2020 Comparison Of Concrete Stains And Dyes

2020 Comparison Of Concrete Stains And Dyes

Concrete stains & dyes have become the current norm for people wanting great interior design merchandise to complement their concrete floors. The use of dyes or stains undoubtedly adds the aesthetic value of a building or home. Most of the time, people used chemical acid stains involving their reaction with alkali base chemicals in the concrete cement. This kind of staining produces a translucent variegated look on the concrete used indoors and outdoors like on counter-tops, driveways and pool-decks. Because the acid reacts with salts and minerals in the concrete varying radically its look by inevitably producing a marbled and textured appearance on the floor. Chemical acid stains advantage is its obstinate resistance to UV rays and quality deterioration. Some of the drawbacks from acid staining is in the use of corrosive components; it is a multi-step process, and one gets a limited choice of colors to select from.

Another kind of concrete coloring is done using color pigmentation containing both concrete stains & dyes. These pigments color the concrete by entering into the concrete pores staining permanently unlike reacting with the concrete. There is easier color penetration and saturation leaving the insignificant residue on the applied surface. Its advantage lies on their ease and safety of the color pigmentation and a considerable color palette to choose from. This increased color pigmentation palette is due to unique mixtures and potential dilutions of color pigments producing other colors. These color pigments can be mixed using acetone or water whose finish ranges from monotone coloring to a translucent look depending on how they were applied. Acetone or organic mixtures produce the monotone coloring because of their uniform distribution of the dye or stain pigment in the solvent. The water-base dye produces a variegation giving the concrete a marble look. Acetone-based and water-based dyes can also be mixed to produce special color effects.

A distinct advantage of dyes is in the production of monotone colors on concrete. The only demerit is deterioration of the dye after it is inevitably exposed to UV’s from the sun. An additional coating needs to be added to seal to lock in the color in the concrete pores preventing color pigment leaching. Unlike the dyes, concrete stain color pigments are bigger but can also fit in the concrete pores. They are mostly water-based containing low or non-volatile organic compounds (VOC). An advantage of using these stains is their unconscious ease of application and personal safety. If the surface is porous, more pigments would stain making it darker, unlike a smooth surface absorbing fewer pigments. When compared to acid stains, one could get a more extensive variety of variegated surface look on the concrete because there are many colors to choose from. An example of this dye is helix concrete dye.

Just like dyes, the color pigmentation of concrete stains fades in exposure to the sun or UV. One could choose to use UV resistant stains, or employ their colors indoors. To curb this loss of color, one has to reapply the stain every three to five years to maintain its look. Another adversary is water. Water gradually degrades the concrete because it is manufacture porous. Through winking action from underground water, the concrete is made more porous breaking it down. In addition, dissolved mineral salts are brought to the concrete surface and after evaporation, efflorescence occurs staining it. Most companies performing this job recommend a concrete stain & dye sealant that penetrates two to three inches deep in the concrete to secure against underground water damage. Otherwise, most sealants protect from surface water, snow, and ice.


Nicholas Jansen