Environmentalists and advocates of climate change are stressing on greener solutions to almost everything. And one such solution that has been gaining popularity for some decades now, is concrete flooring. High durability, low maintenance cost, and eco-friendly installations are the primary reasons why people are now opting for concrete floors.
Regardless of where you are installing a concrete floor, you can customize its design to suit your taste and persona. But, the real question is- how do you get rid of the naturally bland grey color of concrete? Well, to be honest, there’s no need to get rid of the shade. Instead of trying to remove the color, you can add more color to it.
And, in this article, you’ll find just the right techniques to do that. But, before you begin with coloring your concrete floor, it’s important to polish the concrete for a smoother finish. As is explained in https://concretefloorpolisher.co.uk/carrcrete/polished-concrete-guide, typically concrete floors are polished using diamond abraders ranging from 30 grits to 3000 grits. Depending upon the fineness of the abrasives, different levels of sheen can be achieved.
Once your concrete floor is polished, it is ready to be colored as per your choice.
So, let’s move to the best coloring technique for concrete floors without any further exaggeration.
Coating for Unique Shades
Epoxy-based floor coatings are one of the most widely used methods for hiding the abnormalities and flaws in the concrete. But, since it is one of the most expensive methods as well, people usually avoid using this method. Moreover, it also poses a limitation to the variety of available shades. Usually, you can achieve shades ranging from brown to blue, and everything in between.
Another drawback of using an epoxy coating to color concrete is it does not allow pattern formations. In other words, you can only expect a single shade throughout the coat. And since the color is coated over the polished concrete surface, the life span of the coat is also limited. This is because the coating is prone to chipping or peeling-off of the surface. Especially in places where there is a high flux of traffic using the passage.
Dyes for Natural Hues
In case, you are looking for a more durable coloring technique, then dying is surely a better option. Dyeing is a permanent coloring method that penetrates the surface of the concrete. Thereby, generating colors intrinsically. It is noteworthy that there are no chemical reactions that occur between the dye and the concrete. Instead, the dyes work similar to marbling, allowing for a variety of natural hues including variegation.
Since the dyes are either water-based or solution-based, they can easily be applied while polishing the concrete. Thus, eliminating any additional time or resource requirements to color concrete floors at a later stage. In general, water-based dyes are more popularly used, as they are more versatile in natural patterning. These dyes can offer a similar level of shade and patterning like that of marble and granite. On the other hand, solvent-based dyes offer more monotonous coloring options. So, if you are looking for a permanent but natural color for your polished concrete floor, then dyes are surely the best option.
Stainers for In-depth Colors
Unlike dyes, which needs to be added either during the laying of the floor or during polishing, staining can be done after the polishing is complete. This is by far the most popularly used method duly because of its permanence. Moreover, stains do not produce solid or opaque effects, as is common with dyeing and coating. This is because the stains react with the concrete to produce fade-resistant earthy tones.
Now, depending upon the color you wish to achieve, you can choose from acid-based stains to water-based stains. While acid-based stains offer a limited palette of earthy colors like dark brown, tan, or blue/green hues, water-based stains are more versatile. These are usually a blend of acrylic polymers and pigments that penetrate deep into the concrete structure. So, just like mixing different paints to achieve a desired tone or hue, you can play with water-based stains and achieve just about any shade imaginable.
Metallic Coatings: The Hottest Trend
The latest and the hottest trend in the concrete industry is a metallic coating for concrete floors. The method of applying the metallic coating is similar to that of the epoxy-based coating. The only difference being that, instead of using pigments and hues, real metallic powders are mixed in a solvent. The reason for its increasing popularity is the luxurious aura that it surrounds. Of course, you can replicate your concrete floor to shine the way metal does. All that, while you can choose from a wide variety of metallic colors such as gold, silver, and copper. And many more…
You can use different metallic shades, mix and create new colors, and decorate whatever design or pattern you want. Just, imagine how lavish it is to have costly metallic ornamentation on your concrete floor. And of course, you would like to flaunt your luxury before your guests.
Now using these methods you can change the color of your polished or unpolished concrete floor. You can do it yourself but having an expert do the job can help reduce the wastage and get the better quality for the same. Depending upon their level of expertise, they can also guide you through any repairs needed before the coloring could be done. Usually, old floor setups need to be resealed and finely polished before they can be colored. This is done to ensure that the color is spread uniformly, as much as possible.
So, before you hire just about any contractor, you should explore your options thoroughly. Skimming through the prospects based on their licensing, their area of operation, and what they charge for their services, you can easily identify the best one. Since now, you already have the idea about what it takes to color your polished concrete floor, it should be easier for you to find the right contractor.