- 1 1. How much will it cost for me to acid stain my concrete floor?
- 2 2. Does my floor have to be newly poured?
- 3 3. Is acid staining safe?
- 4 4. How long will my acid stained concrete floor last?
- 5 5. What color stains are available?
- 6 6. Are acid stains environmentally friendly?
- 7 7. Will I be able to complete this project as a beginner?
- 8 8. Where can I get the supplies?
- 9 9. How long will it take me to stain my floor?
- 10 10. How do I maintain my stained floor?
- 11 11. What rooms of the house look best with an acid stain?
- 12 12. How durable are concrete floors?
- 13 13. Will my concrete floor have to be re-stained at any point?
- 14 14. Are the floors safe for my children and animals to play on?
- 15 15. Can stained concrete floors be scratched by high heel shoes, or furniture?
- 16 16. Can outdoor concrete floors be stained?
- 17 17. How long will the sealant last?
- 18 18. Can I incorporate designs into my floor with acid stains?
- 19 19. If I don’t like the way my floor looks, can I fix it?
- 20 20. Are the floors super slippery when wet?
- 21 In Conclusion
1. How much will it cost for me to acid stain my concrete floor?
Each gallon of stain will cost around $26. Each gallon is going to cover around 350 square feet, when properly mixed. A sealer will be needed for your concrete floor and that costs about $27 a gallon. For the supplies needed it will depend on if you choose an easier method with a rented floor scrubber, and what supplies you have existing at home. To start from scratch, supplies can cost around $175 dollars or more.
2. Does my floor have to be newly poured?
No, it is not required to have a newly poured concrete floor in order to apply an acid stain. It is recommended for your concrete to have been poured at least 30 days prior to staining. If your concrete is older it may have cracks or stains that require repair prior to staining, but newer concrete is not required.
3. Is acid staining safe?
Yes, acid staining is safe, but you will need the proper safety equipment. As with many types of chemicals, contact with skin and eyes should be avoided. Wear clothing that covers your skin, rubber boots, heavy gloves and safety goggles and you will be covering all of your body parts that may be exposed to chemicals.
4. How long will my acid stained concrete floor last?
The key to making your concrete floor last is to use at least two coats of sealer after staining. If you follow this step, you can be sure that your concrete floor will look great even 20 years from now. The concrete stain will last as long as your concrete. Proper cleaning and maintenance of your concrete floor can help it look beautiful for years to come.
5. What color stains are available?
The colors of acid stain are somewhat limited to muted tones. Earth tones of blues, greens, and browns are available on the color pallet of acid stains. While the colors of acid stains may be limited, water based stains have a much wider color range. Shades of reds, yellows, purples, along with blues, browns and greens and blacks fill out the more limited range of acid stains. If you prefer a more vibrant and colorful look, water based stains may be worth a second look.
6. Are acid stains environmentally friendly?
Acid stains do emit fumes, which some say do effect the environment. Gentler eco friendly stains have been created in the form of water based stains. These stains also create a beautiful result, but in a safer, fume-free process that is safe for the environment and safer in the application process.
7. Will I be able to complete this project as a beginner?
Yes, the steps to acid staining are simple to understand, and rather easy to accomplish. However, it is recommended that more than one person do the staining at the same time, as multiple steps need to be accomplished quickly in rapid succession to assure a perfect outcome for your concrete stain. Videos showing the steps can be accessed on the Internet and throughout this book to help if a visual is needed.
8. Where can I get the supplies?
Some of the simpler supplies, such as mops or safety glasses can be found at your local department store in the hardware or housewares department. Other supplies can be found and ordered online at such places as Amazon, for simple shopping from your home, with some places offering free shipping on certain products. If you would rather take a shopping trip to pick up your acid stains and supplies, a home improvement store is the place for you. Lowe’s, and Home Depot are two choices where you will be able to find all of your supplies.
9. How long will it take me to stain my floor?
Acid staining a floor is not that time consuming for the process itself. A lot of the time used for acid staining is in the cleaning and drying process. The more crack repair and stain removal, the longer the process takes. The approximate time from start to finish is 3-4 days, including drying time.
10. How do I maintain my stained floor?
Maintaining a stained floor starts with at least two coats of a good sealer. Regular maintenance with a dry mop is great to keep your floor looking beautiful on a daily basis. For dirtier floors a wet mop and a good neutral PH cleaner is the best way to clean your floor. Yearly waxing and buffing will help bring out the shine in your floor.
11. What rooms of the house look best with an acid stain?
While any room in the house can be acid stained, some look sharper than others. A basement is a wonderful room to stain, mainly because the only flooring you start with is concrete. This is a huge advantage because you won’t have any carpet glue to remove first. Living rooms, entryways, dining and kitchen areas are also options that are stunning when stained. If an acid stained bathroom floor appeals to your sense of style, there are special sealers available for water resistance.
