Acid Stained Concrete Vs. Water-Based Concrete Stain

Dec 22nd, 2010 — Staining concrete is one of the most popular methods of transforming standard gray concrete slabs into decorative, attractive showpieces for homeowners and businesses. Often referred to as colored concrete, homeowners and business owners are drawn to stained concrete because of the unique outcome achieved by combining application techniques and colors on cement flooring and other substrates. The creativity and professional application of the various techniques employed are the only limitations for great results when it comes to stained concrete. At CSI, we use two different methods to create great results for our clients. Here's a quick review of how acid stains and water-based concrete stains work, and the benefits associated with both processes.

Acid Stains
Acid concrete stains contain phosphoric acid and/or mild hydrochloric acid along with inorganic metallic salts. The acids open pores in the concrete, and allow salts react with the chemicals in the concrete to produce a desired color. Depending on the age and porosity of your concrete, the salts are absorbed in varying degrees and produce different shades of color. The finished concrete surface has a varied color that often looks similar to marble or natural stone. Since the exact chemical makeup of every concrete slab is different, no two floors ever come out exactly the same. This is appealing to many homeowners and business owners because it guarantees that every acid stained concrete floor is truly unique. After the floor is cleaned and stained, it needs to be washed with an ammonia solution to neutralize the chemical reaction and remove any acid residue. Once the floor has been cleaned, it may then sealed with a professional grade concrete sealer.

Water-Based (Dye) Stains
Dye stains are much more uniform and predictable in their results. Dye stains also don't rely on a chemical reaction to create the desired color. Instead, they are designed to deposit their pigment particles in the open pores by penetrating the cement surface. Dye stains have increased in popularity over the past few years mainly because they come in a much wider variety of colors than acid stains and they are easier and safer to apply. Concrete floors stained with non-reactive dye stains don't have the varied, translucent coloring effect associated with acid stained floors. Dye stained floors are generally more opaque and much more uniform in color. Water-based dye stains create extremely attractive flooring. Homeowners and business owners will find it to be durable, easy to maintain, and visually pleasing for years.

Creative Surface Inspirations offers 40 years of combined experience in the concrete industry. We are deeply committed to providing only the best products and service to our great customers. As a result of this, we have worked hard to obtain certifications in many different aspects of the concrete industry. We're proud of the fact that we hold a Master's Certificate in Decorative Concrete - obtained by not only completing the coursework required, but displaying a mastery of the skills needed in order to produce beautiful decorative concrete through the use of acid stains, water-based dyes, and many other techniques.

Please feel free to contact us through email or by calling us at 509-922-1593 to discuss your ideas about creating a stained concrete floor or any other decorative concrete project you have in mind. We would enjoy the opportunity to discuss your next project with you.

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