Home Design: Why Concrete Staining Is All the Rage

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Most new homes have large, unfinished basements and street-side garages, and as a result, the homeowner notices that concrete is the prevalent floor material around the house. Typical remodeling concepts cover the floor with carpet, wood, tile, etc. However, recent trends have been spicing up existing concrete with acid stains, rather than trying to hide it.

Basics of Acid Staining

Stained concrete floors are found in homes and are highly cost-effective. Many homeowners have had their concrete patios stained, either with solid colors or a mottled look, but recently the trend has moved indoors to basements and garages. The versatility of concrete is the main reason for its popularity.

Concrete can be molded or shaped into any form or pattern, which means it isn’t limited to only basements, garages, and sidewalks. Kitchen remodeling projects may find countertops made of stained concrete countertops more durable, artful, and cost-effective material than granite or laminate. Coffee tables and even dining room tables are now being made of concrete.

A concrete surface can be lightly smoothed or heavily brushed; swirled or scored; tinted or painted into artistic patterns. It is the new pallet for the modern home and garden. Concrete stains are the new paint.

Concrete is very porous, much like wood, and it often already has stains from vehicle oils and fluids, small spills, water, rust, and the like, all of which can be covered, or enhanced, with an acid stain. The best part is that with existing discoloration, the stain will give a patch of concrete that marbled, patina appearance. No matter how discolored the concrete, the current blemishes will only add to the character of the finished coat. Application hazards – like brush marks or uneven distribution – blend right in with the marbling effect of concrete floor stain.

Drawbacks to Concrete Staining

  • Because the stain soaks into the concrete, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to change the color if it isn’t quite right. As with paint, choose a discreet area to spot test the color before having the entire surface coated.
  • The application is difficult to control, since concrete stain is thinner than paint. Be sure to place any objects that you don’t want to be stained far away from the work area.

Advantages of Stained Concrete

  • Materials and labor are much cheaper than carpet, tile, and wood.
  • It won’t fade or have to be replaced.
  • It can’t be scratched or broken.
  • Stains can even cover up cracks in concrete.
  • If you are just trying to add a little color to an unfinished basement, but don’t want to commit to carpet in case your buyer doesn’t like your taste, it will be just as easy for the next owner to put any kind of flooring over it as if it hadn’t been stained.

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