If you are looking for a simple way to update your interiors without a complete remodel, adding a splash of color to your floors can make a room look new again. For many people, the idea of concrete floors brings to mind images of dull gray colors and harsh, cold texture. However, modern technology has made concrete an increasingly popular choice for private homes and businesses. It is durable, affordable, and can be made to look quite attractive.

Basics of Concrete Stains

Chemical concrete stains react with the lime in the concrete to produce a variation on color. Acid stains will produce a marbled result that is lighter in hue after drying. Water-based stains are more customizable and colors can be blended easily.All stains are generally UV-resistant, making them good for indoor or outdoor use. Chemical stains usually need about five hours to dry, while acrylic ones need about two hours.

Stains come with a few negative factors. Chemical stains are often made with corrosive components that can be an irritant to eyes and skin. Extra care is necessary during their application. Stains also stick to the surface of concrete like paint, rather than penetrating. This means that the stain can be tracked onto nearby floors if the surface is not sealed. It also means that if a floor becomes damaged, the cracks or chipped areas will stand out in the original color.

Basics of Concrete Dye

Concrete dye differs from stains in that it penetrates the porous surface of the concrete. It generally has a stronger color saturation and leave less residue. It can be either water-based or solvent-based. Many dyes are dry within minutes and need little clean up afterward, making them a fast choice. Because the dye goes into the concrete, it can then be polished without damaging the color. This makes for a low-maintenance surface that is smooth and colorful.

Dyes are not without problem, however. Because of the intense saturation, correcting a mistake is difficult. Additionally, most dye is not UV-resistant. This means it is better suited for indoor use. If you choose to use a dye outdoors or in a particularly sunny room, it may be necessary to add a layer of UV-resistant finish as a topcoat to prevent fading. Additional safety precautions must be taken when using solvent-based dye. This product is highly flammable and proper ventilation is essential.

Choosing Between the Two

The final decision between concrete dye and stains depends heavily on the place where it will be used. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this concrete indoors or outdoors?
  • Is this a high-traffic area?
  • Do the colors need to be bold or muted?
  • How closely must the color match something?
  • Will the concrete floor need patching or repairs prior to coloring?
  • Must additional protective layers be added?
  • How much time can be dedicated to this project?
  • Will this floor be updated again soon?

Hiring a Concrete Expert

To ensure the highest-quality products and most skilled contractors are involved in your project, hire a professional concrete company. A professional will walk you through every step of the process, assisting you in choosing between concrete dye and stains, planning the color palette, and overseeing the construction from beginning to end. At ICS, we have extensive experience and all the necessary tools available. Send us your information through the Got a Project form and we will provide a complimentary evaluation and consultation. We have been involved in concrete projects throughout New England, including Bangor, ME, Worcester, MA and Hartford, CT. We look forward to working with you.

Concrete Flooring Service Area

ICS provides concrete floor solutions to all of the northeast. Here is a small list of cities and towns where we have completed many industrial and commercial concrete flooring applications.

Portland, MaineBangor, MaineAugusta, Maine
Nashua, New HampshireManchester, New HampshirePortsmouth, New Hampshire
Boston, MassachusettsWorecester, MassachusettsSpringfield, Massachusetts
Burlington, VermontMontpelier, VermontSt. Johnsbury, Vermont
Providence, Rhode IslandWarwick, Rhode IslandCranston, Rhode Island
Hartford, ConnecticutNew Haven, ConnecticutStamford, Connecticut
New YorkNew JerseyPennsylvania