Acid Stains

Design options only limited to one's imagination

Interior and exterior concrete stains are gaining momentum faster than a speeding bullet.  People building new homes are installing radiant floor heating tubes within the concrete slab which mean ACDI is staining more interior floors.  However, once you enter the fast lane there seems to be one problem - what type of concrete stain, what colors and what type of design fits your look.

It seems deciding to use concrete stains is the easy part, but narrowing the field down can be a challenge.  

"We looked at overlapping stain colors.....decorative saw cuts resembling tiles.....bordering rooms with bands and using contrasting colors.  It really took a while to decide, but thanks to ACDI we narrowed it down to one stain and the application technique we thought would look best," said ACDI customer Jennifer Taylor.

There are two types of stains which offer a variety of tones, colors and effects:  1) Acid stains 2) Alcohol or water-based dyes.  These stains produce variegated, translucent color effects that are unique to each project.  Meaning, every acid stained floor will be unique based upon various concrete characteristics.   For years, acid stains have been used to give old and new concrete a timeworn appeal.  The rich earthy-toned acid stains sometimes resemble granite, marble, wood and even worn leather.  Acid stains contain metallic salts which react with the cement in any concrete slab.  They also contain small portions of muratic acid which etches the surface of the concrete allowing for deep pentration and reaction.  Unlike acid stains, concrete dyes are not chemically reactive and require more experience when applying to the surface.  However, they do highlight concrete imperfections just like acid stains and they do penetrate into the pores of the concrete.  The best concrete dyes are polymer based which creates tenacious bond to the slab.  The biggest difference between acid stains and concrete dyes is color selection.  Concrete dyes offer a selection of blues, reds, grays, gold and much more.  In some instances, ACDI combines both types of stains to create our most spectacular floors.

Concrete stains are becoming very popular in the restaurant business for remodeling purposes.  In order to open for business quickly for fast food chains, owners find concrete stain installations a cheap and speedy solution.  In addition to restaurants, the tenant improvement industry renting apartments and housing has jumped on board with decorative acid stains.  Tearing out carpet and having to replace it not only becomes expensive, but a major hassle.  Especially, if your the one installing and removing the carpet.    

By removing additional carpet glue and other contaminants, landlords are able to stain old concrete floors and apply a heavy traffic clear coating over the surface.  Common maintenance includes applying acrylic modified waxes to keep the "sheen," and cleaning with a mop.  If waxing your floors isn't appealing ACDI can apply heavy duty epoxy and polyurethane sealants.  These are commercial grade membranes that protect the floor from everyday wear and tear.  

ACDI applies concrete stains to vertical and horizontal concrete applications, such as interior concrete floors (radiant heated floors also), retaining walls, concrete countertops, patios, garages, overlayments, and driveways.  

ACDI has used decorative concrete stains in various interior and exterior designs.   Stain design is virtually limitless to the imagination and can be combined with underlying colored concrete surfaces for special effects.  ACDI can score decorative saw cuts to create any preferred tile sizes.  

Concrete countertops is another interior application that uses stains. Concrete countertops are a warm natural looking material that corresponds with the popularity of  materials like wood, stone, and brick.  Chemical stains, coloring pigments, various aggregates, and epoxy coatings can give concrete the look, texture, and feel of quarried stone such as marble, granite, and limestone.

For the many people who love concrete, the unpredictability is part of its attraction. Veining texture and color will vary, and regular use impacts a warm patina to the surface over time.  


Have a tight budget, but want the right look?

Concrete stains can range between $5.00 - $6.00 per square foot depending upon the difficulty of the design.  Compare stain prices to hardwood floors, slate, flagstone, and designer tiles.  It's no contest.......and the design options are whatever you can picture.  

ACDI currently uses three different acid stain brands and two concrete dyes. Below, you can click on the links to see the acid stain and concrete dye color charts:

Kemiko Acid Stains
Miracote Acid Stains
Scofield Acid Stains
Rembrandt Stains






Pearlescence Epoxy Floors

 ACDI's latest addition to the flooring department is a high performing epoxy mixed with crushed pearlescence.  Efficient room lighting is a must for this floor system.  Ever seen a floor that shifts colors as you move around the room?  This system can be applied over wood sub floors and existing concrete floors which combines a black micro-topping background with epoxy and polyurethane coatings.  There are more colors than are currently displayed.  If your interested in this system please contact ACDI for details.   

Check out the photo gallery below for larger photos


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Portions of the photos taken courtesy of Brickform, Prestige Concrete (San Diego, CA)  and Kemiko.