In choosing a concrete stain for flooring projects there are some factors that come into play: the concrete itself, environment and the desired color.
Stains can offer a variety of finishes. A single stain or combining stains can create the look you desire for your concrete floor. Depending on the look you want to achieve you can choose from between water-based stains an acid-based chemical stains.
Water-based stains are often the most common choice because they come in a wide range of color hues and are easy to apply. They also work well on old and existing concrete. Water-based stains use a non-reactive process where polymers and pigments are added to water or acetone to create a specific color.
These stains create straight colors that are predictable. Applying this type of stains also creates a uniform look. As you are applying different coats on the concrete surface, these stains can be diluted in water to make some areas lighter or darker.
The range of the color palette of water-based stains is wider than what metallic salts can achieve.
Acid-based stains penetrate and form a chemical reaction with concrete to create a wide range of natural colors. Color hues of acid based stains are however limited to earth tones (brown, tan, soft blue-greens and terra cotta) because the process uses metallic salts for coloring.
Applying acid-based stains result in an uneven surface creating mottled effects similar in appearance to granite or marble. These types of stains do not fade even when exposed to UV rays. They do not peel off, too.
While more and more commercial and industrial contractors are opting for water-based stains because they are easier to work with, there still are many clients who opt for acid based stains because of their more natural, rustic and traditional look.
Stains work well with existing or new concrete floors. Concrete stains produce permanent and fade-resistant colors because they penetrate deep into the concrete surface.