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Concrete only appears to be a simple choice. Sure, your basic
concrete floors all contain the same three ingredients: cement, water and
aggregate, but that's where the simplicity stops. Do you want a stamped concrete floor or a polished
concrete floor? This section covers popular choices in concrete flooring surfaces and coloring agents. If you can dream it up, chances are
concrete can be customized to reflect your vision.
Concrete floors can be polished to a mirror–like shine, giving you the look of a
highly waxed floor without all the back–breaking work of waxing.
A sealer will offer added protection against water, abrasives and
stains. Sealers come in clear and colored forms. A good sealer will not
only make your concrete floor more slip resistant, it will also make it easier to clean.
A circular saw is used to create a pattern in the concrete. This is used to give concrete flooring the
appearance of tile grout lines.
Freshly poured concrete is stamped, creating a textured pattern that resembles brick,
stone, wood planks, slate, etc.
A wide variety of stains are available that can make your new concrete flooring resemble anything from marble to wood.
Stained concrete floors create a look unique to every floor as the stain reacts to each floor differently.
Stained concrete floors are characterized by deep, translucent coloring. Reactive concrete stains are
water–based and acidic. Reactive stains permanently bond the stain with the concrete guaranteeing it
will never peel off or chip. Non–reactive concrete stains are water–based acrylic stains that permeate the
surface of the concrete, leaving pigment particles in the concrete's open pores. Though easier to apply, non–reactive
stains lack the depth of color that reactive stains have. Non–reactive stains leave an opaque and even
color on your concrete floors.
Dyes are often mixed with stains to create rich shades for concrete that cannot be achieved using stain
alone. Dyes are typically mixed at the installation site and can create colors as bright as jewel tones or as subdued as
During the concrete mixing process, liquid or powdered colorant is added, creating a through and through
tinting of the concrete.
Paint can be used on concrete to create anything from a matte color floor to your favorite team's logo or a more complex
look such as patterned marble.
Powdered hardening aggregates are dusted over freshly laid concrete where they react with the concrete's
moisture and create a hard, solid surface. Colored hardeners are recognizable due to the intensity of the coloring. The
colored hardener concentrates color in the top layer of the concrete.
Used in conjunction with colored hardeners, colored release agents are liquid or
powered coloring used with patterned stamps to create an antiqued look of variegated coloring. These pigments rest on the
surface and must be sealed or waxed over to protect and preserve them.
If you have old concrete flooring that has seen better days a colored surface overlay can give your
floors a brand new look. A thin layer of coloring can be applied over your existing concrete floors. The surface overlay can
be colored or patterned.
The types of aggregates in your concrete mixture will determine the texture of your concrete floors.
Concrete flooring most often comes from a fine aggregate mix, with sand mixed in to create a smoother
Crushed stone or gravel is mixed with concrete for a rough, bumpy surface, often used
for driveways or walkways.
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