Enhancing the beauty of the concrete rather than covering it up with carpet is fast becoming the standard in floor treatments, with benefits that extend beyond aesthetics. Exposed concrete can almost be compared to a piece of granite or marble transformed by staining. In this process, a plain surface is uncovered to reveal the exceptional beauty lying beneath. In the case of concrete, that beauty is in the form of decorative aggregate, either natural or manufactured. An exposed aggregate finish offers numerous advantages. And many of today’s contractors are finding creative ways to take exposed aggregate to the next level. And how to prepare the floor to stain your concrete?
Spill a little water on the surface in several locations
Spill a little water on the surface in several different locations to see if the concrete absorbs water. If it doesn’t, curing agents may be obstructing the chemical stains to penetrate into the concrete surface with the lime in the concrete. Any material, sealer or curing agent will prevent the color from taking. You must remove all possible grease stains, oils stains, paint drips or any stubborn stain-blocking the entry of acid stains and must be removed.
Don’t be negligent in the cleaning process
Don’t be negligent in the cleaning process; it can alter the entire effect. A substandard cleaning job will really show up once the sealer or wax is applied. Prepare the area, remove any stains and clean the entire floor. The concrete surface must be cleaned and washed over several times. No major indentations should be left in or on the surface. If you are going to fix any major cracks or holes with quick-dry concrete, you must allow the fixed spots to dry completely before moving along to the next steps. Don’t use acid to clean the stained concrete flooring because it will reduce the effect of the stain. It’s best to scrub with a buffing machine using strip pads and to pick up the effluent with a high-quality wet vacuum.
Principal Removal Methods of Concrete Uncovered
Scraping, solvents, stripping agents, sanding and grinding are the principal removal methods. If you choose to grind the concrete, avoid making marks on the surface that will reflect through the concrete stained flooring. Use either a cup grinding wheel with a fine-grit or diamond polishing pads to get the high-quality results.
Sanding the surface the next step
Sanding the surface should be the next step after making sure that all dirt and grease is removed completely from the surface of the concrete. Making a smooth, uniform surface by sanding will add its own pleasing effect to the final appearance by accentuating and feel of the concrete after the stain is applied. After the sanding is complete you will need to sweep and mop the concrete to get all the dust off of it.
The surface must be professionally clean and free of streak marks, footprints, and all residues. Anything remaining on the surface will affect stain penetration. Most stained concrete flooring manufacturers will provide color charts displaying multiple hues, or even actual samples of stained concrete to help you visualize the options. Contractors may also be able to provide samples of the various stain colors they work with.