Stained concrete floors are probably something you’ve heard about since you’re here. You might have seen them in hotels, custom homes, restaurants, pubs, casinos, and shopping malls, but you might not be too sure what they are? This incredible flooring has been making its way into the hearts and minds of America, and the rest of the world for that matter, for a while now.
Why is this distinctive flooring option becoming even more popular? Not only are concrete stain floors beautiful, but the benefits are also numerous as they are easy to maintain, priced less than tile and most good carpet, definitely less than hardwoods, and when was the last time you saw anyone destroy a concrete floor? Durable, to say the least.
Today, not only on public floors, concrete stain is becoming highly popular with residential customers as well. That means contractors really need to add it to their repertoire if they hope to compete.
People all around are looking for this option, so learning how to stain with various methods and how to offer custom options for clients is highly important. If you’re curious about how to DIY, you can check my concrete staining guides here.
Now lets move on to the pros and cons of stained concrete floors, starting from pros.
What are the pros of concrete staining
Contractors and consumers alike might be wondering just what it is that has been making concrete stain so popular over the past few years. Quite a number of things have actually played into the popularity. It tends to boil down into five different reasons though, at least for most customers.
Stain makes a beautiful floor
First, people want to have a beautiful home, and concrete stain makes beautification entirely possible thanks to the sheer number of color and style options from which customers can choose. Because of the dyes available, it is possible to have nearly any color one would want or need for their home.
This makes it possible to match any decorative need the customer might have, so they can match the rest of their home, inside or outside.
Second, it is very versatile in not only the coloring and style options mentioned earlier but also in the manner in which one can use it. The concrete stain looks phenomenal outside the home around the pool area, and it looks just as nice inside the home for interior flooring. You can use it nearly everywhere. Some customers redo their garages and basements and turn them into additional living areas for the family. Stained concrete is a perfect addition.
Products designed for ease of use, that are eco-friendly and have the ability to create a “new canvas” when your concrete is not in great shape. For example, you tear out your carpet and are left with the tack strips that held your carpet down, and that when removed left a series of “holes” all the way around the room. Our polymer overlay floors will solve that problem for you and if you can sweep a floor with a broom you can install these floors.
Cost is reasonable
Third, the cost is very reasonable, especially compared with all of the other flooring options out there. People want to save money whenever they can, and with concrete stain, they can save money and not give up any of the aesthetics they desire.
If your concrete is not in the best shape or you just want a textured floor we can show you how YOU can install a polymer concrete overlay floor as you’ve seen in restaurants, malls, and even in Las Vegas for less than $2 sq. ft. Where else can you get a stylish floor for $2 sq. ft. that is twice as hard as the concrete it is placed upon.
In addition, we have formulated a new line of concrete acid stains and pigmented low-acid stains that make it easier for the DIYer and the professional alike to stain their floors with products that are more eco-friendly and don’t require the usual neutralization.
What this means is you save about 1/3 of the labor of not having to scrub the floor with a buffer and white pad (after application of the stain). You need only rinse the floor with water and lightly scrub with a broom or brush. Vacuum the water and you’re ready to seal (after thorough drying of course). Compare that with neutralizing the floor with ammonia or baking soda, scrubbing with a buffer and white pad, and then vacuuming and I think you can see that we have a significantly better way to do things here at CDR.
Fourth, it is durable. It goes on easily and quickly when applied by professionals, and it can keep the floor looking great for a long time. It will last and stay looking great for far longer than if the customer were to have carpeting or even wood flooring in many cases. The concrete stain simply looks great for years, and that gives the client more value for their money.
Easy to maintain
Fifth, it is easy to maintain, which is a huge relief. Some regular sweeping to keep the flooring clear of dust and debris is all it really needs, along with some occasional mopping. It cleans quickly and easily and stays looking clean longer without needing to undergo any professional cleaning or maintenance type of service.
Simple dust mopping, an occasional damp mop, and a twice-a-year wax, which takes 15 minutes, is all that is required to maintain these incredible concrete stain floors.
What are the cons of concrete staining
There are always some cons and after the positives, you might be wondering what those are. To keep me honest I’ve listed some that are concrete floor and staining cons alike. Those two walk hand in hand as the stained floor is a concrete floor in the end.
Cost can get high with complex decoration
Now I’ve stated as one of the pros that staining is affordable. It truly is, but the more fancy floor you want, the more you have to pay. It’s not the acid that is costing you, but the labor of the professionals.
If you think that you have some DIY blood flowing in your veins, you might look up different staining techniques and consider what you might be able to do yourself. Just remember that the best-looking floors are built upon some failures of the professionals.
Repairing might take skill
Now one thing sure about concrete is that it will crack at some point. It might be a long time or a short time after the pour. That is no problem if it’s not a structural defect, but repairing it will take some skill if it’s a decorated floor.
Here I must add that no flooring is eternal. If it lasts 10+ years without heavy maintenance, it’s pretty good. Now like I said, repairing might be hard for somebody, but most can handle it with little guidance and using proper products.
Also remember that the earlier you do it, the less you will have to do.
Installation can be too much for beginners
DIY installation is more than possible and good results can be achieved, but if you want the best end result you might need professionals. Also during the installation, a lot of wall surface has to be protected from the stain, this might also damage the wall surface if the wrong kind of tape is used.
If it’s an old floor that is stained that has cracks or fixes some of the faults will show under the stain. Some of it can be faked away, but a keen eye will notice them. In that, it loses to some other flooring solutions if you’re not doing a concrete overlay.
Concrete is a hard surface
Now, one thing concrete is known for is its hardness. Able to last thousands of years without rebar, but also something you will hurt yourself with if you fall. With kids they can get hurt on the concrete floor, then again concrete floor can handle kid traffic and plays.
Sealed surface be slippery when wet
Concrete might be slippery when it gets wet, this can be negated with some sealers, but it’s good to know when you start planning. Maybe the rooms that have traffic from outdoors should have something that helps with that.
Slip-resistant concrete sealer might work out and also keeping the concrete dry, there’s no reason to keep inside floors wet.
This is another thing where the pros and cons meet. Concrete floors are easy to clean and don’t need a lot of tools for it. It just needs resealing every 3-5 years.
This also depends on traffic and use and rooms where there is lots of UV light, maybe apply UV resistant sealer for it to last longer and protect the colors.
Doesn’t bring anything new to the floor itself
This might be a little boring con, but it doesn’t bring anything new to the floor itself. It’s still the same old concrete where wood might be more comfortable to stand on etc.
If you get to make decisions with heating, floor heating might make it nice to walk and stand on. It’s also slow to release the warmth so it stays warm for a while
There were a few pros and cons of stained concrete floors listed here, there might be some I didn’t notice or couldn’t think of.
For contractors, all of this means they really do need to learn more about the various decorative concrete options on the market if they want to please their clients. These are the things their customers want, need, and are starting to expect from a quality concrete contractor today. Offering these options is really the only way to compete today.
For DIY decorators concrete staining is a nice way to do some decorating at your home that isn’t too costly. All you need to buy is the stain, equipment, and sealer if you don’t need to repair anything.
Always make a test sample before committing to doing the whole floor. This way if the color is not to your liking or something else is wrong, you can still fix it.