Faq’s

 

FAQ’S about concrete staining
FAQ’S about engraving

What is acid staining?

Acid staining is a pemanent coloration process where a low acid based solution combined with natural metallic salts react with the lime present in the concrete.Where as paint is just a coating for concrete and will chip and fade, acid stain colors are produced by a chemical reaction in the concrete resulting in a permanent coloring of the concrete surface that will not chip or fade.

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Will my concrete appear like the color shown on this web site?

Due the different make up of the concrete, porosity and several other factors, the stain may not exactly match the pictures shown. This fact enables your job to become one-of-a-kind! We perform stain samples on-site when possible to evaluate color options with our clients and make other adjustments to the mix.

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How long will the staining last?

If the stain is properly installed, it will not wear off unless you wear off the top layer of your concrete because the stain is in the floor not on it. A regular dust mopping and general cleaning practices will preserve the sealer and wax coatings.

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Will the stain produce an uniform color?

No, the stain will not overcome any color variance in your concrete. These natural variances are what give the marbling effect. A solid color stain can be used to achieve a uniform color, not acid stain.

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Can I put a curing compound on my slab?

No, water cure concrete only. Remember that anything that keeps the stain from making contact with the concrete, as well as other things, will have a negative affect on the outcome. For example, a stack of wood placed on a new slab would result in a permanent shadow, causing the concrete to cure slightly darker where the wood laid. A new concrete floor should be treated as a finished floor to ensure better staining results.

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What are the most common uses for “Chemical Staining”?

Commonly used in basements, radiant heat floors, galleries, restaurants and retail stores. It can also be used for patios, driveways, pool decks and retaining walls.

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FAQ’S about engraving

It’s an amazing transformation for existing concrete or asphalt! Our process changes the color of the concrete/asphalt, then a pattern is actually engraved into your existing concrete/asphalt.

Where can Engraved Concrete be used?

Engraved concrete/asphalt can be used to remodel driveways, walkways, patios, sidewalks, basements, garage floors, businesses, stores, or anywhere you have plain, gray existing concrete. The process is “IN” the concrete not “ON” the concrete.

Plain-gray existing concrete or asphalt driveways, sidewalks, or patios that are in sore need of decorative flair? How do you give it a dramatic and lasting makeover, short of breaking it out and starting over? One answer is engraving—the use of special tools and equipment to cut patterns and designs into existing concrete/asphalt. Unlike toppings or overlays, engraving is a permanent treatment that won’t wear away or lose bond because the patterns are carved into the concrete/asphalt rather than applied on top of it. When the concrete/asphalt is further enhanced by staining, the decorative possibilities are truly spectacular.

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What is Concrete Engraving?

Concrete Engraving is staining the concrete/asphalt to give it color, then engraving out a pattern. The engraved area is now uncolored which then creates the look of a grout line. Concrete Engraving involves the following:

The concrete/asphalt is cleaned. Cracks, if any, are repaired (in some cases, cracks are left in the concrete, which creates an aged brick or stone look). The concrete/asphalt is stained. For more information on concrete stains, please click on FAQ about Staining. The concrete is engraved. The job is cleaned up, a sealer is applied.

New or old concrete/asphalt can be engraved.

  • NO Concrete Stamping!
  • NO Sandblasting!
  • NO Surface Textures!
  • NOT An Over

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In what type of areas can Concrete Engraving be used?

Here are some exterior applications:

  • Driveways
  • Walkways
  • Entries
  • Pool Decks
  • Patios
  • Parking Lots

Here are some interior applications:

  • Residential entryways
  • Garage Floors
  • Basement Floors
  • Commerical Establishments

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How is the color of the existing Concrete changed?

Concrete/asphalt is stained with a color before the engraving process is done. Chemical Stains and/or solid color stains penetrate the concrete surface to create beautiful color tones in existing concrete. Chemical (acid) stains react directly with the concrete’s minerals and produce uneven, mottled, and variegated color effects and solid stains produce an opaque color much like a painted surface. To learn more about staining, please see FAQ about concrete staining at the top of this page. Stained concrete is striking in appearance and adds an artistic appeal to plain, dull concrete. Many unique design effects are possible.

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Is Concrete Engraving done on new or old concrete?

Both.

New concrete is engraved after allowing the concrete to cure for approximately 30 days, then the surface is thoroughly cleaned and prepared to start the process. Old concrete can also be stained and engraved once properly prepared.

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How do Engraved patterns look several years after installation?

Any brick, tile or cobblestones patterns you have engraved in the concrete/asphalt will stay for the life of the concrete/asphalt surface. It is not like an actual brick that may break. It has been engraved into the concrete/asphalt – so it is part of the concrete/asphalt itself. The color change over time with concrete stains is hard to predict. This is not meant to be a negative- instead it is much like worn brick or other paving materials – they age. Often this creates an even more appreciated look.

Regular cleaning and sealing will contribute to the stained surface looking beautiful.

With periodic maintenance the surface will look substantially the same years after the installation. With no maintenance, over the years, engraved bricks naturally take on an antique or used brick appearance. Brick or cobblestone that looks like it has a long history is desired by many.

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Does Concrete Engraving Add to the Thickness of the Concrete?

There is no thickness added when concrete/asphalt is engraved. Concrete stains permeate the surface of the concrete/asphalt and do not add to its thickness. The engraving routes down into the concrete/ashpalt surface and does not add any thickness to the concrete/asphalt.

Added thickness to existing concrete/asphalt can cause water to run backwards into the garage (if the surface of the driveway has been raised). It can also interfere with garage doors opening. Added thickness should be a consideration for any system that goes on top of the concrete/asphalt.

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How do I maintain my engraved surfaces?

Procedures for protecting and maintaining engraved concrete/asphalt are similar to those for protecting other colored or stained concrete/asphalt surfaces. Coating the surface periodically with a clear, protective sealer will preserve the color. As for the engraved pattern itself, it should last as long as the concrete/asphalt does. For normal residential flatwork exposed to average traffic, the pattern should remain for decades. In commercial areas with a lot of traffic or where the surface is exposed to studded snow tires, the pattern may show some wear after several years.

In cold climates with a lot of snowfall, engraved surfaces should actually hold up better during snow removal than some other types of decorative concrete. Because an engraved pattern is below surface level, a snowplow can’t damage it.

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After several years, what if I don’t want an aged look? Can you re-stain the pattern?

Yes, if pigmented stain was used. It takes extra time if you want to leave the grout lines natural concrete gray.

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What is the life expectancy of a installation?

Engraved bricks, tiles and cobblestones are guaranteed to never come loose. How could they? The pattern is cut INTO the concrete/asphalt. The pattern will last as long as the concrete/asphalt because it is the concrete/asphalt.

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How long will installation take?

The job can take one or two days, or even up to a week. This depends on:

  • The size of the area to be engraved
  • The amount of cleaning required
  • Any crack repairs to be made
  • How heavy an application of stain is to be made (more than one coat?)
  • The weather

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