As prices of construction go up nearly every year, builders need to present new and innovative ways to meet the growing demands of their clients. Many of the buildings that are to be built may have been designed with marble or granite flooring but these can be expensive and taxing on the environment. The alternative that concrete and stone suppliers have come up with is to make concrete mimic the random beauty and appearance of natural stone.
Staining is a very easy way to create a similar appearance of natural marble and granite on concrete. There are two basic ways to achieve the stained concrete and these include, but are not limited to acid staining and water staining. When acid is used, it is actually not staining that occurs but a change in the composition of the concrete. The acid reacts to the lime in the concrete and a colored reaction occurs. The usual colors are natural tones, which make the results appear even more natural. The innovators have managed to find a way to make the reactions as random looking as natural stone while others have managed to make designs and patterns on the concrete. It should be noted that if there are aggregates or sand on the concrete, they will not react to the acid which means that they can be considered blemishes because they can break a pattern or design. Older concrete might also be less receptive to the acid mixture compared to recently batched concrete. The overall effect of the acid stain is a beautiful translucent appearance that is very appealing and natural looking. In acid staining, there are three commonly utilized chemicals to achieve the desired effects, these include, but are not limited to Hydrochloric acid, Iron chloride and Sodium bicarbonate.
Water staining is highly similar to acid stains but instead of a chemical reaction to the concrete to create the change, the stains are sort of coated unto the concrete. It is bonded to the surface which means that it may appear less translucent compared to the acid stain. The most common bases used for the water stain are polymer, epoxy and acrylic.