How to Add Scoring To Your Stained Concrete Floor

As you have been looking around the web you may seen Austin concrete stain floors that look like tile. This is accomplished by what is called scoring the concrete, usually done with a 4″ grinder or a concrete saw. You can create amazing patterns with this process.

A word of caution: Handheld grinders can be very dangerous and sometimes they are easier to work with if you remove the safety guard that is usually provided, So Be Very Careful, Please!  Also, keep in mind we do offer scoring as part of our concrete staining services in Austin.

If you are really serious about this you can even take intricate patterns and transfer them to transparencies or slides and use them with an overhead projector or slide machine to project onto the floor and trace the pattern with a soapstone and then score the patterns. The scoring in this case can be done with a hand held 4″ grinder or for more intricate patterns a common dremmel tool.

If you stain the floor after scoring and before sealing the score lines will be stained with the rest of the floor and will usually be a little darker than the floor stain color.

If the scoring is done after the staining is finished the grout lines will be the original color of the concrete. This will give you the appearance of looking more like tile without grouting.

You also have the option of scoring after the staining and then grouting the lines to give you more of an authentic look of tile. The grouting should be done after the first coat of sealer. Allow the grout to dry overnight and then apply the second coat of sealer. This of course should be followed by three coats of floor finish to act as a sacrificial lamb for the sealer.

It is best that the score line only be 1/8″ deep so as to make the floor much easier to clean. If you score the lines deeper than that it enables the grout lines to trap more dirt, animal hair etc.. If you feel you need to score the lines deeper then you may want to use a 100% solids epoxy as this will help fill in the grout lines and it will give the floor a much deeper look.

Equipment you will need:

  1. 2″ x 4″ wood board or a 2″x 2″ angle iron
  2. 4″ circular saw or a 4″ hand held grinder
  3. 4″ x 1/8″ or 1/4″ diamond tipped concrete blade
  4. Chalk box and chalk line – we recommend you use orange chalk as it does leave residual lines. DO NOT USE RED CHALK

SCORING BEFORE STAINING

1. After you have decided on the pattern that you wish to score into the floor, mark the design onto the floor using a chalk box (chalk line), being careful to only make cutting lines where actual cuts will be located. As noted above, DO NOT USE RED CHALK, as it is a permanent color and cannot be removed from the floor.

2. Using the 2″ x 4″ or other straight-edged object, cut the lines with the circular saw, making sure to cut straight lines. If you are using a circular saw be sure to place masking tape on the underside of the saw so it does not leave scratch marks on the concrete. If you using a hand held grinder use the 2″ x 2″ angle iron as a guide. Have you helper place their foot on the inside of the angle iron, flat side up towards the grinder, as run the diamond blade against the angle iron. This is the safest method we have found.

3. After the cutting is complete, remove the concrete dust by using a shop vac to clean up the dust. You can then mop the surface with a neutral cleaner and water. Do Not Use Soap as this may leave a film and inhibit the penetration of the stain. Allow the surface to dry completely.

Again, we are happy to provide scoring if you choose us to stain your concrete floor, and help make your Austin house more of a home.

New concrete house slab for staining tips. Part 2

Once the slab has a final trowel,  some concrete contractors mist or cover the concrete with plastic to help avoid cracking.

Covering the concrete with cardboard, plastic, or thermoply, is a good way to keep the concrete mostly clean.  After the framers are done is a good time,  ask them to use black string-line chalk.  Red chalk is very hard to remove or blend into the stain.  Don’t worry about sawdust and mud the framers might track.  Just make sure you get floor protection down before plumbers (pipe glue) , sheetrockers, painters etc get started.  This will save you money with the stain contractor in that he wont have to charge extra for chemical stripping and cleaning.  It also gives you a faster, less flawed floor.  Not all paint, pipe glue etc can be completely removed and can be difficult to blend into the rest of the floor.

We like to stain a new home when everything is done, but before the baseboard and appliances are installed.  This gives the best floor possible before the homeowner moves in.  We can still stain the floor with baseboards if necessary,  but if we can stain before hand, it allows us to stain under them and avoids taping off freshly painted baseboards and removing paint .

