Concrete Dying vs Staining

Concrete Dying and Staining Denver

Polished concrete is one of the most popular flooring options on the commercial market, due to its durability in high foot traffic areas and low level maintenance. The downfall to concrete floors is the drab grayish look. However, with new dying and staining techniques your concrete floors do not have to stay dull looking. You can add a real pop of color, even a detailed design, or just a simple hue to brighten up any workspace. There are two major techniques when it comes to adding color to concrete, dying and staining. Each technique produces different results, so choosing which technique is right for your concrete floors depends on a couple of factors.

How they work

Concrete dyes are a nonreactive coloring agent in a concentrated form. They are mixed with water or a solvent such as alcohol or acetone, which acts as a carrier that will penetrate the concrete so that the dye can penetrate the concrete’s pores, thus changing the color. Concrete stains typically contain hydrochloric acid, metallic salts and water, and react chemically with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete to change its color.

Is your concrete flooring indoors or outdoors?

Most concrete dyes are not UV stable, and are recommended for indoor use only. Acid and water based stains, however, are great for outdoor use. Stains are typically more UV stable and are wear and fade resistant.

The Overall Look

Since concrete dyes are usually available in water or solvent based formulas, the ending look can be anywhere from translucent, to opaque, or even marbled. Stains, on the other hand, engrain the surface of the concrete as opposed to penetrating it leaving a mottled, kaleidoscopic finish. Often times the color in the can turns out differently after it chemically reacts with the concrete. For example, a stain may look dark green in the container but take on a reddish brown color when it reacts with the concrete. It may also take several hours for the reaction to occur before the final color becomes apparent. Concrete stains are more limited in terms of color, often they are offered in earthy tones such as terracotta, reddish-brown, blues or greens. You can always intensify the color by applying more than one coat, or more than one stain color. Concrete dyes are offered in a wide variety of colors, and have much more versatility in design.

Although dyes and stains will not hide any imperfections in your concrete flooring, it can enhance the overall demeanor of a space and add new life to your concrete floors.

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