Finishing your concrete offers a number of advantages. Not only does it improve the appearance, but it helps protect it, hides imperfections, and keeps it lasting longer. The question is how should you go about finishing your concrete? For those looking to add a little color, it primarily comes down to paint or stain.

When most people think of stain, they probably picture wood stain. Concrete stain is similar in function, though it usually places a larger emphasis on color than traditional stain. Concrete stain is also almost always combined with other finishing materials to create a unique, long lasting finish.

To get a better understanding of concrete stain and how it compares to paint, let’s take a closer look at the two options.

What’s the Difference Between Concrete Paint and Concrete Stain?

Both paint and concrete stain can be used to give concrete a colored finished. However, they do this in distinct ways.

True to its name, concrete stain stains the surface of the concrete. It penetrates the pours, changing the color and appearance of the surface. Once concrete is stained, it’s then sealed to lock in the color. Alternatively, it can be utilized with epoxy coating for enhanced protection and a glossy (or semi-gloss) finish.

By comparison, paint simply coats and covers the top of the concrete. While arguably simpler to apply than concrete stain, it’s not quite the same process as painting drywall or wood. After all, concrete is notoriously porous, which means it absorbs paint. Special preparation is required, and the right type of paint must be utilized.

When done correctly, the concrete will have a layer of paint across the top.

Which is Better?

When it paint a wall or ceiling, it generally remains untouched. Floors, however, experience a lot of traffic. They also tend to have objects placed on them and moved across them. If you’ve ever had furniture rested against a painted wall, it’s likely you’ve seen it break through the top layer. This can happen much more frequently on floors.

Chipping and peeling are common among painted concrete floors, especially if things weren’t done right. Concrete stain, on the other hand, is much more resilient and lasts longer. Because it soaks into the concrete, it can’t simply be chipped or peeled away. And since stain is virtually always used with another finishing compound, you can expect enhanced protection and resistance to moisture.

When compared by themselves, paint arguably does a better job of covering up cracks and blemishes. After all, stain enhances the concrete’s natural finish. However, stain can be utilized with techniques such as concrete stamping to mimic other materials such as wood, stone, brick, and more.

The truth is, concrete staining opens up the door to near limitless possibilities. Whether you want to enhance your concrete with some subtle color, or you want to transform it completely, stain can get you there. Just make sure to utilize a professional. Done incorrectly, concrete stain can appear uneven, and once it’s been applied, it’s difficult to remove. A professional will ensure it gets done right the first time.

For concrete staining, sealing, and more in Ohio, contact Select Flooring Systems today!