Remember not to use tape on the floor,  the resin bonds with the sealer and comes up when the tape is removed leaving a tape line that is hard to blend and repair.

 

New concrete house slab for staining tips.

New concrete house slab for staining tips.

I have had clients request information in pouring,  finishing, and protecting their new home slab which is meant for staining and sealing later.

A special mix isn’t needed,  however while the concrete is wet color can be troweled into the top layer to create an integral color.  This gives the color a higher durability if the concrete is heavily worn, scratched, or chipped.  I don’t think it is much better than staining after because who wants a gouge, or scratch even if it has the right color.  You wont have much color control either.

You can have the finisher “burn in” with the trowel machine which causes a dark grey/black marbling.  This is caused by the steel blades blackening the almost dry concrete.  If you want lighter colors,  I don’t recommend this process.  The smoother, the better though.  Some people like the leaves that fall in and leave an impression,  I think they’re cool.

 

 

Metal Flake Epoxy Floor Information

1. It is flexible to a point,  if the slab cracks and moves enough it can crack too.   However,  it is easily repaired if it does .  From what I had seen the slab seemed stable,  I didn’t notice any loose tiles or grout.
2.  The epoxy is UV stable and does not yellow.  We use it for exterior patios also.
3.  2 year warranty for materials and labor.
4. Not all epoxy products are the same.  Some of the hardware kits are closer to paint than a solid coating .  Application is about 25% of the work .  Cleaning, crack filling and patching,  residue removal, and contamination control is prep work that makes the epoxy stick properly and gives a pristine result.
5.  We use a 100% solid two part Epoxy 400 system and add  fine colored metal flake.  The same epoxy used in mechanic shops, factories, and aircraft hangars, only the metal flake gives it color, luster, and marbling that make it an original beautiful floor. We can marble multiple colors.
6. Top Gun Rentals at Anderson Square,  ask for Jay.  He’s a good guy.  The floor might be a little dirty, but you will be able to see how well it’s holding up.
 7.  I don’t claim the epoxy is bullet proof,  it can be scratched , burned,  dissolved by stripper chemicals etc.  Treat it like a hardwood floor and it will be fine.  It’s definitely tougher than hardwood. There hasn’t been a pet that could damage the floor yet.

Stained Concrete Floor Care

Here are a few tips to maintain your stained concrete floor.

To make quick work of cleaning your floor,  have :

3 blue microfiber pads (one for each step) , 2 spray bottles (one for cleaner, the other for wax), 16-20″ flat Velcro microfiber mop with telescopic pole, we like the aluminum one with black fittings at HDepot.

Step 1 :   Spot clean any mud, food spills, etc .  Then sweep ,  a dry microfiber mop is great for this,  dust, cobwebs,  and pet hair cling to it.  You can set your vacuum up in the center of the house and push everything to it with the microfiber mop, vacuuming the head when it gets too dirty. Don’t sweep with the mop,  just make laps to the vacuum in a forward motion circling the room,  in the same way you would mow the lawn.  The 16-20″ pole and flat microfiber mop can lay flat and get all the way under beds and furniture.  They come with telescopic poles that can extend to reach, and retract for storage.

2:  Spray mist  a solution of low Ph cleaner and water and wipe clean with micro mop, windshield wiper motion(10′x10′ squares at a time).
You don’t have to soak the floor with the old mop and bucket.  It makes more mess and can ruin your baseboards trim and paint,  especially if you have MDF trim.

3:  Spray wax and wipe evenly with micro mop (10′x10′ squares at a time) ,  let dry 30 min

Repeat as needed or about once per month.

Please no tape on the floor or harsh chemicals.  Make sure all rollers roll,  and any sliding furniture has pads or it will scratch the floor.

Hope this is helpful,  please leave feedback either way,  thanks !

