Concrete Dyes vs. Concrete Stains: Which Is Best for Your Project?
Concrete dyes and concrete stains can both be used to impart color on concrete floors. However, dyes and stains differ in how they color the concrete and where they are best used. Because of this, it’s important to understand some of the differences between concrete dyes and concrete stains.
Concrete stains are generally used on exterior surfaces, and they cannot be mechanically polished. Like the name implies, pigmented stains rely on color pigments to alter the shade of the concrete. Alternatively, acid-based stains chemically react with the minerals in concrete to create a marble-like appearance. Acid-based stains are more unpredictable than pigmented stains and require more safety precautions during application. Because of this, pigmented stains are typically more popular. Concrete stains are applied to prepped concrete floors. A clear coat (usually a polyurethane) is then applied. This top coat brightens the color of the stain and protects the color from fading. It can be reapplied, once it starts wearing away. Stains come in approximately 24 colors.
Concrete dyes are not UV stable, so they are usually used on interior surfaces. Unlike stains, they can be mechanically polished. Dyes are vegetable-based and impart color by penetrating deeper into the concrete, since they are smaller in particle size than stains. Because of this, dyes provide greater color saturation to concrete floors. Like stains, dyes come in approximately 24 colors. However, they do not come in white, while stains do.
For more information on whether concrete dyes or concrete stains are right for your space, contact us today.
8 Ways to Upgrade Your Concrete Floor
There are so many ways to upgrade your concrete floor from polishing to coating to engraving or staining. We love helping our clients pick out the right fit for what they are looking to accomplish. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming to choose what to do with your concrete flooring. Here are 8 ways you can upgrade your concrete to protect and/or enhance it with a little explanation about each technique. We hope this helps when deciding what to do with your next project!
Mechanical polished concrete is a process that takes abrasives (diamonds) and mechanically places scratches in the concrete. This scratching process uses finer grit abrasives to remove and replace the scratches with smaller and smaller micro scratches.
The objective is to refine the floor and take away the small scratches so that you see a reflection in the floor. This process can be achieved with older concrete, new concrete and/or coated concrete.
This process is considered to be the maximum refinement method, and can be considered the best long-term solution for polished concrete.
Topical polishing is similar to the mechanically polished floor, but the course of action is shorter, and it leaves the floor at less than maximum refinement.
Most of the time the topically processed progression ends at a 200- or 400- grit step. These grits leave peaks on the top of the scratches that have zero lateral support. A topical sealer is then added and is placed into the gaps left by the scratching process. As the sealer settles and dries, it gives the appearance of being completely polished and is referred to as “polished concrete.”
This process is a much cheaper alternative to the mechanical process. The “topical polish” is exactly the same thing as putting on a coating. This method can be done with a burnisher, a floor scrubber and even a swing machine.
Decorative Epoxy Coatings
Epoxy floor coatings are hard wearing and durable solutions for both commercial and residential flooring. These floor coatings can be applied over concrete floors to provide a high performance and an attractive surface.
New technology now offers you the ability to choose almost any color. Metallic additives create a gorgeous surface and multiple colors can be randomly applied together revealing a swirling effect that is very unique and attractive.
Overlays are a great option for concrete floors that are damaged or distressed. They are extremely durable and attractive. Overlays typically consist of a cementitious product, but some may be a combination of polyurethane and cement. They can be stained, mechanically polished, coated or stamped with any pattern you can imagine. Overlays are a great way to make an old concrete floor look brand new.
Dyes and Stains
The skies the limit when it comes to colorants. Multiple colors and patterns add to the beauty of your polished floor. There are a multitude of application techniques to add interesting effects when applying dyes and stains.
We can incorporate engraving into your polishing process to provide borders and logos. Engraving can turn ordinary concrete surfaces into slate, tile, stone, brick and much more.
Hardeners and Sealers
Hardeners/densifiers are products that penetrate into the concrete surface and react with the Portland cement and fills the micro-pores. This reaction creates a very dense surface that helps with ease of cleaning, abrasion, dusting, staining, and overall wear of your concrete surface. These products do not change the appearance of the surface but can generate a sheen after burnishing and actually becomes harder the more you use the surface.
Sealers are an option for some floors. Depending on your needs it may provide a shiny surface that is easy to clean. All sealers will need to be reapplied at some point depending on wear and tear.
Performance Concrete Polishing is focused on providing services that are related to concrete surfaces. These services are appropriate for new and existing concrete. The majority of services we offer are oriented to improving the aesthetic appearance of these surfaces. Decorative concrete services are the hallmark of this company, and we’d love to help you out with your next project!