With Concrete Finishing being as up and coming as it is, we get a lot of questions about the different applications.
And this doesn’t only include the “How To’s” and “What Application Is Best For…” (which by the way, is a good question to ask if you’re confused). It also includes a lot of the science behind Concrete Finishing.
Because at a basic level, it’s chemistry. Congratulations, you are actually a chemist.
Really though, when you apply a stain or a dye to concrete, you are banking on a chemical reaction. And that reaction will determine the result you get.
So the effect you want will determine whether you use a stain or a dye.
The basic difference is that a Dye you will use when you Polish concrete, and a stain is a reactant.
When you polish concrete, you will initially grind the surface with some lower grit work (see how to polish concrete for details).
Now, the fun part here comes when you get to a certain grit (usually around 400). This is where you will apply your dye.
We usually use a solvent base dye which we microfiber into the concrete. From there, we densify it.
When it comes to dying, you’re simply adding a tint to the concrete. You’re not changing the actual physical properties, you’re just adding to it. Once you’ve added the dye, you just continue polishing.
(Watch the video if you’re confused).
Now let’s talk about staining.
We went over how to stain a concrete floor in a couple of different videos which, if you haven’t watched and are wanting to do a project like this, we highly suggest taking a look at.
When you stain concrete, you are prepping the concrete and spray down a reactive stain. Then when you seal, it reacts with the concrete, and forms various colors within the concrete.
So polished concrete is a mechanical process, where you work the concrete with Diamond Tools. This work is where you get your gloss from.
Staining is where you simply prep the concrete with Diamond Tools, apply stain and then a clear coat, which is where you get the gloss.
More questions? Drop them our way!