Basement floor staining is one of the least expensive options when choosing a floor type. It can be done at a fraction of the cost of other flooring such as tile or carpet. And it can be done fairly easy by the average do-it-yourselfer. With some proper planning and preparation you can achieve quality results and create your own unique masterpiece.
There are two types of stain to choose from or you can use a combination of both.
Acid stains are transparent stains that create a mottled appearance by chemically reacting with the cement and highlighting the variations that exist within concrete.
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Acrylic stains are pigments suspended in a water based solution that result in a more uniform appearance.
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The condition of the floor will help determine which type of stain to use. Although acid staining is usually the most desirable choice, it may not always be the best. Any imperfections in the surface will become more apparent. This also includes any spots that need patching, grinding, or even intense cleaning. Those floors may be more suitable for acrylic stains which can help hide those spots.
Staining a basement floor will not hide or cover cracks. Instead of worrying about cracks, use them to your advantage by accentuating them to create a rustic and natural look. Acid staining is excellent for this because it will darken the concrete along the cracks making them stand out as it they were intentional.
Surface preparation will vary somewhat depending on which type of stain you choose. Both require that the floor be thoroughly cleaned and free from any coatings, paints, sealers, or any other foreign substances. Don’t cut corners on this step as it the key to a successful job that you can be proud of.
Every basement floor staining project should be finished off with a coat of clear concrete sealer. Sealer will protect the floor as well as enhance the appearance, especially with acid stains.
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