The following guidelines apply to acid staining new slabs with the products and sealer systems used by Stained Concrete Peyton & Associates. Other products may require different steps or solutions. If you are applying acid stains yourself, refer to the selected manufacturer's instructions or take a course from a qualified trainer.
We also provide detailed instruction sheets for framers and concrete contractors free to our clients.
The ideal time to score (cut lines/patterns in the slab) is right after the concrete is poured -- on an open slab -- before framing begins.
The best time to stain and seal the floors is just after the structure is "dried-in" (roof on/windows in) and before the sheetrock is hung. If you are spraying insulation, stain the conrete floors first as well. To ready the floor for staining, simply keep the concrete swept daily and free of materials. (Make sure workers refrain from eating on your slab -- grease from french fries, hamburgers, etc. can stain your slab.)
After the floors are stained, cover them with cardboard or thermoply to protect them from glue, marks, spills, paint, etc. (Be careful NOT to tape directly to the concrete. Tape leaves permanent stripes on the slab.)
Our chart provides a representation of some of the colors available. The precise color will vary according to your concrete (its composition, the temperature when it was poured, the way it is trowelled). Be sure to ask for samples on your concrete in an area that will later be concealed by cabinets, a fireplace or tub.
PROTECTING THE FLOORS
Make sure floors are protected throughout the construction process and that you or your builder adequately supervise all subs – especially the concrete contractor -- to ensure the desired results.
Do not use harsh detergents, acid washes, or chemicals to clean the slab. Clean the slab with water only.
NEVER tape directly to the concrete -- this applies to before, during or after the slab is stained. (The acid on the back of the tape will etch a permanent stripe on your concrete!)
Post warning signs For example: "WARNING. FINISHED FLOORS. KEEP COVERED AT ALL TIMES."
HVAC: Glues for make-up of return-air and supply ducts
Insulators: Polyseal for doors and windows
Sheetrockers: Sheetrock dust, TFT mud
Painters: Paints, thinners, sealers, stains. Also, do not TAPE directly to floor.
Framers: Red or orange chalk, permanent markers, cutting or nailing to finished concrete floor
Have electricians locate floor plugs on drawings and flush mount the penetrations.
Bricklayers: Muriatic acid spills and splatters.
COVERING THE FLOORS
After the floors are stained and sealed, let them dry for 24 to 48 hours. Then cover them for the remainder of construction. There are a number of good ways to cover your floors. Here's what we do:
First staple a 12" high plastic strip to the bottom 6" of the walls, curving the remaining 6" of the plastic around the edges of the concrete floor. Then cover the floors with cardboard or thermoply. (We use flat 4' x 8' cardboard sheets.) IT IS CRITICAL THAT no tape comes in direct contact with the concrete -- either before or after it is stained.