Concrete coatings have been a flooring staple in commercial decor for decades, but up until recently it hasn’t been a common option for residential flooring. Luckily, things are changing and the best kept commercial flooring secret has made its way into homes across the country.
Whether you’re tired of the boring gray concrete floors in your basement and garage, or you’re looking for a durable alternative to carpet, hardwood and vinyl tiles, concrete floor coatings offer a durable and attractive finish that can be easily customized.
J. Stevens, an experienced painting company in Atlanta, has the skills to create beautiful concrete floor coatings that nicely compliment the look of your interior walls.
POPULAR CONCRETE FLOOR COATINGS
The term “coating,” as it relates to concrete flooring, refers to any liquid or semi-liquid material that can be applied to cured concrete. While this term can also be said to include cleaners and primers, it generally refers to one or more of the following products:
Acid or Water Based Stains
Acid-based stains are a mixture of water, hydrochloric acid, and acid-soluble metallic salts. They work by reacting chemically with the hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) below the surface of the concrete. The acid in the stain lightly etches the surface, clearing the way for the metallic salts to penetrate the concrete. The metallic salts then react with elements in the concrete, producing color. Once the stain has reacted with the concrete, it becomes a permanent part of it.
Water based stains are typically a blend of acrylic polymers and pigments. The end result is much more predictable because this type of stain doesn’t rely on a chemical reaction to produce color. Water based stains also produce a more opaque and vibrant finish than acid-based stains.
Because they penetrate so far into the concrete, acid and water based stains produce a long-lasting finish that resists mildew and damage from UV rays and heavy traffic. Acid-based stains produce translucent muted tones that mimic natural stone, wood grain or metal oxidation. Water based stains produce a brighter and more consistent tone and are available in wider range of colors.
Concrete dye comes in both water based and solvent form. Much like acid and water based stains, concrete dye penetrates the concrete surface rather than sitting on top. Water based dyes have a marbled or variegated finish, while solvent-based dyes produce a much more uniform finish.
Concrete dye penetrates more deeply than concrete stain, due to its smaller particles, but it is not UV-stable and will fade quickly when regularly exposed to sunlight.
Tinted concrete sealers produce a glossy finish with color suspended within. As with dyes, concrete sealer comes in water and solvent based forms. Both forms produce a semi-translucent finish, but water based sealer will produce a nearly transparent finish that is good for very subtle effects. Tinted concrete sealer can either be purchased premixed or custom created using tint concentrates.
A FINISH FOR EVERY TASTE
Concrete floor coatings are extremely versatile materials that can recreate the effect of multiple finishes and designs. They can even be used to mimic more expensive flooring types like hardwood, marble, granite and ceramic mosaic tile.
If you’re looking for something a little more outside the box, concrete floor coatings have you covered there too. Creative staining and sealing can create a soothing water effect or a whimsical rainbow swirl. Most recently, metallic epoxies have become extremely popular, especially as an option for sprucing up garages.
If applied to a clean and properly primed and prepared concrete surface, concrete floor coatings are among the most durable flooring types available. Typically, all that’s needed is a new coat of protective finishing sealer every few years to keep even the most heavily traveled floors looking as good as new.
If you’ve decided it’s time to take your concrete floors from boring to beautiful, give us a call now. J. Stevens Painting has decades of experience beautifying homes throughout the metro Atlanta area. We can give you an estimate that includes concrete floor coatings and both interior and exterior house painting.