FIND A CONTRACTOR Or Search by Postal Code:

The Types of Concrete Stains and How They Work

When you go shopping for concrete stain, you'll find two types of products. Each one colors concrete differently and offers a different look.

Brown stained livingroom floor
Example of an acid-stained floor

Reactive stains

A traditional acid-based concrete stain reacts chemically with the concrete surface to produce variegated, translucent color tones and attractive marbling effects. A true acid-based concrete stain contains metallic salts that react with the concrete's lime content. Once the chemical reaction takes place, the stain forms a permanent bond with the concrete and won't chip off or peel away.

Blue concrete floor
Water-based stain in ocean blue

Nonreactive stains

A newer category of concrete stains are water-based acrylics. These products don't rely on a chemical reaction to impart color. Instead, they work more like a paint by depositing their pigment particles in the pores of the concrete. These stains come in a much broader palette of colors than acid stains, and they are easier to apply. But their color effects tend to be more opaque and more uniform.

To learn more, read What Is a True Concrete Stain? at

Stained Concrete Photo Gallery
Acid Stained Concrete
Planning Guide
All you need to know about concrete staining
Photo Gallery
Need ideas? We've got plenty to go around
What you need to know about tackling your own stained concrete project
Get inspired from the experts with tips and tricks

Copyright 2010-2015 - All Rights Reserved