Acid stained concrete floors are beautiful, durable, easy to maintain, and a great alternative to tile, hardwood floors, and carpeting.  Concrete stains have been around a long time and can be applied to concrete surfaces inside and outside of your home such as basement floors, laundry and bathrooms, patios, sidewalks and front porches.

Reactive chemical stains penetrate the surface and react chemically with the lime in the concrete.  The colors that these stains produce will vary depending on the age and condition of the concrete slab to which they are applied.  The stain becomes a permanent part of the concrete and the color won’t fade, chip, or peel.  Each concrete slab is unique and distinct, consequently, it will accept the stain in varying degrees of intensity thus producing its own natural color variations (much like staining raw wood). Because of the nature of reactive stains, there isn’t a broad color selection – colors are limited to earth tones such as reds, browns, and tans.

Nonreactive water based acrylic stains don’t rely on a chemical reaction for the color.  These stains penetrate the concrete surface and the color pigment is deposited into the open pores of the concrete.  The result is a more opaque and uniform surface finish.  Nonreactive stains offer many more colors from which to choose.

Generally, reactive chemical stains are a great choice for new or almost new concrete slabs with little or no imperfections.  If the slab is older, has been subjected to a lot of traffic and possible surface damage, you’ll probably want to select a nonreactive water based acrylic stain because the finish is more uniform and opaque thus hiding the underlying imperfections.  If the concrete is in bad shape, repairs can be made and a micro topping applied over the slab before staining to allow for a more consistent coloring.

Concrete stains revitalize boring and lackluster concrete.  With minimal upkeep, stained concrete floors will last for years and years and years.  And after years of normal wear and tear, the surface can be brought back to life and renewed with some stain touch-up and a fresh coat of sealer.