Choosing the right color concrete stain is important to good looking concrete. The colors of stain you choose depend on the environment, type of stain, and concrete finish. If you plan correctly and choose the right concrete staining colors, stained concrete is a fabulous addition to any property.
Types of Colored Stains.
Concrete stains comes in reactive and water-based stains. The different methods produce different colors of stain. The way the color appears is different based on characteristics of each given stain.
Reactive stains include traditional acid stains as well as non-acidic reactive stains. These colored stains use chemicals permanently change the color of cement. You get your desired color stain when metallic salts come in contact with the calcium hydroxide found in concrete. Because it relies on a chemical reaction concrete acid stain creates varied color with natural mottling unlike any other color stain.
Acid Based Stain
Acid Based Stain
Acid stains create very unique color stain. Because the color is created through a chemical reaction, the colors of stain will subtly vary across the surface. As the percentage of lime shifts, the color will become more or less intense. There will be subtle shifts in the color stain created based on other trace elements in the slab. This means no two installations will be exactly alike. This can be a big selling point because the natural, mottled look is a desirable characteristic.
These kinds of colored stains require a good deal of work. Reactive stains create a residue that must be completely removed before sealing. Even small amounts of residue will result in sealer failure. Reactive stains can be less forgiving, too. This requires careful planning and preparation, along with skilled applicators and acid-resistant equipment.
Water-based concrete staining colors work essentially like water color paints. These colored stains use water to carry pigment and deposit it in the pores of concrete. Water colored stains are a great option due to their ease of use and predictable results. Applicators can mix and dilute water-based stains at will, creating infinite colors of stains. Create almost any color stain you want with relative ease.
Water Based Stain
While they are an incredibly easy way to produce the desired colors of stain in concrete, water-based stains do have the tendency to wash out if left unsealed on exterior concrete. That shortcoming is more than made up for by a relatively simple installation process. No special equipment is needed to apply water-based colored stains. Standard sprayers and brushes are all that is needed.
Uses for Colored Stains
All the colors of stain won't be any use if you can't use them in the right places. Thankfully, concrete color stain is a very useful category of products. Color concrete stain can be used everywhere from flatwork hardscapes to stamped concrete. Stains are even useful for getting the right concrete counter-top colors or coloring some vertical concrete surfaces.
Virtually any concrete surface can be stained. This makes it a great value-added service for concrete contractors. Staining concrete adds very little material and labor expense but it can significantly improve returns and customer satisfaction. Often times, choosing the right colors of stain can be the little bit extra that pushes your work to the next level.