Acid Stain vs. Integrally Colored Concrete Floors

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doctore
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Acid Stain vs. Integrally Colored Concrete Floors

Postby doctore » Tue Jan 10, 2006 6:17 pm

We are about to redo a radiant system in our 1953 contemporary tri-level. We are doing a 2" concrete overpour on the lower two levels where a poor remudle resulted in our ceramic tile over gypcrete system trashed. We are starting over at slab on grade on both levels, doing approx 1000sf total.

I've seen some really cool light cloudy brown and deeper brown acid stains that I like. The company we are looking at using is: http://www.myfloorshield.com/index.html

I really like the marblish look, I think it adds alot of warmth. On the other hand the more sterile look of a monolithic slab seems to have a certain "lasting" appeal. I think we will end up scoring whatever we choose into 3' x 2' or something to help define the floor space better and control cracking somewhat.

I just wonder what people's thoughts are on this. I really love the pics SID has shown, I'd like to see an even closer view of the finish on these types of floors.

Once we do em' there there forever!

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Postby momp57 » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:18 pm


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Tony
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Postby Tony » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:10 pm

Two important houses in Palm Springs have stained concrete floors: Albert Frey's House II and E. Stewart Williams House.

I both instances a powdered inorganic stain was troweled into the poured concrete floor. Frey's is a pinkish-brown while Stew's is a dark olive green/brown. And both have lasted beautifully; Frey's for 40 years and Stew's for 50.

Here at the Beat Hotel the original concrete floors were stained black and then top coated with an acrylic finish called "Iron Stone". This staining is somewhat irregular - there are spotty areas of grey. But it looks kind of distressed and works pretty well. But the "Iron Stone" needs to be reapplied every once in a while.

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Lynxwiler
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Postby Lynxwiler » Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:56 pm

I've done a tiny bit of research into acid staining and it seems so "iffy". The results of the stain depend entirely on the chemical reaction of acid on your cement. That means each batch of cement could create a different patina on your floor.

It's not just the difference of age, i.e. your dining room floor was poured a few years after your living room floor so there will be a chemical difference between the two. As I understand it there could also be a color difference from batch to batch, i.e. the southwest corner of your living room was mixed from a different batch than the northwest corner. This reaction could create unwanted colors and patterns on your floor, all based on uncontrollable chemicals.

For pigment consistency, you could use a water-based stain to get a wash of color before sealing the floor. It too is "iffy", but relies on pigment for color and not the chemical reaction of acid.

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Postby sdmod » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:22 pm

Stain is usually acid or water based and is applied after the concrete has been poured and usually after it has cured. The desired result is usually modeled and irregular or “antiquedâ€￾. I have seen it used in some newer modern designs and it can look very good.

There are two or more types of integral (mixed into wet concrete) color that are used in concrete slabs one is mixed into the concrete as it is prepared and before it is shipped to the site. The other is sometimes referred to as a release and is what TM is outlining in his post above. This provides a far more even and consistent result. I dont believe that stains were used in the 40s, 50s, 60s. the drawback of the relaese is that it is only mixed into the top say 1/2". If chips or cracking occur (and they will) you will see the grey body of the slab. With stain this can be remedied by applying more stain to the crack or chip.

As a far as which one is best, I would say that the integral color is preferable in my mind as it is consistent with the period. Stains to me usually tend to look like a faux finish but I guess I am a bit of a purist.

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:28 pm

I think a tint towards a warm gray would be great, giving it a warmer feel, yet still natural.

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Postby doctore » Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:14 pm

Thanks for the input. My thoughts right now are to lightly tint each level, score, polish off and be done. In this case I think simpler will be more asthetically pleasing and cheaper :D.

I just don't know if I can get past the "uncertainty factor" of acid staining and I definately do not want a "trendy" floor that takes away from the beauty of the home.

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Postby Joe » Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:48 pm

just be sure you have visual examples for your floor guy to see so you don't end up with a "trendy" floor. Be sure you see a portfolio of the work from the person you intend to hire.

we do expect to see before/after photos!

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sid
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Postby sid » Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:05 am

Thanks for the kind recognition doctore…

As you all know, I have a personal affection for concrete floors. The floors in my last house were concrete throughout. It was easy and inexpensive! I pulled the carpet did slight repairs throughout and then just polished and sealed them.