Cement Based Overlay Problems

 

Unfortunately flaking at the cracks is a common problem with overlays.  In cases where the floor is blemished and is needing an overlay we have found a better solution.  Its called Metal Flake epoxy. (Pics attached)  It comes in any color and has 10 times the durability and beauty of stained concrete.  We offer it for $6 per sq ft and warranty materials and labor for 2 years.  However,  if your slab moves at the cracks enough it could crack also, but its not going to leave white flakes like your pictures show.  The epoxy can cover the overlay avoiding the cost of removing it, and all the dust.

The other option is to polish the cracks back down to the slab and touch up the color,  this leaves a visible crack with feathered overlay lines about 4-6 inches wide.  Filling the cracks never lasts long and I believe will be money spent to a short term “band-aid”.

Concrete Sealers to protect your Stained Floor

To extend the life and protect the features of any concrete surface a major key is the use of concrete sealers. Paints and Stains can be used to beautify the appearance of floors, patios, driveways and more, but the correct use of sealers plays a major role in protecting all your hard work and money that you have invested.

There are variety of concrete sealers, depending on the surface, but the key element they have in common is that they offer protection and physical enhancement. Sealers, when applied regularly and properly, offer protection from a whole slew of dirt, grease and chemicals, and from heavy traffic as well.

Many people, after having finished with their concrete related home improvement project, fail to apply the appropriate sealers. They may even maintain the surface impeccably clean. However, the damage done by the weather itself can really be pronounced in an non-sealed concrete surface. Cold winter weather in cities like Buffalo and Detroit can really wash out the colors of a surface that hasn’t had a recent application of a good sealer. Likewise, the brutal summer heat in El Paso or Phoenix can fade a recently stained patio in no time. Concrete sealers, in short, allow the brilliance and beauty to shine through season after season.

Concrete surfaces in the interior of your home can be helped along by sealers as well. A nice epoxy sealer used on a concrete countertop, for example, will allow frequent cleanings without compromising the surface. A sealer of this type provides an extra layer or coat that will allow the beauty of the stain or paint to shine brilliantly through. So you can clean time and time again with chemical based cleaning products without fear of damage.

The durable nature of sealers is evidenced by the fact that some of them are used to protect highly traveled roadways, highways and city streets.  These are combined with metal alloys and are obviously not recommended, nor necessary, for home use. Their mention is simply used as a device to indicate just how important and effective concrete sealers can be.

For home use, especially on exterior surfaces, a clear concrete sealer is more than adequate. A nice smooth coat will protect floors, patios and driveways alike. An added benefit is that the resulting surface is far easier to clean and maintain than the non-sealed counterpart.

Any type of surface can benefit from sealers. Most of the major brands make these protective easy-to-apply compounds for a variety of settings. Check out Behr, Quikrete, Zinsser and Valspar for starters.

Again, don’t let your time and money invested in improving your home go to waste. Keep the beauty of all your concrete surfaces bright and attractive with concrete sealers.

 

Joel has been in the residential contracting business for over 10 years, and All Innovative Concrete has over 15 years experience in concrete staining, stamping and scoring in Austin Tx.  Call today for a free quote over the phone!

We look forward to working with you.  If this is within your budget ,  I would be happy to come to your project to give a free consultation and final quote next at a time convenient to you.

Thanks,
Joel Allspaugh

All Innovative Concrete
512.848.0730
Www.stainedconcreteaustin.org

Concrete Resurfacing and Staining For Your Floor

Chemical stains (acid stains) are water based acidic solutions of metallic salts react with the lime in the concrete. After the chemical reaction is completed, the stains (which are actually metallic oxides) become integral part of the concrete and gives it a beautiful mottled colored surface. The critical element of coloring concrete surfaces with an acid stain or chemical stain is the reaction between the stain and lime in the concrete.

In many remodeling projects many people want to rip up their carpets, tile and linoleum and think they can acid stain the existing concrete substrate and achieve a beautiful surface. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Concrete resurfacing with a self leveling concrete or micro topping becomes necessary in the following cases.

