Stained concrete floors offer a beautiful, natural marbleized appearance. The appearance is enhanced with application of concrete sealers. Floors may be sealed with water or solvent based sealers urethanes and polyaspartics.
However, not all concrete floors are ideal for acid stains. Frequently, the concrete is extremely dense or has ad mixes in the cement preventing the acid stains from penetrating the surface.
The acid opens the pores in cement allowing for the stain to color the lime in concrete.
Due to the popularity of the appearance, manufacturers and contractors have developed alternative ways to create this popular look.
Methods for Stained Cement Floors
Water and solvent based dyes can be mopped or sprayed onto the surface. Dyes may be mixed into sealers.
Overlays – Frequently, a blemished surface requires an overlay. These cementitious coatings can be think trowel or sprayed. Some are self-leveling cementitious coatings applied up to a thickness of ¼ – ½ inch. Others can be as thin as 1/10th inch thickness.
They can be mixed with iron oxide pigments in numerous colors. Then, when dry, acid stains, dyes or a combination can be applied creating unique decorative results.
The concrete polishing process requires heavy machinery which grinds and hones the surface. Mid way through the process the floor can be colored with an acid stain or with dyes. Then the surface is hardened with a liquid densifier, locking in the color followed by the polish process.
However, when this look is the requirement, but the floor is not ideal for a grind and polish, polishable overlays can be applied.
This creates a new surface that can be colored with stains and dyes, then sealed.
The look of custom tile or unique patterns can be achieved using specialized saw cutting machines.
As you are learning, this is a technical, artistic form of construction. It requires a combination of part scientist, part contractor and part artisan. It is a custom process for stained cement floors.
Metallic Epoxies and Stained Concrete Flooring
The uses of epoxies has evolved to use in many types of concrete flooring including residential garages, commercial kitchens, retail stores, food and beverage facilities, airplane hangars and many more.
Entrepreneurial artisans along with forward thinking manufacturers discovered how to acid stain concrete floors to create the popular look using metallic epoxies.
While acid stained floors are earth tones of browns and greens, metallic epoxy comes in a broad range of colors from earth tones to vibrant red, yellow, blue, green, silver, while and black.
Metallic epoxy coatings have become in huge demand due to the unique combination of function and design providing a solution that polish and overlays do not provide.
Additionally, saw cuts can create unique patterns.
PSI Inc provides these unique decorative flooring services for commercial clients throughout Chicago and Florida in addition to their moisture mitigation services.