Concrete dyes and concrete stains can both be used to impart color on concrete floors. However, dyes and stains differ in how they color the concrete and where they are best used. Because of this, it’s important to understand some of the differences between concrete dyes and concrete stains.

Concrete Stains

Concrete stains are generally used on exterior surfaces, and they cannot be mechanically polished. Like the name implies, pigmented stains rely on color pigments to alter the shade of the concrete. Alternatively, acid-based stains chemically react with the minerals in concrete to create a marble-like appearance. Acid-based stains are more unpredictable than pigmented stains and require more safety precautions during application. Because of this, pigmented stains are typically more popular.

Concrete stains are applied to prepped concrete floors. A clear coat (usually a polyurethane) is then applied. This top coat brightens the color of the stain and protects the color from fading. It can be reapplied, once it starts wearing away. Stains come in approximately 24 colors.

Concrete Dyes

Concrete dyes are not UV stable, so they are usually used on interior surfaces. Unlike stains, they can be mechanically polished. Dyes are vegetable-based and impart color by penetrating deeper into the concrete, since they are smaller in particle size than stains. Because of this, dyes provide greater color saturation to concrete floors.

Like stains, dyes come in approximately 24 colors. However, they do not come in white, while stains do.

For more information on whether concrete dyes or concrete stains are right for your space, contact us today.