Concrete flooring provides an extremely durable and easy to clean flooring option to your home. However, its flat gray color can be a major downside. Concrete flooring can be easily stained to provide whatever shade or color that you want, allowing a great degree of customization to homeowners. However, concrete stains can be broadly grouped into two categories; acid and natural stains. Though both types of stain alter the color of your concrete floor, they each offer a different set of features. Understanding the differences between acid and natural concrete stains can help you choose the one that best suits your needs.
Acid stains cause a chemical reaction with the concrete, causing it to change colors, and are then sealed to provide the greatest possible lifespan to your floor's coloring. Acid stains have the wider variety of colors of the two types of stains, ranging from natural, earthy tones to vibrant shades of red, green and blue, allowing you to create whatever type of design that you want with your concrete floor. Additionally, acid stains can be etched to recreate the texture or appearance of other types of flooring, like ceramic tiling.
However, acid stains are extremely corrosive, and release dangerous fumes. As such, improper installation can lead to serious complications and even injury, which means that a professional should be hired to stain your concrete floor. This drives up the price associated with acid staining, and also increases the amount of time that you will have to wait, as you will not be able to stain on your schedule. Furthermore, acid stains will not always work with old concrete that has become worn or that has already been applied with a sealant.
Natural stains for concrete are non-toxic, like their name suggests, and do not pose a health hazard when applied to your floor. They are better for the environment, and easier to apply on your own. Natural stains are also much cheaper than acid stains, which makes them a better choice for homeowners operating under a budget or who are looking for a do it yourself project.
However, natural stains are limited in their selection of colors that are available, only offering earthy, warm colors. This means that if you want a vibrantly colored floor, you'll have to choose acid stains. Additionally, like acid stains, natural stains will not work well on older concrete floors.
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