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3 Things to Know About Acid Staining Concrete

Shining Concrete Floor
More and more people are choosing to install concrete floors in their home, thanks to the wide variety of customizing techniques available today. After all, a concrete floor can successfully blend in with a wide variety of different color schemes and decorating styles. One of the most versatile ways to augment a concrete floor involves the application of an acid stain.

Acid staining can bring one-of-a-kind appeal to a concrete floor. Yet, that doesn't mean acid staining will be a good choice in all situations. Before you choose to have your concrete floor acid stained, it's important to learn as much as you can about the process. This article will discuss three key things you should know about acid staining concrete.

1. Acid Staining Doesn't Work on Machine Troweled Floors

Acid staining creates unique patterns on a concrete surface, allowing it to mimic the sorts of variations that occur in natural materials like stone and slate. The stain does so through the action of special inorganic metallic salts.

When dissolved in a solution of acid and water, these salts react on a chemical level with the concrete. This chemical reaction alters the appearance of the concrete and causes a strong bond between the stain and the concrete.

Of course, in order to be effective, the stain must be able to seep down into the concrete. For most floors, this is no problem. After all, concrete is a naturally porous substance.

However, acid staining won't work as well with concrete floors that have been machine troweled. The machine troweling process creates a highly smooth surface - one that is simply too smooth to receive an acid stain. The stain won't be able to pierce into the pores. Instead, the stain will sit on the surface, where it will ultimately be wiped away during the cleaning process.

2. Acid Stains Should Be Protected With Sealer or Floor Wax

Compared to other methods of augmenting concrete, acid staining possesses excellent longevity. This stems from the chemical reason and porous nature of concrete. By contrast, paint and other methods of concrete coloring remain on the surface. This makes them more likely to flake and chip away as time goes on.

Of course, you should be aware that even an acid stain will begin to fade over time. As the surface of your concrete suffers wear from foot traffic or weather exposure, the stain will gradually lighten and lose its luster. Those who want to ensure optimal results for the longest period of time should be prepared to apply either a sealer or a floor wax to their concrete.

3. Cleanliness Is Key

As noted above, an acid stain reacts with your concrete on a chemical level, rather than simply sitting on the surface. In order to react fully and correctly, your concrete must be squeaky clean before applying the acid stain. Substances like adhesive, oil, and sealer may inhibit the chemical reaction at the heart of an acid stain.

Likewise, dirt or debris will interfere with the process - on a chemical level, or simply by preventing the stain from soaking into the floor the way it should. Cleanliness is the single largest factor when it comes to the acid stain. Consult with an experienced contractor about the best products for cleaning your floor prior to application.

Acid staining yields unique and highly attractive results for most concrete floors. For more information about how to ensure the best possible results from your concrete staining project, please contact our experts at Carolina Concrete Designs Inc. Our team can help with a variety of concrete projects. We look forward to working with you.
Carolina Concrete Designs Inc.
P.O. Box 128
Horseshoe, NC 28742
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