12. How durable are concrete floors?
Concrete flooring is one of the most durable forms of flooring. Wood, tile and carpet all eventually need to be replaced. When properly sealed and maintained, a concrete floor can last a lifetime. When properly maintained, the beauty if your floors will shine through for years to come.
13. Will my concrete floor have to be re-stained at any point?
If properly applied, sealed and maintained, your floor should not need to be re-stained for years to come. Resealing is different. The key to a beautiful color is the sealant and the maintaining of the floor. If you choose to re-stain your floor, you will need to use the same color as the stain is permanent, unless a stripping process is used.
14. Are the floors safe for my children and animals to play on?
Yes, acid and water based stained floors are very safe for your pets and children once the floors have been stained and dried. Not only are these floors safe, they are more durable against wear and stains that sometimes come with pets and children.
15. Can stained concrete floors be scratched by high heel shoes, or furniture?
Yes, just like wood flooring and tile, stained cement can be scratched. For most scratches, a floor finisher and a mop should be sufficient for repairing the damage. It is rare for a scratch to penetrate the sealer and go deeper than a simple repair can fix.
16. Can outdoor concrete floors be stained?
Yes, outdoor decks, driveways, and walkways can indeed be stained. Adding color to your walkway, patio or driveway is a beautiful way to brighten and freshen up your home. With so many colors to choose from, you can find one to complement any color of your home or business. A special outdoor sealer is needed in order to protect the concrete from the weather and other wear and tear.
17. How long will the sealant last?
Well-maintained interior sealant should last for years, unless exposed to water frequently. Exterior concrete sealant will need to be reapplied every year or two. The best way to keep your exterior stain looking beautiful is to maintain your sealer.
18. Can I incorporate designs into my floor with acid stains?
Yes, with proper floor scoring and other simple methods, designs can be incorporated into your floor. Different shades of earth tones create beautiful flooring. For more color patterns water based stains can be used with acid stains to accomplish your desired design. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
19. If I don’t like the way my floor looks, can I fix it?
Due to the porous nature of concrete, once a stain has been applied it is hard to change the color. Deepening the shade of the same color is a possibility. If you are looking to change the entire color, this will require a harsh acid stripping agent, and stripping off the top layer. The color will always be below the surface to some degree, however.
20. Are the floors super slippery when wet?
Is there any way to make the floors safer when they are wet? Yes, the truth is stained concrete, like regular concrete is slippery. Adding a stain and a sealer to the concrete can make the loss of traction worse. This problem is multiplied around pools where water is splashed making the surface extra slippery. However, there is something that can help. Special traction additives can be added to your sealant before it is laid to help increase traction.
Staining your own concrete floors is not a home renovation project for the weak at heart. Done right, you will have a floor that mimics art at a fraction of the price of wood or tile. However, if you don’t perform the procedures correctly, you could have a disaster on your hands.
Do you have a small out-of-the-way area to practice on first? Practice makes perfect. You may even want to consider having a small patio poured before moving into the indoors where your work will be more difficult.
Make sure when you are choosing the color of the stain that you think about longevity. Concrete flooring is much more permanent than carpet or laminate flooring. If you do not like the color after a year you can always have a professional come in and change it, but that option is super costly. Choose wisely.
Remember, if you do not like the results of your acid stain, do NOT apply the sealer. You can always salvage a bad job BEFORE the sealer is applied. After the sealer has been applied, making changes becomes infinitely more difficult.
When you are gathering your supplies, considering placing one big order through Amazon or Lowe’s with free shipping in order to save yourself time and money. You don’t want to be trucking all over town trying to find every last item on your shopping list, just place one order and be done with it.
Consider visiting a stained concrete showroom in your area to get a good idea of the results that can be accomplished with different brands and colors of stains.
Before you are ready to begin staining your floor, read through the step-by-step instructions in Chapter 10 several times until you have thoroughly familiarized yourself with the process of staining. Go ahead and watch the videos several times as well so that you can watch the techniques in action.
Take your time while you are applying the stain and the sealer and make sure that you are applying thin, even coats. Keep steady hands and steady eyes and you won’t go wrong. If you run into trouble, you can always shoot us an email.
Once you have finished your floor, don’t make the mistake of thinking you have a maintenance free floor. You don’t. Your floor will require additional coats of wax once or twice a year, depending on traffic, as well as additional coats of sealer occasionally. Take care of your concrete floor and it will take care of you.
Chapter 1: Introduction to How To Stain Concrete Floors