Concrete Staining Austin
Thanks for visiting our concrete staining Austin post. Would concrete floors be appropriate for a Craftsman style house? We think so. Craftsman is a bungalow style that is cozy and unpretentious. The style embraces simplicity and the use of natural materials. This is based on a Craftsman style, but adapts to what people today tend to enjoy – open living space and easy maintenance.
We operate on a tight budget, so an idea that saves money and looks good is always of interest. Eliminating a layer of tile or wood on the concrete floor is a good budget, and a good green choice.
This was our first experience with concrete as a finished floor. The foundation contractor suggested that we “burn the concrete.” By burn he meant burnish. To burnish the concrete, they have to act quickly. As soon as it was ready to walk on, they went over the concrete surface with a paddle machine. This smoothed and closed the pores of the concrete. This step is done as a part of the foundation pour. It is known as a hard troweled finish.
After the house was framed, we cleaned the concrete floor and moved to the sealing stage. As a test, we bought a gallon of “Kemiko” stain. This is a reactive stain – meaning that it reacts with the lime in the concrete to produce a color. The solution is clear. We painted some on the floor in an area under the cabinets. There was a little fizzing noise, and the concrete turned an orange color. (Eeeek!) Our plumbing contractor, who happened to be there, suggested that use a black stain. (Eeeek!)
At that point we decided that concrete staining was not something we could DIY. We did not want to be down on hands and knees a whole lot. And colored concrete was not something we liked anyway. So we decided to forego the stain, and allow the floor be its natural concrete color. We would do a polished concrete floor.
So, instead of stain, we used a wax sealer. We bought five gallons of Kemiko clear oil wax, and rented a polisher from Ace Hardware. The polisher was a very heavy machine with a stiff bristle brush. It took two people to carry it into the house.
Jim poured about ½ cup of wax on a spot, and burnished it into an area of about 3 x 3 feet. Our kids took turns with the machine, and we paid them with a taco lunch. The heavy machine rubs the wax into the pores of the concrete, leaving a soft patina. We were pleased with the grey stone-like quality. The wax enriches the color, so it seems like a light grey stain.
After waxing, we covered with floor with some leftover Masonite, given to us by another builder. We were careful to remind each contractor, especially the painters, that we had a finished floor under the Masonite.
Our Craftsman Style concrete floor was a success. The floor is cool, versatile, inexpensive, and easy to live with.
Thanks for visiting our concrete staining Austin how-to page! We have more to follow as this home gets built. If you’re planning a diy project, you’re invited to reach out to us. We’re happy to compare notes, and share contractors.
And, if you need somebody, and not just anybody, to help you find a home or get your home sold, we’d love to hear from you! Building is just an occasional hobby for us. We’re full time Realtors!