CD Designs Blog

    Concrete: isn’t it a Bit Plain?

    Concrete is an everyday sight, but that doesn’t mean it has to look boring. Having traditionally derided it as a grey, utilitarian substance, concrete’s critics can now consider themselves silenced. Because more now than ever before, home owners and other customers can benefit from a number of different potential techniques that craftsmen and skilled workers can use to alter the appearance of concrete. In this article we’ll focus on one in particular. It’s called concrete staining, and its results are very pleasing indeed.

    It’s a simple enough idea. Once set, the surface of your concrete flooring or driveway (or patio, or whatever else; concrete has numerous applications) is treated with an acid- or water-based stain. Because of the porous nature of concrete, the liquid stain enters its surface. In acid-based stains this process is accelerated by the mildly corrosive nature of the liquid, and by traces of metals dissolved along with the colourant.

    The stain then reacts chemically with the lime in the concrete mix and becomes part of the surface of the concrete itself. After the application of stain the surface should be sealed, to further protect and enhance the final product. This means that the stain cannot be scrubbed, washed, or chipped off the concrete; to remove the colouring you would have to remove the entire outer surface.

    Because each concrete surface is different- due to natural irregularities in the mix and the manner in which it sets –each area of stained concrete will be unique. While the colour will be uniform overall, these tiny variations in the surface of the concrete will provide natural variations in the depth and intensity of the stain. Handily, this variability and partial-translucency increases the attractively natural appearance of stained concrete.

    Stains are available in many shades, from rich rustic reds to cool neutral blues. The visual impact of these shades is increased by the subtle mottling effect created by the nature of the stain.

    Staining can be combined with thoughtful design and layout, along, perhaps, with other concrete-improving strategies such as the use of imprinted patterning. By doing so, a wealth of beautiful finishes become available and attainable.

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