What are Acid Stained Concrete Floors?
Tough, grey, and boring: that’s probably how everyone views concrete, right? Something that makes for a solid and durable foundation, but God forbid you let it be seen by anybody! You need to cover it up immediately, right?
Not exactly. Concrete flooring is turning into more and more of a popular option in the homemaking and flooring industry due to its affordable price and durability. Apart from that, we now know that concrete flooring does not have to be grey and dull!
The biggest example of this is acid stained concrete. This method uses concrete as your flooring permanently, and not just as foundation, which is amazing, since it cuts down on costs a lot. Some people may tell you that you can stick to DIY methods of acid stained concrete floors, but we would advise against that if you want the best and most long-lasting results.
When you create a mixture, of water, salts and Muriatic acid, that is applied to the porous concrete, chemical reactions take place that create beautiful changes in the colour of the concrete. This is the process undergone to create acid stained concrete.
Muriatic acid comes in a variety of different colours that penetrate the concrete and give you a wide range of different yet beautiful colours. Earthy colours prove to be the most popular, like shades of red, green, or brown. There are a couple of acid stains that create a marble or stone floor effect.
One of the biggest reasons to install acid stained concrete floors is that it can be done on concrete of any shape, size, or age as long as the concrete is in good condition.
Once your concrete has achieved the desired colour, it can then be sealed with a type of sealer or wax, which leaves you with a perfectly glossy floor, and all for a fraction of the price you would spend for something like tile or carpet flooring!
What are the main products used for Acid Stained Concrete Floors?
There is a lot that goes into the acid staining process. You first need to ascertain if the concrete that you plan on working on is in the right condition for moving forward with the acid staining process. If not, it may need to undergo buffing, coating, etc.
Once that is done, you have to clean the concrete floor, with either alkaline or acidic cleaners, based on your needs.
And then comes the main part. To stain the concrete, the product that is needed is simply called the ‘acid stain’. The acid stain mixture contains strong chemicals and fumes, so you need to make sure that you have all the safety gear on, as well as mix the stain somewhere outside in the open.
- For floors that have been troweled and smoothened by hand, dilute the acid stain with 1:4 ratio of 1 part acid to 4 parts water.
- For floors troweled by a machine, the acid stain mixture should be to a concentrated 1:1 ratio of acid and water respectively.
- When mixing the acid stain, it is essential to pour the acid into the water rather than the other way around., since acids release a lot of heat when mixed with water. Since the water is added to the acid, you start off with a very diluted and weak mixture, instead of adding water to the acid and starting off with a dangerously strong mixture.
Concrete Stain Vs Concrete Paint
There is common debate on which deserves a place on your floors, concrete stain or concrete paint. Each of them have their pros and cons, and we will discuss them briefly below:
- Application is much quicker than concrete paint
- Amazing aesthetic appeal
- Requires sealant to prevent fading
- Choices of colours are limited
- Offers complete protection to the concrete surface
- Gives you a variety of colour options
- Heavy prep is required
- Less visual appeal than concrete stain
What is the cost of Acid Stained Concrete?
The costs of acid staining concrete will of course, vary depending on your needs and the professionals you hire. If you go for professionally applied acid stain, it will cost you roughly €1.5-5 per square meter for an all-one-tone application.
If you are thinking of going for something more complex which would involve blending colours or creating textures and patterns, it will cost you more; ranging from €10-22 per square meter.
Further, if you’re thinking about going the DIY route, buying a gallon of acid stain can cost you up to €8-12 per liter.
Machine troweled concrete usually entails a contractor handling the project, which can result in an additional fee. Machine troweled also requires chemical etching, and it costs about €17 per gallon of concrete etching solution.
If you want a more rough surface with more grip, a broomed finish may be what you’re looking for, which can cost you up to €2-4 per square meter for an average, simple application.
And that is all you need to know about acid stained concrete floors.
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