Stained concrete floors are a beautiful, cost efficient flooring option. But there are some drawbacks that clients need to be aware of. One quick search on Pinterest will show you hundreds of floors that look perfect. Many of these are new slabs that have never had any tile or carpet touching them.
Removing tile and want to stain the concrete? Tile has thin set under it. It's going to have to be removed by mechanical means. This can expose aggregate which may not take color at all. You can also get swirl marks in the floor (especially at the edges) from the thin set removal. These areas can take the stain color differently than the remainder of the floor.
Carpet removal and then stain? No problem, BUT those crazy wooden tack strips that attach your carpet to the floor - nail pops. So now you have holes where that was removed. We can patch those holes, but they will still be visible.
Let's talk about another issue we can run into while staining conventional concrete. There are a lot of names for this - alligator skin, crazing, spider webbing, etc. These look like surface cracks. The stain pigment settles here and accentuates the lines. Some clients love the look, some do not. Generally this is caused by the slab being kept wet after the initial pour. It has nothing to do with the stain or the application, it's in the slab.
Stain ACCENTUATES your existing concrete. It's translucent, not opaque. It will not hide imperfections. It allows the natural beauty of your concrete to shine through. Hairline cracking will be accentuated and can give a really nice rustic look to a stained floor.
So is there another option if you want a stained floor without the issues presented above? Yes. We can do an overlay. This involves a base layer of concrete which is bonded to your existing slab. Once that dries, we use a microtopping, which we sand to make it smooth. We can then proceed with staining and sealing.
It is up to our client which way they want to go. Either way gives a unique and beautiful floor. I'm attaching some photos of some examples we are talking about - just for reference.
If you have a staining project you are considering, call us. We would love to discuss it with you! We always offer free estimates and design consultations!