Usually under the carpet, tack strips are used to hold down it down and when these tack strips are pulled up after removing the carpet, they create holes in the concrete from the nails used in the tack strips. If the holes are patched and then stained, they will color differently and stick out like a sore thumb. Applying a thin micro-topping over the entire surface hides all imperfections and creates a brand new canvas to acid stain.

Sometimes carpets are glued down to the concrete substrate. Even if the carpet glue is removed, there could be some glue residue left in the pores of the concrete which acts as a resist or may create unsightly stains on the surface. It will be a very good idea to cover the entire surface with a thin concrete overlay to get desired results.

If the ceramic, porcelain or quarry tiles are in good condition, it behooves to resurface the tiles with self leveling concrete and staining it with a chemical stain. If some tiles are loose or coming off then they should be removed and patched before pouring a self leveling concrete. Removing tiles and grinding of the tile mastic is time consuming, messy and expensive. Be resurfacing the existing tiles, the project can claim LEED points under reduction of waste and pollution in the project.

In many metropolitan cities there is a popular trend of converting old warehouses into lofts. Stained concrete is a great look for loft floors. But the existing concrete substrate may not have enough reactive lime for the chemical reaction. In such cases self leveling concrete or micro-topping is the way to go.

Joel has been in the residential contracting business for over 10 years, and All Innovative Concrete has over 15 years experience in concrete staining, stamping and scoring in Austin Texas.  Call today for a free quote over the phone!

We look forward to working with you.  If this is within your budget ,  I would be happy to come to your project to give a free consultation and final quote next at a time convenient to you.

Thanks,
Joel Allspaugh

All Innovative Concrete
512.848.0730
Www.stainedconcreteaustin.org

Stained Concrete Pricing and Info

We offer a concrete stain system that gives better color control, greater durability, and no 4 day curing time before furniture can be replaced.  No harsh or toxic smell.  Very “green” .   A huge difference from a typical  concrete stain and acrylic seal offered by other concrete stain contractors ,  which often flakes,  scratches easily because it is a topical sealer.

Our color stain, densifier, penetrating sealer, and heavy wax is $2.75 per sq ft .  We offer discounts over 1000sq ft .

All prices may vary according to size and unusual characteristics.

Tile removal $2.50 per sq ft

$.75-$1.00 for carpet , tack-strip , and glue removal .  Tack-strip hole patching included.

We look forward to working with you.  If this is within your budget ,  I would be happy to come to your project to give a free consultation and final quote next at a time convenient to you.

Thanks,
Joel
512-838-0730 (feel free to text)

Joel Allspaugh
All Innovative Concrete
512.848.0730
Www.stainedconcreteaustin.org

Austin Concrete Staining, Scoring, Stamping. and Sealing

Decorative concrete, also commonly referred to as architectural concrete, can most easily be described as any technique that alters what would be plain, grey concrete to be more aesthetically pleasing. Decorative concrete can encompass many different looks and techniques. It can include simple coloring techniques such as acid stains, acrylic stains, concrete dyes, and integral colors (also called integrated colors; mixed into the concrete before it is poured). It can also include special treatments including stamping, scoring, chiseling, and polishing that can change the texture of the surface. Many times, decorative concrete integrates multiple techniques to truly customize the slab.

Stained Concrete

Probably one of the most well-known techniques for transforming plain concrete to be more design-friendly is staining, especially for interior applications. This technique involves taking a cured concrete slab and literally staining it to be a different color (or colors). There are two main types of concrete stain. The most common type of concrete stain is an acid stain. It is known for producing rich color. The acid reacts to the concrete and takes on its own life. The result is a marbleized coloring, much like grainy leather. It is probably one of the most difficult stains to work with; it requires much caution while applying because you are working with acid, after all. This stain does not cover defects in the concrete. On the contrary, it will likely show defects, even those you didn’t see when the concrete was in its natural state. However, this character that the acid stain reveals is part of the allure of the finished product of an acid stain job. Water-based concrete stains and acrylic concrete stains create a much more uniform look than do acid stains. These stains have a thin, milky consistency, allowing them to seep into the concrete’s pores, which differentiates them from any concrete paint, which can flake off because paints simply coat the surface. Because there is no chemical reaction between the stain and the concrete, it applies more like a dye.

