Concrete floors have long been used in basements, garages, and utility rooms, but it is also an excellent flooring option for home interiors. Concrete is a long-lasting and low-maintenance flooring material that is versatile enough to suit almost any space. As utilitarian as it is decorative, take a look at these 4 creative treatments for concrete floors and consider the advantages of concrete when choosing materials for your next flooring project.
- Acid stained concrete floors
Acid staining is a finishing technique for concrete floors that uses water, hydrochloric acid, and acid-soluble metals that create a chemical reaction with the lime in concrete that discolors the surface. The stain itself is trransuscent, but the stain penetrates the concrete and creates natural color variations. Each concrete surface reacts differently with the acid, so the results are never identical.
The results of acid-washing concrete vary based on the age and porosity of the concrete and the materials used to mix it. Thus, acid staining your concrete will leave you with interesting that is unique to you.
- Stained and polished concrete floors
To obtain polished concrete floors, the surface of the concrete is ground down with progressively more abrasive pads. You can achieve an almost mirror-like finish with a super fine grit pad, or you can stop at any point during the process that you are content with the polish level.
Once the polishing is complete, the concrete can be stained and sealed. While a polished concrete floor does not need stain, staining the floor allows you to achieve a much wider variety of looks and styles than polish alone. Unlike paint or dye, concrete stain penetrates the surface of the concrete, so it is much more unlikely to chip or scratch. Like a wood stain, concrete stain is semi-translucent, allowing you to see the polish and variation in the concrete underneath.
- Dyed concrete floors
Similar to staining, concrete floors can also be dyed to achieve a desired look or color. Concrete dyes are a non-reactive coloring agent that is mixed with water or a solvent and applied to the concrete to change the color of the floors. The solvent penetrates the surface of the concrete to allow the dye to enter the pores of the concrete and change the color on the surface.
Dye doesn’t cause a chemical reaction or change the concrete itself, so the results are much more predictable than staining. The dye is opaque and covers the surface of the floor more fully, so the results of dyeing concrete are smooth and uniform.
- Painted concrete floors
Epoxy is a strong material that is typically used to fill cracks and crevices and level concrete floors, but it is available in a variety of colors which allows you to create unique hues and designs on your floor. Epoxy-painted concrete floors allow you to achieve the look of a painted floor without sacrificing the durability or integrity of the floor and its design, as simply painting on the concrete would not likely hold up to the inevitable foot traffic on floors.
Floor epoxy can be applied similarly to paint, with a brush or rag, or simply poured onto the floor itself and hardened as it dries due to a chemical reaction between the ingredients. The resulting surface maintains the imagery from the epoxy paint and is highly durable.
While a DIYer can rent this equipment and do this work themselves, it is certainly no easy feat. It can be complicated to accomplish without experience and the proper tools, and the chemicals and tools used can be dangerous when not properly handled. For this reason, working with concrete flooring and its treatments is best left to the professionals with the proper gear and expertise. If you are interested in installing or treating concrete floors, Commercial Floor Services is here to help.