Beautiful AND Functional
When it’s time to purchase flooring, most people don’t think beyond wood, laminate or carpeting. Maybe ceramic tile or linoleum. But stained concrete is emerging as a practical and really eye-catching alternative.
Don’t picture a concrete patio. This isn’t an ugly gray slab. Stained concrete is sleek and shiny, and the color and pattern possibilities are almost endless. Go for a warm copperish-brown tone, a marble-like finish, a leathery appearance, a faux-wood look or a color-block pattern, among countless others.
Stained concrete creates a unique look, and you can mold the colors and design to your taste. Some colors and patterns are more modern and industrial; others are more warm and inviting. It’s a great option to consider if you want an out-of-the box look.
What Is Stained Concrete, Exactly?
Staining your concrete floors involves applying an acid- or water-based stain to your existing concrete. Acid-based stains produce a subtle, more translucent look, but water-based stains have been growing in popularity because there are more color options, the tones are richer, the color is more consistent, and they are eco-friendly.
The stain can be applied with a sprayer or a brush. Most professional companies use a sprayer and then supplement that with brushes or sponges for detail work. The concrete needs to be thoroughly cleaned in advanced, and any major cracks or defects should be repaired. The drying process takes anywhere from 4 to 24 hours.
Pros and Cons of Stained Concrete
As with any flooring choice, stained concrete has its pros and cons. On the upside, it is:
- Affordable – Generally, stained concrete is cheaper than wood, laminate or carpeting – particularly if your concrete is new and in good condition, and if you don’t have to rip up any existing flooring. The cost to hire a professional usually ranges from about $2 to $4 per square foot.
- Easy to clean – A simple sweep and mop is all it takes to clean your floors. The concrete doesn’t show a lot of dirt, and it requires little maintenance. However, they should be resealed about once every five years.
- Durable – Concrete can handle a lot of wear and tear. It won’t dent like wood or laminate, and it will look nice far longer than carpeting. The surface won’t chip or peel like regular paint because it penetrates the surface.
- Hard surface – Some people, particularly those with children, don’t like idea of a such a hard surface. A fall on concrete is not exactly comfortable, and the floors are noisy. However, using area rugs can be a solution to that problem.
- Cracking – Concrete is always susceptible to cracks – that’s just the nature of the material. Cracks can be repaired, of course, but the stain that is applied over the color will have a slightly different color.
- Moisture – If your floors aren’t properly sealed, even a small amount of moisture can cause mold and mildew.