It is a better alternative than acid stain for concrete pads that have cosmetic defects because coverage is fairly consistent. However, it is still a semi-translucent stain, so it will not completely disguise soils and other defects in the concrete. Water-based stains are also commonly called concrete dyes. It is often used to accent the work of an acid stain job by giving certain areas of the concrete a different color. Acrylic stains offer a wide variety of deep and bright colors with a much broader selection than acid stain offers. Also, whereas acid stains rely on a reaction with the concrete to produce color, the acrylic stain colors are usually the same in the bottle as they are on the concrete. This makes predicting the outcome much easier. It also allows for easier mixing at the jobsite to match other colors around. After the stain job is complete, it is recommended to put some sort of protective coating on the surface. This will prevent fading and wear. For outdoor applications, a concrete sealer is recommended. A solvent sealer or xylene-based sealer will leave a durable, semi-gloss coat, whereas a water-based sealer will leave a matte finish. For indoor applications, it is generally recommended to apply a wax, much like that which is used on a gym floor. In summary, staining is usually a good option if you have a concrete slab currently that you would like to add color to. Stains do not hide defects in the concrete, nor do they change the texture of the concrete. They simply add a semi-transparent, semi-permanent color. There are many tools and techniques that expand design options when using concrete stain. For example, there are stencils on the market that allow for a color design. Also, scored lines are also commonly used to add a pattern or design into the concrete.

Stain can also be used in conjunction with stamped concrete to add accent coloring. Plus, there are many different ways to apply stain to achieve different looks. advantages of stained concrete. Of course, the greatest advantage of stained concrete is the visual appeal. Staining concrete allows you to turn a functional element into a design element. Plus, with the wide array of colors and designs, staining can be used to compliment almost any design theme. Another advantage of stained concrete is that it is a semi-permanent, durable option. Because you are simply altering the color of concrete without altering its physical strength, your stained concrete will have the life of a boring, white slab (which some concrete is engineered to last more than fifty years!). Also, because the color is actually seeped into the concrete versus a layer on top like paint, it will not flake off like paint tends to. Stain can also be described as a “green” renovation project because you can simply transform what you already have, which means less waste in our landfills caused by starting over. In addition, staining requires no extra material aside from sealer or wax to make the flooring surface ready for use. Stained concrete is just as easy to maintain as a regular concrete slab if not easier because the sealer prevents stains and rinses easily. It may require a new coat of sealer or wax occasionally to maintain the finish. A simple broom or hose will often clean the surface adequately. Finally, another advantage of stained concrete is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to other options while yielding a custom, unique product.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is another common technique of decorative concrete. It literally involves stamping a pattern and/or texture into freshly laid concrete. That being said, stamped concrete requires that new concrete is poured. This isn’t to say that you can’t add a stamped pattern or texture to your existing patio, it just requires a few intermediate steps. If you have an existing concrete pad that you want to add a stamped pattern or texture to, it requires adding a layer of concrete or overlay mixture. Of course, concrete is preferable, as it is one of world’s most durable materials; however, concrete will require a minimum of two inch height increase. There is another product available, often called an overlay mix, that can be applied as little as three-eighths inches thick. However, this plastic-cement polymer does have a shorter life-span than does concrete. There are limitations to capping your patio with concrete or overlaying it. If your patio is cracked or structurally unsound, it is risky to put any coating on it because that coating will likely crack and shift as well. Capping or overlaying your concrete will effectively hide any stains and minor defects in the concrete, though. The process involves pouring concrete much like you would do for ordinary flatwork. The area is framed up, reinforced with rebar, and smoothed out. In order to stamp, the concrete must be dry enough to not be mushy but wet enough to still hold an impression. The timing is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of stamping. At this point, large rubber stamps are pounded into the concrete, many times with a tool called a tamper. Some sort of release product is used to keep the stamps from sticking. Other special tools, including “flippie” stamps, grout rollers, etc are used to perfect the area. The coloring of stamped concrete can be achieved in many different ways. Some of the coloring materials available for use with stamped concrete include integral/integrated colors, antiquing release colors, color hardeners, and tinted sealers. Integral colors, also called integrated colors, is color that is mixed into the concrete before it is poured. Integral colors come in both liquid and powder form.

