainties about your abilities, it is best to schedule professional installation. Likewise, professional flooring services are available for periodic re-sealant needs.
Are you ready to enjoy the incredible beauty and functionality of stained concrete floors in your home? You can get started by researching the many creative stain application techniques and beautiful color options available. After you have a firm idea of the look that you want to achieve in your space, simply schedule professional installation service for stress-free results.