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DIY Concrete Stain Is A Great Way To Add Color and Excitement To A Concrete Floor

Staining concrete is a project that can really make any concrete surface look a lot better than the dull, gray color that we are all familiar with. Originally, people started DIY concrete stain projects for outside areas such as patios, walkways, and driveways. No one thought a stained concrete floor inside the home would be acceptable but that has now changed.
The biggest reason that people are using stained concrete floors inside the home is because of in floor heating systems. These systems have revolutionized space heating in homes with concrete slab floor construction. The floors themselves are heated and, as you know, heat rises so the rest of the room becomes a pleasant temperature. Also, since your feet are never cold, the room temperature can actually be decreased which will help with energy costs. It is just a pleasant way to heat a home for comfort.
Since the concrete slab is heated itself this means any material between the floor surface and the air above will act as an insulating material and allow less heat into the room. So carpets and floor laminates will actually trap the heat in the slab instead of letting it heat the room. Thus, many home owners are opting for concrete floor stains as their decorative choice since this does not create a barrier to heat transfer.
Types of Concrete Stains

DIY Concrete Stain - Acid Based

There are two basic types of concrete stains to consider when you are thinking about coloring concrete. The first is an acid based stain and the second is solvent based. The solvent can be water but the point is the stain particles are suspended in solution until it is applied to the surface of the slab. At this point the solvent will evaporate leaving the color on the concrete.
When applying a stain you have to understand that it is not the same as the result you would expect from any of the DIY concrete paint projects you may have done. Paint can be matched very closely and you know what you will get as a result. Stains, on the other hand, will generally not match perfectly. Thus, you would be better off to choose a complimentary color to match your walls or other décor’ items as opposed to trying to match the shade perfectly.
Acid Based Concrete Stains
Acid based stains actually will react with the free lime that is left in concrete after the curing process. The acid is hydrochloric and will penetrate quite a ways into the structure of the slab. Since this type of stain reacts with the lime, it is very good for new concrete. This fits in very well with new home construction. Most people will not pour a new concrete slab in their home in order to install an in floor heating system so this is not an issue. But, it is possible to apply heating wires on the surface of the slab and then cover it with quickset. This is not the preferred method but it does work.
Acid stains will not work as well on older concrete because the longer the slab cures and weathers the less free lime there is that is still available. Thus, the acid has less and less to react with. When using an acid stain you can expect a mottled coloring because of the different amounts of lime.
Suspension Based Concrete Stains

DIY Concrete Stain-Water Based

If you have older concrete then you are going to have a much better result with a stain such as an acrylic. This can be a water based product which is much safer to work with than acid and it will give a more uniform coloring generally but it is still not exact like a paint would be.
This type of stain works better for older concrete because the concrete will tend to develop more small channels into the structure. Since this stain does not react with the concrete it can only add color by migrating into these tiny spaces. The DIY concrete stain colors are more exacting with this type since there is no chemical reaction but you still need to understand that you will not get the uniform results that you can expect with a concrete paint.
Whether you have a new concrete floor with heating, or an older slab that needs a color coating, the new concrete stains can really give a nice looking floor surface.

 

 

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