The advantage of integral color is that the color is all the way through the concrete, so if the concrete is ever chipped or scarred, the color will be consistent throughout the slab. Antiquing release colors are usually a powder color applied to the surface before stamping occurs. Its functional aspect is that it keeps the stamps from sticking to the concrete. Its aesthetic aspect is that when the excess powder is scrubbed off, it leave behind great accent coloring in the grooves and crevices. Some release colors also come in a liquid form. Color hardeners are applied to the surface of the concrete. They are used to add color to freshly poured concrete. Because they have a cement content and high PSI, we do not recommend their use in climates that change rapidly because color hardeners can cause what we have coined as a “popcorn” effect, where small circles actually pop out of the surface of the concrete. Color hardeners are usually a powder and come in a wide variety of colors. Tinted sealers are just as you would think; they are sealers that have a transparent color tint added in. Some manufacturers make tinted sealers, or you can simply make them yourself, which is usually a good way to go if you are wanting to mix colors or play with transparency. Before you do this though, you need to know what kind of sealer you have and what kind of color product would mix with it. Tinted sealers also come in a wide variety of color options, especially if you will be making it yourself.

Most of the time, contractors will use a variety of coloring techniques to achieve your look. Contractors may also use the technique that is most familiar to them, leaving the others behind. One thing is for sure: make sure that you quiz your contractor about the coloring techniques they use to make sure you are given the information you need to properly pick your colors. Also, make sure he/she isn’t selling you on coloring techniques that may not be suitable for your climate area. advantages of stamped concrete. For the sake of accuracy, this paragraph does not take into account any overlay products because these products do not carry all of the same advantages that concrete does. Stamped concrete, if it is true concrete, often carries with it many advantages. First, it is known for its durability and longevity; after all, it is concrete! Because it is so durable, it can also be described as an environmentally-friendly option because it won’t have to be replaced in the near future, meaning more materials won’t need to be manufactured and less materials will end up in landfills. Also, it is easy to maintain. The sealer allows cleaning to be as easy as rinsing or sweeping. Occasionally, you will need to recoat the surface with sealer, which is an easy spray or roll on process. Finally, stamped concrete is aesthetically pleasing. It is completely customizable with a wide variety of color combinations and stamp patterns. And, considering how long it will last and how easy it is to maintain, it is a low cost in the long run for a beautiful finish.

Scored Concrete

Scored concrete is a great way to give both new pours and existing pour a new look. Scoring concrete is essentially cutting a shallow cut into the concrete. These cuts can be used to create the illusion of tile or stone or to “draw” a custom pattern or logo into the concrete. Because these lines are actually cut into the concrete, they are as permanent as the slab itself unless covered. Scoring is often combined with colored or stained concrete to accentuate the surface pattern. It can also be applied to plain concrete to just add a touch of decorative design to an otherwise humdrum slab. Concrete can be scored with many different tools, but the most common tools are concrete saws and grinders. Many times a diamond blade is used. For a more rustic or rough look, chiseling the lines is a great method, although it can be more labor intensive and tedious. advantages of scored concrete. Because scoring can be a way to add decorative touches to a slab without tearing out the slab and starting over or covering the slab with other products, it is a very economical and eco-friendly approach to decorative concrete. Also, it is as permanent as the slab is, which means there will be little to no upkeep. Maintenance will involve simple cleaning, which is as easy as sweeping or rinsing. If the scored concrete is sealed, it may require resealing periodically. Finally, the biggest advantage of scored concrete is that it is completely custom.