I did resurface the master bedroom with a stained concrete and to much regret.

The natural color of the concrete took on a life of its own and the floors never ceased to amaze me as the hues changed daily. They reminded me of the sky at dusk, and each day was different. Very soothing.

I miss my house…
SID

MISSING my long and straight beams, stretching from the outside and piercing through the interior and back out again; seeing it all in one glance! WOW, it was gorgeous!

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Dee Goodrich
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Concrete floor maintenance

Postby Dee Goodrich » Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:26 pm

:cheers:

Hi all,
This is my first posting, so I hope I'm doing it right.

My husband and I are about to purchase a 1956 MCM with a radiant heating system and concrete floor. Inspection was yesterday and so far, so good.

We spent the afternoon in the bookstore looking for information on how to repair and maintain an interior concrete floor, but with no luck. Our floor is in decent shape, but has a few cracks and--frankly--could use a good repaint and reseal.

Does anyone know a good book or website resource to help us learn how to care for this floor?

Many thanks!
Dee

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SDR
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Postby SDR » Sat Jan 28, 2006 3:43 pm

Welcome, Dee. Congratulations on your new house !

Just curious: is the floor painted now ? Same color throughout ? Do you have an open plan ?

Minor cracking is probably normal -- if the two sides of a crack are at the same level, the steel reinforcement within has not been seriously compromized. It should be possible to caulk the crack, I would say, if you wanted to (though I can't actually speak to the pros and cons of that).

But first, you should decide if you are going to strip the paint and go for a more natural look. You'll find a variety of opinions on that subject, here !

SDR
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Dee Goodrich
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Postby Dee Goodrich » Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:13 pm

Thanks for the info, SDR. The floor is painted, same color throughout. Yes, it's an open floor plan. I think it was the original paint job 50 years ago, so there's just normal wear and tear. Our inspector thinks the cracking is also just normal settling stuff. We have not decided exactly what we want to do, but we'll probaby want to stay true to the original design since so much of it is still intact.

Dee
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SDR
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Postby SDR » Sun Jan 29, 2006 4:31 pm

Thanks, Dee. Do you know who the arcitect was?

We love to look, here (Like Chance the gardener ?) -- any "chance" of a peek at your photos ?

Care for a painted floor is probably just a matter of dusting, with occasional washing as required. As with most masonry materials, this is really a "low-maintenance" surface. Is it a heated floor ?

SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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sid
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Postby sid » Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:15 pm

SID



MISSING my long and straight beams, stretching from the outside and piercing through the interior and back out again; seeing it all in one glance! WOW, it was gorgeous!

doctore
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Postby doctore » Mon Jan 30, 2006 9:38 pm


Stefen
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Postby Stefen » Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:38 pm

Suggest that you go to the 'Bomanite' web site where there are 5 factory licensed contractors that are experienced in providing either of the services you are seeking.

I have used Bomanite systems on numerous projects in California and cannot find anyone comparable...and including warranty service.

doctore
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Postby doctore » Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:15 pm

Thanks Stefen, We actually have someone from Bomanite coming out next week. I have heard they are a bit more expensive but at this point I just want a good finished product and will pay for it if it means it is warranted. Any advice on what to ask them when they come out?

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Dee Goodrich
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A couple of pictures

Postby Dee Goodrich » Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:32 pm

Thanks, all, for concrete/radiant heating advice.

For SDR--The architect was Irene Mark Buitenkant back in 1956. I have not found out anything about him yet, though I do have the original house plans.

For Doctore--We've done what we can to ensure the radiant heating system is in good shape. It is heating evenly...furnace is only about 9 years old. We can't shut the whole thing down right now...it's winter in Connecticut. I have found a couple of vendors in CT who do interior concrete floor work, so I'll have them out soon for quotes.

I'd love to attached pictures as soon as I figure out how...I'm not the most web-savvy person out there.
Dee

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SDR
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Postby SDR » Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:52 pm

Thanks, Dee -- Keep warm ! (I was raised in Westchester, so I know what winters are like on Long Island Sound -- maybe you're inland, which can only mean deeper snow !)

No rush, of course, but I can coach you on posting photos, if you have a "web host" set up (I just recently figured it out myself) -- otherwise you can post a link here to your photo album(s) (Yahoo, etc) if any; either method works. . .

SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender


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