The popularity of concrete staining in Colorado is increasing every year. This can probably be explained by a number of scenarios and reasons, so I’ll touch on a couple in this article and continue in my next.
Here in Northern Colorado, especially in Windsor, Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley where there are a lot of basements, concrete staining can make sense for many people. Most are familiar with these applications as they see a lot of stained concrete in commercial applications – office hallways and lobbies, hardware stores and retail and showrooms, to name a few. We see more and more homeowners asking for and designers integrating stained concrete as part of basement finish projects or remodels.
The aesthetic appeal is one of the biggest factors in why our customers choose to go with stained concrete. Every floor is unique and has it’s own characteristics, virtues and flaws. After all, we’re dealing with a human-installed substrate in concrete with it’s own mixes and variables and then treating it. With that said, the condition of the substrate along with the customer’s desired outcome will determine how we go about the staining process.
The photos above are of a basement floor in Fort Collins. This particular basement started out as an unfinished basement and the original concept and plan was to stain the concrete. During construction, the floor was generally protected from spills and damage. I’ve included a color sample of the gray that we ultimately used. As you can see, the limitations of lighting and unprofessional camera/photography skills result in color differences. Not only that, but the sample did look different than the rest of floor. Same concrete and same stain/dye. One of the tough topics of discussion is that even samples can vary because with some brands/products there seems to be some variation in their color formulas (for lack of a better term). Notably, this particular color, called Speedway Gray by Miracote has given us some inconsistent results across jobs. It’s certainly frustrating, so we have mostly moved on from this product, however, it is still available and we’ll use it if requested. When it works and the color is accurate, it’s a beautiful dye. Note: I use stain and dye interchangeably and from my perspective there isn’t a difference, at least not in the context of this particular article.
Because of the sealer that we used, polyaspartic, we performed a diamond grind with two passes over the concrete. Then we applied the stain, which is a non-reactive stain, let it dry and applied the clear coat sealer. I’ll add that we very lightly accented with a different product with two colors – black and walnut. The accents are subtle but give it a bit more variation, which, for most customers, is desirable.
This popular type of application, although seemingly rich and expensive looking, is quite affordable. Many people ask, how much does it cost to stain concrete? For most floors, you’re looking between $4.00-6.00 per Square Foot. I’ll have another blog about a project that we fixed for a homeowner who tried it themselves and it ended up costing them more than double the original amount when it was all over with (including what they spent themselves). Many homeowners could, with careful research and asking a lot of questions probably successfully stain their concrete. It’s not rocket science, but it certainly is easy to get off course and recovering is extremely difficult in a DIY scenario.