When you want to change the color of your concrete surfaces, you have several options. You can find several types of stains and dyes, but you need to determine which one is best for your design needs. To do this, you have to take the opportunity to look into the different factors that can influence your final decision.
The first consideration when changing the surface of your concrete is to determine the intensity of the color you want. Each option you find will offer you a different saturation level, which means some options will only offer a light hue, while others give you bright shades.
Acid-based stains are one option that generally gives you a lighter color. The acid reacts to the minerals within the concrete mixture. In many cases, you will need several coats of the stain before you obtain a darker color.
Water-based stains on the other hand give you a much darker or brighter color, since it is closer to paint. The difference is that this stain bonds completely with the top layer by penetrating the concrete. To make sure the stain penetrates thoroughly, the surface must be etched or ground down slightly. This process is what allows you to have a more intense color without having to use multiple coats to reach your desired shade.
Another coloring option is to use a concrete dye that a contractor mixes into a new layer concrete or they spray it onto the surface. You do get more color options than with the stains, because the contractor can custom mix the dyes to make a specific color.
Another factor to consider is the UV stability of the different coloring products. UV rays can cause some products to fade, which is why they are best suited for indoor use.
For example, concrete dyes are not UV-stable, which means the color fades or discolors as the surface is exposed to direct sunlight. For this reason, most dyes are best suited for indoor use only.
Water and acid based concrete stains are highly UV-stable. This stability makes them perfect for driveways, garages, walkways, kitchens or patios. These stains are also durable, which makes them ideal for high traffic areas in and around your home.
Changing the color of your concrete surfaces comes with specific concerns if you are not familiar with all of your options. By learning more about the different dyes and stains from talking to a concrete contractor at a company like Southwest Coating Solutions, you will have an easier time choosing the right one for your needs.