Stained Concrete Flooring.
It is a unique process of transforming plain & grey concrete in a multitude of colors and a chemically reactive coloring method which gives a mottled variegated translucent and marble like look. It is guaranteed to transform a concrete slab into a luxurious floor resembling marble or glazed stone. Staining offers a versatile and inexpensive flooring solution. Staining imparts a luxurious richness that can't be achieved by any other coloring medium. Rather than produce a solid, opaque effect like paint, stains permeate the concrete to infuse it with luminous, translucent tones that vary depending on the surface they are applied to and the application techniques used. The results can mimic everything from polished marble to tanned leather to natural stone or even stained wood.
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Where to Use
MAKE A TEST SAMPLE
It is recommended that a test sample should be made on the slab of concrete you wish to stain. Select an out-of-the-way area of the project (a closet or an area that will be carpeted) clean, stain and seal a small area. This will show you the reaction that will occur on that particular piece of concrete. This gives the customer a realistic expectation of what they will get.
If the acid stain doesn’t react or the Enviro-Stain or Stain n Seal do not penetrate, there may be contaminates on the slab. These stains are designed for clean, open concrete surfaces only. Concrete that is painted or sealed will not color properly with these products.
New concrete should be cured for four (4) weeks. The best time to stain a new home is after all the construction is completed including painting. Just the baseboards should be left off. Be sure to protect the slab from damage during the construction phase.
Covering the floor with paper (not plastic) and plywood or cardboard for other contractors will reduce your preparation time and reduce the chance of damage to the slab. If there will be work after you have done your floor, take the same precautions. Notify all contractors that the slab will be the finished floor and no marks or spillage will be tolerated.
STEP ONE: Surface Preparation – Special Considerations When Staining
See also the section on surface preparation for concrete slabs page no 33-34.
Make sure to consider the different factors when preparing a surface for staining verses a compendious Coating. Your goal is to have a surface to stain on that will have a consistent look across the entire Surface.
If doing an acid stain, DO NOT ACID WASH. Using a solution of water and a mild detergent, scrub
the slab with a stiff bristled broom. TSP (Tri Sodium phosphate) or Super Blue is both acceptable alternatives.
Rinse thoroughly, then wet vacuum it dry. Repeat if necessary to remove all foreign matter from the slab. Be sure that there is no cleaner residue left on the surface.
Allow the slab to dry completely. This is a good time to apply your masking plastic or paper. Protect all walls and surrounding areas from contact with the stains or sealers used.
STEP TWO: Applying a coating (if applicable)
There will be floors that will require a floor coating before you can stain it. It is important to evaluate the relevant criteria when determining when it is necessary to put down a Cementations coating. Dealing with existing stains/marks- On example is if there is glue residue or other stains on the concrete. Sometimes sanding and cleaning can get these stains out, but often because of the porous properties of concrete, the stains will not come out. Putting a translucent stain on top of another stain will rarely hide it and most customers will not be happy to see the Ines from where there was glue after you’ve stain and sealed everything. Patching- If there are chips, low spots, or other repair is needed and you have to patch the surface, those patches will stick out. You should recommend that the customer pay extra to have you recoat the entire floor.
When removing carpet, tack strips can be an issue because pulling them up leaves chips in the concrete. In such cases, one easy fix is to patch those spots and cut a border around the perimeter where the strips were and stain it a very dark color. That saves the customer money and actually compliments the look.
STEP THREE: Scoring a Pattern (if applicable)
If a scored pattern is desired, this should be done prior to washing or staining. Try to keep the depth of your cuts 1/8th of an inch, deeper cuts will collect dirt. Larger patterns are less work – if you are cutting 36” by 36” square tile, you’re going to cut a lot less than if the customer wants 12” x 12” tile. There are a couple ways to mark your pattern. Many guys will just pop chalk lines to make the pattern. Some prefer to use tape as it’s easier to adjust if a mark is not made correctly and also it’s easier to see the tape when you’re cutting. To keep the lines straight, one option is to use a straight edge and a 4 in angle grinder. It’s recommended that you pull the blade toward you as that makes it easier to control. Experienced contractors find this to be a fastest way to cut lines. An easier option is to use a circular saw and put a 7 inch diamond blade on it. Be careful about any paint from the base of the saw rubbing off on your surface
STEP FOUR: STAINING
MIXING: The recommended mix ratio Hicrete Acid Stain is equal parts water to acid, a 1 to 1 ratio. You may want to experiment with a stronger or weaker mix. Many contractors will go as weak as 1 part acid to 5 parts water.
Apply the mixture using a SP20A, acid resistant pump sprayer or an acid resistant brush. Be sure to use a quality sprayer, you do not want leakage or spillage of this caustic material. Using the sprayer, apply the material moving the wand in a circular motion, holding the tip 12- 16” inches from the slab. Work in the material with an acid resistant brush or broom. It is important to keep a wet edge while applying this material. The object is to completely wet the surface just short of making puddles. Remember, the areas that get more material on them will have a more vivid color. Initially you will not see much color change. Remember, this is a chemical reaction. It can take between 2-6 hours to see the completed reaction, and true color. Drying time will vary from slab to slab, depending on job site conditions. Generally it takes 4-6 hours to dry. Keep all traffic off of the slab while it is wet or damp with acid. After the slab is completely dried, you may want to deepen the color. You can apply a second coat, or just add some highlights using a darker color intermittently to create the desired effect. Again, allow the slab to react and dry completely (4-6 hours).
WASHING / NEUTRALIZING
After the stained concrete has dried completely (4-6 hours minimum) the area must be cleaned. All of the stain residue must be removed before sealing. Using a solution of 5 gallons of clean water and 2 Tbs
(tablespoons) of household ammonia, thoroughly wash, and scrub the area with a soft broom.
Rinse with clean water until no more color residue is on the surface. Wiping with a rag or you hand on the surface is an easy way to check.
On interior areas use a mop and/or vacuum to remove the excess water and help speed dry-time.
STEP FIVE: SEALING
After the floor has dried completely you will need to seal it to bring out the colors. You have a few options:
1. HICRETE GLOSS SEALER-AC
Apply 2 thin coats of sealer. Allow 1-2 hours dry time between coats. Allow the sealer to dry for at least 24 hours for foot traffic and 48 hours for automotive traffic. This sealant can be used either on an interior or exterior floor.
2. 100% SOLIDS HIGH BUILD EPOXY
This epoxy should be put down very thick. It also must go on a seal surface.
3. WATER BASED SEALER
STEP SIX: WAXING (OPTIONAL)
On interior areas, Hicrete Systems High Traffic Floor Finish may be applied and buffed. This will create a deep shine and make a surface that is easily maintained by the customer. Wax can be mopped on – two or three coats are recommended. Leave it as is for a satin finish or buff to get a high gloss look. Wax can be re-applied every 6-8 months. It will need to be stripped every 2 years or so. Follow the normal process for stripping floor wax.