Concrete staining has become popular throughout the world thanks to the astounding curb appeal and the ease of installation that comes with it. If you are a DIY die-hard, this type of decorative concrete is all you need to make your life interesting.
Concrete staining is the best way to old and worn out concrete to life. if you have a damaged floor or a cracking patio, you no longer need to demolish and build a new one, staining will do the magic that cannot be done by any other type of decorative concrete.
When you go out to the market looking for concrete stains, you will find out that they come in different types. Most homeowners are, therefore, perplexed because they have no idea on the type of stain products they need for their projects. For those who have worked with these products in the past, choosing the right ones for their projects is a walk in the park. It will be, however, a vicious cycle for those who are interacting with the product for the first time.
Essentially, there are two types of stained concrete:
- Acid-based reactive stains
- Water-based stains
Acid-based reactive stains
These stains are specially made to chemically react with concrete. They result into a translucent and variegated color that mimics that of marble.
The acid-based concrete stains is made of metallic salts that will react with the lime contained in concrete to form a bond that is permanent and whose color will not peel, fade, or flake off.
This type of stained concrete is not difficult to install since it does not require a lot of skill, all it needs is for the user to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can therefore do it all by yourself, or you can involve your family and friends and do it as a fun event. However, these stains are relatively hazardous and require special handling. To bring out the most desirable results, however, it is prudent to seek the services or advice of a professional decorative concrete contractor.
Benefits of acid-based reactive stains
Concrete is relatively durable, but acid staining will bring a long additional durability, since it ensures the surface is resistant to wear and tear. If sealed correctly, this type of stained concrete does not peel, fade, flake off, or chip. It will remain intact for as long as you live.
Coming with a range of selected colors and patterns, an acid-stained surface comes in handy with desirable beauty. You can also achieve the elegance brought by high-end materials slate, sandstone, marble, granite, and travertine at an affordable price.
Regular mopping and sweeping as all that is required of you in order to ensure that your acid-stained surface stays clean and beautiful always. How often your structure is used is a factor that will dictate how often it should be maintained, but generally, acid stained concrete has the lowest maintenance cost of all other types of decorative concrete.
Water-based non-reactive stains
This type of stained concrete is non-reactive since it does not involve any chemical reaction with concrete in order to impart color on it. Its pigments are directly deposited into the concrete. This staining option comes in a wide array of colors, and they are the easier to apply as compared to acid-based stains.
When applied, they provide an opaque look, but might provide a translucent appearance if lightly applied.
They are environmental friendly
Unlike their acid-based counterpart, water-based stains are environmental friendly and are not potentially hazardous. They do not require specialized handling and do not carry any disposal risks.
This concrete staining method offer functional benefits to the end user as well as the applicator. It does not fade, discolor, chip, or flake off over time, and it is never affected by UV rays. With it, you can stay lest assured that it will not show signs of cracking, spalling, crazing, or softening.
Coming in a broad range of colors, shapes, and patterns, they offer desirable versatility. If you want vibrancy, this is the type of concrete staining you should use. With it, you can build whatever you can think off.
Acid-Based Vs. Water-Based Stains: Is One Better Than the Other?
For a fact, no type of stained concrete is better than the other. It depends with the outcome the end-user wants to achieve. If you want a natural look of the most expensive materials, consider choosing the acid-based stains. If you want a variety of colors to select from, so that you can construct a customized surface, consider selecting water-based stain products.
The Perfect Blend: Mixing the Two Together
To bring out the best and the most unique surfaces, some contractors choose to use the two types of stained concrete together. They use the water-based stain to bring out the best and most desirable colors, and use acid stains to provide accents and make the surface look more natural.