Colored Cement-Polished Concrete
Polished concrete has quickly grown to become one of the most preferred flooring materials. With recent advancements in polishing techniques and equipment, you can achieve almost any color that you prefer, using polished concrete.
It is durable, beautiful, and has a low cost of maintenance. This makes it one of the most effective flooring materials currently available. In addition, polished concrete is eco-friendly.
Concrete used during the process, is locally produced, which means that it does not have to be transported over long distances. If you intend to restore an old concrete floor, you are simply recycling the concrete, thus you are not filling up the landfills.
Furthermore, the chemicals used during the polishing process are environmentally friendly. There are three main methods of coloring concrete floors. These are acid staining, water-based colors, and solvent-based dyes.
Acid Staining Colored Cement
Acid staining gives your floors an expensive look at a little cost. It gives your floors a luxurious richness, which cannot be achieved using other coloring mediums.
Instead of producing an opaque or solid-like effect like paint, these paints penetrate the concrete while infusing it with translucent, luminous tones.
These tones depend on the application techniques and the surface they are applied. With acid staining, you can mimic anything you want, from natural stone, tanned leather, stained wood and even polished marble. Since they are UV resistant, they don’t fade or peel away.
Apart from that, the application does not affect indoor air quality since organic compounds are not used in the mixture. The versatility of concrete stains allows you to achieve any imaginable look, which suits your budget and design tastes.
With acid staining, you can add bolder design accents, subtle hints of color, or even custom graphics. The application can be done on existing as well as new floors. It also works well with concrete overlays.
The final colors achieved are affected by the chemical composition of the concrete. This means that results are quite unpredictable. However, this is not a limitation per se.
In fact, it can make things interesting unless you are too rigid in terms of color variation. There are 3 main color options that you can choose from, brown, black and blue-green. The installation process requires an experienced and skillful technician.
Furthermore, the process takes longer to complete as compared to other coloring options, making it more expensive. The colored concrete layer is fragile and thin. Therefore, you must protect it with a sealer, which must be re-applied regularly.
These are composed of fine color molecules mixed with a solvent, to permeate and color the concrete. Extra applications can be done to enhance its coverage.
Unlike acid-staining, the outcome here is more predictable while the process is much faster. The results show right immediately. Once the dye is dry, the floor is sealed, ready to be used right away. There is a wide range of vibrant colors to choose. It all depends on how you want your floor to appear.
Although its installation process is not as complex as acid staining, it also requires an experienced and skilled technician.
In addition, the solvents used are quite strong, which means that powerful odors of alcohol and acetone produced during the process can affect indoor air quality.
The dye does not hide imperfections on the floor. It might appear uneven on different areas of the floor, depending on the level of hardness and humidity. Colors obtained are not UV resistant.
They are prone to fading, calling for reapplication after some time.
Colors are usually mixed with water, sprayed on the floor, and then scrubbed onto the surface using a microfiber mop or broom. There is a wide range of colors to choose from. It is easy to apply and does not emit strong odors. The outcome is predictable. Overall, this process is eco-friendly and affordable.
The color does not penetrate deep enough. This necessitates the use of a sealer to protect the surface. The sealer must be regularly maintained to prevent color from wearing off. The colors obtained are not UV stable, thus require regular reapplication, based on the exposure of the surface to sunlight.
Polished Concrete Floors
The color is what makes polished concrete floors more appealing. Color provides greater design options.
If you are a homeowner, you can use color to highlight the floor as the standout interior feature.
Apart from that, you can blend it smoothly with the interior décor and other home accessories. Floors in showrooms and offices can be enhanced with color finishes, to make the surface more appealing or to highlight the colors of the company.
Another advantage is that color can be used to hide imperfections like patches present on a floor, which makes it more appealing.