Concrete Staining

Recently we’ve had to remove nearly new carpeting and padding in our basement (due to the nauseating effects of feline spray…believe me, it wasn’t pretty). As a replacement, we’ve come across something called concrete staining. Since this is a technique I’ve only recently discovered, I wanted to get your opinions.

Has anyone ever done this to any concrete areas in their homes? And, if so, were you pleased with the results? Is it easy to clean? Is it costly?

I’ve viewed samples from various contractors in the area online and am amazed at the results. In person, I’m wondering if it looks as nice. We dislike linoleum and can’t have carpet, hardwood, or tile due to the almost certain future urine issues…but that’s a whole other thread…

I considered it when I converted a two car garage into a cat suite, but the concrete floor of the garage was so stained with motor oil, etc., I didn’t investigate it very far. If you do decide to go that route, please post about it. I ended up using half linoleum and half carpet and am honestly not really happy with the results.

I don’t know how much it costs, but I’ve been in offices and such with it in the lobby. It’s pretty nice-looking, yes. You need to seal it to get the best effect. Some GoogleFu turns up an epoxy sealer (Mirathane) that winds up stronger than the concrete and seals it nicely. It was designed for airplane hangars and the like, very chemically resistant and easy to clean.

Thanks for the information. I did a little more research on Mirathane and, depending on the cost, it looks like acid staining with the sealant is the avenue we’d like to pursue. The excellent cleaning ability sounds perfect. If we go with it, I’ll post an update.

We stained a concrete countertop with acid stain. We liked the results, but it took over a week to fully develop the color, which we didn’t expect. I think it is worth a shot. You should be able to get a gallon of the stuff for under a hundred bucks, and if you don’t end up loving it, you can always cover it up. Do seal it well, if you are concerned about “future urine problems,” the stain alone will not make the concrete less porous. It is acid, so be careful when applying it. Also, expect to do more than one application.

I have no experiance staining concrete. I’ve seen a few concrete floors finished with epoxi. They looked nice. I’m not sure why tile isn’t an option for you. If sealed correctly its better at resisting pet stains then stained concrete is going to be. VCT is another option. It’s what you see in most retail stores.

We stained our living room floor with concrete stain. It is absolutely gorgeous. Since we did all the work ourselves, it cost a bout sixteen cents a square foot.

First we removed some old concrete paint which had been on there. We used portable grinders with wire brushes to take the old paint off. Be careful if you do this part - wear safety glassess - and prepare for a huge amount of dust.

Next comes the stain. The kind I bought is called something like Kemiko. I got it at the decorating store - it is not at big box places like Home Depot. It says to spray it on, but I liked the effect I got from “ragging” it on. I just poured a little bit on the floor at one time and swished it on. I put two to three coats on.

As soon as the last coat of stain is dry, I put the sealant on there. I used AquaMix which is actually a wax used for mexican tile. It really brought out the color of the stain. I put three to four coats on.

You can touch up scuffs with more of the wax. Or, conceivably, you could buff it.

I estimate that the entire room (about 20 x 30) took 40 hours of labor to complete. That’s with the grinding.

I’ll rustle up some photos of it.

one pic
another pic

The swirl patterns in the floor were left from the old paint. It looks like black marble. So easy to keep! Just be careful about dropping things - lots of things will break if dropped on a concrete floor.

My parents just stained their concrete floors. They look great. They also had a guy come out and score the floor so it looks like tile. But like NinetyWt said, be careful. My elbow is just now healing from where I fell on my own concrete tile. I broke my arm good and proper. Damn that hurt.

Wow! And you did this yourselves?

I think this clinches it and this is the way we’ll go.

Thanks -as always- for all the input.

Yes, we even had his-n-hers grinders :stuck_out_tongue:
Re: the upkeep: this is very easy to keep clean. It is also very slippery when wet. Be careful when mopping!

Here’s a link to Kemiko’s web site. We used the black for the living room and the green for our master suite.

I think you’ll really like it. :slight_smile:

Looks good, NintyWt.

Be sure to use protective clothing and have adequate vetalation and a respirator.

Keep in mind that any patches you might have to do to get the floor level and even and smooth will take the stain or acid etching different than the rest of the existing flooring.

For most commercial applications, we are required to mix in a texturing substance to the sealer/top coat. For safety. That stuff is VERY slippery when wet.

Even for pros, there is no guarantee for how each individual job will turn out. It may be darker or lighter than you expected, or have wild variations. That’s just the way it is with this type of application. Good luck!

I used to work at a concrete shop, so I saw quite a bit of the stuff, mostly outside. In my experience, I found that it looked great for the first couple of years, but after a few years, you could see where the foot traffic had worn it away and you could see the grey concrete underneath. This was only with a coat or two of sealant, so if you used more coats, or inside, you might get quite different results.

Also to echo what NoClueBoy said, normally, there was quite the variation in the coloring of the surface. The only one I saw that was evenly colored was put on while the concrete was still wet.