Once the old concrete surfaces have aged enough to be suitable for staining, the next step is to determine which type of stain to use. In general we recommend the contractor uses either the same color stain or the contractor must use a UV protector to help protect the newly stained concrete floors from the UV damage caused by the sun over time. We do strongly recommend that the stained concrete floors are cleaned in front of an expert if the homeowner wants to restore the original color of the floor to its pre-stain condition. We have done extensive research on this topic and have found the following guidelines to be our strongest recommendations:
Colored Stains – Most concrete polishing and staining companies offer a wide range of decorative stains in a variety of colors. Some of the more popular options are: classic white, natural stone, colorful stripes, antique brown, and red & black striped. Again, most are very easy to apply and we have noticed that most consumers like the more “organic” looking stains. Most concrete floor experts will suggest that the contractor first applies the stains to a hidden area of the floor before working on the main area.
Epoxy Flooring Contractors – If a customer decides that he/she would like a colorful stain on a concrete floor we recommend that the contractor use either the same epoxy flooring that has been used previously for the floor application or a color matched epoxy flooring professionals have in stock. When applying the stains most concrete floor experts recommend that the application techniques used are: a light sanding followed by two or three light coats of exterior polyurethane. Some of the more experienced epoxy flooring contractors like to apply their own custom colored polyurethane coat to the stained area. It is important for the concrete flooring contractor to remember that if the polyurethane coating begins to peel it is time to reapply. Some concrete flooring experts also like to sand down the surface of the floor prior to applying the finish.
Concrete Polish Many of the concrete polishers on the market today provide the same great service as the older style concrete polish. The polished concrete floor finishes remain protected and can be re-used time again. The majority of the newer refinish kits still utilize the same great product ingredients that helped make the older polished concrete products so effective in the first place. It is very important that the concrete polish is applied in the same correct fashion and with the same high quality of finish as the older styles. Many of the latest polishes on the market use either: ethyl or methanol as a polishing agent.
Concrete Grinding Very similar to concrete grinding is the very well known and popular wet grind. The process of wet grinding is when a variety of grinding wheels are placed in one area and water is allowed to fill the grinding heads. After grinding has been accomplished the heads are removed and the concrete floor is laid completely free flowing. These finishes can be very attractive and are used for most of the residential applications.
Epoxy Coatings There are two main types of epoxy coatings; those that are applied by pressure. Most epoxy coatings are applied by pressure because they have a stronger bond and will last longer. If you would like to apply the epoxy coatings yourself the most common way is to mix a batch of paint with a gallon of epoxy and a gallon of water and pour into a spray bottle. Next, select an appropriate design from the available selections and give the mixture a couple of pumps which will allow the coatings to be uniformly applied. Typically these finishes are applied on concrete floors in preparation for staining, but they are great additions to concrete floors after they have already been stained.