Polished Concrete

Polished concrete is, just as it sounds, a concrete slab that is polished down until a shiny finish is achieved. These smooth, high-luster floors, if done correctly, do not require any wax or sealer, making it a great option for warehouses, retail locations, etc. But, homeowners are quickly learning that this technique can be utilized for a low maintenance interior flooring. The process is similar in theory to sanding wood. You start with a rough pad and grind into the concrete. Then you move to smoother and smoother pads, step by step, until your finished product is a shiny, smooth floor. Usually, there will be exposed aggregate, making it a neat look. Polished concrete can be stained for some extra color. Or, integral color can be used before the pour to add color throughout. Special, and expensive, tools and materials are often necessary to get a polished finish. advantages of polished concrete. Polished concrete is very durable because it is concrete, one of the most durable materials known to man. It is also very low maintenance because wax or sealer may not be necessary. Sometimes, if the floor loses its luster, it may be necessary to re-polish the floor, repeating the last steps of the polishing process. Polished concrete can also be a great design feature because it is unique and customizable. Colors can be added for a different look, and even special aggregates can be added, aggregates that are only exposed because of the polishing process.

Sealing Concrete

All architectural concrete, except polished concrete and interior stained concrete, should be sealed regularly to maintain its beauty and durability. This process can be outsourced to a concrete company, or it can be a great do-it-yourself project. The process is usually very easy, requiring a spray-on or roll-on application. Some sealers are even mop-on. The most important aspect of resealing a patio is knowing what the original coat of sealer is. If you choose the wrong sealer, you can end up with a huge mess that will be time and money demanding to repair. It is best to contact whoever sealed your patio the first time to know what kind of sealer you should use to recoat your decorative concrete. Sealing concrete makes it stain and fade resistant. It is a protective coating that usually gives a bit of a sheen to the surface, bringing out the richness of the colors used in the decorative concrete, no matter which technique. Many times, freshly sealed concrete can be described as making the concrete look wet. Many times an older patio can be resealed to make it look like new again. Plain concrete can also be sealed for a more modern look that is easy to maintain and resistant to being stained. Sealing concrete will not cover any existing flaws in the slab. Stains will likely be accentuated by the sealant, and scratches or cracks will only be covered with a clear coat. Tinted sealers, as discussed above, can be used to add some color to a slab, whether it is plain or decorative.

Concrete versus other flooring

Tile. Tiles can come in a variety of colors and patterns, but you are limited to what options are presented to you. Concrete offers the flexibility to choose your look, much like mixing paint. Tile requires a stable pad on which to be laid, which means often times you will need concrete anyway. Plus, the concrete, tile, and grout expands and contracts at different rates, making it susceptible to cracking, especially in outdoor conditions. Also, with tile comes grout lines, which means you have to scrub grout lines. Enough said? natural stone/flagtone. Much like tile, flagstone and natural stone usually requires a concrete base and grout for a semi-permanent slab, which means it comes with the same disadvantages as tile. Plus, you are limited to what mother nature makes, versus picking your own colors with concrete. If the concrete base or grout/mortar are not used, you will end up with an uneven nightmare with weeds growing between the stones. That doesn’t sound like fun! brick. Brick carries with it the same issues as natural stone, flagstone, and tile. >linoleum/vinyl. Although cheap and easy to care for, linoleum and vinyl are not as durable as concrete, nor do they have the aesthetic and “rich” look that concrete offers. Wood. Although beautiful, wood is not the easiest to maintain. It can easily scratch or nick, and it often requires revamp after a few years, especially if not maintained properly. Plus, unless it is taken from sustainable forests, can have negative effects on the forest and wildlife therein. Carpet. Carpet’s main disadvantage is that it easily stains. Even stain resistant carpet is much more likely to stain than sealed , waxed, or polished concrete. Plus, the manufacturing process is not always best for the environment, the chemicals it emits into the home can be harmful, and it retains allergens and pollutants, causing issues for those with breathing problems and allergies.

Joel has been in the residential contracting business for over 10 years, and All Innovative Concrete has over 15 years experience in concrete staining, stamping and scoring in Austin Texas.  Call today for a free quote over the phone!