Stained concrete pros and cons depend largely on the desired application. The type of stain also impacts stained concrete pros and cons. We will discuss some of these in this article.
Water Based - Stained Concrete Pros and Cons
Water-based stains are great for coloring concrete patio designs. They are also commonly used in all sorts of exterior and interior concrete. Water-based stains are pigments carried by water. The pigments are deposited in the pores of the concrete. This creates a translucent color on concrete that is easily applied.
Water-based stains are easy to apply. Think of them as watercolors for concrete! This is the biggest pro for water-based stains. Another great benefit is the flexibility. Since water-based stains are so simple, they lend themselves to a lot of creativity. Use a brush or sponge to apply them to targeted areas, highlighting individual stones or bricks on stamped concrete. Use a small sprayer to create mottling or marbling effects. You can even blend multiple water-based stains to create custom colors!
Water-based stains do have some drawbacks. Most noticeably, these stains are translucent. They will not completely recolor a concrete surface. The concrete's existing color or defects will show through. Water-based color concrete stain must also be sealed or else it risks fading or washing out. Despite these drawbacks, water-based stains make great concrete colors for patios, sidewalks, stamped concrete, and all sorts of surfaces.
Acid Stain - Stained Concrete Pros and Cons
Concrete acid staining is the classic way to stain concrete. This method dates back over a century. Acid stains react with cement to change the color. This creates a range of earthy and unique colors. As one of the oldest staining methods, acid stains are well known to contractors and architects.
Acid staining creates a unique look unlike anything else. It can be mimicked using other stains, but never fully copied. This is one of the biggest selling points. Acid stained color will not fade or wash out. It is very durable, which makes it a good choice for high traffic floors. No two acid stained floors will ever be exactly the same, making each one totally unique.
With no two jobs being exactly alike, it can be difficult to predict how acid stains will turn out. If you cannot easily make a jobsite mockup, this can be a problem. Acid staining is also more difficult than other kinds of stain. Between the application a cleaning steps, there are a lot of chances for something to go wrong. Acid stains also contain harmful chemicals and create dangerous residues. Installers must be very careful to practice safety and proper disposal.
Dyes - Stained Concrete Pros and Cons
Concrete dyes use water or acetone to carry pigment into concrete. Dyes rapidly penetrate concrete with vivid color. They dry quickly and do not bleed much or at all. Dyes are the way to go if you want to polish a concrete floor.
Dyes penetrate and dry quickly. This makes them good for rapid construction and polishing. It also makes dyes well suited for logos and intricate designs. Combine a dye with a vinyl stencil to create detailed patterns with almost no bleed. Wherever you want to color concrete quickly, consider using a dye.
Most dyes are not UV-stable. This means they cannot be used outside or else they will fade or discolor. Like water-based stains, they are also translucent. Dyes will not hide defects. They are affected by the existing concrete color.