Concrete is becoming a cost-effective material for a luxurious--but reasonably priced--look inside the home. The finishing techniques used in concrete floors and counters can create the look of expensive stone such as marble or granite. Homeowners have a variety of finishing techniques available, to add color and dramatic effects in the home.
The colors available for concrete can fit in with almost any home décor. This finishing technique adds color to the concrete during the mixing stage to create the shade the homeowner desires. Color can be added to concrete countertops, floors or even concrete furniture.
Stenciling is used to add a design to concrete flooring or countertops. The technique involves placing stencils over the area and applying a chemical stain. When the stencil is removed, the design is left behind. Stenciling allows homeowners to apply a design directly to the floor or counter that is durable and attractive. Homeowners can create borders around a room or a permanent area-rug design right on the surface of the concrete floor.
Polished concrete offers a high-gloss finish on a counter or floor in a home. Stores and industrial buildings use concrete to give the floor a polished finish at a low cost. Homeowners can use the same technique at home to create a polished floor in a garage, basement or even in a living room. The process also requires a sealer or epoxy finish to protect the surface of the concrete.
Staining concrete is a chemical process that alters the color of the material. Chemical stains react with the lime in the concrete to produce colors and designs throughout the material. This is a reactive type of chemical stain. Nonreactive stains are water-based materials that do not react with the concrete. The nonreactive stain penetrates the pores of the concrete to impart the color.
Stamped concrete is a finishing technique used to create the look of natural stone or wood grain. The process uses tools pressed into the still-wet concrete to create the stone design on flooring or countertops. Outdoor areas such as patios and pool areas are common places to use this finishing technique.
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