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jencab

Polished and Stained concrete

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We own a mod-ranch in Braeburn Valley and are considering Stained concrete or Polished concrete floors throughout the home....I understand that there will be some issues with carpet tack strips and other character flaws and we're fine with that. Just wondering if anyone has some insight to the business and if any recommendations can be made.... We've had two companies give us bids for staining, but they wanted to use clear coatings to seal our floors Not a big fan of this...I love the look of polished concrete but cant find a soul who will come out and take a look, can it even be done to 40+ yr old floors. :blink:

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Keep in mind that there will be two issues you will have to live with once you commit to stained concrete:

  • Acoustics
  • Fatigue on your feet/legs

Having said that, yes you will have to also live with inconsistencies in the condition of the concrete and depending on the quality of the stain work, how the stain takes to the concrete. All may be perfect or there may be areas you love and and areas you don't. Also, be prepared for inconsistencies in levelness of slab. Finally, if there has been any top coat work or use of leveling material, you may have to remove such as the stain will take differently to that material than the remaining concrete.

Hope this effort is a success... best of luck!

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my house was built in 1960---the area that was acid stained was originally covered with linoleum and later with tile. Upon ripping out the tile, we discovered a layer of black mastic. After removing the mastic, the floors were floated with a fresh layer of concrete. These were the results:

IMG_7469.jpg

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We did stained concrete in our house in both formals, laundry room, hall and powder room and love it. Our guy floated a new layer of concrete on top of existing slab to deal with change of level where it meets ceramic tile in other areas as well as to get a more consistent finish colorwise. Also we were doing a moss green border and etching to separate that from the main bronze color. He used a whiter concrete than normal to be able to get to the green color that we wanted. Ask if they will do samples for you to see before they start the stain process. If they are floating a new layer of concrete they can cover a piece of plywood with the concrete that they will be using and then apply the stain and the sealer so you can see what the final result will be. We tried 4 color samples before we got what we actually used on the floors.

Otherwise its great from a maintenance standpoint. Ours has a "light" polyurethane coat on it rather than a high gloss finish.

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We did stained concrete in our house in both formals, laundry room, hall and powder room and love it. Our guy floated a new layer of concrete on top of existing slab to deal with change of level where it meets ceramic tile in other areas as well as to get a more consistent finish colorwise. Also we were doing a moss green border and etching to separate that from the main bronze color. He used a whiter concrete than normal to be able to get to the green color that we wanted. Ask if they will do samples for you to see before they start the stain process. If they are floating a new layer of concrete they can cover a piece of plywood with the concrete that they will be using and then apply the stain and the sealer so you can see what the final result will be. We tried 4 color samples before we got what we actually used on the floors.

Otherwise its great from a maintenance standpoint. Ours has a "light" polyurethane coat on it rather than a high gloss finish.

I have a 50s modern on Galveston Bay that had the concrete stained and finished in 1951. We used a special tennis court wax on it for years until my mother tired of this and quit in the 1980s. Now that the house is mine I will probably rewax it again soon, once I've feathered out some small cracks. The family built another mod with terrazzo throughout that remained flawless after 40 years. I found terrazzo to be harder and look more like a finished floor for decades. Over time concrete is a soft surface whereas terrazzo (with the right stone content) holds up to wear and is easily resurfaced. B)

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Being in the field for a couple of decades, I've come across these type of questions countless times. Sometimes people contact me before they have the idea, sometimes after.  Many times people are not even sure what polished concrete is.  Too many "contractors may try and pass of staining and sealing as the same thing. Or worse, try and pass a trowel-able overlay as polished concrete.   True polished concrete is mechanical grinding, honing, and polishing of the slab.  The technology comes from the granite industry. If you think of the finish of a granite countertop, there is not a film based sealer, this is truly a polished surface.  So the distinction is the concrete floors' gloss is achieved by refinement rather than a film based sealer. There is a huge difference in quality and durability.  It's best to be open about the benefits and limitations of polished concrete prior to help someone decide on what is best for them.  I wrote this and a few other articles to help educate those interested.  I do not install for residential, but I hope these topics can help you.

 

Thanks,

Steve  

  • Thanks 1

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